Boaventura de Sousa Santos

Boaventura de Sousa Santos is Professor of Sociology at the School of Economics, University of Coimbra (Portugal), Distinguished Legal Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School and Global Legal Scholar at the University of Warwick.
The Anti-System

The Anti-System

The global rise of the far right has given new relevance to the concept of anti-system in the context of politics. In order to understand what is happening, we need to go back a few decades. This is not the place to dwell on how rich this period was, politically...

The End of the Portuguese Dream?

The End of the Portuguese Dream?

Given the circumstances, the presidential election was a marvel of organization, revealing a civic-mindedness that may have come as a surprise even to the well-advised. The abstention rate was high, but still much lower than predicted. There were two major winners:...

Trump won’t take cyanide

Trump won’t take cyanide

Trump speaking at the "Stop the Steal" rally on January 6, 2021Voice of America, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons Trump is not Hitler, the US is not Nazi Germany, no invading army is heading toward the White House. All this notwithstanding, it is impossible not to...

Fascism 2.0: An Intensive Course

Fascism 2.0: An Intensive Course

It is impossible to predict what will happen in the US in the coming weeks. As I write, a number of crucial questions remain unanswered. Was there electoral fraud or not? If there was, was it enough to reverse the outcome? Will the transition be from Trump to Biden or...

The De-Aging of the World

The De-Aging of the World

Social age does not coincide with physiological age. But the degree of the discrepancy varies according to historical period, including its social context and the other collective circumstances surrounding it. The same applies to societies. The industrialized world in...

The Statues of our Discontent

The Statues of our Discontent

Statues look a lot like the past, which is why, whenever they are called into question, we turn to historians. The truth is that statues are a thing of the past only as long as they stand quietly in squares, as indifferent to us as we are to them. At such times, which...

The Tragic Transparency of the Virus

The Tragic Transparency of the Virus

  Today’s cultural, political and ideological debates are imbued with a strange opacity, the result of their remove from the concrete day-to-day experience of the vast majority of people — ordinary citizens, or la gente de a pie, as they say in Latin America. That is...

Virus: All That Is Solid Melts into Air

Virus: All That Is Solid Melts into Air

There is a debate within the social sciences about whether it is easier to ascertain the truthfulness and quality of a society’s institutions under normal daily circumstances or in exceptional situations, during times of crisis. One can probably learn from both types...

What now, Brazil?

What now, Brazil?

The words that come to mind the most are astonishment and perplexity. The Brazilian government has slipped into the abyss of absurdity, into an absolute trivialization of abuse and aggression, into a gross violation of the most basic rules of democratic coexistence —...