George Ciccariello-Maher: Building the Commune: Radical Democracy in Venezuela, Thursday, March 16, 2017, 1:00-3:00pm, Charles E. Merrill Lounge, UC Santa Cruz

The CLRC research cluster, Diasporic Dialectics in the Américas, welcomes George Ciccariello-Maher of Drexel University to UC Santa Cruz. Professor Ciccariello-Maher discusses his new book, "Building the Commune: Radical Democracy in Venezuela" (Verso, 2016), 1:00-3:00pm on Thursday, March 16, 2017, in the Charles E. Merrill Lounge.

December 20, 2016

By , Assistant Professor, Latin American & Latino Studies 

building the commune book cover

Since 2011, a wave of popular uprisings has swept the globe, taking shape in the Occupy movement, the Arab Spring, 15M in Spain, and the anti-austerity protests in Greece. The demands have been varied, but have expressed a consistent commitment to the ideals of radical democracy.

Similar experiments began appearing across Latin America twenty-five years ago, just as the left fell into decline in Europe. In Venezuela, poor barrio residents arose in a mass rebellion against neoliberalism, ushering in a government that institutionalized the communes already forming organically. In Building the Commune, George Ciccariello-Maher travels through these radical experiments, speaking to a broad range of community members, workers, students and government officials. Assessing the projects’ successes and failures, Building the Commune provides lessons and inspiration for the radical movements of today.


George Ciccariello-Maher is Associate Professor of Politics and Global Studies and Modern Languages at Drexel University. His research and teaching center on what could be called the “decolonial turn” in political thought, the moment of epistemic and political interrogation that emerges in response to colonialism and global social inequality. His book,We Created Chávez:  A People's History of the Venezuelan Revolution, is a theoretically rich “people’s history” of contemporary Venezuela which locates the origins of current political dynamics in the long-term history of Venezuelan social movements, demonstrating that Hugo Chávez was not the cause, but rather the result, of a broader and more fundamental transformative process.


This free, public talk is sponsored by the CLRC research cluster Diasporic Dialectics in the Américas, Merrill College, and Latin Ameria and Latino Studies Department.