UCSD’s International Institute 2018 Spring Conference:
Authoritarianism Today: Repertoires and Resistance

April 27, 2018

Across the globe, this decade has seen a rise of autocratic leadership paired with a decline of democraticparticipation. In this interdisciplinary conference, scholars, journalists, and government officials analyze the ways authoritarianism works, both here in the U.S. and abroad.  Rather than labeling one country or leader as “authoritarian”, we ask about the repertoires of power in use in various places and contexts, seeking through this comparison a broader view of the mechanisms through which power is consolidated. How does ethno-nationalism function in very different contexts, such as the U.S., Europe, and Latin America? To what extent does religion fuel the fires of extremism? What part does corruption play? How are technologies like drones and internet censorship used to silence public opposition, and how might social media be a site of civil society resurgence? What effects does authoritarianism have on intellectual life and academic production?  Finally, what roles can cities play in fighting against conservative forces at the national and international level?


Please join us for a daylong conference at the Malamud Room, Institute of the Americas, UC San Diego on April 27th, 2018.  Admittance is free, but please RSVP at iiprogram@ucsd.edu.

For further information, please contact:


Nancy Postero, Director



Katia Todorova, Events Coordinator


UCSD International Institute’s Spring 2018 Conference
Authoritarianism Today: Repertoires and Resistance
April 27, 2018 UC San Diego
Malamud Room, Institute of the Americas, UC San Diego

9:00-9:45 Coffee and Continental Breakfast

9:45- 10:00 Introduction: Nancy Postero, Director of the International Institute (UCSD Anthropology)

10:00-12:00 Panel 1: The Diverse Forms of Authoritarianism

  1. Bálint Magyar (Hungary):"The Mafia State” in Hungary 
  2. Carlos de la Torre (U Kentucky Sociology): Constructing populist subjects: peronism and chavism in comparative perspective 
  3. Madiha Afzal (Economics, Johns Hopkins University, SAIS/Brookings), Extremism in Pakistan
  4. Stephan Haggard (UCSD Global Policy and Strategy) “Democratic Decline in the United States: What Can We Learn from Middle-Income Backsliding?" 

Discussant: Gershon Shafir (UCSD Sociology)

12:00- 1:30 Lunch: Authoritarianism and the Academy: Ruken Sengul (Turkey, now at UCLA’s Center for Near East Studies)

Discussant: Hasan Kayali (UCSD History)

1:45- 3:00 Panel 2: Technologies and Authoritarianism

  1. Molly Roberts (UCSD Political Science): Internet censorship in China 
  2. Erik Gartzke (UCSD Political Science): Automated weapons and Autocracy 
  3. Lilly Irani (UCSD Communication): Social Media as a site of Organizing and Resistance

Discussant: David Pedersen (UCSD Anthropology)

3:00- 3:15 Coffee

3:15 -5:00 Panel 3: Cities as Sites of Struggle

  1. Luís Martin Cabrera (UCSD Literature): The Spanish Authoritarian Turn and the Catalan crisis
  2. Theo Anderson (Contributing Writer, In These Times, Chicago): ALEC and the Conservative Fight for Control of Local government
  3. Chloe Eudaly, City Commissioner of Portland: The Fearless Cities Movement 

Discussant:  Pamela Radcliff/Nancy Kwak (UCSD History)

5:00 Closing and Reception