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The return of the subject

Book launch hosted by LSE Cities

This event launched two new books on the society of strangers discussing issues of hyper-subjectivity and desubjectification as the causes of contemporary escalations of violence.

Ash Amin’s Land of Strangers offers a diagnosis of attitudes towards the stranger in the West after 9/11, while Michel Wieviorka’s Evil develops a sociological analysis of evil phenomena presenting us with a fresh approach to the understanding of the darker regions of human behaviour. Both authors were joined by Claire Alexander and Richard Sennett to discuss the analytical challenges posed by the return of the Subject, and the nature of a politics of solidarity. The event was chaired by the incoming Director of the LSE, Craig Calhoun.


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  • Ash Amin

    Professor Ash Amin is 1931 Chair in Geography and Fellow of Christ's College at the University of Cambridge.

    Professor Amin is known for his thinking on the geographies of modern living, through his research on cities as relational performances, globalisation as everyday process, economy as cultural habit, and race and multiculture as the hybrid of biopolitics and vernacular practices. He has held Fellowships and Visiting Professorships at a number of European Universities. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and was awarded a CBE in 2014 for his contributions to social science.  Before joining Cambridge in 2011, he was the founding Executive Director of the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University.

  • Michel Wieviorka

    President of the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme and Professor at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales

  • Claire Alexander

    Reader in Sociology, LSE.

  • Richard Sennett

    Richard Sennett

    Richard Sennett is Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and University Professor of the Humanities at New York University. His research interests include the relationship between urban design and urban society, urban family patterns, the urban welfare system, the history of cities and the changing nature of work. His books include The Craftsman (2008), The Culture of the New Capitalism (Yale, 2006), Respect: The Formation of Character in an Age of Inequality (Penguin, 2003), The Corrosion of Character (1998), Flesh and Stone (1994) and The Fall of Public Man (1977). He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of Literature, the Royal Society of the Arts and the Academia Europea. He is past President of the American Council on Work and the former Director of the New York Institute for the Humanities. Recent honours and awards include The Schocken Prize, 2011; Honorary Doctorate from Cambridge University, 2010; The Spinoza Prize, 2010; The Tessenow Prize, 2009; The Gerda Henkel Prize, 2008; The European Craft Prize, 2008; and The Hegel Prize, 2006.

  • Craig Calhoun

    Craig Calhoun

    Craig Calhoun is Director and President of LSE. Before joining LSE, he was President of the Social Science Research Council, and taught at the University of North Carolina, Columbia, and NYU where he was most recently University Professor of Social Sciences and Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge. Among his books on politics and social movements are, Neither Gods nor Emperors: Students and the Struggle for Democracy in China and The Roots of Radicalism.