Blanqui and Political Will

Lead Research Organisation: Kingston University
Department Name: Sch of Humanities

Abstract

This project will deliver a new, archive-based assessment of Blanqui's political thought, both in order to fill a telling gap in the recent history of political ideas and to buttress a wider intervention in ongoing debates about the status of the political subject or actor, understood as a conscious, deliberate agent capable of decisive action. The underlying philosophical question at issue in the project concerns the relation between necessity and freedom, or between submission to socio-economic constraints on the one hand, and emancipatory self-determination on the other.
Louis-Auguste Blanqui (1805-1881) was arguably the single most important figure in nineteenth-century French revolutionary politics, and he played a significant role, directly or indirectly, in all of the great upheavals that punctuated his life (1830, 1848, 1870-71). He was certainly the most forceful and controversial of those who sought to renew and then to transform the radical Jacobin tradition that drew its inspiration from Rousseau's conception of 'a free society of equals', a society sustained by collective participation in a general will to posit, debate and accomplish goals consistent with the common good.
At odds with followers of Proudhon on the one hand and of Marx on the other, while Blanqui commanded unrivalled authority in French revolutionary circles during parts of his lifetime he was quickly forgotten after his death. Although he only resorted to underground forms of political organisation during periods when police repression and censorship blocked all overt agitation for social change (notably in the 1830s and late 1860s), his willingness to rely on conspiracy as a means to popular insurrection led him to be condemned, across the political spectrum, as a mere putchist, and a failed putchist to boot. There has been no searching engagement with Blanqui's work or legacy, in either French or English, since the middle of the twentieth century.
There are two main reasons why this most indomitable of 'failures' deserves to be recovered from historical oblivion. First, Blanqui's distinctive understanding of social problems and political processes is under-appreciated and misunderstood. In large part, this is because of the relative difficulty of accessing his writings, most of which exist only as scattered manuscript fragments, held by the French national library in Paris. In addition to enabling detailed critical engagement with his work via publications, translations and two international conferences, this project will make the entirety of Blanqui's writings available to the public for the first time, through a website that will include high quality reproductions of his many publications and all 26 volumes of his manuscripts, along with a comprehensive selection of critical assessments of Blanqui by figures ranging from Tocqueville and Engels to Bensaïd and Rancière.
A second and more urgent reason for a return to Blanqui, today, is that his work provides a vivid way of framing one of the central questions at issue in any theory of political action, regarding its willed or voluntary quality: to what extent is political action best understood in terms of the actors' own deliberation, purpose and resolve, rather than by the purportedly 'deeper' logics of e.g. economic development, historical tendency, providential design, technological innovation, cultural differentiation, unconscious drive? Against the great majority of today's most influential critical theorists and European philosophers (including the later Heidegger, Adorno, Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault, Agamben, Latour), this project aims to develop and defend an unabashedly voluntarist conception of the political subject.

Planned Impact

Blanqui dedicated his life to a radical transformation of the prevailing order of things, and it would far-fetched to pretend that a project devoted to his legacy might be warmly received by the sorts of institutions and interests he hoped to undermine. If the project may thus not make much of a direct impact on official policy-makers and the commercial sector, it should strike a powerful chord with a wide range of protest movements, civic groups, student activists, and pressure groups or NGOs that rely on forms of direct action, as well as with sections of the media and the wider public - indeed with anyone concerned with democracy in the strong, literal sense of the word.
Blanqui's experience in the midst of the popular mobilisations that overthrew the Restoration monarchy in 1830 made him a lifelong believer in popular empowerment, and in particular the power of the people to overcome any and every form of domination, even when the possibility of such an outcome might seem, to a distant observer, to be very unlikely. At each of the political turning points he confronts, Blanqui assumes that if the people are prepared to do what is necessary to exercise their power, and if they understand what its consequences entail, then, when they are suitably concentrated and organised in a large city like Paris, they already have all the resources they need to challenge an unjust government and defeat its forces of repression. Outmanoeuvred by the compromises that soon stifled the mobilisations of July 1830, February 1848, and 1870-71, moreover, Blanqui came to be an exceptionally lucid analyst of the dynamics of collective protests, and of the techniques deployed by the state in order to contain them. Few people have been better placed than Blanqui to understand why and how popular movements succeed or fail.
Anyone involved or interested in public protest has a great deal to learn both from Blanqui's insights and from his limitations. As activists involved in long-term campaigns around nuclear disarmament, animals rights or climate change will know, our established political systems are exceptionally good at absorbing challenges of all kinds. The perspective of a whole generation has been marked by the experience of the apparent impunity of power, whether exercised by financial institutions in Europe or by armies in the Middle East. In recent years, however, protests have shaken much of southern Europe, students from Québec to Chile have rebelled against the marketisation of education, and financial centres have been occupied and challenged in three continents. Indigenous movements across the Americas have acquired new force, and grassroots campaigns have acquired new means to question the boundaries of established nation states, and to reclaim urban spaces and common resources. Above all, and despite the recent violence in the region, the Arab Spring has left an impression that (to evoke Kant's late appreciation of the French Revolution) remains 'too momentous and too widespread in its influence for nations not to reminded of it when favourable circumstances present themselves.'
Blanqui offers contemporary participants in and analysts of popular protest an invaluable set of conceptual resources for approaching questions of organisation, leadership, mobilisation and its many obstacles and pitfalls.

Publications

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Blanqui Louis Auguste (2018) Blanqui Reader

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Hallward P.M. (2017) 'Blanqui and Marx' in Jacobin

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Louis-Auguste Blanqui (2017) 'Un texte inédit de Blanqui - "Fatal, fatalisme, fatalité" ' in PĂ©riode

 
Description Although one of our project's main outputs (my monograph on Blanqui and Political Will, forthcoming from Verso) will not appear in print until 2021, I think the project has fully succeeded in achieving its original objectives and made a number of distinctive contributions to several related fields:

1. We selected, edited and translated the first substantial collection of Blanqui's political writings, and the resulting anthology was published, with a preface and introduction, by Verso in April 2018, and is listed in Verso's catalogue at https://www.versobooks.com/books/2655-the-blanqui-reader. Most of the translations are already listed as open access texts on our project website, at https://blanqui.kingston.ac.uk/texts/. Although the translation work proved a little more challenging and time-consuming that initially envisaged, I think the final result should stand the test of time, and remain the standard Blanqui primary source in English for many years to come. At more than 130,000 words, it is a substantial volume. Along with all of Blanqui's best-known texts, we also laboriously scoured his voluminous manuscript archive (comprising some 26 semi-legible volumes held by the French national library) and extracted an extensive set of 'Philosophical and Political Fragments', which together offer a relatively full sampling of his approach to a wide range of topics; the French version of this collection is posted at https://blanqui.kingston.ac.uk/texts/fragments-philosophiques-et-politiques-1840s-70s/, and the English translation will go up on the project website as soon as Verso releases the anthology.

2. We have built the first website devoted to Blanqui's work and legacy, in any language: The Blanqui Archive, https://blanqui.kingston.ac.uk/. Along with his main texts (in both the original French and our new English translations), the site provides reproductions of all of Blanqui's published and posthumously published works, transcripts of the main court proceedings undertaken against him, and scans of the full set of his manuscripts held by the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, along with a detailed chronology and a bibliography. It complements a selection of focused studies of Blanqui with a broad set of critical assessments of his legacy, extracted from writers positioned across the revolutionary spectrum. The site also hosts audio recordings from our conference on Blanqui (May 2016), and a collection of maps, portraits, photos and other pertinent images. This website should transform the study of Blanqui's work, and for the first time, enable researchers who don't have direct access to the libraries in Paris to engage in detail with his writings and his influence. I have already received a number of appreciative messages from colleagues in the UK, the US, and France, and hope that the site will help convert Blanqui from a notorious but seldom studied figure to a genuine point of reference in the study of nineteenth-century political thought, the history of revolutionary theory and practice, and in debates surrounding the legacies of the French Revolution, of the 'utopian socialisms' of the 1830s and 40s, of Marxism, of political violence, and of the relation between political and social change.

3. We organised the first international conference on Blanqui ever to be held in UK, and as far as I know, the first anywhere in the English-speaking world, at Kingston University, on 27 May 2016, with speakers from France, the US, and the UK. The conference was a great success, and although detailed engagement with Blanqui's work may only begin to spread more widely with the publication of our anthology and the texts gathered on our website, I think the conference greatly helped to set an agenda for this coming critical reception. Our second conference moved on to address the broader question of political will and popular sovereignty, and was organised (after some delays to accommodate our speakers' schedules) on 1st and 2nd June 2017, with the title: 'The Will of the People? Revolutionary Legacies, Reactionary Manipulations'. The list of speakers included: Gilbert Achcar (SOAS), Peter Hallward (Kingston), Lars Lih (McGill), Marisa Linton (Kingston), Karma Nabulsi (Oxford), Yves Sintomer (Paris VIII, Harvard), Jeffery Webber (Queen Mary), and Jessica Whyte (Western Sydney). .

4. The other main contribution that I hope we will make concerns the general approach that we adopted over the course of the project, namely the focus on questions of political will and volition - the nature and limits of voluntary commitment, free engagement, deliberation, purpose, and so on. Although it is dispersed across the fragments of his manuscripts, Blanqui offers a distinctive contribution to these long-standing philosophical and political questions, and I hope that my monograph on Blanqui and Political Will (contracted by Verso, due for publication in 2020) will help to assess it, and to situate it with respect to other and better-known points of reference, notably Rousseau, Robespierre, Marx, and Gramsci. In addition to working on this aspect of Blanqui's work, I devoted some of my research time to an ongoing study on the question of political will more broadly, which should be published by Verso around the same time, with the title 'The Will of the People.' I hope that these publications may make a contribution to some of the most important debates that still animate work in critical theory and contemporary political philosophy more generally, regarding the status and autonomy of the subject or actor, the limits of agency, the relation between conscious purpose and contextual constraints or 'underlying' tendencies -- in short, the immense question of the relation between freedom and necessity, as formulated by Rousseau and then adopted by Kant and the German Idealists (followed later by Marx and many of his readers) as perhaps the central question of philosophy itself.
Exploitation Route Both our project website and the Blanqui anthology (complemented by our own critical assessments of his work and legacy) enable anglophone researchers and activists to engage properly with Blanqui for the first time. The material will be of interest to people working in several related but distinct disciplines, notably Politics, History, French Studies, and Philosophy.

In the short term, I expect the most immediate interest will come from students and scholars interested in revolutionary theory and history, in Marxism and its relation to contemporary and alternative approaches to political action, in the analysis of popular movements, in the study of French political history and of the broad legacy of the French Revolution.

Blanqui is already a fairly familiar point of reference among political activists in France, however (and has been championed in particular by the influential 'Comité Invisible' or Tiqqun group), and in a context of rising political tension it is quite possible that readings of Blanqui will be taken up, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, by a range of political actors concerned with political strategy, the organisation of social movements, the problems and dangers involved in recourse to political violence, and so on.

As for the broader work on political will and 'the will of the people', these topics have in a sense already become central to mainstream political debate in recent years, not least during the tumultuous year of the project itself, 2016. We pursued some these broader questions in the project's second major international conference, which was directly on 'The Will of the People'. It was attended by a large and enthusiastic audience. Following my lecture tour in Australia in 2016, over the course of 2017 I also gave presentations on the topic of political will, and on Blanqui's legacy, to university and public audiences in the UK, Greece, and Pakistan. In Lahore, in the summer of 2017, a student group formed to read a number of my books and articles, and to discuss issues related to the broad theme of popular sovereignty, and I remain in regular contact with them.
Sectors Education,Government, Democracy and Justice

URL https://blanqui.kingston.ac.uk/
 
Description Our project is not yet complete, and I hope that a fuller assessment of its impact can wait until the release and dissemination of the last of its main publications, my volume on 'Blanqui and Political Will', forthcoming from Verso; it should be easier to attract media interest, in particular, once this book appears. One of the other main outputs, our edited and translated anthology, appeared in June 2018 as 'The Blanqui Reader: Political Writings 1830-1880, also with Verso; it seems to have been well received, and I hope the book will now enable, for the first time, serious English-language engagement with Blanqui's work and legacy. Both our conferences on Blanqui and 'The Will of the People', and our various workshops and presentations on the broader questions associated with political will and popular sovereignty attracted a good deal of interest both among the general public (as demonstrated for instance by sell-out crowds for an LSE Forum event on 5 October 2016, at an arts festival in Finland in August 2015, and at public talks in Australia, Greece and Pakistan, most of which are listed in the 'Engagements' section) and in political activist circles, notably in the enthusiastic responses to one-day workshops I gave in Melbourne, in July 2016, and in Lahore, in October 2017, to a mixed audience of students, academics, and community activists. It is still too early for Blanqui's own work or its reception to make much of an impact beyond specialist academic circles, but we have done a good deal to prepare the ground for its wider dissemination, and to enable both casual engagement with and detailed study of his work. The broader questions relating to 'the will of the people', meanwhile, have become the stuff of newspaper headlines, in the UK and Europe and indeed in many other parts of the world; I believe that our project's second conference (1st-2nd June 2017), devoted to precisely these topics, struck a real chord, well beyond the confines of the academy. As with the Blanqui conference it was free and open to the general public, and its sessions were recorded and then posted online. I hope that together with the Blanqui Archive website and the publications that will soon result from the project, our conferences have made a significant contribution to the unfolding political discussions (on the nature of popular and parliamentary sovereignty, on direct democracy, on populism and its limits, on attempts to 'take back control', on Brexit, on national independence, on the use and manipulation of referenda, etc.) which seem set to shape the immediate political future of both the UK and the US, and plenty of other places too.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Cultural

 
Title The Blanqui Archive website 
Description The Blanqui Archive is the first substantial website to be devoted to Blanqui, in any language. It posts a comprehensive sampling of important texts, both in new English translations and in their original French, some of which have been transcribed and edited for the first time. It provides reproductions of all of Blanqui's published and posthumously published works, transcripts of the main court proceedings undertaken against him, and scans of the full set of his manuscripts held by the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, along with a detailed chronology and a bibliography. It complements a selection of focused studies of Blanqui with a broad set of critical assessments of his legacy, extracted from writers positioned across the revolutionary spectrum. The site also hosts audio recordings from the first international conference on Blanqui to be held in UK (at Kingston University, in May 2016), and a collection of maps, portraits, photos and other pertinent images. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The Blanqui Archive website will transform specialist research on Auguste Blanqui's own writings and legacy, and will make a valuable contribution to the wider study of nineteenth-century political history and thought. 
URL https://blanqui.kingston.ac.uk/
 
Description 'Mass Concentration and Political Will', at The University of Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan 18 October 2017. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact This was one of several invited lectures I gave at public universities in Lahore, in October 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description 'Mass Sovereignty and Liberal Democracy: Friends or Foes?' (invited lecture, Royal Institute of Philosophy, University of Liverpool) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This was an invited lecture given to the Royal Institute of Philosophy, in their Stapledon lecture series, at the University of Liverpool, 24 April 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description 'Masses and Majorities: How Large is a Revolutionary Actor?' conference presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This presentation was for an international conference on the revolutionary politics in France, including the legacy of May 1968; my presentation focussed on the French Revolution, and on Blanqui and his legacy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description 'Popular Sovereignty and Mass Concentration', for a one-day workshop on Popular Sovereignty, hosted by the Danish Institute at Athens, 12 September 2017. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This was a lecture followed by lengthy Q&A given for a one-day workshop on Popular Sovereignty, hosted by the Danish Institute at Athens, 12 September 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description 'The Will of the People and the Future of Europe', lecture and debate with Panagiotis Sotiris, Danish Institute at Athens, Greece, 11 September 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This event comprised a lecture followed by a debate with the political theorist and commentator Panagiotis Sotiris, hosted by the Danish Institute at Athens, Greece, on 11 September 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://vimeo.com/234469758
 
Description 'The Will of the People and the Weight of the Past', invited lecture at Habib University, Karachi, Pakistan, 14 October 2017. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact This was a lecture followed by discussion, given for an international conference on 'The Inheritance of Injustice', organised by Professor Noman Baig, Habib University, Karachi, Pakistan, 14 October 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://habib.edu.pk/HU-news/freeing-ourselves-from-the-inheritance-of-injustice/
 
Description 'What is Political Will?', a one-day workshop with The Progressive Students' Collective, Lahore, 19 October 2017. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact This was a full-day workshop with The Progressive Students' Collective in Lahore, held on 19 October 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Peter Hallward (organiser and participant), Blanqui and His Legacy conference (Kingston, 27 May 2016) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This conference on 'Blanqui and his Legacy' was hosted by the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University, on 27 May 2016. It was the first conference on Blanqui ever to be held in the UK, and perhaps the first anywhere in the English-speaking world. It brought together the leading experts on Blanqui's work from France, the US, and the UK, and gathered an enthusiastic audience of mainly graduate and undergraduate students, as well as academic staff from a number of universities in the UK. The main speakers were: Mitchell Abidor (New York), Ian Birchall (London), Douglas Greene (Boston), Peter Hallward (Kingston), Eric Hazan (Paris), Philippe Le Goff (Kingston), Dominique Le Nuz (Versailles), Marisa Linton (Kingston). Audio recordings of the sessions are posted on The Blanqui Archive website at https://blanqui.kingston.ac.uk/conference-proceedings-blanqui-and-his-legacy-27-may-2016/.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://blanqui.kingston.ac.uk/conference-proceedings-blanqui-and-his-legacy-27-may-2016/
 
Description Peter Hallward, Full-day workshop at University of Melbourne, 22 July 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This event was entitled 'Popular Sovereignty and Political Will: A One-Day Workshop with Peter Hallward'. It was hosted by the Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy, and took place at the University of Melbourne on 22 July 2016. I gave a ninety minute presentation; there were then six responses from speakers from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, followed by my final reply and concluding discussion. The audience exceeded 120 people, and included people from a number of disciplines and countries.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Peter Hallward, Half-day workshop at University of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 July 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A half-day workshop on the topic of 'Mass Sovereignty and the Will of the People: Problems and Approaches', hosted by the Philosophy department of University of New South Wales in Sydney. I gave a one-hour presentation; there were then three responses by colleagues at UNSW, followed by a further response from me and concluding discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Peter Hallward, Invited lecture, Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, Canberra, 12 July 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A lecture and discussion on 'Popular Sovereignty and Political Will', organised as part of a Humanities Research Centre Visiting Fellowship (Australian National University), which I held during July and August 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Peter Hallward, Keynote lecture in Canberra, 28 July 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I gave one of the two keynote lectures for an international conference on 'History and Authority: Political Vocabularies of the Modern Age', organised by the History Department of Australian National University, Canberra, 28-29 July 2016. My talk was called 'Representation or Concentration: Jacobin Conceptions of Popular Sovereignty', and it addressed links between some of the radical Jacobin figures of the 1790s and Blanqui and some of his contemporaries (1840s-60s).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Peter Hallward, One-day workshop at the University of Helsinki 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact 'On Political Will: A Workshop with Peter Hallward'. This was a full-day workshop at the University of Helsinki, held on 14 August 2015. I gave a one-hour presentation; there were then four responses from colleagues working in Helsinki and other Finnish universities, followed by general discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Peter Hallward, Public lecture at Aboagora Festival, Turku, Finland (2015) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I gave a lecture to a large audience on conceptions of political will developed during the French Revolution, called 'Continuing the Revolution: Jacobin Principles of Democracy', as part of the Aboagora Festival, in Turku, Finland, on 12 August 2015. Aboagora is perhaps the most important annual cultural festival in Turku, with discussions, debates, and lectures on a wide variety of topics, aimed at the general public rather than an academic audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Peter Hallward, Public panel discussion with Beatrix Campbell and Edward Kanterian at LSE 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This was a public three-person debate on the question 'Democracy: The Worst Form of Government?'; my co-speakers where Beatrix Campbell and Edward Kanterian. It was hosted at LSE, as part of the LSE's public event series, The Forum, on 5 October 2016. The immediate audience exceeded 300 people, and The Forum's podcast reaches a large online audience. The event was broadcast online at http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/theforum/the-worst-form-of-government/.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/theforum/the-worst-form-of-government/
 
Description Philippe Le Goff, 'Auguste Blanqui and revolutionary politics', Reach Academy, Feltham, March 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Philippe gave a talk and led a discussion about Blanqui's life and thought, and the extent to which the questions it raises are relevant today. It was attended by 40 Year 10 students of the Reach Academy in Feltham; staff were enthusiastic and requested a follow-up visit, which duly took place in December 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Philippe Le Goff, 'Blanqui and Che: A missed encounter?', Department of French Studies Research Seminar, University of Warwick, November 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Philippe gave a paper comparing Blanqui and Che Guevara, focusing on their conceptions of collective action.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Philippe Le Goff, 'Blanqui and the question of violence', Warwick History of Violence Network workshop, University of Warwick, May 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Philippe gave a paper exploring Blanqui's understanding of force and violence, and assessed the several ways he was influenced by the legacies of the French Revolution.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Philippe Le Goff, 'Blanqui's Politics', Kingston University, April 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Philippe ran a workshop with a group of Kingston MA students, offering an introductory presentation of Blanqui's politics, followed by discussion. It was attended by around 20 people.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Philippe Le Goff, 'How to change the world: collective political action today', Reach Academy, Feltham, December 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Following a previous talk given at the Reach Academy in March 2016, Philippe gave a talk and led a discussion about some of the basic principles that have underpinned various forms of collective popular empowerment in historical and contemporary contexts. It was attended by around 40 Year 10 students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Philippe Le Goff, 'Jean-Jacques Rousseau's The Social Contract', Kingston University, October 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact This was an introductory lecture on 'The Social Contract' given as part of the Philosophy Departmental Lecture series, which is aimed at a final-year undergraduate audience from disciplines across the Humanities and Social Sciences; Philippe focused on Rousseau's concepts of the general will and popular sovereignty. It was attended by around 35 people.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Public talk, as part of an 'open learning' outreach day at Kingston University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact 30 or so current students as well as some new applicants to Kingston's Philosophy programme attended the event, and participated in the discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description The Will of the People? Revolutionary Legacies, Reactionary Manipulations 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This two-day event, held at Kingston University on 1st and 2nd June 2017, was the second of the two international conferences funded by the 'Blanqui and Political Will' award. Speakers included Peter Hallward (Kingston), Lars T. Lih (McGill), Marisa Linton (Kingston), Yves Sintomer (Harvard and University of Paris VIII), Olivier Tonneau (Cambridge), Jeffery Webber (Queen Mary), Jessica Whyte (Western Sydney). Regrettably two invited speakers, Gilbert Achcar and Karma Nabulsi, were obliged to withdraw on health grounds. There were around 120 people in the audience, and many more people have listened to the audio files, which are posted along with the conference programme at The Blanqui Archive website, https://blanqui.kingston.ac.uk/conference-proceedings-the-will-of-the-people-june-2017/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://blanqui.kingston.ac.uk/conference-proceedings-the-will-of-the-people-june-2017/