ALICE Interviews
ALICE_Interview_20 - Thomas Wallgren - Cristiano Gianolla 03/06/2015

Thomas Wallgren is Senior lecturer of philosophy , Director of the von Wright and Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Helsinki, Former chair of NIGD, secretary of "VK" (Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam - also a part of WSF IC). He is interested in the dialectics of enlightenment. Along the interview Thomas Wallgren explores the trajectory of European modernity which is aware of its past and starts to recognise its localised universalism in a wider range of epistemological perspectives. Wallgren explores the potential of Indian political richness in envisaging alternative concepts and forms of political aggregation and participation. He highlight the anthropological relevance of being citizen by discussing the innovative space of participation – as well as the contradictions – of European parties and movements like Syriza, Podemos and the Five Starts Movement. Wallgren accept the unprecedented challenges as well as potentiality for Europe in opening up to world experiences. Questions: 1 - Could you please elaborate on the “polycentrism” of your theory of “polycentric modernity, in particular with regards to what Boaventura de Sousa Santos calls “insurgent cosmopolitanism”, that is a cosmopolitan perspective emerging from the periphery of the world system? 2 - You mentioned the Limits of the left in time of economic and political crises. What do you think the left should reconsider in order to approach the crises differently? How would a dialogue between North and South of Europe and between North and South of the world would imply? 3 - An epistemological North-South and South-North dialogue in Europe could depart from our common views on Gandhi concerning the potential of Gandhi’s vision on politics. What could bring now concerning the debate of the crises a Gandhian perspective of political reorganisation? 4 - Internal democracy seems to be a problem in movements like the Aam Aadmi Party that propose an alternative model of democracy to the traditional forms of Representative Democracy. Likewise, Podemos, Syriza and Five Stars Movement in Europe are aimed at the same objective and face similar challenges. Which lessons could reformist, revolutionary or alternative form of politics draw from these movements? 5 - These political movements are labelled as populist, are they the same kind of populism? Is populism used as a tool by the establishment to diminish emerging form of alternative democracy struggling for more substantial democracy? 6 - There exist a dialogue between informal/non-institutional with formal/institutional politics; do you think that these movements could combine a traditional model of democracy centred on the state with a non-traditional – and Gandhian – form of decentralised and self-sufficient form of politics based on the community? 7 - What do you think Europe can learn from the World? Interview in english/ Entrevista em inglês