In Dialogue with Martin Buber (4): The Charismatic Leader and the Life of the Community

In recent years, the political landscape in western democracies has changed drastically. The surge of populist movements reflects a lack of capacity of traditional political formations to deal with the necessities of the population, especially the marginalized and underprivileged. While these needs are more and more pressing, the movements’ leadership all too often takes a conservative if not despotic turn, with a charismatic leader holding sway of large groups of the populace. How are we to understand the role of charisma within the political sphere? Is it a mere instrument of power or can itself be the basis for the construction of dialogue and to foster the life of the political community? Can Buber’s reflections around theocracy and theopolitics lead us to problematise the notion of charisma and to cast new light on the nature and limits of political agency? 


Author: Institute of Languages, Cultures & Societies

Speaker(s): Federico Filauri (IMLR, University of London); Moderation: Johan Siebers (Ernst Bloch Centre for German Thought, IMLR); Additional discussants: Emanuela Bove; Marcus Hallside; Paul Mendes-Flohr; Vic Seidler.

Organisations: Institute of Languages, Cultures & Societies

Event date: Monday, 23 May 2022 - 4:00pm

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