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Human Rights in the Age of Inequality: xenophobia, exclusion and the myth of the strong leader


Professor Dimitris Christopoulos and Dr Kostis Karpozilos will present a lecture entitled Human Rights in the Age of Inequality: xenophobia, exclusion and the myth of the strong leader, at the Greek Centre on Thursday 26 September. With this lecture will close the 2019 Greek History and Culture Seminars series, offered by the Greek Community of Melbourne.

It is a common assumption that we have globally entered an era of exacerbation of social inequalities in an unforeseen manner at least for the Western World after WWII. Social policies of wealth redistribution are considered as outdated and responsible for major competitiveness deficit of developed economies. Within such circumstances, democracies are morally discredited and seem politically exhausted. Rule of law and human rights are often perceived as an unreasonable luxe, even more as a threat for the state security. Xenophobia, racism and the Far Right re-emerge relieved from the 20th century guilt whereas the discourse of the “strong leaders” becomes more and more authoritarian: from Russia to Brazil and from Turkey to the United States institutions.

Dimitris Christopoulos is a Greek academic, writer and activist. Ηe is a Professor at the Department of Political Science and History of Panteion University in Athens where he teaches ever since 2000. He has been elected President of the International Federation for Human Rights in 2016. FIDH Vice President in 2013 after having chaired the board of the Hellenic League for Human Rights, the biggest and oldest Greek human rights association, ( for eight years (2003-2011).

He has studied law in Greece, political science in France, legal theory in Belgium and holds a French Phd in Public Law. He has taught as visiting professor and has provided lectures in different universities in Europe and the US. His academic publications and books reflect par excellence his interventions as a public intellectual in the field of human rights, migration, minorities and citizenship. Christopoulos is frequently interviewed by international or Greek media, writes regularly in the Greek and to a lesser extend to the international press.

Kostis Karpozilos is a historian and the director of the Contemporary Social History Archives (ASKI). He has earned a degree in Modern Greek Literature at the University of Thessaloniki (2002), completed an M.A. in Historical Research at the University of Sheffield (2003) and a Ph.D. in History at the University of Crete (2010). His thesis focused on revolutionary diasporas in the United States and the trajectory of Greek-American radicalism in the 20th century. He is the scriptwriter of the documentary Greek-American Radicals: the Untold Story (2013), the author of a book on the Cretan socialist intellectual Stavros Kallergis (Benaki Museum, 2013), and of Red America: Greek Iimmigrants and the Quest for a New World, 1900-1950 (Crete University Press, 2017). His latest book (co-authored with Dimitris Christopoulos) concerned the Macedonian Question (10+1 questions and answers on the Macedonian Question, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, 2018).

Karpozilos was a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University, Princeton University and University of Oxford and has taught at the University of the Peloponnese and at Columbia University before joining College Year in Athens. He has written extensively on the Greek crisis, the European Left and the limits of political imagination in the post-1989 world and currently he is working on an international history of the Greek Left.

When: Thursday 26 September 2019, 7:00 pm

Where: Greek Centre, Mezz, 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

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