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Lecture 10/19/2020 06:30 PM

The Burning IssueThe new focuses of global discontent

Felipe Sahagún and Rafael Calduch

From Chile to Lebanon, the epicentre of the massive social protests that have occurred since Autumn 2019 are several countries whose democracies and liberal economies were thought to be stable and consolidated in their respective regions. This situation of global discontent does not seem to correspond to the pattern that relates a country’s wealth to the level of freedom and satisfaction of its citizens, in view of the fact that the demands mainly seek profound political and institutional reforms.

The suspicions raised with respect to these demonstrations arise when technology and social media are not only able to spread the word about the protests but coordinate and organise the events without taking part in them in person. Over and above the ideological differences and local contexts, the analyses coincide in pointing out that these protests tend to congregate the youth population and the middle class in reaction to new taxes and public cutbacks.

What similarities and differences are there between the social demonstrations in settings as disparate as Hong Kong, Iraq, Algeria or Ethiopia? What are their grievances? What have they achieved? How do the protests evolve? Are the demonstrators themselves an alternative political option? Invited to participate in this session and respond to these and other questions will be Felipe Sahagún, a journalist and lecturer in International Relations at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and Rafael Calduch, Professor of International Relations and Global History at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

A debate format in which, once a month, on a Monday at 6:30 pm, leading experts analyse important issues that make up today’s social reality with the journalists Antonio San José and Íñigo Alfonso.

The presenters put some of the audience’s questions to the guests. Please send your suggestions to: lacuestionpalpitante@march.es