Cornelius Castoriadis and Democracy as a Tragic Regime

Posted on July 24, 2021

By Vrasidas Karalis, Ph.D. The University of Sydney Monday July 12th at 7:00pm ET / Tuesday July 13, at 9:00 am Australia Time

A Citizen TALES Commons Online Lecture Introduced and Moderated by Vassiliki Rapti, Ph. D.

Meeting ID: 920 3272 6763
Passcode: 086630

Brief Bio

Vrasidas Karalis holds the Chair of Sir Nicholas Laurantos in Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies at the University of Sydney. His main publications in English include, A History of Greek Cinema (Continuum 2012), Realism in Greek Cinema (I.B. Tauris, 2017), Recollections of Mr Manoly Lascaris (Brandl & Sclesinger, 2007), The Demons of Athens (Brandl & Schlesinger, 2013), Reflections on Presence (re.Press, 2016). He has also edited the collections Cornelios Castoriadis and the Project of Radical Democracy (2013), Martin Heidegger and the Aesthetics of Being (2008), Power, Justice and Judgement in Hannah Arendt (2012). 


The French-Greek philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis suggested that ancient Athenian democracy instituted its imaginary and its political subjectivity around tragedy as its structural core in its very creative inception and within its social perception. His suggestion is extremely relevant for us today when we see the challenges posed by extremism to democratic interaction which leads to a profound crisis of trust towards the democratic process itself. This brief analysis of Castoriadis’ idea attempts a hermeneutical approach to the project of radical democracy through autonomous individuals and explores which aspects of Castoriadis’ own project of autonomy can be employed today in a global context.