Edge Dwellers Cafe Podcast: Populisms, precarity and political fragility with Raul Sanchez-Urribarri

In this episode, I’m joined by Dr Raul Sanchez-Urribarri, Senior Lecturer in Crime, Justice and Legal Studies at La Trobe University in Melbourne. In this discussion, Raul and I explore populist politics in Venezuela and the United States, and what trends in those countries might portend for politics here in Australia.  We get into Venezuela as a petro-state and discuss environmental vulnerabilities in the Caribbean, in the context of Hurricanes Ida and Katrina.  We also reflect on Raul’s experiences leading undergraduate students on study tours to the US, and the challenges teaching during the COVID pandemic.

00:00:00  Introduction

00:02:55  Populisms in this world-historic moment

00:08:29  Rise and fall of the Chavizmo system in Venezuela

00:10:52  Top-down and bottom-up elements of Chavismo

00:14:45  Nicholas Maduro and Venezuela’s post-populist moment

00:16:21  The global populist moment

00:17:19  Populism and the Trump presidency in the United States

00:20:40  Erosion of the norm of ‘loyal opposition’

00:22:25  Precarity and the ‘fuck you’ impulse in the United States

00:27:55  Inequality and precarity in Venezuela

00:29:45  Culture wars

00:32:17  The Faustian pact of the petro-state in Venezuela

00:36:37  Ida, Katrina and the hurricane vulnerability of New Orleans

00:40:19  Climate change and institutional fragility in the Caribbean

00:41:17  Leading a New Orleans-Memphis undergraduate study tour

00:43:38  New Orleans as an example of where the best music comes from the margins

00:45:22  Extraordinary geography of New Orleans and the Mississippi delta

00:47:54  Challenges and opportunities for international short-program study post-COVID

00:51:40  Teaching in times of (ongoing) catastrophe(s), a tale from Melbourne

00:54:17  Humility in the face of the evaporation of ‘normality’

Show links

About Raul Sanchez-Urribarri

Dr Raul Sanchez-Urribarri is a Senior Lecturer in Crime, Justice and Legal Studies at the Department of Social Inquiry, La Trobe University (Melbourne, Australia). During 2020-2021, he is a Visiting Scholar (non-resident) at the American Bar Foundation (Chicago, IL) and at the Center for the Study of Law & Society (UC Berkeley School of Law, Berkeley, CA). He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of South Carolina, an LL.M. from Cambridge University and a Law Degree from Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (Caracas, Venezuela). His research focuses on democracy, rule of law and comparative judicial studies, with an emphasis on Latin America and Venezuela in particular. His work has been published in a variety of outlets, including The Journal of Politics, Law and Social Inquiry, the Annual Review of Law and Social Sciences, and International Political Science Review. He is a Non-Resident Research Fellow at Tulane University’s Center for Inter-American Policy and Research, and a Commissioning Editor at Thesis Eleven Journal. Currently, he serves as Chair of the Section on Venezuelan Studies (SVS) of the Latin American Studies Association.

Contact Raul Sanchez-Urribarri: LTU staff profile  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn

About Ben Habib, host of Edge Dwellers Cafe

Ben@Earth  |  LTU staff profile  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |   YouTube  |  ORCiD 

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This podcast is broadcast from Naarm/Melbourne on the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri people. Edge Dwellers Cafe pays respect to their elders past, present and emerging.