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Theory in Crisis - Ayça Çubukçu, On Left Internationalism

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Explore the horizon of left internationalism with Ayça Çubukçu, transcending “humanity” and “nation” in a reflective journey towards a redefinition of its struggles.

Theory in Crisis is an online series of talks which platforms dynamic new work in contemporary critical theory. The schedule of talks for the 2023-24 academic year, along with the recordings of previous talks, can be found on the programme page.


Based on a forthcoming essay in South Atlantic Quarterly, in this lecture, Ayça Çubukçu reflects on how contemporary left internationalism could think through—and beyond—both “humanity” and “nation” when positioning its struggles. With this in mind, she will first turn to philosophy and then to history to identify the questions that animate dilemmas of left internationalism today. 

This lecture is not, in a straightforward way, an attempt to draw the boundaries, offer the definitions, and determine the strategies of left internationalism. Ultimately, it is an invitation to a partisan “we” who claims sides within humanity and nation. This “we” is an open question and permanent problem of left internationalism.


Ayça Çubukçu is Associate Professor in Human Rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Co-Director of LSE Human Rights. She is the author of For the Love of Humanity: The World Tribunal on Iraq (University of Pennsylvania Press). Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, and numerous academic journals. She co-edits the Humanity Journal and the LSE International Studies Series at Cambridge University Press.