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Literary reflection, moral agency and socialism - An interview with Lea Ypi

Literary reflection, moral agency and socialism - An interview with Lea Ypi

niin & näin 3/23

For the philosopher, political theorist, and author Lea Ypi (b. 1979), reflecting on the kinds of socially situated freedom that we might bring to bear in leading our lives is a task that has become all the more urgent in the present historical juncture. There is certainly something to be said for the description of our era as one wherein any flickers of emancipatory motion seem bound, as if by fate, to become engulfed by pervasive undercurrents of cynicism and elite coercion, leaving little more than pessimism and anxiety in their wake. In this context of disempowerment and hopelessness, fundamental questions about the prospects, limits, value and societal implications of free human agency become increasingly salient. Indeed, reflection on these very questions can serve to enlighten and invigorate those of us who still cling on to some ideal of freedom—or, for that matter, democracy, equality or solidarity—as a principle that ought to animate political engagement and social change. To be sure, something that rapidly becomes evident as we subject to scrutiny the understandings of freedom alive in our own lives, in the communities we inhabit, and in the broader world beyond them, is that the concept is far from unequivocal. To effectively counter today’s pessimism and political malaise, Ypi believes that it is particularly crucial for us to recognise something that, in her view, gets to the core of being free: namely, our shared ability to exert moral agency.

With some inspiration from Immanuel Kant, Ypi argues that appreciating the indominable source of moral action can also play a role in revitalising a particular kind of radical cosmopolitanism, one that acknowledges the important role states may play in facilitating effective democratic agency. As she argued in an article published in The Guardian last year, in order to restore an internationalist hope in the prospect of a future world that would be genuinely secure, inclusive, and just, what is above all necessary is for us to acknowledge, in ourselves and in others, the free capacity and moral obligation to cooperatively envisage that very world and work towards (the conditions of) its realisation. Far from being unveiled as an unrealistic flight of fancy, Ypi insists that the “moral duty to hope” is an imperative that becomes ever more pressing, as we witness events like the project of systematic terror and imperialist subordination comprising Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.1

Kuva: Sabine Vielmo

As Professor in Political Theory at the London School of Economics, Ypi’s academic research has articulated a sophisticated and compelling account of the political ideals and projects that would be needed to begin transforming our societies into ones that are truly just, democratic and free. A prolific writer, Ypi’s research articles have focussed on issues like the abiding injustice of colonialism2 and the exploitative as well as antidemocratic character of wealthy nations’ migration policies3. Her acclaimed monographs have explored the value of political partisanship for democratic societies4 and the prospects of reconciling state-level politics with the demands of global justice5. While these themes are ones variously prominent—albeit often in an absurd, disfigured guise—within modern-day political discourse, Ypi’s treatment of them departs markedly from the ideological framings dominant today. This is due in no small part to her argument that phenomena like (neo)colonialism, the mistreatment of migrants, and nationalistic populism have deep roots in the institutions, economic systems and power relations of capitalism, and to the innovative case she makes for a democratic and cosmopolitan form of socialist politics. This aspect of Ypi’s thought ties it philosophically to Karl Marx and Rosa Luxemburg in addition to Kant, and she has made important contributions to the scholarship on all6 three7 figures8.

My conversation with Ypi centred around her philosophical memoir Free: Coming of Age at the End of History9, a work that is at once tangibly situated within this rich body of thought whilst also articulating and expanding it in entirely novel ways. Since its initial 2021 publication in English, this (multiple award-winning) book has already been translated into 28 languages; a Finnish-language edition appeared in April this year10. Free has rightfully established Ypi as one of the leading public intellectuals worldwide, and she is now widely consulted on questions of socialism and liberalism, authoritarianism and democracy, freedom and dignity, and migration and political inclusion. She was featured in the influential list of ”The World’s Top Thinkers” selected by the British magazine Prospect for 2022, with similar accolades being made that year by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung11. In Free, Ypi offers the reading public a highly distinctive synthesis of arresting memoir and philosophical interrogation, as profound as it is enticing. Reflecting on her experience of growing up in Albania during the ’80s and ’90s—a period fractured by the rapid transition, post-1990, from authoritarian socialism to market liberalism—Ypi offers a series of literary meditations on different aspects of freedom, each of which takes the form of reflections on events and characters from her childhood. As Ypi explained to me in the interview (and amply demonstrates in her book), this approach allows the author to broach philosophical and political themes in a way that can powerfully circumvent taken-for-granted assumptions, while also inviting readers to contemplate their own experiences and deepest commitments.

I wanted to begin by saying that I found your book Free: Coming of Age at the End of History (2021) such a remarkable work, in that it seamlessly ties together an immensely moving, astounding, and engaging memoir of your childhood, with what I would think of as historically embedded philosophical reflections on human freedom and history in their connection to social and political systems like socialism, capitalism, liberalism, and democracy. These rich political-philosophical reflections are so intimately interwoven with the memoir side of the book that I am really looking forward to further untangling the book’s theoretical insights and implications as I re-read it in years to come. And the role of memoir here also allows you to powerfully bring to life different understandings and incomplete actualisations of freedom in social and political life, in a vivid way that goes far beyond stale, abstract formulas. I wondered if you could begin by saying a bit about how the different people you write about in Free conceive of and attempt to realise different conceptions of freedom; and perhaps why you found the format of a memoir about your childhood a fruitful way to explore these different conceptions?

Maybe I’ll start with the second question because it’s more methodological. The book started as a philosophical book about different ideas of freedom in the liberal and socialist traditions. It was only in the writing process that it took this more personal form, in part because the book was meant to be for the larger public, not an academic book. And I didn’t want to write it in a top-down way, as if I were simply lecturing the audience about different conceptions of freedom. So, it had to be written in a slightly more open and malleable format, one where I thought the author should stand back a little, to let ideas develop, and to let readers absorb them through character, plot, and other literary techniques. From very early on, I have been interested in literature that does just that, as in Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, for example, novels that convey the spirit of an era and raise big philosophical questions but not in a didactic way. In my case, the best way to talk about freedom, was to let the different ideas connected to it develop through different characters, each of which exhibits a particular understanding of what freedom is and, also, ties it to particular social conditions. It just so happened that these characters were characters that I had known and grown up with—but in part they were also a philosophical device, and a fictional device in the service of ideas.

So, for example, my mother has a classical liberal or libertarian, negative idea of freedom, the freedom from that Albania lacked during the communist period, and in some ways obtained after 1990: freedom of speech, association, freedom to wear what you want, freedom to travel and so on. My father was a slightly more complicated character, also much more troubled, inside; and he had a different idea of freedom, a more positive one. This is not just freedom from, but freedom to: the freedom to flourish, to realise oneself, to have certain opportunities. His is a notion of freedom that was not realised in Albania after the fall of communism.  In the post-1990 era, the country attained a form of freedom rooted in first-generation libertarian principles, but it failed to achieve a more robustly social version. In fact, the existing freedoms were somewhat diminished due to widespread unemployment, significant emigration, brain drain, social deprivation, and overall social injustice. These concerns reflect the insecurities associated with the lack of realisation of the notion of freedom that my father is interested in. His dilemmas come to life when he assumes a position of responsibility to make structural decisions that directly affect the positive freedom of others. He is aware of the consequences of his actions and recognizes that, to some extent, he is curtailing the very freedoms he is interested in safeguarding.

Finally, a significant character in the book, who also serves as its moral compass, is my grandmother. Her perspective on freedom aligns closely with my own sympathies, both philosophically and personally: freedom as moral agency. She embodies a paradigmatic case of someone who has experienced tremendous transitions throughout her life—someone who can be seen as the Stoic figure of the slave: who values internal freedom in a world of external constraints. Her existence has been marked by severe oppression and upheaval, navigating different political contexts and regime types. She has also experienced the loss of wealth and privilege, ultimately finding herself alone in Albania. Nevertheless, she has persistently maintained her belief that she is always free, recognizing that freedom cannot be reduced solely to external circumstances. She holds that there exists an internal dimension of freedom—moral freedom—that cannot be violated by anyone. In fact, she believes that the more this freedom is tested by challenging circumstances, the more one has the opportunity to defend it by upholding moral integrity and preserving dignity.

These distinct notions of freedom are at play throughout the narrative. The book takes the shape of a coming-of-age story, exploring the individual’s journey from childhood to adulthood and the profound self-discoveries made along the way. Similarly, the country undergoes a parallel process of transition, constituting a traumatic coming-of-age experience for the nation. In both cases, previously held beliefs are shattered, prompting a profound introspection: what does freedom truly mean?

One of the most eye-opening aspects of the book—particularly for readers from, broadly conceived, Western Europe—is your account of childhood life in communist-ruled Albania, and your exploration of the moral universe of this time and place, as well as of the difficulties that your family and others faced living under an authoritarian regime. How would you characterise the understanding of freedom that was alive in socialist Albania—one that was perhaps related to concepts like socialism, reciprocity and anti-imperialism?

The problem with socialist Albania—as with liberal Albania—was a complicated idea of freedom to which the country proclaimed its adherence. The context was nurtured by ideology and propaganda, sustaining this idea within the country’s institutions, despite its evident absence. Thus, a narrative of hope and transition towards a better future was established, serving as a necessary story, a myth, to convince individuals that although the freedom they witnessed was not genuine, they were still engaged in a progressive march towards real freedom. In the case of socialist Albania, this storytelling took the form of criticizing capitalism and imperialism. It portrayed the country as a small nation bravely defying powerful superpowers and maintaining its autonomy and integrity, despite censorship, oppression, and strict border control. This was the idea of communist freedom.

In contrast, liberal freedom took a different form: free-market freedom. The state was viewed negatively in this period. Whereas communist Albania emphasized the role of the party, state, and Enver Hoxha’s leadership as the institutional backbone driving the ideal of freedom, the liberal period advocated the collapse of the state. It argued that the state’s extensive interference in people’s economic livelihoods and the organization of society demonstrated its perpetual oppressive nature. Thus, the utopia became liberal, market-oriented freedom. The transition aimed at achieving free-market freedom necessitated costly social reforms such as the shock therapy of the 1990s, resulting in the closure of state enterprises and massive waves of migration. This transition was driven by yet another promise of freedom, revealing a noticeable gap between the promised and actual outcomes. The propaganda may have been more subtle but free market ideology played a vital role in sustaining this promise, even in the present social system. Consequently, the country experienced alienation, social injustice, negative effects from changing circumstances, and outward migration. Nonetheless, the discourse persists, suggesting that progress is still being made and that a better future awaits.

However, in both scenarios, one of the challenges, as you previously mentioned, is the perception that countries like Albania, situated on the periphery of Western European thinking, lack agency. It is often assumed that they are mere pawns of history, subject to the whims of ideology, leaders, or the process of globalization. I wanted to show that there was agency even in such circumstances. I aimed to avoid the paternalistic approach typical of engaging with these contexts, where experts claimed to know what needed to be done to overcome the predicament and lectured the world in a condescending manner. Part of the narrative in the book highlights that freedom cannot be attained unless people actively seek it themselves, engage with their circumstances, make compromises, and find ways to exercise their agency. The story in the book is thus a tale of both agency and oppression, emphasizing the crucial role of agency in the pursuit of freedom.

You offer in the book a rich and crystal-clear account of the way in which the Albanian regime’s particular kind of Marxist ideology delineated something approaching a metaphysical system. That is, the historical narrative of a common, trans-generational transition from capitalism through socialism towards communism provided the backdrop for how people were, at least, meant to conceive of themselves, their relations to others, and even to understand their own death and its metaphysical significance.

Indeed, a portion of it can be attributed to Marxist philosophy of history, which, to a certain extent, functions as a secular religion. It presents a narrative of progress and the march through history towards the emergence of meaningful existence and freedom. This ideological framework became akin to a state religion in atheist Albania, as there were no other religions permitted. Initially, Albania had a multicultural religious context where various forms of religious engagement coexisted, albeit in atypical ways. There was a certain level of tolerance, with different communities peacefully interacting with one another.

However, in the early 1970s, the Albanian state adopted an exceptionally brutal approach in repressing religion compared to other communist countries, which still maintained some level of tolerance towards religious practices, albeit with reservations. The Albanian party, at a certain point, actively pursued the eradication of religion by destroying mosques and churches, repurposing them as youth centres, sports facilities, cultural hubs, and so on. Consequently, with the eradication of religion, there was a void that needed to be filled by a narrative on justice and the good life. Religion typically provides such narratives or social ethos. Thus, communism, particularly state communism, was transformed into a quasi-religion that people adhered to. It involved the creation of symbols, new ways of constructing identity, and novel interpretations of history and conflict. The book attempts to capture this ensemble of symbols, discourses, languages, and meaning-making processes that accompanied the oppression.

One of the issues I understood you to be highlighting in the book is that, precisely because other frames of thinking were replaced by this Marxist philosophy of history, there was a quite profoundly felt sense in which history itself seemed to have ended, in Albania, through the collapse of the regime. This was in part due to the all-encompassing nature of this narrative about a progression towards communism.

Yes, and yet this alternative history was swiftly replaced with a new narrative that proclaimed the previous era as failure, with true history commencing in the present, characterized by freedom. According to this perspective, history is the story of freedom, and now that Albania is a free society, the current period represents the authentic unfolding of history, while the past was deemed as one of oppression. This shift in historical interpretation is structurally similar to the previous one, whereby pre-communist Albania was depicted as an oppressed nation that attained freedom with the advent of communism.

In the 1990s, the ideological discourse, along with the associated symbols and languages of the previous system, were abruptly replaced with an entirely new set of conceptual frameworks and a fresh understanding of the world. This transition also brought forth a particular vision of history, intertwined with the notion of the “end of history.” The book’s subtitle, “Coming of Age at the End of History,” carries a certain irony, alluding to theories that proclaimed the conclusion of ideological conflicts with the end of the Cold War. It was believed that the winners had emerged, and what remained was the implementation of a technocratic world order, dominated by managers and bureaucracy, where the focus was on executing predetermined objectives.

Although cracks have started to appear in this paradigm, we still predominantly inhabit a world that centres around experts and predetermined courses of action. There is limited scope for individuals to critically question the systems within which they reside, and if such questioning does occur, it often arises from a reactionary standpoint. A progressive revaluation of future-oriented thinking, from a critical perspective, seems to be lacking. Thus, the replacement of ideologies and narratives served to establish a new order that supplanted the previous one, even though the current order is not without its own vulnerabilities.

Do you see liberalism and socialism as necessarily in tension with one another? Or is there rather the prospect of their reconciliation? It seemed to me that this book could be read as the beginnings of this; so, as drawing upon certain resources—philosophical reflection in combination with historical understanding and biography—to begin that reconciliation.

Both liberalism and socialism share a fundamental concern with the concept of freedom, albeit with various interpretations and internal controversies within each group of theories. It is possible to find similarities between specific versions of liberalism and socialism, blurring the boundaries between them. Take John Rawls’ version of liberalism for example, and a liberal interpretation of socialism, and I think you are likely to find more overlaps than differences. From my perspective, freedom is intricately linked to the combination of economic and political power, as well as a concern with just social relations. When considering capitalism in its relationship to freedom, I am sceptical because I believe that the capitalist economic system, with its specific understanding of power and the relationship between states and markets, cannot fully deliver the type of freedom that concerns both liberals and socialists. In my other academic work, I try to articulate a version of socialism that is democratic, egalitarian, and global and that grapples with power dynamics at all levels. However, I am convinced that this version of socialism does not include capitalist institutions and economic systems. There is a need to critically reconsider these aspects, as excluding them from our thinking hinders progress in achieving a meaningful reconciliation between liberalism and socialism.

Would it then be fair to say that, while the book involves a critique of a particular kind of socialism, and a critique of a particular kind of liberalism, it is more on the side of socialism that you would ultimately fall?

Well, yes—sort of. But I also have a fundamental problem with political rights under the really existing socialisms that we know of. So, it depends a bit on how we define socialism and liberalism: whether we think of them as just a system of ideas, or as the political and institutionalised historical systems that we know of. I think that one of the problems of historical forms of socialism is the lack of liberalism in thinking about politics. These were societies that were highly repressive when it came to political rights, to freedom of association, freedom of speech, freedom of movement. The kind of institutions that they ended up consolidating were very authoritarian; it wasn’t really democracy, just a different kind of technocracy, ruled by party elites. The equal social relations that the system pretended to realise remained an ideal.

I think what I would want to have, as an alternative, is a combination of maximal political freedom—of the kind that liberals insist on, in terms of freedom of speech, association, criticism—maximal political freedom, coupled with robust economic guarantees for that freedom to be effective, a freedom that everyone can share regardless of the particular state or class they are born into, a system which I think liberal systems also lack on a global scale.

In your recent research project on political progress, you have been putting forward the idea that progress is not so much about the approximation of ideal normative goals, but rather involves piecemeal advancements based on learning from past failures. Could you elaborate a bit on this line of thought? Could you perhaps also explain how it relates to the critique that you develop in the Epilogue of Free of the tendency amongst the Western left to attempt to entirely disassociate one’s own conception of socialism from past experiences of socialist societies?

A part of my criticism is that the common response when discussing the challenges of socialism and liberalism, both in academia and public intellectual debates, tends to oversimplify the issue. Some argue that the failure of practice implies the invalidity of the ideas, while others claim that the ideas are sound but were implemented incorrectly. I believe that both of these positions are flawed.

In my book, I emphasize that ideas never materialize exactly as they appear in books. They always emerge and evolve within complex political and historical contexts, shaped by specific circumstances. What matters is how individuals interpret and make sense of these circumstances, and how they exercise agency within them. The outcome is often influenced by factors beyond their control, although there are instances where they have some degree of control. This is why political rights, robust guarantees, and a just legal system are crucial. However, historical events can be messy, and people sometimes make decisions based on circumstances they didn’t choose but were handed down from the past, as Marx noted. Nevertheless, decisions are made.

To reconcile both the presence of will in history and the absence of free will, as the material conditions in which we act are always influenced in some way, we need to approach history philosophically. We must develop a conceptualization of history that helps us understand what counts as progress. Philosophies of history have often served as justifications for the status quo or for dominant ideas which themselves had an oppressive character, especially when applied to other parts of the world. Historically, this has ended up justifying imperialism, colonialism, and biased perspectives on civilization and development. The developmental narrative applied to countries like Albania—who are not part of the core liberal West—is a product of this outlook.

In order to make sense of action oriented towards the future, it is essential to have a philosophical understanding of history and a notion of progress. However, it is equally important to avoid the pitfalls of previous conceptions of progress. In my work, I propose a more pragmatic approach that views history as a process of trial, learning, and acknowledging failures. Progress, in this context, involves refining principles of justice, societal perspectives, and democratic ideas. This perspective incorporates Kant’s concepts of agency, morality, and freedom, resulting in a more critical understanding of progress that resists appropriation by problematic accounts. I see progress as an ongoing refinement of norms, societal views, and democratic ideals, ultimately leading to a more coherent and comprehensive understanding of progress that extends beyond national or familial boundaries. This aligns with Kant’s cosmopolitan standpoint, which underscores the importance of considering the world as a whole.

In your book, you mention in passing Richard Wright’s memoir Black Boy (1945)12. Many differences notwithstanding, there are some interesting similarities between your book and Wright’s. In particular, both works manage to strike this incredible balance between philosophically inflected explorations of the changing social fabric of a person’s world and a very personal coming-of-age memoir. And something that came to my mind when I considered that similarity was Jean-Paul Sartre’s observation, in his essay What is Literature (1948), that Wright possessed a relatively unique ability to create something like a point of hermeneutical or epistemological transition between different social worlds.13 Sartre was thinking here of a certain literary capacity to engage with and challenge the preconceptions of different audiences at once. In Wright’s case this meant the ability, at the time somewhat unprecedented, to write about the lives of Black people in America in a way that could be vividly intelligible to many white as well as Black Americans. And what I then began to wonder was, whether a comparable consideration of the different audiences of your book—so, for instance, an Albanian audience versus a British audience, or versus other European audiences—was salient while you were writing your book? And if so, were there any particular techniques that you employed so as to address different audiences simultaneously?

This relates to how I approached writing the book and the intended audiences. Instead of viewing the audiences as divided by national boundaries, I considered them as one general public interested in philosophical discourse and in ideas relevant to their lives. I could have presented the story of freedom using the language of Kant and Marx, delving into philosophical terminology and engaging with contemporary philosophers. However, only a small percentage of readers would be interested and benefit from that approach.

This is where literature comes into play. Literature, in my opinion, is a more inclusive and democratic form of expression. It provides a certain freedom that may be lacking when engaging with philosophical texts or academic discussions. Its openness and inclusivity in writing style can contribute significantly to progressive and intellectual discourse. Personally, I have always been drawn to literature that allows me to learn about myself through reading another person’s story. It encourages introspection and prompts meaningful self-reflection. When I started writing the book, I was conscious of not overwhelming it with excessive philosophical content.

Nevertheless, philosophical questions were crucial to me when structuring the book. Each chapter explores a distinct aspect of freedom, such as freedom of movement, feminism, inequality, social solidarity, transition, neoliberalism, markets, and civil society. These concepts serve as abstract frameworks for the chapters. However, when writing each chapter, I adopted a storytelling approach hoping that the narrative would unfold organically. In my next book, I aim to follow a similar approach, which I find challenging. Balancing the intricate details with the philosophical themes is difficult because it requires you to trust the reader to grasp the significance of details that may not be immediately obvious. I’m not the type of writer who believes that everything they write is inherently relevant—subjective perceptions are not automatically interesting to everyone. Writing about my family, my grandmother, my father, or my mother may be cathartic for me but only if these individual characters and their particular experiences become the means to try and convey something of universal value can one really interest readers. Maintaining this balance during the writing process can be arduous. Overemphasizing the bigger picture risks becoming didactic, while excessive detail can distract from the central message. Nevertheless, I discovered that this balancing act motivated me to change my writing style and approach.

Speaking about Wright, there may be a connection to my background, coming from Albania, here too. When you don’t belong to a dominant philosophical or literary paradigm, or even a dominant country, there is always an underlying uncertainty and scepticism regarding the mainstream paradigm. I have always carried this scepticism towards the dominant paradigm. Paradigms tend to make us take certain assumptions for granted and work within their confines. Literature, on the other hand, allows us to challenge those assumptions. It is perhaps easier for members of marginalized groups to write from a literary and often personal perspective than to embrace a dominant paradigm that may conceal layers of oppression. This might explain why often women, Black or working-class authors have chosen to express themselves in that mode.

I wondered to what extent you thought that literature and memoir could play a role in countering the recent waves of demonisation and mistreatment of migrants in European countries—something that has recently played out in intensified ways with respect to Albanian migrants in Britain. Would you be optimistic about the prospects of public storytelling in countering these dehumanising tendencies?

Optimistic but with caution. Ultimately, I agree with Marx that the economy and prevailing political and economic power dynamics influence cultural patterns and trends. However, this doesn’t imply that there are no opportunities to make use of the spaces available to us. It is crucial to utilize these spaces and challenge the dominant view on migration. By presenting longer-term trends or contextualizing the issue within a broader historical and political framework, we can effectively challenge the mainstream perspective. It is important to disseminate these ideas. Nonetheless, I recognize the limitations of such discourse. Without changes in politics and society, these discourses will likely remain on the fringes, accessible primarily to a small elite. The mainstream will continue to align with the flow of money and dehumanising political discourses that serve existing interests and power relations.

So, I find myself in an ambiguous position. On the one hand, I believe in the necessity of platforms for these discussions and advocate for their continued existence. I don’t hold a negative view in that regard. However, on the other hand, I also acknowledge the limitations of this discourse and emphasize its shortcomings. It is essential to make people aware that while this discourse holds significance, it alone cannot accomplish everything. It becomes evident that active participation from all individuals is required to bring about change in the fundamental structural rules. Without these changes, everything else will merely amount to minor adjustments at the margins.

Perhaps you could say a bit, finally, about the new book you are working on now?

The best way to introduce it quickly is to describe it as a prequel to Free. Many readers have inquired about the moral concept of freedom presented through my grandmother’s story in Free. The new project delves into the idea of human dignity and its connection to my grandmother’s moral understanding of freedom. This prequel explores the concept through the life of my grandmother, and focuses on the interwar period in Albania, a crucial time in the formation of the nation-state before the advent of communism. It explores the ideological conflicts of that era, which ultimately shaped the familiar post-war Cold War landscape we encounter today, and reflects on the paths not taken. Throughout the book, the central theme is dignity, and the effort is to unpack the moral understanding of freedom. Like Free, it tries to combine literary techniques to reflect on philosophical concepts.


An abridged version of this interview has been translated into Finnish and published in niin & näin 3/2023, 6–11. The table of contents of the issue can be found here: www.netn.fi/fi/lehti/niin-nain-323

Notes & References

  1. 1. Lea Ypi, I grew up in a paranoid dictatorship. Isolating Russia won’t bring Europe peace. The Guardian. 21.3.2022. Online: www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/mar/21/dictatorship-russia-europe-peace-albania
  2. 2. Lea Ypi, What’s Wrong with Colonialism. Philosophy & Public Affairs. Vol. 41, No. 2, 2013, 158–191. Online: doi.org/10.1111/papa.12014
  3. 3. Lea Ypi, Irregular Migration, Historical Injustice and the Right to Exclude. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplements 91, 2022, 169–183.
  4. 4. Jonathan White & Lea Ypi, The Meaning of Partisanship. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2016. Online: global.oup.com/academic/product/the-meaning-of-partisanship-9780199684175
  5. 5. Lea Ypi, Global Justice and Avant-Garde Political Agency. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2011. Online: global.oup.com/academic/product/global-justice-and-avant-garde-political-agency-9780198798668
  6. 6. Lea Ypi, Democratic Dictatorship: Political Legitimacy in Marxist Perspective. The European Journal of Philosophy. Vol. 28, No. 2, 2020, 277–291. Online: doi.org/10.1111/ejop.12500
  7. 7. Lea Ypi, Rosa Luxemburg. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2022 Edition). Online: plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2022/entries/luxemburg/
  8. 8. Lea Ypi, The Architectonic of Reason. Purposiveness and Systematic Unity in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. Oxford University Press, Oxford. Online: global.oup.com/academic/product/the-architectonic-of-reason-9780198748526
  9. 9. Lea Ypi, Free: Coming of Age at the End of History. Allen Lane, London 2021. URL: www.penguin.co.uk/books/320869/free-by-ypi-lea/9780141995106
  10. 10. Lea Ypi, Vapaa. Kuinka kasvoin aikuiseksi maailman luhistuessa. Transl. Riina Vuokko. Atena, Jyväskylä 2023. Online: atena.fi/kirjat/vapaa
  11. 11. Die Kulturpersonen 2022. Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung 28.12.2022. Online: www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/debatten/wichtigste-kulturpersonen-des-jahres-2022-18504704.html
  12. 12. Richard Wright, Black Boy (1945). HarperCollins, New York 2008. Online: www.harpercollins.com/products/black-boy-richard-wright?variant=32207521382434
  13. 13. Jean-Paul Sartre, What Is Literature? (Qu'est-ce que la littérature? 1948). Transl. Bernard Frechtman. 2nd Edition. Routledge, Oxon 2001, 58–61. Online: www.routledge.com/What-is-Literature/Sartre/p/book/9780415254045

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