School of Politics and International Relations

Dr Alen Toplišek, BA (University of Ljubljana), LLM (Warwick), PhD (QMUL)


Teaching Associate



Office Hours: Mondays 1-2pm in Arts One 2.18

I have recently completed my PhD thesis at Queen Mary. In my PhD thesis, I reconceptualise the notion of resistance to respond to the crisis of liberal democracy in contemporary neoliberal society. An important part of the thesis analyses the structural conditions and obstacles facing the radical left in the struggle against neoliberalism. To this end, I construct an institutional economics approach, drawing significantly on Michel Foucault and Karl Polanyi. This enables me to analyse the transformation of the liberal state under neoliberalism from an ideological and historical perspective. The possibility of resistance is then critically assessed considering the increasing precarity of our lived experience in contemporary societies. The thesis draws upon a variety of approaches and theories and intervenes in an interdisciplinary manner into different scholarly fields, from the sociology of social movements, democratic theory, and political science to critical theory, political economy, psychoanalysis and post-structuralism.

My current research focuses on the depoliticisation of politics in neoliberal societies, left-wing populist political parties and social movements, and the emergence of resistance in times of crisis.

Twitter: @alentop

Academic edu: Alen Toplišek

Undergraduate Teaching

POL105 Political Analysis


Research Interests:

Contemporary political theory, anti-politics and depoliticisation studies, social movements and populism studies, critical political economy.

Examples of research funding:

2012 Awarded a full scholarship from the Slovene Human Resources Development and Scholarship Fund (Ad Futura) for PhD studies at Queen Mary, University of London

2011 Awarded a full scholarship from the Slovene Human Resources Development and Scholarship Fund (Ad Futura) for LLM studies at University of Warwick

2011 The University of Ljubljana Outstanding Academic Achievement Award


Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Toplišek, Alen. In preparation. Slovenia’s United Left: Between Parliamentarism and Politics of the Street. In Left populism in the European periphery, Routledge.

Toplišek, Alen. Forthcoming. Rethinking (De)Politicisation in Liberalism: Between Ephemerality and Institutionalisation of Power. Chapter in an edited book, Palgrave Macmillan.

Toplišek, Alen and Lasse Thomassen. Accepted. From protest to party: horizontality and verticality on the Slovenian Left. Europe-Asia Studies Special Issue.

Toplišek, Alen. 2013. The Significance of Freedom of Expression in an Antagonistic Society: Critical Understanding of Fascistic Discourses and Linguistic Vulnerability (In Slovenian). Journal for Critique of Science XL (251).

Toplišek, Alen. 2011. Sustainable Development and Economic Growth: Are they compatible concepts? (In Slovenian) IB revija 45 (1-2). (20 December 2011).

Pongrac, Miha and Alen Toplišek. 2011. France: Nostalgic searching for a new role in a changed world under the baton of the modern Napoleon. In Pax Franca, Pax Britannica, Pax Americana, Pax Sinica? Comparative analysis of the foreign policy of big powers and countries with emerging economies (In Slovenian), ed. Ana Bojinović, 77–88. Ljubljana: Faculty of Social Sciences.

Book Reviews

Toplišek, Alen. 2016. Bringing liberalism to account, or how resistance to neoliberalism is not dead yet. European Political Science Review Symposium of Wendy Brown’s book Undoing the Demos. Doi: 10.1057/eps.2016.11.

Toplišek, Alen. 2015. Arts of the Political: New Openings for the Left by Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift. Political Studies Review 13 (1): 80.