review

‘Why is a raven like a writing desk?’

Damian O’Doherty’s Reconstructing Organization is a wild tale of bob cuts and cats and talking chairs, set within the confines of Manchester airport. Rarely has a steel and concrete waiting room (for that is what airports are to its visitors, if not its employees) seemed more vivacious and colourful. Think Alice’s Wonderland with its strange and curious creatures, the author its likeable, excitable, Mad Hatter.

Time to party?

Since the decline of classical Marxist theory and the concomitant proliferation of ‘new social movements’ from 1968 and onwards, two opposing lines of thought have dominated leftist thinking: One that could be called ‘horizontalist’ and one that could be called ‘verticalist’ (Prentoulis & Thomassen, 2013). While both lines of thought identify with the label of post-Marxism – sometimes even without apologies – their approaches to radical politics differ profoundly.

No future. Utopia now!

Introduction

Resistance in vulnerability with an eye to the vulnerability of power

The general aim of this volume is to rethink vulnerability both at the ontological and political level and in its multifaceted relations with resistance. It features a series of essays that engage with the topic from a variety of geopolitical contexts and theoretical perspectives. This variety is also reflected in the different polemical targets that range from the patriarchical coupling of vulnerability and passivity to the neoliberal understanding of resilience and the humanitarian discourse.

Art at the margins of contemporary democracies

In his recent book, Why only art can save us, Santiago Zabala makes an important contribution to the socially engaged art discourse, building upon phenomenology and critical theory. It is a text about demands by art, to use Michael Kelly’s formulation [9], i.e. art’s call for action on behalf of the weak, discarded and forgotten – the remains of Being on the margins of contemporary democracies.

Academe under siege and the atrophy of today’s universities

[T]he marketization of knowledge is one of the world’s greatest threats to democracy. [33].

The "rough beast" that is the REF

This important book should be read, and reflected on, by academics, academic managers, university managers, HEFCE, and those parts of Government that are responsible for creating the ‘rough beast’ (Yeats, 1994 [1921]) that the research assessment exercise (RAE) has become.

Education of and for the ‘post-apocalyptic’

[…] our problem is not that we are fools in need of enlightenment. Rather our problem is that we lack the power not to be fooled. (Allen, 2017, 103)

Publish and perish

A few years ago, I published a paper on the ‘secrets of excellence’ in the business school (Butler and Spoelstra, 2012). It was written as an ironic guide to publishing in top-ranked organization studies journals. Some of the tricks of the trade we identified – ‘productivity through people’, ‘close to the customer’, ‘bias for action’ – overlap with Peters and Waterman’s 1980s business-yuppie classic In search of excellence.

Transilient relations: Exploring the social in anonymity

In her intriguing study of anonymous ova donors and their recipients in England, anthropologist Monica Konrad examines how it is possible that new social relations emerge from such donations although those involved in egg donation practices have no possibility of getting to know each other. Nameless relations (Konrad, 2005) is a detailed ethnographic analysis of a situation marked by non-knowledge, and of the relations that those involved in it form under the conditions of anonymity and non-reciprocity.

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