Consumption and its contradictions: Dialogues on the causes of buying

Daniel Miller is Professor in Material Culture at the Department of Anthropology, University of Central London. Since the mid-1980s he has been a central figure in discussions and debates around consumption.

Irish utopian realism?

Following the banking crisis of 2008, which hit the Irish economy particularly hard, the Irish government created an organisation to ‘warehouse’ some of the country’s more troubled building developments – primarily in Dublin.  The National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) became the dumping ground for Ireland’s large pool of urban toxic debt.  This took the concrete form of a series of buildings in various states of completion and/or disrepair to be ‘managed’ by the state.

The history of philosophy – an obituary?

The great German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Hegel’s prefatory note to his 1816 Lectures on the History of Philosophy inquisitively gestured towards the methodological and practical difficulties inherent to the task of historicizing philosophy:

How should we begin to treat a subject, the name of which is certainly mentioned often enough, but of whose nature we as yet know nothing? (Hegel, 1892a)

Having knowledge: How handbooks are shaping the way we think and work

When I started this book review of The SAGE Handbook of Leadership, I asked myself a question we often ask of texts in our field: what is useful about this book for scholars? This seems a benign question. So benign, particularly given that this is a highly useful handbook, that for quite some time I didn’t think I had much to say in this review.

Control and becoming in the neoliberal teaching machine

In the first part of a scathing series of posts for the New Left Project focused on the ‘Big Society’ sham, Emma Dowling writes:

Amidst the wreckage

Analyses of the crises, instability and precariousness of the entire capitalist enterprise are presented in two new works: The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism by David Harvey and Living in the End Times by Slavoj Žižek. Both texts provide eschatological treatises of financial collapse and ecological catastrophe while both, in their idiosyncratic styles, are as terrifying as they are comprehensive in terms of portraying the seriousness and violence in which we find ourselves.

'Parrēsia': The problem of truth

The painter is standing a little back from his canvas. He is glancing at his model; perhaps he is considering whether to add some finishing touch, though it is also possible that the first stroke has not yet been made. (Foucault, 1989: 3)

Weariness of the self

The contemporary phenomenon of depression

Liberalism and the governance of populations

The birth of biopolitics is the sixth instalment in the ongoing publication of the lectures given by Michel Foucault from 1971 to 1984 in his tenure as Professor of the History of Systems of Thought at the Collège de France. This volume is the first translation into English of the series of twelve lectures delivered from January to April 1979. It develops the theme of the previous year’s lectures, of which an English translation was published in 2007 as Security, territory, population (see Foucault, 2007).

Organizational memory: Narrative control and resistance

This book is all about the stories we tell ourselves (p. 6), and David Boje is one of the best storytellers around in management and organization theory. But he is difficult to pin down, and he knows it. He roams around through vast fields of literature, including history, literary theory, and sociology. He says his book is an exploration of ‘complexity, collective memory, strategy, and organization change’ (p. 2). It could easily find its way to becoming a recommended text for a course in any of those subjects, and I hope it does.


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