politics

‘But it hardly needs saying…’

The seating arrangements in the French Estates-General assumed two sides, left or right, for or against, this or that. Seats have to go somewhere, but the division of politics into two ‘sides’ has certainly encouraged glaring and shouting. It encourages us to believe that this is a practice which requires firm distinctions, and to express disappointment when all available options on a ballot paper converge on focus group centrism. For most people, to recognise something distinctive called Politics, we need to see assertion, struggle, and antagonism.

Can democracy survive austerity?

Armin Schafer and Wolfgang Streeck, two scholars at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, Germany, have edited a remarkable volume that attempts to address a political-economic touchstone of modern democratic-capitalism: how to reconcile democratic political processes with the increasing governance of global economic life by economic institutions – corporate and transnational governmental – that are politically nonresponsive to the demands of ordinary citizens and which are dedicated to often unpopular economic policies of austerity (cf. Edsall, 2012).

The politics of workers' inquiry

This issue brings together a series of commentaries, interventions and projects centred on the theme of workers’ inquiry. Workers’ inquiry is a practice of knowledge production that seeks to understand the changing composition of labour and its potential for revolutionary social transformation. It is a practice of turning the tools of the social sciences into weapons of class struggle. It also seeks to map the continuing imposition of the class relation, not as a disinterested investigation, but rather to deepen and intensify social and political antagonisms.

submission deadline  
30 Sep 2014
call for papers pdf  

Issue Editors: Ekaterina Chertkovskaya, Rashné Limki and Bernadette Loacker

Work and consumption have always been intertwined, their interaction shaped by social and historical circumstances. The ‘consumer society’ (Baudrillard, 1998/1970) that we arguably live in is often associated with a fading interest in work. On this view, wage labour is seen simply as a way of funding consumption during leisure time (Berger, 1964; Gorz, 1985). However, the boundaries between consumption and work have become increasingly blurred. Consumption is no longer confined to leisure, having become central to the employment relationship (Korczynski, 2007; Dale, 2012), but also transcending it. At the same time, some consumption has become productive in the circuits of capital (Arvidsson, 2005). While both the themes of work and consumption have been discussed separately (including in ephemera, e.g. Beverungen et al., 2011; Dunne et al., 2013; Egan-Wyer et al., 2014), this special issue aims to bring them together by... more

The politics of consumption

If Politics, following Aristotle (1984), is a matter of analysing, comparing and ultimately creating practices of human association, we will do well to regard consumption practices as inherently political. Such a regard requires us to take a comparative-prospective disposition towards the roles and practices that underpin the production and distribution of subsistence and luxury.

The politics of consumption

This age of austerity comes on the back of a lengthened period of apparently rampant consumer excess: that was a party for which we are all now having to pay. A spectacular period of unsustainably funded over-indulgence, it seems, has now given rise to a sobering period of barely fundable mere-subsistence. Consumption, narrated along such lines, is a sin which has to be paid for. Beyond the deceptive theology of consumption, however, lies actual politics.

Between the event and democratic materialism

Bruno Bosteels, Professor of Romance Studies at the University of Cornell, has translated into English Theory of the subject (Badiou, 2009a) and Wittgenstein's anti-philosophy (Badiou, 2011). Additionally, he has written a number of significant articles and essays on Alain Badiou, including ‘Post-Maoism: Badiou and Politics’ (2005), Badiou or the restarting of dialectical materialism (2007), Alain Badiou: A polemical trajectory (2009a). He is therefore one of the best specialists of Badiou within the Anglophone academy.

The effect of affect: Desire and politics in modern organizations

This open issue consists of a number of contributions, which at first glance do not seem to be linked by any particular theme. Examining the different approaches to theory & politics in organization that are taken by the eclectic collection of papers featured here, however, it appears that the theoretical notion of the affective emerges again and again, as central to the politics of organization. The notion of affect is as such nothing new to ephemera.

9 May 2012 to 11 May 2012
Banner depicting scenes from middle ages - king versus peasants.

 

 

This conference explores the relationships between consumption, accumulation, production, reproduction and politics today. Taking the apparent generalisation of conditions of austerity as an opportunity to re-visit longer ongoing debates surrounding the extra-economic nature of commodity consumption, and its complex relationship to commodity production, the conference asks whether traditional conceptualisations of the politics of consumption require revision.... more

From... to...

It has become clear that many of the traditional places of politics have become ineffective and sometimes simply corrupt. Today the political is on the move again: from Seattle to Prague, from Genoa to Evian, from Porto Allegre to Florence, as well as from and to many other places. We live in potentially exciting times. In many places difference seems to be possible again. But this movement does not simply move, because everything is moving and becoming. There are questions of organisation and strategy that need to be asked.

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