Skip to main content


Did you hear the one about the anarchist manager?


How many anarchists does it take to start a conversation about anarchism in a business school? Perhaps the most appropriate punchline is that such a conversation shouldn’t ever take place at all, never mind the number of participants. And yet just that conversation did take place, in November 2010. In fact, the topic of anarchism almost naturally surfaces within discussions of forms of organising that escape the Procrustean bed of the day-to-day academic curriculum of business and management studies; at least it does if this special issue is anything to go by.

The anarchist commons


The notion of the commons has long been understood as referring to spaces for open participation of regular people, and is thus both a concept and practice with an affinity to anarchism. De Angelis and Harvie (2014: 280) define the commons as ‘social systems in which resources are shared by a community of users/producers, who also define the modes of use and production, distribution and circulation of these resources through democratic and horizontal forms of governance’.

Organizing otherwise: Translating anarchism in a voluntary sector organization


In the early 1990s, Gibson Burrell wrote that there were a ‘growing number of alternative organizational forms now appearing, whether inspired by anarchism, syndicalism, the ecological movement, the co-operative movement, libertarian communism, self-help groups or, perhaps most importantly, by feminism’ (1992: 82). These organizations offer an alternative to the dominant form of the capitalist business enterprise, which Burrell understood as repressing autonomous human development.

No struggle, no emancipation: Georges Sorel and his relevance for Critical Organisation Studies


Georges Sorel (1847-1922) was a very unconventional man, in his personal history, in his practice, and, above all, in his thinking. He was, one might say, a man of many apparent contradictions. He started his professional life as an Engineer in the Department of Public Works and was employed there in the 1870s and 1880s.

The stream of self-determination and autogestión: Prefiguring alternative economic realities


There is a stream of radical economic thought that courses through theories and practices of autogestión, or workers’ self-management: Working people must free themselves from the oppressions inherent to hierarchical forms of power that, in capitalism, is embodied to a great extent in wage slavery and its exploitative mode of production. The pursuit of this freedom is nothing less than the struggle for workers and communities to self-determine their own productive lives.

Farewell to consumerism: Countervailing logics of growth in consumption


The logic of growth is dominant in the contemporary political economy and in various notions of social and cultural prosperity (e.g. Friedman 2006; IMF, 2014; Alam, 2008). Under all sorts of regimes, from advanced capitalist market economies to planned economies, progress is usually understood to be dependent on economic expansion through the increasing use of natural resources, the creation of technology, organisational efficiency and the stimulation of consumption. However, increasingly, this dominant logic faces challenge.

Management, business, anarchism

Management, business, anarchism. Can these three terms, that come with so much baggage, be fruitfully brought together? This special issue brings together contributions that range from discussions of anarchist political economy and anarchism as a theory of organisation to the practices of anarchist alternatives and the radical imagination. Scholars from anarchist studies as well as critical management studies highlight the various ways the connections between the two fields can be articulated.

Subscribe to Anarchism