It is increasingly evident that organizations and different processes of organizing are not neutral, inevitable or even necessary, but inherently political. As a discipline, Organization Studies is slowly becoming aware of that organizations are not entities that exist separately from material ecosystems or outside chains of exploitation of cheap labour and raw material. Instead, organizations are intimately entangled to, dependent upon and contributing to global forces such as the destruction of eco-systems, climate change, inequality and (neo-) colonialism.
In the globalised ‘network economy’ mobility has developed as an imperative as well as an attractive possibility. Drawing inspiration from the field of mobility studies, this special issue of ephemera discusses mobility as a complex modern phenomenon. It creates a space for investigating different forms and dimensions of mobility, such as physical, temporal, social, economic and symbolic. The issue seeks to problematise simplistic assessments of mobility, and moves the discussion beyond the either/or opposition of choice and necessity.
Within the globalised ‘network society’ (Castells, 2001), demands for mobility and movement have become predominant aspects of contemporary social life (Bauman, 2007; Boltanski and Chiapello, 2005; Cresswell, 2006; Urry, 2007). Exerting an influence upon different social spheres, these demands have transformed the traditional relations of the realms of government and economy, the public and private, and work and life (Cohen et al., 2015; Donzelot and Gordon, 2008).
…anarchy is not the negation of organization but only of the governing function of the power of the State. (Dunois, 1907)
Anarchists are not against organization. The tired old joke needs to be treated as evidence that someone knows little about the ideas they so quickly dismiss. Indeed, we think that anarchist thought and practice is a crucial element in thinking about how progressive politics might be conducted.
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.
Anarchist economic practices in a ‘capitalist’ society: Some implications for organisation and the future of work
Political, economic and social institutions are crumbling; the social structure, having become uninhabitable, is hindering, even preventing the development of the seeds which are being propagated within its damaged walls and being brought forth around them.
The need for a new life becomes apparent. (Kropotkin, 2002b)