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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Stilton Cheese Rolling

SELF-ORGANISING

London Seminars on Self-organising

This series is a mixture of workshops and discussions on self-organisation and non-hierarchical work practices. It aims to bring together practitioners and theorists of forms of organisation that eschew hierarchical modes of division of labour as part of a critique of the imposition of work and productivity for profit to share working practices and collectively address their problems, obstacles, successes, and aspirations.

The encounters aim to provide an initial platform to reflect on current practices, establish networks and create shared concept-tools that can be used in different situations. We will begin from our questions, discomforts and curiosities: What dispositives feed the potential of collective practices? What makes self organisation different from self management? How do we inhabit, modulate and speak about groups? How do we share tasks, pass on knowledges, reach out or support each other through this crisis?

The guests we have invited will offer some points of departure for us to take elsewhere. The purpose is to increase our awareness of the modalities through which we become, act, and affect one another in common. As an experimental beginning, we wanted to focus each of the first set of encounters around four broad themes. We hope that this project may continue and transform itself based on the inputs and desires of all those involved.

As part of the project, recordings, materials and other resources will be made available online here: http://self-org.blogspot.com/

For enquiries and suggestions, send an email to: selforganising@gmail.com

All sessions are free and open to the public to participate.

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Evo Morales

THE REFORM OF THE BOLIVIAN STATE

Out now!

The Reform of the Bolivian State: Domestic Politics in the Context of Globalization
by Andreas Tsolakis

First Forum Press/Lynne Rienner Publishers (Boulder, CO)
393 pages
ISBN: 978-1-935049-27-2

“A remarkably sophisticated study of the transnationalization of class and state in Bolivia. Tsolakis makes a valuable theoretical contribution to the literature.”—Henk Overbeek, VU University, Amsterdam

“Innovative and novel…. A substantial contribution to the scholarship on Bolivia.”—John Crabtree, University of Oxford

Description:
In 2005, two decades after President Victor Paz Estenssoro’s New Economic Policy heralded the beginning of a profound transformation for Bolivia, violence had become endemic in the country, economic growth was weak, and political corruption was flourishing. Evo Morales was elected to the presidency in a climate of intense social conflict and disorder, promising to deconstruct the entire political and economic edifice so painfully built since 1985. Andreas Tsolakis investigates Bolivia’s trajectory since 1985 in the context of the country’s deepening integration into the world market.

From a historical materialist perspective, Tsolakis assesses why neoliberal restructuring efforts failed, as well as the implications of the continuing internationalization of the Bolivian state for Morales’s reform program and his foreign relations in Latin America and beyond. He provides both a nuanced analysis of collaborative practices among transnational social forces and an up-to-date, critical analysis of the Morales administration.

About the author:
Andreas Tsolakis is a postdoctoral fellow in the Institute of Advanced Study at the University of Warwick and an analyst at the Fundación Secretariado Gitano in Madrid.

Contents:
·         Bolivia’s Political Trajectory Since 1985
·         The Impact of the National Revolution
·         Transnational Forces and Global Restructuring
·         The Internationalization of the Bolivian State
·         Polyarchy in Bolivia
·         Evo Morales, the MAS, and Elite Resistance to Change
·         The Bolivian Case and Beyond
·         Appendices

More information at: https://www.rienner.com/title/The_Reform_of_the_Bolivian_State_Domestic_Politics_in_the_Context_of_Globalization

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Austerity No!

TEACH-IN TO BUILD THE RESISTANCE

Teach-in to build the resistance
Wednesday 16th March, 4-8pm
King’s College London, the Strand

Ten days before the NUS/UCU demonstration against tuition fees and education cuts, an Education Activist Network conference in London brought together 400 students and education workers to discuss the future of education and the movement to defend it.

Ten days before the TUC march for an alternative we will be holding a teach-in to discuss the questions facing our movement today.

Higher fees and the end of EMA are almost upon us, but the possibility of a lecturers’ strike and student action on Budget Day could reinvigorate the resistance to education cuts.

Millions are rising up against dictatorships in the Middle East, but neoliberalism in our education system has seen the LSE accept blood money from Saif Gaddafi and many universities invest in the arms trade.

The cuts will have a dramatic impact on women, ethnic minorities and LGBT students – and David Cameron’s attacks on multiculturalism are an attempt to deflect anger and divide our movement. Students have been the target of horse charges, dawn raids, pepper spray and kettling daring to protest for education. Join them, their parents and teachers as we look at how to defend our right to protest and help our movement grow.

The line up will be announced next week: expect to see strikers, occupiers, academics, journalists, politicians, authors and a video link up with the sit-in of the Wisconsin state capitol, USA.

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Taweret

UNEVEN DEVELOPMENT

NEW EDITION FROM VERSO:

UNEVEN DEVELOPMENT: Nature, Capital and the Production of Space

By NEIL SMITH

New and updated edition with a new foreword by DAVID HARVEY
—————————–
“Smith provides a brilliant formulation of how the production of a particular kind of nature and space under historical capitalism is essential to the unequal development of a landscape that integrates poverty with wealth.” –– EDWARD SAID
—————————–
In UNEVEN DEVELOPMENT, a classic in its field, NEIL SMITH offers the first full theory of uneven geographical development, entwining theories of space and nature with a critique of capitalism.

Featuring groundbreaking analyses of the production of nature and the politics of scale, Smith’s work anticipated many of the uneven contours that now mark neoliberal globalization.

DAVID HARVEY’S new foreword highlights the increasingly uneven nature of the globalized economy, and notes that this inequality, along with accelerating levels of urbanisation and environmental degradation, have only accelerated since the book was first published. Smith’s analysis is thus more urgent and relevant than ever.

While globalisation has not led to a weakening of state power in the political sphere, it is increasingly difficult to conceive of distinct state economies – for example by the 1980s the majority of trade across national borders took place within corporations. National and international organisations rival states in economic power – in 2007 Harvard University had more money in its bank account than the GDP of some 39 countries. Thus, Smith argues, the global system can increasingly be defined more in terms of geoeconomics than traditional geopolitics.

In recognition of the dramatic changes in capitalism and its geography over the quarter century since this volume was written, Neil Smith has updated the text with a discussion of the current crisis of neoliberalism and the rise of geoeconomics.

UNEVEN DEVELOPMENT is a radical attempt to reconstruct the politicalbasis of society, in order to produce a genuinely social geography by encouraging a revolutionary imaginary.
———————————-
Praise for UNEVEN DEVELOPMENT

“A foundational text of great historical significance, constantly worthy of reappraisal…You will not be disappointed.” David Harvey

“Smith attempts no less than the integration of nature and space in the Marxian theory of capitalist development … he improves the clarity even of the arguments made in disagreement with him. His book should be widely read, used, and discussed.’ –ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING

“UNEVEN DEVELOPMENT provides a theoretical discussion of immense range – from nature through space and the economy – whereby Neil Smith extends David Harvey’s Marxist conception of the geography of capitalism” – GEOGRAPHICAL REVIEW

“One of the most important books of specifically geographical social theory to be written in the English language in the last thirty years.” – Scott Prudham, author of KNOCK ON WOOD: NATURE AS COMMODITY IN DOUGLAS-FIR COUNTY
———————————
NEIL SMITH is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography at the City University of New York and Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics. He is author or editor of nine books that explore the broad intersection between space, nature, social theory, and history and is co-organizer of the International Critical Geography Group. His website is http://neil-smith.net/
———————————
ISBN: 978 1 84467 643 9 / £16.99 / Paperback / 344 pages
———————————
For more information and to buy the book visit:
http://www.versobooks.com/books/704-704-uneven-development
———————————
ACADEMICS BASED OUTSIDE NORTH AMERICA MAY REQUEST AN INSPECTION COPY – PLEASE CONTACT tamar@verso.co.uk

ACADEMICS BASED WITHIN NORTH AMERICA MAY REQUEST AN EXAMINATION COPY – PLEASE CONTACT clara@versobooks.com
———————————
Become a fan of Verso on Facebook:
UK page – http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Verso-Books-UK/122064538789
US page – http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Verso-Books-USA/123812329709

And get updates on Twitter too:
http://twitter.com/VersoBooksUK

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Dialectics

DIALECTICAL PASSIONS: NEGATION IN POSTWAR ART THEORY

NEW BOOK:
Gail Day, Dialectical Passions: Negation in Postwar Art Theory (Columbia University Press, 2010)
Cloth, 320 pages, 15 halftones
ISBN: 978-0-231-14938-9
$50.00 / £34.50 – Promo Code for 30% discount: ‘DAYDI’ on orders via:
http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-231-14938-9/dialectical-passions

Representing a new generation of theorists reaffirming the radical dimensions of art, Gail Day launches a bold critique of late twentieth-century art theory and its often reductive analysis of cultural objects. Exploring core debates in discourses on art, from the New Left to theories of “critical postmodernism” and beyond, Day counters the belief that recent tendencies in art fail to be adequately critical. She also challenges the political inertia that results from these conclusions.

Day organizes her defense around critics who have engaged substantively with emancipatory thought and social process: T. J. Clark, Manfredo Tafuri, Fredric Jameson, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, and Hal Foster, among others. She maps the tension between radical dialectics and left nihilism and assesses the interpretation and internalization of negation in art theory.

Chapters confront the claim that exchange and equivalence have subsumed the use value of cultural objects—and with it critical distance— and interrogate the proposition of completed nihilism and the metropolis put forward in the politics of Italian operaismo. Day covers the debates on symbol and allegory waged within the context of 1980s art and their relation to the writings of Walter Benjamin and Paul de Man. She also examines common conceptions of mediation, totality, negation, and the politics of anticipation. A necessary unsettling of received wisdoms, Dialectical Passions recasts emancipatory reflection in aesthetics, art, and architecture.

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Gaza

BDS: BOYCOTT, DISINVESTMENT, SANCTIONS

Omar Barghouti, founding member of Palestinian Civil Society Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, to Release New Book

BDS: Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions

The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights 

by Omar Barghouti (available for interview)

Book Release at the London Review Bookshop Monday, March 7th at 7:00 pm, 14 Bury Place, London, WC1A 2JL.

“This is a book about the political actions necessary to hinder and finally to stop the Israeli state machine which is operating every day to eliminate the Palestinian people. It is like an engineer’s report, not a sermon. Read it, decide and then act.” —John Berger

“Barghouti’s lucid and morally compelling book is perfectly timed to make a major contribution to this urgently needed global campaign for justice, freedom and peace.” —Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate

“Essential reading for all who care about justice and the plight of an oppressed people.” —Ken Loach

INTERNATIONAL BOYCOTT divestment, and sanctions (BDS) efforts helped topple South Africa’s brutal apartheid regime. In this urgent book, Omar Barghouti makes the case for a rights-based BDS campaign to stop Israel’s rapacious occupation, colonization, and apartheid against the Palestinian people. This considered, convincing collection contributes to the growing debate on Israel’s violations of international law and points the way forward to a united global civil society movement for freedom, justice, self determination, and equality for all.

OMAR BARGHOUTI is an independent Palestinian commentator and human rights activist. He is a founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and the Palestinian Civil Society Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Columbia University, and a master’s degree in philosophy (ethics) from Tel Aviv University.

Barghouti is AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW in London March 4-7, and by phone or email prior. To request, contact Sarah Macaraeg, sarah@haymarketbooks.org

*

Praise for Omar Barghouti and Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights:

“I warmly welcome the publication of Omar Barghouti’s book. It is timely and responsibly written by a man who will understand that creative and relentless nonviolence is the only way out of the dire situation in which Palestine, and our entire world for that matter, finds itself.” —Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, M.M., Former president of the UN General Assembly

“No one has done more to build the intellectual, legal and moral case for BDS than Omar Barghouti. The global Palestinian solidarity movement has been transformed and is on the cusp of major new breakthroughs.” —Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine and No Logo

“I have been to Palestine where I’ve witnessed the racially segregated housing and the humiliation of Palestinians at military roadblocks. I can’t help but remember the conditions we experienced in South Africa under apartheid. We could not have achieved our freedom without the help of people around the world using the nonviolent means of boycotts and divestment to compel governments and institutions to withdraw their support for the apartheid regime. Omar Barghouti’s lucid and morally compelling book is perfectly timed to make a major contribution to this urgently needed global campaign for justice, freedom and peace.” —Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate

“Once again Omar Barghouti delivers a conceptually lucid argument for the BDS movement that is difficult to refute. He offers a principled position accompanied by nuanced and thorough analyses, and though one may not agree with all of his claims, one is fully persuaded by the passionate clarity of his appeal. Barghouti reminds us what public responsibility entails, and we are lucky to have his relentless and intelligent analysis and argument. There is no more comprehensive and persuasive case than his for boycott, divestment, and sanctions to end the Israeli occupation and establish the ethical claim of Palestinian rights.” —Judith Butler, Co-director of the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California at Berkeley

“The ABC for internationalist support for Palestine is BDS. And the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign against Israeli cruelty and injustice is gaining in significance and scope. Like the anti-apartheid movement against racist South Africa, BDS is helping to make a tremendous difference in what has been a most difficult struggle for human rights and the right of a colonized and dispossessed people to national self-determination. This inspiring book is a weapon in a noble struggle in which all right thinking people can play a part.” —Ronne Kasrils, former South African government minister

*****

Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions

The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights

By Omar Barghouti

Releasing Apr. 1, 2011 from Haymarket Books

Distributed in the UK by Turnaround Publisher Services

ISBN 9781608461141

320 pages

www.haymarketbooks.org

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Karl Marx

MARX’S ‘CAPITAL’: AN INTRODUCTORY READER

Essays by Venkatesh Athreya, Vijay Prashad, Jayati Ghosh, R. Ramakumar, Prasenjit Bose, T. Jayaraman, Prabhat Patnaik

There’s really no escaping it: if you want to understand capitalism, you simply have to read Karl Marx’s Capital.

But this is easier said than done. Capital is Marx’s magnum opus — consisting of more than 2,000 pages, over three volumes. It is a masterpiece of analysis, of relentlessly methodical and logical reasoning. So is Capital only for the expert? No. Capital can be read and understood — by beginners as well, provided they are guided into it. Which is exactly what this volume does. Seven leading Marxist scholars lay out the conceptual framework of Capital as well as investigate its various themes in essays written specially for this Reader.

Moreover, each of the authors has taken care to not limit him/herself to only preliminary explication of concepts, and has also gone into matters of advanced theory. The volume as a whole also has a broadly similar trajectory — the first couple of essays lay the foundation, the middle four essays graduate from basic concepts to theoretical discussion and debates, and the last essay does not go into basic concepts at all, but applies the method of Capital to theorise about contemporary capitalism.

This introductory Reader, then, does two things: it equips new readers with the basic conceptual keys that could unlock the vast treasure trove of Marx’s analysis and insights, as well as offering fresh insights into Marx’s magnificent work to the initiated.

Details at: http://leftword.com/bookdetails.php?BkId=284&type=PB

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Karl Marx

MARXISM AND PHILOSOPHY REVIEW OF BOOKS – UPDATE 15th FEBRUARY 2011

New reviews just published online in the Marx and Philosophy Review of Books:
·        Morgon on Badiou
·        Melançon on Therborn
·        Weislogel on Kierkegaard
·        Bunyard on Negativity
·        Melrose on `scientific’ socialism

New comments and discussion
And a new list of books for review all at: http://www.marxandphilosophy.org.uk/reviewofbooks/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Professor Sean Sayers,
Editor, Marx and Philosophy Review of Books
School of European Culture and Languages
University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NF, UK
Tel +44 1227-827513; Fax +44 1227-823641
http://www.marxandphilosophy.org.uk/reviewofbooks/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Mediation

MAPPING COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA RESEARCH

Mapping Communication and Media Research: Conjunctures, Institutions, Challenges

by Juha Koivisto, Juha and Peter D. Thomas

218 p.
ISBN: 978-951-44-7920-5 29.00€
Publisher: Tampere University Press. TUP

Communication and media research has emerged in recent years as one of the most successful and dynamic fields of activity in the contemporary university. The explosive growth has prompted concern about a ‘lack of clarity’ of the field and its capacity to respond productively to current and future challenges. How can we account for the spectacular rise of communication and media research? What type of academic activity is it? Is it a ‘discipline’, an interdisciplinary ‘field’, a new ‘discourse’ or an ‘institution’ including different approaches?

Communication and media research is analysed in this study as a ‘hegemonic apparatus’, or a terrain of conflicting forces and organisation forms upon which social, cultural and political projects and values are produced, criticised and challenged. The authors argue that contemporary communication and media research can only be understood by referring to the concrete social, cultural and political contexts in which it occurs.

Drawing upon a series of detailed reports covering communication and media research internationally, from Germany, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Finland, Estonia, the USA, the UK, Australia, Japan and South Korea, the study provides a global overview of the contemporary situation and assesses future challenges and opportunities. Key indices include university departments, professorships and research centres, doctoral studies, gender relations, research funding, internationalisation and publishing and the impact of university reforms.

This study will be essential reading for all those concerned with the current state of this successful ‘non-discipline’ and its significance for critical intellectual practice today.

Orders and further information are available here: http://granum.uta.fi/english/kirjanTiedot.php?tuote_id=20194

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Bonuses for Some

CORPORATE TAKEOVERS, INTERNET CHALLENGES: DOES JOURNALISM HAVE A FUTURE?

SERGE HALIMI

Wednesday 2 March, 6:30pm
SOAS, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre
Free entrance, no booking, first come first seated

SERGE HALIMI is the Director of Le Monde diplomatique. After a Ph.D in political science at UC Berkeley, he has authored several books on topics ranging from an historical overview of the French Left in power to an analysis of how neoliberalism has prevailed worldwide. A specialist in American politics and society, he is also known for his critique of the links between media and business. His muckraking exposé against French journalists, Les Nouveaux chiens de garde (The New Watchdogs), has been one of the best-selling essays of the last fifteen years in France. Published into twenty seven languages in over fifty countries, Le Monde diplomatique has a global circulation of 2.4 million copies.

‘THE GLOBALISATION LECTURES’
Organised by the Department of Development Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London

Convenor: Professor Gilbert Achcar, 2010-2011

Coming Events in the Department of Development Studies: http://www.soas.ac.uk/development/events/

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2001

ANTHROPOLOGY + MATERIALISM

Anthropology + Materialism: A Journal of Social Research, an international and multidisciplinary journal at the crossroads of anthropology and materialism, which focuses on the critique of social phenomena, announces a Call for Papers for its inaugural issue to be published in September 2011.

The first issue of the journal will be dedicated to the topic “Walter Benjamin and anthropological materialism”, but propositions related to a “materialist anthropology” inspired by Michel Foucault, Pierre Clastres and other contemporary thinkers are welcomed.

Both theoretical and ethnographic articles are invited in relation to the general topic of the journal. All articles are peer reviewed and are submitted on the condition that they are not in consideration for publication elsewhere.

The present deadline for articles to be included in the first issue of the journal is set for the 1st of May 2011.

More information at: http://anthropologicalmaterialism.hypotheses.org

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Equality

HOW FAIR IS BRITAIN? REFLECTIONS ON EQUALITY OVER THE PAST 12 YEARS – FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE

 

Saturday 19th March 2011

10.00 – 4.00pm

Park Campus

University of Northampton

Northampton NN2 7AL

Registration:

Full fee: £35 (early payment by March 1st £30)

Non-waged / Students: £10

SPEAKERS:

Anna Henry (Head of Social Analysis & Foresight, Equality & Human Rights Commission)

Professor Andy Pilkington (Professor of Sociology at the University of Northampton)

Lystra Hagley-Dickinson (Senior Lecturer in Criminology, University of Northampton)

Manny Barot (Ex-Police Officer with Leicestershire Police. Researcher into equality and human rights within the criminal justicesystem)

Dr. Fionna Warner-Gale (Senior Visiting Fellow. Children, Young People and Mental Health. University of Lincoln)

Surinder Sharma (Director for Equality and Human Rights with the Department for Health)

Dave Coppock (Director, AimHigher Nottinghamshire)

Dr. Jane Callaghan (Senior Lecturer, Psychology, University of Northampton. Course Leader for Child and Adolescent Mental Health)

Martin Pratt (Corporate Director, Children & Learning, Luton Borough Council)

Floyd Douglas (Children’s Services, Northamptonshire County Council)

Dr. Daniel Burdsey (Senior Lecture in the Sociology of Sport at Brighton University)

Cyrille Regis MBE (Ex-professional footballer and England International)

Ben Cohen (Ex-England and Northamptonshire Saints rugby player. Now playing for Sale. Campaigns against homophobia in sport)

How Fair is Britain?

This is the question posed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in its 700-page anatomy of disadvantage in the 21st century published in 2010. In the context of the new Equality Act 2010, and also the Government’s proposals around the “Big Society” and the future for public services in particular, this conference could not be more timely. The aim of this conference is to engage with these issue by drawing together academics and professionals/practitioners to look at challenges, and outline solutions, to make Britain fairer, based on how far we have come over the past 12 years.

Conference Themes:

  • Fairness and the Criminal Justice System
  • Fairness and Education
  • Fairness in Social Care / Local Government
  • Fairness in Health
  • Fairness in Sport

 

For further information about the conference, please email: equality@northampton.ac.uk

Visit the website at: http://www.northampton.ac.uk/equality

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