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Conference theme: ‘Social relations in turbulent times’. Critical Political Economy sessions theme: ‘Varieties of capitalism in crisis?’

The continued fall-out from the economic crisis has led to continuous debate about the impact of this systemic shock to the world economy. For instance, evidence could be amassed to support or refute the argument that it has had a significant impact on the future of capitalist diversity. On the one hand, it has generated common systemic pressures everywhere – the most salient being the recurrent fiscal crises of different national states – but on the other, there have been important differences in the national responses to the crisis – compare for example Germany and the United States.

In the field of political economy, a much-discussed approach has been the varieties of capitalism literature. Conceived here as wider than just the paradigmatic Varieties of Capitalism framework and inclusive of a general institutionalist orientation when studying national political economies, a weakness in this work has been the low priority placed on the wider social relations which institutions are inevitably part of. Therefore, although much progress has been made in the past 15 years, the ability of the varieties of capitalism literature to account for the developments of the past few years – and thus its more general explanatory capacity – is open to question.

As such, the phrase ‘Varieties of capitalism in crisis?’ has two distinct but connected meanings. For this reason, the CPE RN is interested in receiving abstracts which consider the evolution of empirical capitalisms – we expect our sessions to focus on but not be exclusively concerned with Europe, be it at the national, regional or supranational level – and/or conceptual issues related to the study of capitalist diversity. We seek contributions from scholars with an interest in political economy research, whatever their disciplinary affiliation (sociology, political science, economics, geography, anthropology, ethnology, development studies, area studies, history, etc.). Hence we aim to attract a diverse range of junior and senior researchers, from postgraduate students to professors.

NETWORK OVERVIEW: The network was established in 2005 as a platform to promote and facilitate research aimed at understanding recent transformations of capitalism and capitalist societies in the European Union and Europe. Its purpose is to reassert political economy perspectives in European social science, and to promote critical and emancipatory scholarship. We are avowedly interdisciplinary in our outlook, and seek to bring together researchers employing a range of critical political economy perspectives.

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Global Capitalism


International Socialism Journal Seminar Series

The Geopolitics of Capitalism

With Gonzalo Pozo Martin (International Socialism and Historical Materialism journals)

Tuesday 8 June, 6.30pm

School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Russell Square Campus, Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG, Room B102 (Brunei Gallery building, first floor) MAP

Free entry / All welcome

For more details contact or call 0207 819 1177

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Uncertain Times


A day of communist discussion and debate

From 11am-6pm on Saturday 19th June

At 96-100 Clifton Street, London EC2

To purchase tickets and download leaflets see:

The last few years have seen a series of crises for our rulers. Millions of us are angry at the ongoing economic crisis, the scandalous behaviour of ‘our’ MPs and the endless wars in the Middle East.

All of these crises are part and parcel of capitalist rule, but rarely is this system itself challenged. We are constantly told there is no alternative to capitalism. Every day at work and in our communities we live out the same capitalist order, the same hierarchies, the same alienation.

But the spectre of communism has not gone away. The idea of a society fit for human beings lives on. It is an idea raised every time workers demand the living standards we need, not what our rulers are prepared to give us; whenever we reject the state’s oppression and interference in our lives; and whenever we stand up to sexism, homophobia and anti-immigrant hysteria.

We need to build on these acts of resistance. But that is not enough. Our movement needs ideas. We need a clear vision of a communist alternative to the capitalist order, and how we can make it happen.

That is why The Commune is hosting a summer school on Saturday 19th June to discuss what we should be fighting for and how we should fight for it. Join the debate.

Proposed sessions:

Britain after the general election;

What is capitalism?

Why capitalism is in crisis;

The changed shape of the working class;

Alienation and the critique of everyday life;

How migrant workers fight back;

Tenants’ struggles and community organisation;

Socialist feminist approach to organisation;

Breaking up the UK state;

Communism or representative democracy?

Recomposition of the communist movement.

Full agenda shortly

Please get in touch at if you have any questions about the event or have special requirements.

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Gilles Deleuze


The above special issue of Deleuze Studies is now available online from Edinburgh University Press at:

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Special Issue on Deleuze and Marx

Editor’s Introduction

Capital, Crisis, Manifestos, and Finally Revolution
Dhruv Jain
Deleuze Studies, Vol. 3, No. suppl: 1-7.


Deleuze, Marx and the Politicisation of Philosophy
Simon Choat
Deleuze Studies, Vol. 3, No. suppl: 8-27.

The Marx of Anti-Oedipus
Aidan Tynan
Deleuze Studies, Vol. 3, No. suppl: 28-52.

Marx as Ally: Deleuze outside Marxism, Adjacent Marx
Aldo Pardi
Deleuze Studies, Vol. 3, No. suppl: 53-77.

The Fetish is Always Actual, Revolution is Always Virtual: From Noology to
Jason Read
Deleuze Studies, Vol. 3, No. suppl: 78-101.

Minor Marxism: An Approach to a New Political Praxis
Eduardo Pellejero
Deleuze Studies, Vol. 3, No. suppl: 102-118.

Politicising Deleuzian Thought, or, Minority’s Position within Marxism
Guillaume Sibertin-Blanc
Deleuze Studies, Vol. 3, No. suppl: 119-137.

Review Essay

After Utopia: Three Post-Personal Subjects Consider the Possibilities

William E. Connolly (2008) Capitalism and Christianity, American Style, Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Alexander Garcia Duttmann (2007) Philosophy of Exaggeration, trans. James Phillips, London: Continuum.

Adrian Parr (2008) Deleuze and Memorial Culture: Desire, Singular Memory, and the Politics of Trauma, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Jeffrey Cain
Deleuze Studies, Vol. 3, No. suppl: 138-143.

Best wishes,
Wendy Gardiner

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The Rouge Forum Update: Education at the Crossroads (January 26th 2009)


A Message from Rich Gibson


Dear Friends

An up front reminder on the Rouge Forum Conference, May 14 to 17, in Ypsilanti Michigan. Proposals due very soon.

Centered in the key organizing point of North American life, the Rouge Forum represents the only voice of the left, recognizing that at the core of our many crises, economic collapse to perpetual war and all in between, lies the system of capital. This conference represents a gathering of people who have learned that friendship can arch over political differences. Come join us!

From Monthly Review, here is one of the better economic analyses of why things are as they are in the growing depression.

This is the conclusion: “In this sense we are clearly at a global turning point, where the world will perhaps finally be ready to take the step, as Keynes also envisioned, of repudiating an alienated moral code of “fair is foul and foul is fair”­used to justify the greed and exploitation necessary for the accumulation of capital­turning it inside-out to create a more rational social order. 49 To do this, though, it is necessary for the population to seize control of their political economy, replacing the present system of capitalism with something amounting to a real political and economic democracy; what the present rulers of the world fear and decry most ­as “socialism.” 50

What is missing from the analysis is the dual role of war. It was war that ended the last depression, not Keynesian hyper-spending, and it is also imperialist war that lies, in part, at the base of the current deepening collapse.

And from YouTube, here is Noam Chomsky on the election, capitalist democracy (those who spend most, win, among other things) and what is next: (part one of three).

The take on election results from the Dailey Show:

Michael Klare hoping for the unlikely event; that Obama will abolish the Carter Doctrine on Mideast Oil:

Reminder of the March on the Pentagon on the anniversary of the Iraq invasion, March 21, Washington DC:

Short update this week, but plenty of reading.

Thanks to Amber, Tom, Bob, Adam and Gina, Karl,  Dave, Glenn, Candy, Sharon A, Lucy, Michael, Dell, Mary, Chris, Ruthann, Paul, Zoey, Carl G, Sandy, Van, and Tina.

Rich Gibson


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