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Books

Books

HOMELAND SECURITY, ITS LAW AND ITS STATE

By Christos Boukalas (Routledge 2014)

This book employs Marxist state theory (esp. Nicos Poulantzas and Bob Jessop) to assess US counterterrorism law and policy, and its impact on the US polity.

(More details: http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/books/details/9780415526319/)

This book assesses the impact of post-9/11 domestic counterterrorism policy on US political life. It examines political discourse, law, institutional architecture, and state-population relations, and shows that ‘homeland security’ is a project with wide-ranging implications for democratic institutions and culture. These implications are addressed through a novel approach that treats law and the state as social relations, and relates developments in law to those in the state and in social dynamics. On this basis, the book examines the new political representations in counterterrorism discourse, especially regarding the relation between the state and the population. It examines the form and content of counterterrorism law, the powers it provides, and the structure and functions it prescribes for the state.

By focusing on the new Department of Homeland Security and the restructuring of the intelligence apparatus, the book assesses the new, intelligence-led, policing model. Finally, it examines forms of popular support and resistance to homeland security, to discuss citizenship and state-population relations.

The author concludes that homeland security has turned the US into a hybrid polity; the legal and political institutions of democracy remain intact, but their content and practices become authoritarian and exclude the population from politics. These legal and political forms remain operative beyond counterterrorism, in the context of the present economic crisis. They are a permanent configuration of power.

 

First published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/new-from-routledge-homeland-security-its-law-and-its-state-by-christos-boukalas

 

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

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Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

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Critique

LONDON CONFERENCE IN CRITICAL THOUGHT – CALL FOR PAPERS

Call for Papers for London Conference in Critical Thought 2012
29th and 30th of June, 2012
Birkbeck College, University of London

Abstracts need to be submitted until 19th of February to londoncriticalconference@gmail.com with the Stream name in the subject line.

Stream/Panel: Thinking Egalitarian Emancipation
Stream Organisers: Matthew Cole, Svenja Bromberg

In light of the current state of the situation—the rapid increase in socio-economic inequalities, the crisis of state sovereignty, the broader crisis of global financial capitalism, and the lack of a radical counter-praxis on the Left—this stream/panel attempts to think political/social/economic emancipation through the ideal of egalitarianism. Given the unipolarity of capitalist realism, there is a desperate need for an intervention that breaks this ruse of the one-all, that forces us to think an other, an outside, or a beyond. The idea of egalitarian emancipation stands opposed to both the state of nature as well as the capitalist state. Contemporary social theory must reassess, rethink and reinvent the problems, solutions, paradoxes and attempted syntheses in order to move past the plateau of late Twentieth century post-structuralism. We aim to think the primacy of egalitarianism as an emancipatory force against the inherent stratification of the capitalist world. We aim to think the possibility of a novel foundation or grounding beyond the ‘post’.

Stream/panel papers could address the following topics and questions:

    • Revival of a dead concept: How to think emancipation in the contemporary conjuncture of late-capitalism?
    • Demos [the commons, common people] and kratos [power]: What does it mean to take power under the guise of ‘the common’?
    • Politics beyond the state, beyond class ‘relations’, beyond capitalism: Revolution or Reformation?Full Communism or …? Dealing with emancipation’s Marxian legacy.
    • The subject after post-structuralism [or, Human all too inhuman]: How may we think a subject for egalitarian emancipation? What are the implications of this for race, sex, gender, etc.?
    • Relation of freedom and emancipation: What are the implications of egalitarian emancipation forthe social contract? [or, must we force [wo]man to be free?]
    • Emancipation in practice: What do we learn from contemporary struggles about the possibility and implications for theorizing this concept today?

Relevant thinkers include Badiou, Rancière, Balibar, Laclau, Fanon, Agamben, Nancy, Frankfurt School, Zizek, De Beauvoir and many others.

**END**

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

‘The Lamb’ by William Blake – set to music by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw3VloKBvZc

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Bonuses for Some

NEW INTERVENTIONS – VOLUME 13 NUMBER 4

Just Out!

New Interventions, Volume 13, No 4

* Theodor Bergmann, The Tragedy of Paul Levi — A look at the life and works of the noted German Marxist

* Mike Jones and Alistair Mitchell, Isaac Deutscher — A critical appraisal of Trotsky’s biographer

* Chris Gray, The Heritage We Find Indefensible and the Myth of ‘Pabloism’ — Orthodox Trotskyism, the Pabloite bogey and the dangers of vanguardism

* Harry Ratner, Capturing the Capitalist Citadel — Reform, revolution and the capitalist state

* Arthur Trusscott, Ten Years On — Did al Qaeda change everything on 11 September 2001?

* Terry Liddle, War on the Heavens — The rise of the ‘New Atheism’ and its meaning for socialists

* Andrew Coates, The Flight of the Intellectuals? — A look at Paul Berman’s writings on Islam and Western intellectuals

* Mike Jones, Kosovo: The Successful Intervention? — The rise of the gangster-state in Kosovo

* Paul Flewers, Porterhouse Bloomsbury? — What does the New College of the Humanities offer?

* Mike Belbin, The Lone Crusader and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice — Anders Behring Breivik and his theoretical influences

* Reports from the USA — how to resist and reverse the attacks on the working class

* Reviews — Second World War fiction

* Letters — Stalinism and Revolution

* Afterword — Arthur Trusscott, Riots: Fish Rot From the Head

Write to: 116 Hugh Road, Coventry CV3 1AF, United Kingdom, e-mail: drdavidspencer@talktalk.net.

 

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World Crisis

FROM CAPITALIST CRISIS TO CUTS TO … REVOLUTION?

Sunday 13 March 12.30-2pm, ULU, Malet Street, London
 
Debate between  David Broder (The Commune),  David Graeber (author on anarchism) and a speaker from Endnotes (communist theory journal).

Despite their arrogant insistence that ‘there is no alternative’, the Government are imposing these cuts from a position of weakness. The crash of 2008 exposed the fragility of the whole capitalist economy.

Now the revolutions in Arab world have shown the fragility of seemingly secure national states.

Could the fight against the cuts be the start of a new movement that goes beyond both the capitalist economy and the state? 

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Co-operation

THE TELEKOMMUNIST MANIFESTO

Dmytri Kleiner

Institute of Network Cultures, October 2010

Complete text here: http://www.networkcultures.org/_uploads/%233notebook_telekommunist.pdf

Excerpt: Peer-to-Peer Communism vs. The Client-Server Capitalist State

Society is composed of social relations. These form the structures that constitute it. Computer networks, like economic systems, then may be described in terms of social relations. Advocates of communism have long described communities of equals; peer-to-peer networks implement such relations in their architecture. Conversely, capitalism depends on privilege and control, features that, in computer networks, can only be engineered into centralized, client-server applications. Economic systems shape the networks they create, and as networks become more integral to every day life, they are in turn shaped by them. It is then essential to produce a critical understanding of political economy in order to comprehend emerging trends in network topology and their social implications.

—END—

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

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Radical Politics

RADICAL DEMOCRACY CONFERENCE

Call for Papers: Radical Democracy Conference

April 4 – April 5, 2011, New York, NY

Paper Abstracts Submission Deadline: January 31

Notification Date: February 18

Full Papers Deadline: March 21

The Department of Politics at The New School for Social Research, in collaboration with the Institute of Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University, is sponsoring a two-day graduate student conference interrogating the concept, history, and implications of radical democracy. Striving to assess the legacy of antiquity on contemporary radical democratic theory, as well as explore the work of contemporary theorists such as Abensour, Arendt, Castoriadis, Mouffe, Negri, Ranciere, and Wolin, we invite you to submit abstracts on any theme pertaining to the history, meaning, development and application, or critique of the concept OF “radical democracy.”

We strongly encourage submissions that touch upon any of the following themes, however, papers exploring other relevant topics and issues are also strongly encouraged:

    • Promises, limits and critiques of the concept of radical democracy

    • Ancient democratic thought in relation to modernity and post-modernity

    • Technology and the mediums of (radical) democracy

    • Consensus building/agonistic democracy

    • Engendering radical democracy: race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class

    • Post-Leftist democratic politics

    • Radical democracy and anarchism

    • Relationship between radical democracy and traditional regime forms such as oligarchy, liberalism, republicanism, socialism, communism

    • Exploring the relationship between radical democracy and key concepts in political theory such as: participatory/direct democracy; agency and autonomy; state and nation; capitalism; imperialism; anarchy and authority, dictatorship and tyranny; sacrifice and violence; revolution and reform

Interested participants should submit a one-page abstract (up to 300 words) that includes institutional affiliation, academic level, and contact information by Monday, January 31.

You will receive a notification of our decision by Friday, February 18.

Full conference papers will be due by Monday, March 21.

Please submit your abstract at radicaldemocracy@newschool.edu

For more information about the conference, please visit our Web site at: http://constituentpower.blogspot.com

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Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

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Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Antonio Gramsci

THE POLITICAL THOUGHT OF ANTONIO GRAMSCI

The Political Thought of Antonio Gramsci: New Developments in Theory and Practice
Manchester Workshop in Political Theory
September 1-3, 2010

Panel 1: New Debates on Gramsci’s Political Thought
Chair: Ian Bruff

Antonio Gramsci and the Lyons Theses: The Dialectics of Living History
Adam Morton

Democratizing the Alliance: Lenin, Bukharin and Gramsci
Mark McNally

Panel 2: New Debates on Gramsci’s Political Thought 2
Chair: Adam Morton

Gramsci and the autonomy of the political
Peter Thomas

Thinking in a ‘Common Sense’ Gramscian Way about Capitalist State Practices
Ian Bruff

The Struggle for Signification and the Construction of Hegemony
Javier Balsa

Panel 3: New Applications of Gramsci in International Relations
Chair: Mark McNally

Transnational Capitalist Practices and the Political Economy of Biofuels. A Gramscian Approach to the Study of European Environmental Policy
Kim Bizzarri

Gramsci and Ambekar on Subalterns/Dalits
Cosimo Zene

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Karl Marx

MARXIST PERSPECTIVES ON IRISH SOCIETY

 

“The worst about the Irish is that they become corruptible as soon as they stop being peasants and turn bourgeois” – Engels to Marx, Sept 27, 1869.

Call for Papers
Marxist Perspectives on Irish Society

The Limerick Marxist Reading Group is to hold its first annual conference October 22nd – 23rd 2010 at the University of Limerick. We are seeking papers that offer Marxist perspectives on any aspect of modern Ireland, particularly those dealing with:
• Ireland and the World System
• Partition, Religious Sectarianism, the Peace Process
• The Labour Movement
• The Capitalist State
• Community Activism
• Racism
• Church and State
• Publicly Funded Education
• National and International Capital
• Civil Disobedience and Social Control
• The Capitalist Media
• Cultural Politics
• Public/Private Partnerships
• Children in State and Religious Institutions
• The Role of Finance Capital
• Unemployment, Poverty, Inequality
• Ecology, Environmentalist Movements
• Gender Inequality
• FDI Dependent Development
• Ireland’s Experience of Boom and Bust
• Emigration, Immigration
• Rights of LGBT Community
• Ideological Change in Ireland
• Language, Literature
• Socialist and Left Currents
• Minority Rights

Deadline for abstracts: July 30, 2010.

All proposals to be sent to limerickmarxistreadinggroup@live.ie

Please note that it is the intention of the committee to publish selected conference proceedings in some form. Successful contributors may be asked to resubmit their conference paper as a referenced article.
Submissions of proposals should include:

• Paper title
• Presenter’s name and contact information, institution, research 
interests and a short 50 word
biography.
• Brief abstract (no more than 500 words)

All paper presentations should be no longer than 20 minutes.
Organised by the Limerick Marxist Reading Group – further details available at: http://limerickmarxistreadinggroup.webs.com

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Global Capitalism

GLOBALIZED CAPITAL: SUBJECTS, SPACES, AND CRITICAL RESPONSES

Call for Papers

17th Annual DePaul University
Philosophy Graduate Student Conference

EXTENDED SUBMISSION DEADLINE: January 29, 2010

Globalized Capital: Subjects, Spaces, and Critical Responses
April 9th & 10th, 2010

Keynote Speaker: Bruno Bosteels
Department of Romance Languages, Cornell University

Questioning capitalism is no easy enterprise. Discourses interrogating capitalism have mirrored the trajectory of capitalism itself, proliferating in a variety of directions and spawning new conceptual and historical problems with each new decade of confrontation. This conference aims to open up a space of convergence and dialogue for disparate trajectories of critical reflection and practical response. Its title aims to emphasize not only capitalism’s global character—its relentless expansion beyond various geographical, cultural, and political “limits”—but at the same time its particularized and often discontinuous local effects—the subjects, practices, and increasingly micro-managed spaces it carves out en route.

We would like to solicit papers dealing with a broad range of topics including, but not limited to:

* Legacies and Boundaries of Expansion: Inside, outside, and beyond the capitalist Nation-State

* Alterity, subalternity, and critiques from the margins.

* Postcolonialism, decolonization, and anti-colonial resistance.

* The metropolis and the collapse of the city/countryside dialectic. Historical and conceptual origins of capitalist economic thought

* Collectivities and Communes in Resistance: Communism

* From parties to groups, from crowds to constituent power

* Capitalism and Internationalism

* Partisanship and/or universalism

* Spaces of work and labors of thought: “immaterial labor,” intellectual culture, and the marketplace of ideas

* Subjects, Selfhood and Culture: Entrepreneurialist cultures of selfhood

* Consumerist ethics and the conscience market

* Neo-archaisms: the role of tradition and faith under capitalism

* Counter-conducts, indocility, and strategies for “de-individualizing” and “decapitalizing” the self

* Images, Representations, and Symbols: Ideology and “ideology critique”

* Narratives and mythologies of capitalism in cinema, art, architecture, and literature

* The semiotics of capital

* Power and Neoliberal Governmentality: Biopower and biopolitical economy

* Marxist critique in a paradigm of perpetual crisis management

* “Total Governance”: from managerial rationalities to the management of life itself

* Counter-insurgency, preventative war, and the securitization of liberty.

Authors should email their submissions to depaulgraduatestudents@gmail.com  
Papers should not exceed 3000 words and should contain a short abstract. As all papers are subject to anonymous review, papers should not include your name or any other identifying marks. Your paper title and personal information (name, institutional affiliation, and phone contact) should be included in the body of the email. For further information and updates on the conference, if you have any questions or problems regarding submissions, or in the event that you do not receive a confirmation email, please contact Neal Miller at zzerohourr@gmail.com

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Working In, and Against, the Neo-Liberal State: Global Perspectives on K-12 Teacher Unions

 

Call for Papers

 

Special Issue for Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor

(http://www.workplac e-gsc.com)

 

The neo-liberal restructuring of national education systems is a global phenomenon and represents a major threat to the possibility of a democratic, public education committed to meeting the needs of working class and oppressed groups.  Teacher unions, across the world, despite all the attacks on them, represent perhaps the most formidable obstacle to neo-liberal restructuring.  Teachers remain highly unionized and although they have suffered many setbacks in recent years, their collective organizations generally remain robust.

 

Despite the significance and importance of teacher unions they remain largely under-researched.  Mainstream academic literature on school sector education policy often ignores teacher unions, even in cases where scholars are critical of the market orientation of neo-liberal reforms.  Two recent exceptions to this tradition are the contributions of Compton and Weiner (2008) and Stevenson et al (2007).  The strength of Compton and Weiner’s excellent volume is the breadth of international perspectives. However, individual chapters are largely short ‘vignettes’, and the aim is to offer fairly brief and readable accounts, rather than detailed and scholarly analysis.  Stevenson et al offer a series of traditional scholarly articles, although the emphasis is largely on the Anglophone nations (UK, North America, Australasia) , and the collection fails to capture the full breadth required of an international perspective.  In both cases, and quite understandably, these contributions were not able to take account of the seismic developments in the world capitalist economy since Autumn 08 in particular. These developments have significant implications for the future of neo-liberalism, for the development of education policy in nation states and for the policies and practices of teacher unions. There is now a strong case for an analysis of teacher unionism that is detailed, scholarly, international and able to take account of current developments.

 

This special section of Workplace will focus on the ways in which teacher unions in the K-12 sector are challenging the neo-liberal restructuring of school education systems in a range of global contexts.  Neo-liberalism’ s reach is global. Its impact on the restructuring of public education systems shares many common characteristics wherever it manifests itself.  That said, it also plays out differently in different national and local contexts.  This collection of papers will seek to assess how teacher unions are challenging the trajectory of neo-liberal reform in a number of different national contexts.  By drawing on contributors from all the major world continents it will seek to highlight the points of contact and departure in the apparently different ways in which teacher unions interface with the neo-liberal agenda. It will also ensure that analyses seek to reflect recent developments in the global capitalist economy, and the extent to which this represents threat or opportunity for organized teacher movements.

 

Compton, M. and Weiner, L. (2008) The Global Assault on Teachers, Teaching and their Unions, London: Palgrave.

 

Stevenson, H. et al (2007) Changes in Teachers’ Work and the Challengs Facing Teacher Unions. International Electronic Journal of Leadership for Learning. Volume 11. http://www.ucalgary .ca/~iejll/

 

Submissions

Contributions to Workplace should be 4000-6000 words in length and should conform to MLA style.  If you are interested, please submit an abstract via Word attachment to Howard Stevenson (hstevenson@lincoln. ac.uk) by 31st July 2009. Completed articles will be due via email on 28th December 2009.  All papers will be blind peer-reviewed.

 

 

E. Wayne Ross

http://www.ewaynero ss.net

wayne.ross@mac. com

 

 

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Unmasking the State: A Rough Guide to Real Democracy

 

Just published!

Unmasking the State –
a rough guide to real democracy

By Paul Feldman

This new book analyses the historical origins of the contemporary British capitalist state and the long struggle for democracy and political rights, from the Levellers to the Chartists and beyond. Unmasking the State describes the changes under globalisation and how representative democracy has been undermined. The book makes a series of proposals for a new, transitional state to extend democracy into workplaces and society as a whole.

Bill Bowring, Professor of Law, Birkbeck College, University of London:


‘The aim is to show “how seemingly disparate struggles for rights can find their lasting solution in the struggle for democratic power itself”, and the book sets out ideas as to what a democratic state might look like. This well-informed and sophisticated book can be recommended to students and activists alike.’
 
 

 

 

 

A World To Win
 

 

Charter for Democracy

A new six-point Charter was launched at the Stand Up for Your Rights festival on October 18. Its aim is to build support for the transfer of political and economic power to the people.  Please support the Charter.

 

 

http://www.aworldtowin.net/about/UnmaskingState.html

 

Reviews

The faces of the dead go on living
Robin Richmond reviews Renaissance Faces: Van Eyck to Titian at the National Gallery.

Disposable People
A touring photographic exhibition at the Festival Hall is a vivid reminder that slavery exists in increasing numbers.

The ‘grand old man’s’ revolutionary legacy
John Green’s Engels: A Revolutionary Life is both well written and a joy to read and will appeal to a wide readership.

 

Our latest blogs
Still ‘business as usual’ when it comes to climate change
Nicholas Stern – who wrote the 2006 report on the economics of climate change for New Labour – argues that recession “is the time to build a low-carbon future with the investment vital for economy and planet”.

The spectre of Marx looms large
As Bank of England governor Mervyn King warns that UK is entering recession and the pound plunges, websites and newspapers around the world are noting that the ideas of Karl Marx have a new relevance.

No easy fixes
To those who have been preaching state intervention as the solution to the credit crunch and the recession it must seem as though their time has come.

Charter for Democracy
How to defend our rights but also secure them in a lasting way was the overall theme running through our Stand Up for Your Rights festival at the weekend. Dramas portraying the struggles of the Levellers of the 17th century and the Chartist movement of the mid-19th century attested to the fact that this is not a new question.

Time to cut the losses
In the last week, stock markets the world over have been showing the classic signs of bipolar disorder, but in the most concentrated form. Euphoric, manic, hysterical highs followed by the deepest depression.

Too much ‘civilisation’
Nothing sums up the insanity of the capitalist system more than unemployment. Just think about it. People want to work; the means of production like offices, shops, factories, plant and equipment all exist; yet all of a sudden, workers are thrown on the dole.

The state we are in
That capitalism today requires incredible, almost unimaginable levels of financial support and assistance from the state just to keep the system on life support in intensive care, is beyond dispute.

Read and comment on AWTW editors’ daily blog.
 
This can be reached from the home page or on the blog site at: http://aw2w.blogspot.com

 

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