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Tag Archives: Civilization

Capitalism

UNEVEN AND COMBINED DEVELOPMENT AND CONTEMPORARY WORLD POLITICS

Dear Colleague,

I am pleased to announce that Queen Mary’s Centre for the Study of Global Security and Development will be hosting a symposium on ‘Uneven and Combined Development and Contemporary World Politics’ on Wednesday, Februaury 9, 2011 between 2-6pm.

The programme is below. If you wish to attend please contact Rick Saull – r.g.saull@qmul.ac.uk – in advance of the symposium.

Regards,
Rick Saull
Director, Queen Mary, Centre for the Study of Global Security and
Development

Symposium on UNEVEN AND COMBINED DEVELOPMENT AND CONTEMPORARY WORLD POLITICS

Wednesday, February 9, 2-6pm (room Arts G.02), Queen Mary, Mile End Campus, London, E1 4NS

Programme/Presenters

Session 1, 2.00pm – 3.30pm

Alex Anievas (Cambridge)
‘Origins and Extensions of Uneven and Combined Development in the History and Theory of International Relations: The Case of the First World War’ This paper aims to contribute to recent debates on ‘international historical sociology’ specifically regarding the potential utility of Leon Trotsky’s concept of uneven and combined development (U&CD) in advancing a theory of modern inter-state conflict. The paper first re-examines recent debates over the theoretical status of U&CD considering, in particular, the various socio-historical and spatial registers covered by the idea as deployed by the different positions within the debates. Considering the possible benefits and pitfalls of stretching the concept to a generalized theory of ‘the international’ throughout history, the paper argues that a central challenge remains. This regards the development of a sufficiently historically-differentiated conception of ‘unevenness’ and ‘combination’-one capable of theorizing the radical historical disjuncture represented by the international relations of capitalist modernity while nonetheless capturing aspects of inter-societal relations common to all historical epochs and thus forming a crucial causal element in the transition to capitalism itself. Developing such a perspective, a theory of U&CD could take up John Hobson’s (and others) charges of ‘Euro-centricism’ with a more historically-sensitive interpretation of the internationally-pressurized multiple paths to capitalist modernity and their crucial ‘feed-back’ effects in restructuring processes of inter-state competition. Drawing on and further contributing to the theory, the second half of the paper sketches an alternative approach to the causes of the First World War distinctively combining ‘geopolitical’ and ‘sociological’ modes of explanations into a single framework. This highlights how the necessarily variegated character of interactive socio-historical development explains the inter-state rivalries leading to war. Contextualizing the sources of conflict within the broad developmental tendencies of the Long Nineteenth century (1789-1914) and their particular articulation during the immediate pre-war juncture, the paper aims further develop the theory of U&CD in and through the rich empirical terrain of the pre-war period thereby providing a much needed empirical contribution to recent debates.

Ben Selwyn (Sussex)
‘Trotsky, Gerschenkron and the Political Economy of Late Capitalist Development’
The study of late capitalist development is often characterised as a battle between protagonists of market-led vs state-led development. For the latter position, Alexander Gerschenkron looms large, as one of the most significant theorists of state-led development under conditions of relative backwardness. There are striking similarities between Gerschenkron’s explication of the advantages of backwardness and Trotsky’s concept of uneven and combined development and the privilege of backwardness. (These similarities have been commented upon often but rarely subject to closer comparison): Indeed, both men share a common problematic – the comprehension of how economically backward countries could skip stages of development in order to join the ranks of economically advanced countries. This paper compares their conception of this problematic and illustrates how in a number of areas the two are complementary. These are: Their rejection of unilinear patterns of capitalist development, their appreciation of the role of states and institutions in facilitating late development, and their understanding of development as a disruptive social process.  However, in crucial areas the two diverge. These are: Their comprehension of international economic and political relations, the role and position of labour in late development, and ultimately, the potential for late capitalist development to unleash social upheavals and further, non-capitalist transformations. Overall, I suggest how Trotsky and Gerschenkron’s approaches can complement each other, but that ultimately they represent fundamentally opposed approaches to human development.

Coffee Break, 3.30pm – 4.00pm

Session Two, 4.00pm – 6.00pm

Mick Dunford (Sussex)
‘Combined and Uneven Development: A Geographical Perspective’

John Hobson (Sheffield)
‘What’s at Stake in the Neo-Trotskyist Debate? Towards a Non-Eurocentric Historical Sociology of Uneven and Combined Development’
This piece seeks to advance what is being termed ‘third wave historical sociology of IR’ (HSIR). In particular I consider how a third-wave ‘non-Eurocentric’ HSIR could be developed by entering into the extant internecine debate that is raging within the newly emergent neo-Trotskyist school of HSIR. At one extreme lies Justin Rosenberg who argues that the concept of uneven and combined development (U&CD) should be historically generalised while the majority position insists that U&CD is specific only to the modern capitalist era (e.g., Ashman, Davidson, Allinson and Anievas). Here I provide some support for the Rosenberg position, by arguing that failure to historically generalise the concept beyond modern capitalism leads into the cul-de-sac of Eurocentrism. As a counter, I spend the majority of the piece sketching the outlines of a non-Eurocentric theory of U&CD by considering the ‘rise of the West’ as a case of a late-developing civilization; and in the process sketching the basis for an adequate third-wave non-Eurocentric HSIR.

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Civilization

CIVILIZATION CRISIS OR CRISIS OF CAPITAL?

IV Seminar Cemarx – UNEB

Civilization Crisis or Crisis of Capital?
Date – 09 to 12 November 2010

Venue – Auditorium Aduneb
Campus of the University of Bahia-UNEB, Brazil: http://www.uneb.br

Day 09:11:10
Opening conference – 14:30
The Marxist Reflection About the Current Impasses
Prof. Virginia Fontes (UFF / Fiocruz)

Day 10:11:10
Table 01 – 14:00
State, Power and Social Conflicts

Milton Pinheiro (UNEB / PUC-SP)
Marcelo BUZETTO (MST / ENFF)
Jairo Pinheiro (UNESP)

Day 11:11:10
Table 02 – 14:00
Imperialism, Globalisation and Crisis

Sofia Manzano (USJT / UNICAMP)
Marcelo Fernandes (UFRRJ)
Muniz Ferreira (UFBA)

Day 12:11:10
Table 03 – 14:00
Civilization or Barbarism

Mauro Iasi (UFRJ / ICP)
Lúcio Flávio R. de Almeida (PUC-SP)
Osmar Moreira (UNEB)

Promotion: Cemarx / Uneb

Sponsor: Institute Caio Prado Jr. (ICP) and CMMG

Coordination:

Milton Pinheiro (Uneb)
Muniz Ferreira (UFBA)
Ricardo Moreno (Uneb)

Release of books and magazines:

Brasil e o capital-imperialismo
Virginia Fontes
Ed EPSJV / UFRJ Editora Fiocruz and

Outubro e as experiências socialistas do século XX
Milton Pinheiro (Org.)
Ed Quarteto

Revista Novos Temas (ICP)
Number 02

Revista Lutas Sociais (NEILS)
Number 24

For more details: sofiamanzano@hotmail.com

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No Future

NO FUTURE

NO FUTURE: AN INTER-DISCIPLINARY INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
Durham University, UK
25-27 March 2011

First Call for Papers

From biblical apocalypse to the nihilism of the late nineteenth century, from the Enlightenment invention of progress to the counter-cultures of the late twentieth century, from technological utopianism to contemporary anticipations of environmental catastrophe, western civilization has been consistently transfixed by the figurative potential of the future. ‘No Future’ seeks to connect and inter-animate these disparate ways of thinking about the future, while at the same time questioning the basis of the various discourses of futurity they have produced, and which have proliferated in recent years. ‘No Future’ thus also implicitly questions what it is – other than the preoccupations of the present – that is invoked when we talk about the future.

The conference aims to stage a series of inter-disciplinary encounters around these different senses of ‘No Future’, and to examine the value and implications of adopting a ‘futurist’ position across and between a range of disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Contributions may take retrospective form, re-assessing significant moments in past discourses of futurity such as apocalypticism, Enlightenment ideas of progress, the persistence of the apparent dialectical unity of utopia/dystopia, the constructions of Modernism and the Historical Avantgarde, the symbolic projections of psychoanalytic theory. Others might examine the disciplinary shifts that have displaced or dispersed avantgardism in postmodernity, opening out onto such themes as transhumanism, post-postmodern reinflections of the dialectic, and various forms of contemporary utopianism. All of these are related to the central question of the ideological and aesthetic implications of any appeal to futurity, at the heart of which lies the tension between the future as rhetorical evasion and the future as the most persistent and deeply embedded of all heuristic devices.

Keynote speakers:
Mikhail Epstein (Emory)
Jean-Michel Rabaté (Pennsylvania)
Patricia Waugh (Durham)

Plenary panels:

Apocalyptic Futures
Lenin and Futurity
Bloch and Utopian Futures

Proposals for individual papers or integrated panels that engage with any aspect of the central theme are invited. Papers should be of 20 minutes duration to allow adequate time for discussion, and proposals for integrated panels should comprise a chair and three speakers.

Proposals that specifically engage with any of the following themes are particularly welcome:

Ontologies of the Future
Forms of Utopia
Dystopian Futures
Aesthetics and Technology
Eco-criticism and Ecotopia
Gendered Futures
Transhumanism
Futurism(s)
Futures of Freud
Dialectics of the Future
The Future of Theory

Proposals should be no longer than 250 words and should be submitted as an attachment to: alastair.renfrew@durham.ac.uk by Friday 2nd July 2010.

Further information will be available in due course at the conference web-site: http://www.dur.ac.uk/mlac/research/nofuture

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May Day

A NEW WASTE LAND? FIFTH ANNUAL MAY DAY LECTURE

Centre for Democracy and Human Rights
SEMINAR SERIES IN RADICAL POLITICAL & SOCIAL THOUGHT

Fifth Annual May Day Lecture

A New Waste Land? From the Cruellest of Aprils to the Most Unpredictable of May Days

Konstantinos Tsoukalas, Professor Emeritus in Sociology and Political Theory, University of Athens

Do something democratic this election day, think!

Join us as Konstantinos Tsoukalas examines the current economic crisis and political malaise. Professor Tsoukalas is Greece’s most illustrious political theorist and public intellectual. He taught at the University of Paris VIII for many years (1968-1981) before returning to Greece, having worked closely with such key Marxist thinkers as Nicos Poulantzas, Jean-Claude Passeron, Henri Lefebvre, and Philippe Rey. His books include: The Greek Tragedy (1969), Dependency and Reproduction (1975), Social Development and the State (1981), State, Society, and Labor in Post-war Greece (1986), Idols of Civilization: Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity in the Contemporary Polity (1991), Sovereign Power as People and as Nation (1999), and War and Peace after the ‘End of History’ (2006).

Thursday May 6th, from 5-7pm
Council Chamber, Old Fire House

ALL ARE WELCOME

For further information please contact: Dr Peter Bratsis (Tel. 0161 295 6555 or p.bratsis@salford.ac.uk)

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Civilisation

UNIVERSAL HISTORY

Anthropologies of The Present
Susan Buck-Morss: Universal History

Tuesday 19 January 18.30 ˆ 20.00
Tate Britain, Clore Auditorium

Tracing the sources of globalisation without the boundaries of nation or civilisation resurrects the project of universal history on new ground. In this talk Susan Buck-Morss argues it is to be excavated not across collective boundaries, but without them. The richest finds are on the edge of culture.

Susan Buck-Morss is Professor of Political Philosophy and Social Theory in the Department of Government at Cornell University, New York

Her latest book is Hegel, Haiti and Universal History (2009).

Book now
Tickets £8 (£6 concessions)
Price includes drinks afterwards

To book visit http://www.tate.org.uk/tickets
or call 020 7887 8888

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Gilles Deleuze

Gilles Deleuze

DELEUZE & RACE

 

Jason Adams

While the relevance of Gilles Deleuze for a materialist feminism has been amply demonstrated in the last two decades or so, what this key philosopher of difference and desire can do for the theorization of race and racism has received surprisingly little attention. This is despite the explicit formulation of a materialist theory of race as instantiated in colonization, sensation, capitalism and culture, particularly in Deleuze’s collaborative work with Félix Guattari.

Part of the explanation of why there has been a relative silence on Deleuze within critical race and colonial studies is that the philosophical impetus for overcoming eugenics and nationalism have for decades been anchored in the conventional readings of Kant and Hegel, which Deleuze laboured to displace. Through the vocabularies of psychoanalysis, deconstruction, and moral philosophy, even the more sophisticated theorizations of race today continue the neo-Kantian/neo-Hegelian programme of retrieving a cosmopolitan universality beneath the ostensibly inconsequential differences called race.

Opposing this idealism, Deleuze instead asks whether the conceptual basis for this program, however commendable, does not foreclose its political aims, particularly in its avoidance of the material relations it seeks to change. The representationalism and oversimplified dialectical frameworks guiding the dominant antiracist programme actively suppress an immanentist legacy which according to Deleuze is far better suited to grasping how power and desire differentiate bodies and populations: the legacies of Spinoza, Marx and Nietzsche; biology and archeology; Virginia Woolf and Jack Kerouac; cinema, architecture, and the fleshy paintings of Francis Bacon. It is symptomatic too, that Foucault’s influential notion of biopolitics, so close to Deleuze and Guattari’s writings on the state, is usually taken up without its explicit grounding in race, territory and capitalist exchange. Similarly, those (like Negri) that twist biopolitics into a mainly Marxian category, meanwhile, lose the Deleuzoguattarian emphasis on racial and sexual entanglement. It would seem then, that it is high time for a rigorous engagement with the many conceptual ties between Foucault’s lectures on biopolitics, Deleuze and Guattari, and Deleuze-influenced feminism, to obtain a new materialist framework for studying racialization as well as the ontopolitics of becoming from which it emerges. While it will inevitably overlap in a few ways, this collection will differ from work done under the “postcolonial” rubric for a number of important reasons.

First, instead of the mental, cultural, therapeutic, or scientific representations of racial difference usually analyzed in postcolonial studies, it will seek to investigate racial difference “in itself”, as it persists as a biocultural, biopolitical force amid other forces. For Deleuze and Guattari, as for Nietzsche before them, race is far from inconsequential, though this does not mean it is set in stone.

Second, as Fanon knew, race is a global phenomenon, with Europe’s racism entirely entwined with settler societies and the continuing poverty in the peripheries. The effects of exploitation, slavery, displacement, war, migration, exoticism and miscegenation are too geographically diffuse and too contemporary to fit comfortably under the name “postcolonial”. Rather, we seek to illuminate the material divergences that phenotypical variation often involves, within any social, cultural or political locus.

Third, again like Nietzsche, but also Freud, Deleuze and Guattari reach into the deep recesses of civilization to expose an ancient and convoluted logic of racial discrimination preceding European colonialism by several millennia. Far from naturalizing racism, this nomadological and biophilosophical “geology of morals” shows that racial difference is predicated on fully contingent territorializations of power and desire, that can be disassembled and reassembled differently. That race is immanent to the materiality of the body then, does not mean that it is static any more than that it is simple: rather what it suggests is that its transformation is an always already incipient reality.

Possible themes:

CIVILIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS – Oedipus and racialization – fascist desire – civilization, savagery and barbarism – earth and its peoples – delirium and hallucination as racial – miscegenation

CAPITALISM – faciality – colonization and labor migration as racializing apparatuses of capture – urban segregation – environmental racism

POLITICS – hate speech and law as order-words – D&G, May ’68 and the third world – Deleuze and Palestine – Guattari and Brazil – terrorist war machines and societies of control – Deleuzian feminism and race

SCIENCE – neuroscience and race – continuing legacies of racist science and the “Bell Curve” debate – kinship, rhizomatics and arboreality – animals, plants, minerals and racial difference – miscegenation – evolutionary biology and human phenotypical variation – vitalism and Nazism

ART – affects of race (sport, hiphop, heavy metal, disco…) – primitivism (Rimbaud, Michaux, Artaud, Tournier, Castaneda, etc.) – vision, cinema and race – music, resonance and bodies

PHILOSOPHY – geophilosophy: provincializing canonical philosophy – race and becoming – decolonizing Spinoza, Leibniz, Hume, Schelling… – the effect of criticisms of Deleuze (Badiou, Zizek, Hallward) on antiracism Chapters will be between 4000 and 7000 words long.

Arun Saldanha will write the introduction and a chapter called “Bastard and mixed-blood are the true names of race”.

Jason Michael Adams will write the conclusion.

For more details on this project, contact Jason Adams at: adamsj@HAWAII.EDU

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