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POWER AND RESISTANCE – 2012 SSPT CONFERENCE

Studies in Social and Political Thought Annual Conference — Power and Resistance
June 15-16, 2012
Sussex University, Brighton

Keynote: Werner Bonefeld (University ofYork)

While governments around the world have initiated austerity measures on a grand scale and have even been ousted in favour of technocratic administrations, pockets of sustained resistance continue to manifest themselves. Whether it is the populist Occupy movement, ultra-left theorists of Communisation, anti-cuts protesters, or even the rioters who took to the streets ofLondonand beyond, the struggle against the apparent status quo continues. When taken in the light of the Arab Spring, questions must be asked in regards to the relationship between resistance and revolution.  These movements managed to turn a tide of resistance into a force for revolution. Is this a paradigm-shift in the way this relationship must be thought?

Alongside these movements and despite the optimism generated by them, the power of the governments to crush, delegitimise, and ignore opposition appears to continue unabated. Some critics blame a lack of coherent message and agenda; others say that the forces of opposition are not dealing with the reality of the situation. This critique, however, does not have the last word. Theseforms of resistance, in their many diffuse guises [‘diffuse guises’ sounds odd to me, but maybe that’s just me], challenge the state’s belief that it has a monopoly on reality. They challenge the very legitimacy of the state to disseminate the status quo and, therefore, represent a radical alternative even if they do not, or cannot, dictate what the alternative may be. What role do the concepts of power and resistance play in our analysis of the current situation? Do they require a reassessment or does the contemporary conjuncture simply represent a reassertion of the same old forces in a different guise?

Power is one of the core concepts of social and political thought. Yet, there is plenty of disagreement about what is, how it functions and how it should be contested. Our present conjuncture is witnessing many different manifestations of power and resistance. However, there is a lack of serious theoretical engagement with the current situation. We are seeking papers that engage theoretically with the current situation, and which emphasise the central roles of the concepts of power and resistance. Possible theoretical frameworks include, but are not limited to, theories of biopolitics, instrumental reason, critical theory, post-colonialism, discourse and democratic theory, structuralism and post-structuralism, recognition, soft-power, hegemony, world-systems, sovereignty, legality, and legitimacy.

Please send abstracts of 350 words to ssptconference2012@gmail.com  by March 30th. For more information go to ssptjournal.wordpress.com

**END**

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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)

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

‘Stagnant’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo  

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