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Demystifying Finance

Demystifying Finance

A POLITICAL ECONOMY OF CONTEMPORARY CAPITALISM AND ITS CRISIS: DEMYSTIFYING FINANCE

Book launch:  A Political Economy of Contemporary Capitalism and its Crisis: Demystifying Finance

Dimitris P. Sotiropoulos (The Open University Business School, UK)

John Milios (National Technical University of Athens)

Spyros Lapatsioras (University of Crete)

 

Discussion Panel

Janette Rutterford: Professor of Financial Management, The OpenUniversity Business School, UK

Engelbert Stockhammer: Professor of Economics, Kingston University, London

Paul Auerbach: Reader of Economics, Kingston University, London

Costas Douzinas: Professor of Law, Birkbeck, University of London

 

Thursday, 30th January 2014, 6PM

The Open University in London, Room 2BC (Ground Floor)

1-11 Hawley Crescent, Camden Town, London NW1 8NP

 

Nearest underground: CamdenTown (Northern Line)

Free event, all welcome

Contact details: dimitris.sotiropoulos@open.ac.uk

 

Routledge details: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415684088/

 

First published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/book-launch-a-political-economy-of-contemporary-capitalism-and-its-crisis-demystifying-finance-30-january

 

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Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo  

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

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Austerity

Austerity

SOCIAL AND POLITICAL CRITIQUE IN THE AGE OF AUSTERITY

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS

A one day workshop at Keele University

10.30am-6pm, Wednesday 12th February, 2014

This one day workshop is devoted to the discussion of critical politics in the contemporary age of austerity. Following the 2007 global economic crash, which led to a raft of government bank bail outs and nationalisations across America and Europe, a cunning ideological reversal took place – the crash was no longer the result of the hubris of the neoliberal financial sector, which had developed the idea of ‘riskless risk’ where reckless stock market speculation and the creation of value ex nihilo could produce endless profit, but rather the immoral wastefulness of the people and society. According to this ideological position, which was advanced by governments across Europe, the welfare state, and in many respects society itself, was transformed into an ‘exorbitant privilege’ that was simply unaffordable. In fact, in order to pay for their wastefulness the people were not only expected to give up their public services, but also required to accept ever lower wages, and a general state of social and economic precariousness.

This is the current state of play across America and Europe, where the neoliberal state has exploited the crash in order to retrofit society for violent competition with Asian capitalism. In the face of this race to the bottom, key thinkers such as David Graeber, Antonio Negri, Slavoj Zizek, Alain Badiou, and Costas Douzinas have spoken out against the new form Naomi Klein calls neoliberal disaster capitalism and given voice to the protest, rebellion, and revolt taking place across the world.

The objective of this workshop is to build upon the works of these key thinkers and explore the possibility for resistance in the age of austerity. We invite contributions from a range of disciplines focused on diverse social and political contexts and a variety of theoretical perspectives. Contributors may choose to focus on austerity and resistance across Europe, including the UK, Greece, Spain, and Italy; the Occupy movement; the media construction of austerity, including the idea of the undeserving poor who are seen to be living off public funds; methods for the organisation of resistance; the concept of the multitude and the digital commons; anti-capitalist thought; or transformative social and political theory and practice more generally. Most importantly, we are keen to emphasise that this list is not exhaustive – the key principle behind the workshop is that debate should open up a space for social and political creativity. In this way we are keen to encourage potential contributors to be creative and explore new possibilities for political change in a historical period where change seems absolutely necessary, but also impossible to envisage. In this respect, we encourage contributions from a variety of participants – academics, post-graduate students, activists, and others engaged in thinking through the possibilities of change under conditions of crisis and austerity.

The workshop will close with a lecture from Professor Costas Douzinas (Birkbeck), author of Philosophy and Resistance in the Crisis: Greece and the Future of Europe.

In order to take part in the event please send a 250 word abstract to Emma Head (e.l.head@keele.ac.uk), by Monday 6 January 2014.

This event is being organised jointly by Mark Featherstone (Keele Sociology) and Emma Head (Keele Sociology and the BSA Digital Sociology study group). Registration will open in early January.

Crisis

Crisis

 

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Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo  

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

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David Harvey

David Harvey

CITIZENSHIP, ORIENTALISM AND THE COMMONS

 

Dear All

OECUMENE PROJECT and TEATRO VALLE OCCUPATO would like to make you aware of a 4-Day Seminar Event to be held at Teatro Valle in Rome:
CITIZENSHIP, ORIENTALISM AND THE COMMONS
25th – 28th September 2013

The event takes theatre to be a laboratory for the performances of critical political imaginaries on citizenship. Its conceptual core is a dialogue and translation between art, politics, and economics with a critical reflection on acts and practices of public engagement, common property, debt, and co-work. Bringing together scholars, artists and activists the event explores participatory forms of knowledge production, livelihood, civic action and resistance in and outside Europe through collective rehearsals, discussions and staged film performances. The Teatro Valle Occupato becomes our stage in which such political, ethical and aesthetic experiments are tested and played out.

Main speakers (there will be short commentaries and plenty of discussion time):

COSTAS DOUZINAS, DAVID HARVEY, and ENGIN ISIN.

The event is free and open to the public.
A pdf of the programme is available here: http://www.oecumene.eu/files/oecumene/Oecumene%20Project%20-%20Teatro%20Valle%20-%20ENG.pdf

Webpage (English): http://www.oecumene.eu/events/citizenship-orientalism-and-the-commons

Webpage (Italian): http://www.teatrovalleoccupato.it/lotte-spaziali-una-settimana-seminari-workshop-performance-dal-22-al-28-settembre-2013

—————
Dr Andrea Mura
Oecumene Project
The Open University
Faculty of Social Sciences
Milton Keynes
MK7 6AA
Direct +44 (0) 1908 659 304
http://www.oecumene.eu/people/andrea-mura

 

**END**

 

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo (new remix, and new video, 2012)  

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

 

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

 

European Union

STATE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities
State of the European Union

Etienne Balibar – Europe, final crisis? – Thursday 12th May

Conference – Friday 13th May

According to several commentators from different countries, different disciplines, and different political orientations, the “European political construction” is undergoing a dramatic crisis, which could result either in a collapse of the “project” launched half a century ago or in a more or less complete transformation of its functions and objectives. Admittedly, this is not the first “crisis” (in the broad sense of the term): there is even the idea that crisis is the “normal” regime under which the EU proves able, periodically, to reconfigure its geometry, its institutions, its internal hierarchies, and produce among the populations of the (old or new) member states a majoritarian consensus. But it can be argued also that, if such a pragmatic mechanism has actually taken place, it benefited from a cultural moment, geopolitical conditions and a world-economy which are now totally transformed.

Speakers:

Etienne Balibar (BIH Professorial Fellow/Irvine),

Costas Douzinas (Birkbeck),

Engin Isin (Open University),

Albena Azmanova (Brussels School of International Studies/ Kent)

Ulrich Bielefeld (Hamburg Institute for Social Research),

Kalypso Nicolaidis (South-East European Studies, Oxford),

Pierre-Noël Giraud (Centre of industrial economics MINES ParisTech/Université Paris-Dauphine)

Thursday 12th May 6.30pm Room B34 – Key note address – Etienne Balibar – ‘Europe, final crisis?’

Friday 13th May 10am – 6pm Room B04, 43 Gordon Sq – Conference
Download the conference programme and more information: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/bih/news/stateofeu

Julia Eisner
Administrator
Institute for the Humanities (BIH)
Institute for Social Research (BISR)
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX
T: (0) 20 7631 6612
E: j.eisner@bbk.ac.uk

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Zizek

THE IDEA OF COMMUNISM

Edited by SLAVOJ ZIZEK AND COSTAS DOUZINAS

Published 7th February, 2011

——————————-

ALAIN BADIOU

JUDITH BALSO

BRUNO BOSTEELS

SUSAN BUCK-MORSS

COSTAS DOUZINAS

TERRY EAGLETON

PETER HALLWARD

MICHAEL HARDT

JEAN-LUC NANCY

ANTONIO NEGRI

JACQUES RANCIERE

ALESSANDRO RUSSO

ALBERTO TOSCANO

GIANNI VATTIMO

SLAVOJ ZIZEK

——————————-

‘The long night of the left is coming to a close’ write Slavoj Zizek and Costas Douzinas in their introduction to The Idea of Communism. The continuing economic crisis which began in 2008, the shift away from a unipolar world defined by American hegemony, and the ecological crisis mean that growing numbers of people are keen to explore an alternative, and to re-discover the idea of communism. This volume, which emerges from the landmark ‘Idea of Communism’ conference in 2009, marks the theoretical beginning of that re-discovery.

Bringing together an all-star cast of radical intellectuals, including Alain Badiou, Slavoj Zizek, Terry Eagleton, Michael Hardt, and Antonio Negri, The Idea of Communism explores the historical, philosophical, and political dimensions of the communist ideal, in order to clarify its meaning and relevance today. The volume brings together their discussions from the landmark conference, highlighting both the idea of communism’s continuing significance and the need to reconfigure the concept within a world marked by havoc and crisis.

The contributors argue that multiple crises of the modern world lay bare the limits of mainstream liberal capitalist ideology. Blending astute analysis with compelling theoretical sophistication, The Idea of Communism complements the themes and arguments in other works in Verso’ ‘Pocket Communism’ series, including Badiou’s The Communist Hypothesis, Boris Groys’ The Communist Postscript, and Bruno Bosteel’s forthcoming The Actuality of Communism.

The collection opens with an exhilarating call to arms by France’s greatest living intellectual, the ‘last man standing’ of ’68. The iconic Badiou examines the link between the communist idea and political practice, highlighting what he calls “the anonymous action of millions of militants, rebels, fighters” who, although “unrepresentable as such”, have throughout history represented, “elements of the Idea of Communism at various stages”.

Capturing the sense of intellectual confidence and excitement in renewing the communist ideal, Slavoj Zizek concludes the collection with a characteristically wide-ranging contribution taking in Lenin, Bill Gates and Samuel Beckett. He addresses the question, ‘how to begin from the beginning?’ and posits an answer by way of identifying new revolutionary subjects which correspond to today’s ‘post-industrial’ capitalism.

——————————-

Praise for SLAVOJ ZIZEK:

“Zizek leaves no social or cultural phenomenon untheorized, and is master of the counterintuitive observation.” New Yorker

“A great provocateur… Zizek writes with passion and an aphoristic energy that is spellbinding.” Los Angeles Times

“The most dangerous philosopher in the West.” New Republic

——————————

SLAVOJ ZIZEK is today’s most controversial public intellectual. His work traverses the fields of philosophy, psychoanalysis, theology, history and political theory, taking in film, popular culture, and literature to provide acute analyses of the complexities of contemporary ideology as well as a serious and sophisticated philosophy. The author of over 30 books, SLAVOJ ZIZEK’S provocative prose has challenged a generation of activists and intellectuals. His latest book is LIVING IN THE END TIMES. He is a professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

COSTAS DOUZINAS is a Professor of Law and Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, University of London. He is the author of numerous works, including HUMAN RIGHTS AND EMPIRE, THE END OF HUMAN RIGHTS, and LAW AND THE IMAGE: THE AUTHORITY OF ART AND THE AESTHETICS OF LAW.

——————————–

ISBN -13: 978 1 84467 459 6 / $26.95 / £14.99 / $33.50 / Paperback / 240 pages

ISBN -13: 978 1 84467 455 8 / $95.00 / £55.00 / $118.50 / Hardback / 240 pages

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Eurozone Crisis

EUROZONE IN CRISIS: REFORM OR EXIT?

Research on Money and Finance (RMF) at SOAS and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities are organising a roundtable on:

‘Eurozone in Crisis: Reform or Exit?’

The event will explore themes from the widely read RMF report ‘Eurozone in Crisis: Beggar Thyself and Thy Neighbour’. It will also contribute to the debate on the social, political and economic aspects of the Eurozone crisis that was launched by the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities. Since the start of 2010 the Eurozone crisis has become progressively deeper, threatening the existence of the euro as well as the coherence of the European Union. The crisis poses questions of economic malfunctioning and austerity policies imposed on several European countries, but also of democracy and state relations within the European Union. The roundtable will consider these issues from a variety of radical perspectives.

Participants include:

Costas Lapavitsas, SOAS, ‘Reform or Exit from the Eurozone?”

George Irvin, SOAS, ‘Costs and Benefits of Default’

Costas Douzinas, Birkbeck, ‘The Democratic Deficit within the Eurozone’

Stathis Kouvelakis, King’s College, ‘The Eurozone Crisis as a Crisis of the State”

Alex Callinicos, King’s College, ‘Political Implications of the Eurozone Crisis’

CHAIR: Larry Elliott, The Guardian Newspaper.

Date and Time: June 2nd, 6-8
Venue: Rm B33, Birkbeck College, Mallet St. WC1

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THE GREEK CRISIS IN CONTEXT

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

The Greek Crisis in Context: De Te Fabula Narratur!

http://www.famss.salford.ac.uk/cms/resources/uploads/File/ESPaCH/Greek%20Crisis%204%20May%202010.pdf

In his preface to the first volume of Capital, Karl Marx declares to his German readers that, although England is used as the main illustrative case, de te fabula narratur (the tale is told of you)! To think of England as some anomalous case would be to severely misread the global scale of the forces in play; England was, for Marx, a precursor of what the future held for Germans and many others.

This seminar takes the same position vis-à-vis the Greek crisis. To treat it as a product of forces unique to Greece itself, or even to the entirety of Southern Europe (the PIGS as those peoples are labelled by many), is to misread the significance of the crisis toward capitalism and liberal democracy more generally. Through a series of roundtable discussions, three key sets of questions will be examined: what the crisis reveals about the fragility and character of the European project as it is presently constituted; the class character and stakes of current developments and struggles in Greece and beyond; and, most centrally, the possibility that the Greek case is simply an early example of a much deeper and wider crisis of the capitalist state.

Participants will include:
Peter Bratsis (University of Salford)
Costas Douzinas (Birkbeck College, University of London)
Carlos Frade (University of Salford)
Bob Jessop (University of Lancaster)
Stathis Kouvelakis (King’s College London, University of London)
Dimitris Papadimitriou (University of Manchester)
Spyros Sakellaropoulos (Panteion University)
Konstantinos Tsoukalas (University of Athens)

Tuesday May 4th, from 2-7pm
Clifford Whitworth Library, Conference Room, Salford

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On the Idea of Communism – Conference Programme

 

Conference: 13-15 March 2009

“It’s just the simple thing that’s hard, so hard to do” (B. Brecht)

 

http://www.bbk.ac.uk/bih/news/communism

Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities
ON THE IDEA OF COMMUNISM
13th/14th/15th March 2009
Logan Hall, Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL

 

PROGRAMME:

 

 

Friday March 13

2pm    Costas Douzinas – Welcome

Alain Badiou: Introductory remarks

Michael Hardt: “The Production of the Common”

Bruno Bosteels: “The Leftist Hypothesis: Communism in the Age of Terror”

Peter Hallward: “Communism of the Intellect, Communism of the Will”

Alberto Toscano:    “Communist Power / Communist Knowledge”


Jean-Luc Nancy will be present throughout the conference and will intervene in the discussions.

6 pm    End


Saturday March 14

10am    Alessandro Russo: “Did the Cultural Revolution End Communism?”

Wang Hui:    “Transition towards Socialism”

Toni Negri: “Communisme: reflexions sur le concept et la pratique”

1pm    Lunch

Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities

3pm    Terry Eagleton: “Communism: Lear or Gonzalo?”

Jacques Ranciere:    “Communists without Communism?”

Alain Badiou: “Communism: a generic name”

6pm    End

 

Sunday March 15

10am    Slavoj Zizek: “To begin from the beginning over and over again”

Gianni Vattimo:    “Weak Communism?”

Judith Balso: “Communism: a hypothesis for philosophy, an impossible name for politics?”

Concluding Debate

2pm    End

 

For the previous post on this item, which provides a rationale for the Conference, see: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/2009/01/10/on-the-idea-of-communism/

 

 

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