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Ellen Meiksins Wood

Ellen Meiksins Wood


November 4th, 2015

Birkbeck, London

Symposium on the work of Ellen Meiksins Wood

Wednesday 4th November

13:30 – 17:00

Lecture Theatre B34 Main Building,

Birkbeck, Torrington Square, London

Event is free to attend

The symposium will contain discussions on the politics and historiography of Ellen’s work from Robert Brenner, David McNally, Benno Teschke, Maia Pal, Samuel Knafo and Charles Post.

To mark Verso’s republication of Ellen Meiksins Wood’s The Pristine Culture of Capitalism and Peasant-Citizen and Slave, Birkbeck Politics Department, the Sussex PM group and Verso are hosting a symposium to celebrate the work of this great historian and political thinker.

Ellen Meiksins Wood is a leading political theorist and one of the world’s most influential historians. Her wide-ranging and original work, covering topics which range from examinations of Athenian democracy to contemporary American imperialism, has, alongside Robert Brenner, inaugurated the ‘Political Marxist’ approach to history. Political Marxism is founded upon a critique of the teleology and formalism of many forms of Marxism in an attempt to re-historicising and re-politicising the Marxist project. The influence of Ellen’s distinctive work can be seen across the social sciences and has marked generations of scholars.

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The Pristine Culture of Capitalism

The Pristine Culture of Capitalism


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A World To Win

A World To Win



This Monday evening, March 9th, starting at 7.00 pm, we have a critical webinar concerning Democracy and Citizenship, coming just two months before the general election.

It discusses how we can become active citizens and make democracy work for us.

The presenter, Cormac Russell, lectured for eight years on active citizenship and democracy at the National College of Ireland.

There is no charge for taking part.

Here’s the link:

Try to log is about five minutes before the webinar starts and you can test the link right now.

Please make every effort to partake and feel free to pass on this information to all your contacts.


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GCAS World-Conference Athens “Democracy Rising” (Free and Open to the Public)

The Global Center for Advanced Studies

Announces Our First World Conference

“Democracy Rising: From Insurrections to ‘Event’”

Date: July 16-19th 2015, Athens, Greece


Speakers: (The Following Speakers will be Present in Athens)


Costas DouzinasJodi Dean, Bruno Bosteels & Maria Aristodemou


Tariq Ali, Kenneth Surin, Stathis KouvelakisAzfar HussainPaul Mason, Alex CallinicosMaria Nikolakaki, Athena AthanasiouCreston DavisAthina Karatzogianni, Kostis KarpozilosLola Sánchez ,Giovanni TusaDimitris DalakoglouLeonidas VatikiotisClaudia Landolfi, Peter ThompsonAris Chatzistefanou IIJulie RescheTheodore KoulourisSigrid HackenbergSrecko HorvatPaolo GerbaudoDave Hill,Stavros Stavrides and special guests from Syriza and Podemos.



Margaret Thatcher’s slogan, “There is no alternative” was a declaration of war that installed the horrors of neoliberal policies that have eroded and systematically undermined democratic and public-based projects for more than 30 years.  The global financial crisis of 2008 exposed these neoliberal policies that have paved the way for the rise of an untouchable oligarchical class whose top 80 members now possess more wealth than the bottom half of the world’s population. It is now abundantly clear that neoliberalism has accelerated radical inequality and at the same time forced the world to conform to their unquestionable, anti-democratic policies, lest even greater disasters befall us.

Faced with no alternative, on their terms, in 2011 a new series of insurrections began to emerge from the Occupy movement to Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, to Spain, Ireland, and Greece. The recent historic victory of Syriza brings forth the message that citizens must decide their own future and thus the reassertion of the primacy of politics takes place again in the world.

In the wake of Syriza’s victory and the hope it articulates for the world, we propose a conference comprised of academics and activists from the birthplace of democracy, Athens, Greece.  The purpose of the conference is to bring together intellectuals and activists to think through and propose strategic alternatives for democracy and its future.



  • Neoliberalism and Austerity Measures
  • Philosophy and Political Struggles
  • The Global Debt Crisis
  • Capitalism & Education
  • Democracy & Activism
  • European Union & the Euro-Zone
  • The Rise of Fascism in Europe
  • Neoliberalism and Globalization
  • Uniting the Workers with the Intelligentsia
  • The Hope of Left Governance
  • The Rise of Podemos in Spain
  • Organizing Locally & Globally
  • Inequality & Democracy



Academics and activists are invited to give papers on relevant topics that support the conference’s description.  Papers can be presented in Athens, Greece, or in some cases, via the Internet.  In either case, papers should be no longer than 20 minutes in length.  In addition to individual papers, we encourage panel proposals consisting of 2-4 participants.  Panel sessions should be no longer than 40 minutes in length.

This conference will be hybrid in that it will be broadcasted live on the internet making it one of the first academic conferences in the world to be live and available to all.


Call for Papers:

250 word Abstracts for Papers, and 500 word abstracts for Panel Proposals should be submitted no later than April 1, 2015 midnight Eastern European Time to: Please include a photo and a very short Bio in your submission.  Please also state in the subject title of your email either “Paper” or “Panel Proposal” and whether or not your paper or panel will be presented at the conference or via the Internet.

NOTE: Panel Presentations: If your panel is being delivered via the Internet the individual members that comprise your panel can present from anywhere in the world so long as their Internet connection is excellent. You will need to verify that all Internet connections range between 6-10 Mbps so that access quality is at a premium.

You can test your Internet speed here:

Acceptance/Rejection emails will be sent no later than April 15, 2015. The papers will be judged by the Conference Organization Committee.



Registration is free & open to the public for participants in Athens & $5 for participants on-line (to help cover Internet infrastructure including access (purchasing a subscription), security, equipment, and technical services).

Please register as soon as possible!  REGISTER HERE

Presenters Fees are $20 per person or $40 per panel presentation

Conference Dinner $30 Athens (TBA)

Registration deadline for on-line participants is 1 July 2015.

A course will be designed and offered on this conference, details forthcoming.



The Editors of Insurrections Series at Columbia University Press have agreed to consider supporting the proceedings for publication.  Some papers will also be considered for GCAS’s Journal via GCAS Press.

Language & Translation:

Greek & English

Translation capabilities will be available if enough donations are provided to support this service. Please consider donating.  When you donate please specify “GCAS Conference”.  Donate here.

Location: TBA


Organizational Committee:

Creston Davis

Maria Nikolakaki

Dimitris Dalakoglou

Kostis Karpozilos

Anghelos Palioudakis

George Souvlis

Bob Drury King

Evi Zevgiti

Che Brandes-Tuka

Steven A. Panageotou

Michael D Wassell

Salim Nabi


Scientific Committee:

Alain Badiou, President of GCAS

Azfar Hussain, Vice-President of GCAS

Maria Nikolakaki, Prof., University of Peloponnese & GCAS

Creston Davis, Director GCAS


Special Activities: 

There will be special tours of Athens that follow the events of the struggles for Democracy as well as other travel opportunities.



All participants are responsible for their own lodging.

Media Sponsor:  InforWar Productions


See more:

@ GCAS Blog:





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Conference: ARTAUD FORUM 2015

Friday 27th – Sunday 29th March 2015, Artaud Centre, Brunel University, London

“Participation is an issue that has everything to do with the physical city and its design. For example, in the ancient polis, the Athenians put the semi-circular theatre to political use; this architectural form provided good acoustics and a clear view and of speakers in debates; moreover, it made the perception of other people’s responses during debates possible. In modern times, we have no similar model of democratic space – certainly no clear imagination of an urban democratic space.” (Richard Sennett, The Open City, URBAN AGE / BERLIN / NOVEMBER 2006 p.4)

The Arab Spring, Occupy Movement, England Riots, and Ukrainian Revolution are events that show how dissent is at its most powerful when it spills over into public space and becomes a visible event for the world to see. Of course, these events also demonstrate the potency of digital media to circulate these voices of dissent to a wider global public sphere. They therefore add value to the argument that suggests every sort of public debate and ‘politics’ can increasingly be ‘democratised’ through online platforms and virtual presences. At the same time, politicians have been encouraging ordinary people to work together with voluntary, public and private bodies in order to revitalise local communities.

However, these developments have created tensions in cities and towns. On the one hand, a ‘deliberative’ approach to citizenship has arisen that attempts to listen to local grievances and seeks to ‘empower’ people in communities through the creative opportunities that public and private investment provides. On the other hand, cities and towns have increasingly privatised their public space through the likes of new shopping centres, redevelopment schemes, and private housing schemes. Alongside these networks of gentrification, many authorities, planners, and security forces have also installed new modes of surveillance in public space that code people’s behaviour in different ways, while different governments across the world have equipped their police and security forces with increased legislative powers to regulate cities and towns.

Taken all together, these processes have created assemblages of power, fissures and fluidities in public space. Deliberative opportunities have opened up for a whole network of ordinary voices to be heard in the public sphere, while new modes of control and governance would seem to confine these voices within configurations of control. Tensions between both of these mean that novel spaces for alternative assemblages and performances of activism, citizenship and democracy have the potential to arise.

But why might performance/s in such public spaces be considered fundamental to the democratic process? Where the performance of democracy is not considered a metaphor for action or intent but as something fundamental to the process itself, how have these performances grown or have been stifled within processes already described? In an age of digital media, what is in fact the value of physical space and physical bodies for democracy? What is the role of space and place in the performance of democracy as well as in notions of ‘public’ spaces that are increasingly difficult to define as ‘of the people’ /popular/ public?

In 2015, the biannual Artaud Forum would like to meet days before Parliament dissolves on the30 March, itself the final dissolution before the UK General Election on 7 May, to consider these important issues. Indeed, at this critical moment of suspension, the Forum would like to interrogate the function and significance of place and space for (or against) the ‘performance’ of democracy, from a range of disciplinary perspectives that might include, but is not limited to, geography, history, politics, sociology, psychology, theatre, and architecture.


Plenary Speakers include

Davina Cooper (University of Kent)

John Parkinson (University of Warwick)


Conference Fees

Weekend: £45 / concession £35

Saturday or Sunday:  £25 / concession £20

Friday night launch: FREE


Organised by Grant Peterson, Mary Richards and John Roberts (Brunel University, London). For more information, contact  or



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Banff Research in Culture 2015 – Summer Research Residency

Program dates: June 1, 2015 – June 19, 2015

Application deadline: December 10, 2014


Faculty: Alex HartleyNina PowerAstra Taylor

Further info, including application information, can be found at:

(Contact: Brandy Dahrouge:

The word demos names ‘the people’, and thus democracy is, at its most basic constitutive level, the shared power of people thinking and acting. Democracy is grounded upon the capacity of the people to narrate and decide the shape of collective life. But the ‘democracy’ we experience and live with today has devolved into practices of state sovereignty and governmentality, a society characterized by social and economic inequality, and an under-represented and disenfranchised electorate. And it seems, too, that hopes in technology as a mechanism that might yet create a new common ground have failed to achieve their promised ends.

Demos: Life in Common invites participants to consider the ways in which we constitute and experience collective life in this century. We seek to bring together artists, writers, researchers, and cultural producers who in their work explore the ways in which we might reinvigorate democratic life today—not just ‘democratic’ in its narrow, political sense, but as life in common in which being and belonging engenders the full flourishing of individuals and communities. What new forms might politics take today—a time that bears little resemblance to those bygone centuries that gave birth to many of our political structures and imaginings? How is collective self-determination mobilized and what do recent events demonstrate about the will of the people and the will of the state? What is the role of new technologies in enhancing or impeding social equality? Might it yet help to create new forms of community and belonging? And how might contemporary cultural, artistic and intellectual activities enliven the belief of the dêmos in its own capacities and possibilities?

“Demos” also names cultural and social practices that suggest other ways in which we might pursue our inquiries during this program. A demo is also an essai—an attempt, a test, an experiment in sound that allows musicians to record their own creative efforts and to share their ideas with others. And, demos are what groups engage in when they want to draw attention to problems and limits that existing structures of government, law or economy can’t address or even apprehend. Demonstrations are a site at which the demos tries to upend the ossified language of culture and politics by upsetting the patterns of the quotidian, taking to the streets and affirming their collective displeasure en masse. Over three weeks, participants will engage in experiments of thinking, action, and making—demos that challenge the self-certainties and pieties of existing structures and practices, and so help to envision and enable renewed forms,of democratic life.

We look forward to receiving compelling and original proposals from thinkers and artists.

Banff Research in Culture 2015

Banff Research in Culture (BRiC) is a residency program designed for scholars and artists engaged in advanced theoretical research on themes and topics in culture. Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, junior faculty (pre-tenure), activists, writers, and practicing artists from around the world will convene at The Banff Centre for three weeks to contemplate the theme Demos: Life in Common.

BRiC is designed to offer researchers and artists with similar interests from different disciplinary and professional backgrounds, an opportunity to exchange opinions and ideas in a fruitful and intensive environment. Participants are encouraged to develop new research, artistic, editorial, and authorial projects, both individually and in connection with others. Participants will attend lectures and seminars offered by visiting faculty. This program aims to develop new approaches toward the study and analysis ofculture, as well as create lasting networks of scholars and artists who might use this opportunity as the basis for future collaborative work.

Demos: Life in Common is the fifth edition of BRiC following Distributed Intimacies (2014); Dock(ing); or, New Economies of Exchange (2013); The Retreat: A Position of dOCUMENTA (13) (2012), and On the Commons; or, Believing-Feeling-Acting Together (2011). The Banff Centre is a world-renowned facility supporting the creation and performance of new works of visual and digital art, music, dance, theatre,research and writing.

The 2015 edition of BRiC is generously supported by The Banff Centre, the University of Alberta, and the Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto.

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Glenn Rikowski’s latest paper, Crises in Education, Crises of Education – can now be found at Academia:

Glenn Rikowski’s article, Education, Capital and the Transhuman – can also now be found at Academia:




Information Age Publishing

Announcing a new Book Series



Paul R. Carr
Université du Québec en Outaouais

The word “democracy” is increasingly attached to an array of concepts, themes and political and social realities and visions, yet there are currently a number of groups, movements, interests and actors around the world who are contesting the normative, hegemonic meaning and manifestation of formal democracy. Many people do not see their interests served by electoral, representative democracy, that which concerns political parties, voting and tightly controlled electoral processes. Rather, there is visible concern in many quarters with not only the formal process of how elections are shaped and governments are formed but, also, with the political, economic, cultural, social and militaristic outcomes of such institutionalized configurations. There is widespread cynicism, decreasing voter participation, the general sentiment of disenfranchisement and marginalization, and increasing levels of resistance and mobilization in the form of alternatives to the formal “democratic” model, which could be characterized as “counter-hegemonic democracy”.

Counter-hegemonic democracy concerns lived realities inside of as well as outside of the formal political vacuum, touching on how people seek to build a more resilient, deeper, thicker, more critically engaged and meaningful democracy. Some examples could by the mass anti-war, pro-environment, Occupy, World Social Forum and other social movements that have sought to remove some governments and make others more accountable, or to make the world bodies that frame international politics more aligned with the needs of the masses that do not control the levers of power. There are also many other movements that start and cultivate causes through social media, or which seek some form of change at the local level. While often omitted from the mainstream media, many people are not perturbed from seeking social and political change outside of the formal strictures and structures of power, often influencing them as well as carving out terrain for those not considered within the strictly defined and formalized elite decisionmaking circles.

This book series connects with this notion of counter-hegemonic democracy, and seeks out debates, ideas, concerns, examples and proposals that extend and construct knowledge within an inter- and multi-disciplinary vantage-point, including sociology, political science, political economy, economics, education, cultural studies and other connected areas. The books in this series will speak to educators, researchers, scholars, and students interested in democracy, political sociology, multicultural education, social movements, decolonization, media studies and peace studies as well as other connected areas.



‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon:

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Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas:

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Glenn Rikowski’s latest paper, Crises in Education, Crises of Education – can now be found at Academia:

Glenn Rikowski’s article, Education, Capital and the Transhuman – can also now be found at Academia:

Occupy London

Occupy London


Parliament Square, 17th to 26th October



Schedule for Saturday, 25th of October

Solutions – what are the answers they don’t want you to know? What would real democracy look like? What would our ideal society look like?

9:30am Camp assembly/Whole site work

11am “How the Revolutionary Kurds of Kobane are carrying out an experiment in direct democracy” by Dilar Dirik (University of Cambridge)

12pm “The 1984/5 Miners’ Strike: the story they don’t want you to hear” by Christopher Hird (Executive Producer, Still the Enemy Within).

1pm Lunch

2pm Workshop “The Prostitute State :  How would a 21st Century Great Democratic Reform Act Tackle it?” by (Donnachadh McCarthy, former Deputy Chair Liberal Democrats, author The Prostitute State)

3pm “How to Transform our Energy System” by Jeremy Leggett (social entrepreneur)

3:30pm “The State We Need” by Michael Meacher MP

4pm Workshop “Why we need a Constitutional Convention so that the people and not the politicians can decide what goes in the UK’s convention” by Sarah Allan (Constitutional Convention Campaign)

5pm “MagnaCarta.2 and Demoractic Reform” by Jolyon Rubinstein (presenter, The Revolution Will Be Televised)

6pm Dinner

7pm Assembly: What do we want?

9pm Hannah Chutzpah (performance poet) followed by revolutionary song and dance.





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Critical Education / Education is Critical

Critical Education / Education is Critical


A message from Jeremy Gilbert

A Public Event with:

Angela McRobbie

Hilary Wainwright

Mark Fisher

Jeremy Gilbert

Neal Lawson

November 11th 2014, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Committee Room 6, House of Commons

All details and booking:

‘Reclaim Modernity: Beyond Markets, Beyond Machines’ is a new pamphlet published by Compass and written by Mark Fisher and Jeremy Gilbert. A brief introduction to the pamphlet can be read here, and you can click through to short piece I wrote about the pamphlet for the Guardian website, and then to the actual document, from there:

A related essay on UKIP, Populism and the Left is here:
Please circulate widely
Jeremy Gilbert



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Paul R. Carr

Université du Québec en Outaouais

Gina Thésée

Université du Québec à Montréal !


International Editorial board:

Ali Abdi (University of British Columbia), Antonia Darder (Loyola Marymount University), George Dei (OISE at the University of Toronto), Walter Gershon (Kent State University), David Lefrançois (Université du Québec en Outaouais), Darren Lund (University of Calgary), Handel Kashope Wright (University of British Columbia), Peter McLaren (Chapman University), Dave Sangha (University of Northern British Columbia), Lynette Shultz (University of Alberta), Christine Sleeter (California State University Monterey Bay), Suzanne SooHoo (Chapman University), Dalene Swanson (University of Stirling), Njoke Wane (OISE at the University of Toronto), Joel Westheimer (University of Ottawa)

This book series aims to develop a field of overlapping research that crosses and integrates the domains, disciplines, subjects and themes of cultural pluralism, democracy and social justice. Each theme is taken up individually in many debates but our focus is to bring together advanced and critical analyses that transcend boundaries, languages, disciplines and theoretical and conceptual approaches. We are interested in books that can problematize cultural pluralism in relation to, with and around democracy and socio-environmental justice, especially in relation to education. Our focus on cultural pluralism is intentional, and we aim to move the debate on identity, difference and lived experience forward within a critical lens, seeking to create new, varied and meaningful discussions that go beyond the normative labels of multiculturalism and interculturalism. The literature around education for democracy that underscores political literacy, critical engagement and transformative education is also highly relevant here as is the field of social justice, which examines power relations, laws and policies, structures and experiences at myriad levels.

The guiding principles for books in this series include: critical analysis; interdisciplinary; nuanced and complexified thinking; epistemological interrogation; varied research approaches; innovation; openness to international and comparative studies. The books in this series will include case studies, comparative analyses,

and collaborations across linguistic, social, ethnic, racial, national, religious and gender boundaries, which may include empirical, conceptual and theoretical frameworks and analysis.

While not an exhaustive or exclusive list, some of the areas that will be of interest for this book series include: Migration, immigration and displacement; Identity and power; Globalization, neoliberalism and cultural pluralism; Critical epistemology; Democracy and diversity; Social justice and environmental justice; Media analyses and studies; Macrosociological studies; Political ecology; Cultural diversity; Educational change.

For more information about this series or contribution, contact the Editors Paul R. Carr (, Gina Thésée ( or Michel Lokhorst (

If you are interested in submitting a proposal please submit the following: a 500-word summary of your book proposal, including the title; focus and research questions; the connection to the book series; the theoretical and/or conceptual framework; the major themes to be explored; a draft table of contents; type of book: single author, edited, etc.; 10 keywords; a 150-word biography for each author/editor; confirmation that the contents of the book have not been published elsewhere; also include your CV.





‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon:

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Radical Democracy and UtopiaCall for Papers

International Conference
University of Paris Diderot
Paris, France

April 16 & 17, 2015

Organized by LCSP (L’archipel des devenir – Centre de recherche sur les utopies) in collaboration with York University (Toronto, Canada) and the Centre de Théorie Politique (ULB, Belgium).

Throughout the conference, we wish to remain attentive to the concrete manifestations of utopia and radical democracy “in action”, to the experiences themselves, to the possibilities and the experimentation of communities as well as to their theoretical constructions and justifications. To paraphrase Derrida, would it not be necessary to think together two different emancipatory promises, – utopian and democratic -, which rally our capacity to search for intersections in their respective paths and to establish mutual sharing within the very moment of their divergence? For example, could radical democracy articulate an egalitarian critique of the utopian tendencies toward planning, hierarchy, and technocracy? Could utopia bring an innovating boldness to the possible forms of organization of radical democracy that run the risk of betraying its intentions?

By critically engaging the debate through the specific forces of each concept, as well as their reciprocal tensions, we hope that the conference will serve to expand the frontiers of each and understand more audaciously a form of politics that is dissensual, creative, egalitarian, and radical.

Scholars who would like to participate in the conference must send a title and an abstract of their paper to the contacts listed below by October 15, 2014. Selected participants will be informed in December 2014.

Papers can be given in English or in French.

The organizers regret that they are unable to provide funding for travel or accommodation.

Attendance to the conference is free and open to all. A full program will be published in February 2015.


Please send proposals to :

Étienne Tassin, University of Paris Diderot :
Martin Breaugh, York University :
Yohan Dubigeon, IEP Paris :


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Education Not for Sale

Education Not for Sale







Democracy can mean a range of concepts, including freedoms, rights, elections, governments, processes, philosophies and a panoply of abstract and concrete notions that can be mediated by power, positionality, culture, time and space.

Democracy can also be translated into brute force, hegemony, docility, compliance and conformity, as in wars will be decided on the basis of the needs of elites, or major decisions about spending finite resources will be the domain of the few over the masses, or people will be divided along the lines of race, ethnicity, class, religion, etc. because it is advantageous for maintaining exploitative political systems in place to do so. Often, these frameworks are developed and reified based on the notion that elections give the right to societies, or segment of societies, to install regimes, institutions and operating systems that are then supposedly legitimated and rendered infinitely just simply because formal power resides in the hands of those dominating forces.

The book is interested in advancing a critical analysis of the hegemonic paradigm described above, one that seeks higher levels of political literacy and consciousness, and one that makes the connection with education. What does education have to do with democracy? How does education shape, influence, impinge on, impact, negate, facilitate and/or change the context, contours and realities of democracy? How can we teach for and about democracy to alter and transform the essence of what democracy is, and, importantly, what it should be? We are particularly interested in the notion of decency in relation to democracy, and underpinned by forms of meaningful, critically-engaged education.

Is it enough to be kind, nice, generous and hopeful when we can also see signs of rampant, entrenched and debilitating racism, sexism, poverty, violence, injustice, war and other social inequalities? If democracy is intended to be alegitimating force for good, how does education inform democracy? What types of knowledge,experience, analysis and being are helpful to bring about newer, more meaningful and socially just forms of democracy?

Some of the themes to be explored might include:

  • peace, peace education and democracy
  • media, media literacy and democracy
  • pedagogy and education for democracy
  • curriculum and education for democracy
  • race, anti-racist education and democracy
  • poverty, class and education for democracy
  • environment and ecology within the context of democracy and education
  • the meaning of kindness in relation to democracy and education
  • what is decency within the context of democracy and education?

If you are interested in submitting a chapter, please submit the following to  by September 30, 2014:

[1] a 400-word summary of your proposal, including:


Focus and research questions

The connection to the subject of the book

The theoretical and/or conceptual framework

The major themes to be explored

Other pertinent information

[2] 8 keywords for the chapter

[3] a 100-word biography for each author



Call for Proposals (August 25, 2014)

Receive Proposals (September 30, 2014)3)

Communicate with contributors regarding decision on proposals (October 15, 2014)

First complete draft of 5,000 words due (January 15, 2015)

Comments from editors regarding first draft to contributors (Februrary 15, 2015)

Final complete draft due to editors (April 1, 2015)

Review by editors, and follow-up with contributors (May 1, 2015)

Liaison with publisher for final editing and proofing (May 15, 2015)

Publication (Summer 2015)


For all other inquiries about this book, please contact Paul R. Carr at



‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon:

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Social Structures of Direct Democracy: On the Political Economy of Equality

By John Asimakopoulos

Hardcover ISBN: 9789004262720 E-ISBN: 9789004262751

Dear All and especially LIBRARIANS,

Please consider asking your academic library to obtain a copy of my new book published by Brill or get your personal copy. Any help in announcing the book through online social networks, listservs, and blogs is greatly appreciated. Gratitude to all! Sincerely, John



“Ambitious in scope, timely in content, and rigorous in argumentation and analysis, John Asimakopoulos’ Social Structures of Direct Democracy promises to make a significant and lasting contribution to contemporary discussions in democratic theory and political economy. By combining the utopian ethical ideal of the libertarian socialist tradition with the technical precision and analytic cohesiveness of Marxism and classical political economy, Asimakopoulos offers a fresh and innovative perspective on the present and future of democracy, both political and economic, around the globe. The book deserves praise for its interdisciplinary breadth and critical depth.” —Nathan Jun, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Midwestern State University

“Social Structures of Direct Democracy is a lucid and powerful analysis of the threat that inequality poses to any viable democracy while also providing a brilliant analysis of the mechanisms that make it so savage and unsustainable. But the book provides more than a critique of inequality, it also offers a stirring program for change at a time when democracy is under dire siege. A must read for anyone concerned about the fate of democracy in the United States.” —Henry Giroux, Center for Research in the Public Interest, McMaster University

“Social Structures of Direct Democracy will undoubtedly make an impressive and timely contribution to the literature. The excellent structure, original focus and critical content will ensure that the book enjoys a broad appeal across a range of academic disciplines, at all levels. Indeed, anyone with an interest in (engaging with) new, wonderfully alternative responses to address the current political and economic crisis should buy this book now!” —Richard J White, Senior Lecturer in Economic Geography, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

ABOUT THE BOOK: Neoliberalism has pushed capitalism to its limits hollowing out global economies and lives in the process while people have no voice. John Asimakopoulos addresses the problem with a theory to practice model that reconciles Marxism with diverse radical currents and democratic theory. Social Structures of Direct Democracy develops a political economy of structural equality in large-scale society making strong empirical arguments for radical transformation. Key concepts include filling positions of political and economic authority e.g., legislatures and corporate boards, with randomly selected citizens leaving the demos as the executive; a common wage combined with markets and currency. Asimakopoulos shows that an egalitarian society leads to greater innovation and sustainable economic growth with positive social benefits in contrast to economies based on individualism, competition, and inequality.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John Asimakopoulos, is Full Professor of Sociology at the City University of New York and executive director of the Transformative Studies Institute (TSI), an educational think tank. He has advanced degrees in and has taught sociology, political science, and economics resulting in a unique interdisciplinary perspective. His students include undergraduates and graduates from diverse ethnic, economic, and educational backgrounds who honor him for over 20 years with the highest teaching evaluations. His research is focused on social movements, critical theory, and international political economy. Asimakopoulos is author of Revolt! (2011) The Accumulation of Freedom (2012), many journal articles, and is editor in chief of Theory in Action, an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal.

For interviews and presentations contact the author at:



Mark Zepezauer



1 Theory, Praxis, and Change

The Ragged Edge of Anarchy: Direct Democracy



Communist Anarchism

Conflict Theory

Why Capitalism Must Always Collapse

The Relationship between Change and Radicalism

Structural Limitations to Change

Insurrection versus Revolution

A Case Study in Political Revolution: Egypt

Does Direct Democracy Require Small-scale Societies?

McDonald’s Iron Cage

2 Relations of Authority

The Fraud of Representative Democracy

The Best Democracy Money Can Buy

Stealing Democracy Old School

Political Parties

A Path to Direct Democracy

Economic Authority

Political Authority


3 Material Relations

Economic Utilities of Direct Democracy

Markets and Prices

Currency, Income, Banking, and Credit

Profit and Worker-owned Firms

Authority over Productive Property

Innovation and Small Business

Relations of Consumption

Income Distribution

Regulated Labor Markets: Hiring Halls

Distribution of Productive Property

Resource Use

What to Produce

How to Produce

Can the System Adapt?

4 Social Structure

Culture and Social Integration

Organizing Principles of Social Structure

Social Statuses

Social Roles

Virtual Worlds

Institutions and Socialization


Family and Sexuality


The Means of Violence

Compulsion and Discipline


The Social Network: The Future that Can be Now

Conclusion: No Islands of Egalitarianism in a Sea of Inequality

Afterword: What Can Grow in the Graveyard for Orthodoxies?

Richard Gilman-Opalsky




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