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Tag Archives: Dissent




Ben Dorfman is organizing a small conference on Dissent! Histories and Meanings of Opposition from 1968 to the Present at Aalborg University, January 16-17, 2014.

Details here:


Jon Simons, Associate Professor

Department of Communication and Culture

Indiana University


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Blog: Picturing Peace

Editor-in-chief, 2013-14: Culture, Theory & Critique

Co-editor of Manchester University Press series: Reappraising the Political




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Tyrion Lannister

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‘Understanding Neoliberal Legality: Perspectives on the Use of Law By, For, and Against the Neoliberal Project’ 

University of Oxford, Friday 21 June, 2013

Whilst neoliberal institutional and economic reforms have attracted substantial scholarly attention in recent decades, the role of law in the neoliberal story has been relatively neglected.  Yet law, broadly understood, features in various prominent aspects of the content, form, and mode of the neoliberal project and of efforts to resist it.  This day-long workshop at the University of Oxford will draw together established and emerging scholars researching various aspects of the role of law in the construction and contestation of neoliberalism.

The questions and dilemmas to be interrogated in the workshop’s discussions include the following:

•  In what ways has neoliberal restructuring shaped and been shaped by established legislative, judicial, and penal processes?

•  How is law engaged by the neoliberal state in its relations with dissent?

•  To what extent have the sites at which social change can be pursued been altered by neoliberal policy and ideology, or remained the same?

•  What are the possibilities and challenges facing political groups or movements that choose to engage the law in neoliberal times?  What about those that choose to break the law?

•  How has the neoliberal period clarified or complicated our understanding of the nature of law and of liberal legality?


The range of scholarship addressing aspects of these important questions at the nexus of neoliberalism and legality spans a panoply of theoretical and empirical analysis of the ways in which law is broken, upheld, and subverted by, for, and against the neoliberal project in the UK and abroad.  Potential paper topics reflecting this diversity include, but are not limited to, the following themes:

•  theorisations of social movement strategy with respect to law

•  criminalisation of dissent

•  critiques and possibilities of human rights activism

•  current left governments as lawmakers

•  theoretical interventions on the nature of (neoliberal) law

•  new constitutionalism

•  disciplinary logics of late capitalism

•  intensifying impacts of power and privilege on access to legal channels

•  law and order agenda

•  criminalisation of poverty

•  state of exception

•  current trends in police repression

•  media representations of protest

•  migration and ‘illegal’ personhood

Interested participants should send their name, institutional affiliation, and an abstract of a maximum of 250 words to by 20 May, 2013.  The workshop intends to initiate ongoing dialogue and collaboration, and it is hoped that selected proceedings from the workshop will be published as a special issue or edited volume.  Regrettably, we cannot cover the cost of travel or accommodation for participants, but we will provide a lunch and coffee break during the workshop.

First published in


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For two inter-linked, consecutive workshops under the theme of Subjects and Practices of Resistance to be held 9-11 September 2013 at University of Sussex.

The first workshop (9-10 Sept) is on Discipline(s), Dissent and Dispossession and the second on Counter-Conduct in Global Politics(10-11 Sept).  The workshop convenors encourage attendance at both workshops.  However, paper proposals should specify the intended workshop and which days participants would be able to attend.

The workshops are generously sponsored and supported by the BISA Poststructuralist Politics Working Group (PPWG) and the Centre for Advanced International Theory (CAIT) at the University of Sussex


Workshop 1: Discipline(s), Dissent and Dispossession

9-10 September 2013

Contemporary struggles against dispossession – from the 2011 Occupy movement to ongoing land rights conflicts in the Ecuadorian rainforest – not only remind us of existing forces of domination and exploitation, but also challenge the ready-made concepts and frameworks through which such struggles are often interpreted.   Building on a previous project – “Disciplining Dissent”* – this workshop aims to open up discussion on the intersections between the politics of resistance and the politics of knowledge. How might we conceptualise dissent or resistance in ways that are sensitive to the social and epistemic relations within which anti-systemic struggles are embedded? How might we frame the complementarity and tensions between political dissent and intellectual critique? How might available concepts and frameworks occlude the complex interplay between resistance and repression, discipline and dissent, obscuring what is at stake politically in existing practices of struggle?

We welcome contributions that consider these themes from diverse theoretical perspectives and academic disciplines, including international relations, international political economy, sociology, philosophy, geography and anthropology.

Questions that might be addressed include (but are not limited to): how is dissent rendered intelligible in ways that serve to contain, nullify or depoliticize struggles; the politics of knowledge in political dissent; the place of normative political critique in the absence of universal categories or emancipatory blueprints; the ways in which dissenting communities are building their own theories of dissent or are theorising out of their own dissenting practices; the forms of subjectivisation incited, subverted or arrested through practices of dissent and/or their relation to the types of dissenting subjects assumed by intellectuals and experts; the ways in which academic disciplines interpret, appropriate and discipline both dissent and critique; the nature and purpose of academic critique at a moment of austerity and economic “crisis”.

It is hoped that the workshop will serve as a basis for a journal special issue, as well as for further collobarations around these themes.

Abstracts of approx. 300 words should be sent to and by 31 May 2013 (please indicate whether or not you plan to attend both workshops).  


Lara Montesinos Coleman, University of Sussex

Doerthe Rosenow, OxfordBrookesUniversity

Karen Tucker, University of Bristol

*published as Lara Montesinos Coleman and Karen Tucker (eds.), Situating Global Resistance: Between Discipline and Dissent (Abingdon: Routledge, 2012) and as a special issue of Globalizations 8:3 (2011).


Workshop 2: Counter-Conduct in Global Politics: Theories and Practices

10-11 September 2013

Resistance, and its study, is on the rise. Protesting, agitating, dissenting, and occupying inter alia have received increased attention and theorisation in the past tumultuous decade since 11 September 2001. However, such academic and public attention has tended to focus on the visible and politically discernible practices of dissent against sovereignty, economic exploitation, dispossession and other forms of oppression. Little systematic attention has been paid to potentially less visible practices of resistance or those who do not participate in an expressly political register but that attempt to resist ‘power that conducts’ (Foucault 2007). To this end, the workshop has four main aims. First, to theoretically develop, refine and critically interrogate the concept and theorisation of ‘counter-conduct(s)’, a term that, until recently, has received scant attention within the social sciences. We encourage the further critique, development and modification of Foucault’s initial attempts to understand subjects’ ‘possible inventions’ as counter-conduct (1982, 2007). Second, to provide a space in which empirical, multi-disciplinary investigations of counter-conduct in a variety of thematic areas and spaces of global politics can be presented. Third, to facilitate reflection on the variable and contingent forms of counter-conduct, examining its close relationship with conducting power and revealing the processes of invigilation of resistance and adjustment of conducting strategies. Finally, to reflect on the methodological implications and issues, which affect the study of the variegated practices of counter-conduct.

We welcome contributions that consider these themes not only from a Foucaultian perspective but also that bring diverse theoretical perspectives  — and views from a variety of academic disciplines, including politics, international relations, international political economy, sociology, political theory and philosophy, geography and anthropology – to bear on the study of counter-conduct.

Format: consisting of longer paper presentations, followed by substantial constructive feedback from discussants and audience, the format of the Counter-Conduct in Global Politics workshop aims to facilitate intensive and extensive engagement among participants with a view to producing article length contributions to a significantly placed journal special issue. Given the lack of systematic focus on practices and subjects of counter-conduct, it is hoped that such a special issue will engender further debate and consideration of the study of counter-conduct in global politics and potentially act as a reference for postgraduate and doctoral research as well. Abstracts of approx. 250 words should be sent to and by 31 May 2013 (please indicate whether or not you plan to attend both workshops).


Carl Death, University of Manchester (as of August 2013)

Helle Malmvig, Danish Institute of International Studies

Louiza Odysseos, University of Sussex


Centre for Advanced International Theory

Department of International Relations

University of Sussex


East Sussex


T 01273 876615




Follow us on Twitter @SussexCAIT




Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales); and at (new remix, and new video, 2012)  

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The Flow of Ideas:

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Interface: a journal for and about social movements

Volume Two, Issue Two

Voices of dissent: activists’ engagements in the creation of alternative, autonomous, radical and independent media

Volume two, issue two of Interface, a peer-reviewed e-journal produced and refereed by social movement practitioners and engaged movement researchers, is now out, on the special theme “Voices of dissent: activists’ engagements in the creation of alternative, autonomous, radical and independent media”.

Interface is open-access (free), global and programmatically multilingual. Our overall aim is to “learn from each other’s struggles”: to develop a dialogue between practitioners and researchers, but also between different social movements, intellectual traditions and national contexts.

This new issue also marks the launch of our new website, which we hope will make the site more accessible and support multilingual material and translations in particular. The site is currently at but will be accessible through the existing address of shortly. (The delay is due to the intervention of the IMF and more substantially weather-related problems in Ireland.)

This issue of Interface includes 26 pieces in 4 languages by authors from Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Palestine, Russia, South Korea, Sweden, the UK and the US, including:

Theme-related articles:
    • Tina Askanius and Nils Gustafsson, Mainstreaming the alternative: the changing media practices of protest movements
    • Patrick McCurdy, Breaking the spiral of silence: the “media debate” within global justice movements. A case study of Dissent! and the Gleneagles G8 summit
    • Tatiana Bazzichelli, Towards a critique of social networking: practices of networking in grassroots communities from mail art to the case of Anna Adamolo
    • Clemens Apprich, Upload dissident culture: Public Netbase’s intervention into digital and urban space
    • Dongwon Jo, Real-time networked media activism in the 2008 Chotbul protest
    • Brigitte Geiger and Margit Hauser, Medien der neuen Frauenbewegung in Archiv / Archiving feminist grassroots media
    • Margaret Gillan, Class and voice: challenges for grassroots community activists using media in 21st century Ireland Other articles:
    • Philippe Lucas, Patient-centred strategies to counter stigma, oppression and forced incarceration in the CSX and medical cannabis  movements
    • William K Carroll, Crisis, movements, counter-hegemony: in search of the new
    • Raphael Schlembach, Towards a critique of anti-German “communism” Action notes from:
    • Cristina Guimarães Oliveira and Odalisca Moraes, Comunicação: Indicadores históricos e culturais do Pina
    • Lívia Moreira de Alcântara and Elder Gomes Barbosa, Extensão ou comunicação? O audiovisual como um instrumento facilitador da comunicação no assentamento do MST Olga Benário
    • Iyad Burnat, The Bil’in model of wall resistance

A special section is devoted to alternative international labour communications, with contributions from Peter Waterman, Eric Lee and Dave Hollis

Key documents: Chto Delat? A declaration on politics, knowledge and art (Russian and English versions)

Response by Peter Waterman to Colin Barker’s piece on Solidarnosc in issue 2/1, and response from Barker to Waterman

Advance piece for issue 3/1 (repression and social movements): Tomas Mac Sheoin, Policing and repression of anti-globalization protests and movements: a bibliography of English-language material

This issue’s reviews includes the following titles:
    • Clifford Bob, The marketing of rebellion: insurgents, media and international activism
    • John Charlton, Don’t you hear the H-Bomb’s thunder? Youth and politics on Tyneside in the late ‘fifties and early ‘sixties
    • Jo Reger et al (eds), Identity work in social movements
    • Clemencia Rodriguez et al (eds), Making our media: global initiatives towards a democratic public sphere.

A call for papers for volume 3 issue 2 of Interface is now open, on the theme of “Feminism, women’s movements and women in movement” (submissions deadline May 1 2011). We can review and publish articles in Afrikaans, Catalan, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Maltese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Zulu.

The website has full details on how to submit articles for this issue.

Volume 3, issue 2 on “Repression and social movements” is due to be published in May 2011.

Interface is always looking for translators to help with our multilingual project and website editors who can help with WordPress. We are also looking for activists or academics interested in helping out, particularly but not only with our African, South Asian, Spanish-speaking Latin American, East and Central European, and Oceania / SE Asian groups. More details on our website.

Please forward this to anyone you think may be interested.

Elizabeth Humphrys
Sydney, Australia

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Alternative Culture



Call for Proposals:

‘Alternative Culture Now: The Politics of Culture at the Present Conjuncture’
Conference and Event
Budapest, Hungary
April 8-10, 2010

Proposal Deadline: January 25, 2010

How do things stand with respect to the fate of the alternative? Branded and normativized, incorporated into a whole ensemble of mainstream discourses, and no longer the threat it once posed to capitalist and communist states alike, the political and social force of the alternative seems to have faded away. And yet the dream of the alternative continues to inspire political and social movements, artists, theorists, and all kinds of creative practices. How might we begin to situate and think alternativity as a global phenomenon at this precise conjuncture in world history? What is alternative about culture today? And what might or can it become?

The alternative, of course, has always been phraseable in the singular and the plural. On the one hand, it is a phenomenon locked into local configurations, a multi-polar and non-totalizable practice of myriad deviation. Here, its ambit can be that of a family drama or workplace, a national concatenation, or the homogenizing logic of a dominant cultural medium or genre. The dreams it holds in reserve are vitally minor: the fissuring of a regime with a joke or dissidence, the freedom mobilized in small, almost imperceptible defections or reversals. The production of the alternative is in this sense the aggregate, spontaneous effort of innumerable cultural agents to resist every species of stasis and capture, every grammar and vernacular, every gestural hierarchy and total system.

At the same time, this molecular vision of the alternative, of a plurality of fissions and margins, has always been accompanied by attempts to think what it is in the tendency of a moment which suppresses cultural possibilities on a global level. This is a dream of a communication or inter-mediation between margins, a system of deviances which comprehensively address the conditions which negatively hypostatize the life of the virtual. Global patriarchy, violent state expansionisms, the inhibiting logics of capital, and the globalization of the English language can be envisioned as transnational, systematized normativities that threaten cultural specificity or possibility in a way that is never exhausted by its expression on the register of the local. Is there, in this sense, only one alternative: an alternative to which there is no alternative? This notion of a single alternative-a universal difference necessary to shelter the future lives of difference–immediately sets into motion its own paradoxical dialectics of alternativity, itself appearing to erase the thing it promises. How do we escape this vortex, or at least make its impasses productive?

Is one alternative more important than another? Can alternatives be exhausted or rendered obsolete? What kind of method could we develop to test the valences of alternatives? Can or should alternative culture polemically charge the space of its own marginality, or would this degenerate into an infinite sectarianism?

We understand “alternative culture” to include diverse forms of cultural expression and activity, which are connected by their shared goal of creating just, humane, and equitable human relations by means of their opposition to existing cultural, social, and political forms.

This conference encourages contributions from scholars, educators, artists, cultural workers, policy makers, journalists, and others involved in alternative culture and international cultural policies. We are especially interested in contributions addressing alternative culture in Central/Eastern Europe and countries/regions of the former Soviet Union.

Areas of inquiry for submissions may include, but are not limited to, the following general topics in relation to the politics of alternative culture today:

Aesthetics – Collectivity – post-Communist Culture – Creativity – Cultural Studies – Eastern Europe – Geography -Globalization – Higher Education – Media – Memory/Nostalgia – Music – New Media – ex-Socialist History – ex-Soviet Urban Spaces – Visual Culture

The “Alternative Culture Now: The Politics of Culture at the Present Conjuncture” conference will take place at the OSA Archivum in Budapest, Hungary, April 8-10, 2010. It is organized and sponsored by the International Alternative Culture Center, with the support of the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology (Central European University) and the Canada Research Chair in Cultural Studies (University of Alberta). The conference format will be diverse, including paper presentations, panels, round-table exchanges, artistic performances, and exhibitions. We encourage individual and collaborative paper and panel proposals from across the disciplines and from artists and community members.

Paper Submissions should include: (1) contact information; (2) a 300-500 word abstract; and (3) a one page curriculum vitae or a brief bio.

Panel Proposals should include: (1) a cover sheet with contact information for chair and each panelist; (2) a one-page rationale explaining the relevance of the panel to the theme of the conference; (3) a 300 word abstract for each proposed paper; and (4) a one page curriculum vitae for each presenter.

Please submit individual paper proposals or full panel proposals via e-mail attachment by January 25, 2010 to with the subject line “Alternative Culture Now.” Attachments should be in .doc or .rtf formats. Submissions should be one document (i.e. include all required information in one attached document).


Conference Organizing Team: Sarah Blacker (University of Alberta, Canada), Jessie Labov (Ohio State, USA), Andrew Pendakis (University of Bonn, Germany), Justin Sully (McMaster University, Canada), Imre Szeman (University of Alberta, Canada), Maria Whiteman (University of Alberta, Canada), and Olga Zaslavskaya (OSA, Hungary)

Sarah Blacker
Department of English and Film Studies
3-5 Humanities Centre
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
T6G 2E5

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Circulated by Jonathan Pugh, Director, The Spaces of Democracy and the Democracy of Space” network:

Interdisciplinary Workshop on ‘Disciplining Dissent’, Verdon Smith Room, Institute for Advanced Studies, Royal Fort House University of Bristol, United Kingdom, 18-19 September 2009

Recent years have seen an upsurge of scholarly interest in the activities and significance of the activist groups and resistance movements which have come to be associated with ‘anti-globalisation’ politics.  Whilst analyses of the diverse assemblages, solidarity movements and activist networks involved in resisting neoliberal globalisation and promoting alternatives are an important addition to literatures on globalisation and global politics, there has been a tendency in some of this work to romanticise the activities and transformative capacities of these groups and networks.  What is often missing from the analysis is consideration of the formal and informal forms of discipline that operate towards, within and through resistance movements – be it through coercive repression, through interventions to co-opt social movements, or through the production of particular resisting subjects.

We are organising an interdisciplinary workshop at the University of Bristol on 18-19 September 2009 that will explore the different forms of discipline and power that operate towards, within and through contemporary resistance movements.  The workshop builds on a panel session at the British International Studies Association Annual Conference in Exeter in December 2008 and a collaborative workshop held at the International Studies Association Annual Convention in New York in February 2009 that explored these themes.  It will bring together scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds who share an interest in the ways in which contemporary forms of political dissent, such as those represented by ‘anti’- or ‘alter-globalisation movement(s)’, are both disciplined and disciplining.

Selected papers from the workshop will be published in a special issue of the journal Globalizations, which will be dedicated to the theme of Disciplining Dissent. 

The workshop fee is £30 (with a discounted rate of £20 for research students/low incomes) and includes lunch and refreshments on both days. 

For more details, and to download a registration form, please go to   Registration forms must be returned to Louise Chambers ( by Wednesday 19th August.  Places are strictly limited, and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Please contact Lara Coleman ( and Karen Tucker ( if you require any further information.

The workshop is generously supported by:

The Anarchist Studies Network:

The Global Insecurities Centre at the Department of Politics, University of Bristol:

Roberts Skills Fund ( University of Bristol )

The University of Bristol Alumni Foundation:

The University of Bristol’s Institute for Advanced Studies – Research Student Interdisciplinary Events and Fast -Track Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professorship Schemes:

For “The Spaces of Democracy and the Democracy of Space” network website:

For Radical Politics Today magazine:

For more on the book ‘What is radical politics today?’ published20in 2009 by Palgrave MacMillan:

Jonathan Pugh, Senior Academic Fellow, Director “The Spaces of Democracy and the Democracy of Space” network, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, 5th Floor Claremont Tower, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, United Kingdom, Honorary Fellow, The Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster

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