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CRISIS

CRISIS

CRISIS & CRTIQUE OF THE STATE

Call for Papers

Crisis & Critique of the State
Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference 2013
25 – 26 October 2013, Goldsmiths, University of London

Keynote Speakers:
Sara Farris, Goldsmiths, University of London
Bob Jessop, Lancaster University
Massimiliano Tomba, University of Padua

The ongoing crisis poses the question of state and democracy anew. While many commentators mourn the vanishing sovereignty of the state in the face of financial markets and globalisation, and declare our times to be post-democratic, their nostalgic image of the glorious days of democracy and sovereignty as bulwarks against capitalism is profoundly problematic. We consider it therefore not only necessary to discuss the question of the state and democracy again, but with Negri we could even say that “there must be a structural theory of the State-capital-society relationship and a political strategy adequate to the structural character of these interrelations.”

Revisit concepts and discussions…
The goal of the conference is to debate critical materialist notions of the state, which do not fall back into vulgar conceptions that see the state simply as the tool of the ruling class, but also refuse the common liberal position in which the state becomes the mere mediator of conflicting interests. We consider Poulantzas’s notion of the state as “the specific material condensation of a relationship of forces among classes and class fractions” to be a fruitful starting point. From Poulantzas’s perspective, which critically incorporates Althusser’s earlier attempt to complexify a materialist concept of the state, the state is the product of existing power relations; however, it can gain a relative autonomy from those structures and in turn transform them. That is also the backdrop against which democracy within capitalist societies can be discussed productively. But the question of democracy goes beyond the analysis of the existing: philosophical, social and empirical notions of democracy, sovereignty and the political are key to any present discussion of emancipatory politics.

…to address questions of the present.
We want to tie in with existing materialist conceptions and critiques of the state and think through their relevance to the present. What does it mean for the state to be the “ideal collective capitalist” (Engels) in times of the economic crisis? Is there a notion of the state that we should defend and what would it look like? What is a feminist critique of the state in the face of the crisis (of reproduction)? These are only a few of the many questions we hope to discuss from various disciplinary, theoretical as well as empirical, perspectives.

Topics include but are not limited to:
– (materialist) state theories
– state-form, sovereignty and the law
– the crisis and critique of democracy, representation and popular sovereignty
– critiques of the nation state, citizenship and immigration policies
– the state and race
– feminist critiques of the state
– governmentality / management and resistance in the economic crisis
– the politics of austerity and their cultural and economic implications
– the role of the state and political economy
– (post-)politics and the political
– the relationship between democracy, populism and fascism
– revolution and the state
– the relation of philosophy and politics vis-à-vis the state
– violence, repression and the state: “policing the crisis”
– state & the commons

The call is primarily addressed to postgraduate students, young researchers, activists, etc. We plan to have panels with academics from Goldsmiths and other universities responding to the presentations.
Please send abstracts of not more than 500 words to goldsmithsgradconference@gmail.com by Monday, 29th of July 2013. We also invite proposals for possible panels.

See: http://goldsmithsgradconference.wordpress.com/

First published at: http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/cfp-crisis-critique-of-the-state-goldsmiths-25-26-october

 

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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

 

Critique

LONDON CONFERENCE IN CRITICAL THOUGHT – CALL FOR PAPERS

Call for Papers for London Conference in Critical Thought 2012
29th and 30th of June, 2012
Birkbeck College, University of London

Abstracts need to be submitted until 19th of February to londoncriticalconference@gmail.com with the Stream name in the subject line.

Stream/Panel: Thinking Egalitarian Emancipation
Stream Organisers: Matthew Cole, Svenja Bromberg

In light of the current state of the situation—the rapid increase in socio-economic inequalities, the crisis of state sovereignty, the broader crisis of global financial capitalism, and the lack of a radical counter-praxis on the Left—this stream/panel attempts to think political/social/economic emancipation through the ideal of egalitarianism. Given the unipolarity of capitalist realism, there is a desperate need for an intervention that breaks this ruse of the one-all, that forces us to think an other, an outside, or a beyond. The idea of egalitarian emancipation stands opposed to both the state of nature as well as the capitalist state. Contemporary social theory must reassess, rethink and reinvent the problems, solutions, paradoxes and attempted syntheses in order to move past the plateau of late Twentieth century post-structuralism. We aim to think the primacy of egalitarianism as an emancipatory force against the inherent stratification of the capitalist world. We aim to think the possibility of a novel foundation or grounding beyond the ‘post’.

Stream/panel papers could address the following topics and questions:

    • Revival of a dead concept: How to think emancipation in the contemporary conjuncture of late-capitalism?
    • Demos [the commons, common people] and kratos [power]: What does it mean to take power under the guise of ‘the common’?
    • Politics beyond the state, beyond class ‘relations’, beyond capitalism: Revolution or Reformation?Full Communism or …? Dealing with emancipation’s Marxian legacy.
    • The subject after post-structuralism [or, Human all too inhuman]: How may we think a subject for egalitarian emancipation? What are the implications of this for race, sex, gender, etc.?
    • Relation of freedom and emancipation: What are the implications of egalitarian emancipation forthe social contract? [or, must we force [wo]man to be free?]
    • Emancipation in practice: What do we learn from contemporary struggles about the possibility and implications for theorizing this concept today?

Relevant thinkers include Badiou, Rancière, Balibar, Laclau, Fanon, Agamben, Nancy, Frankfurt School, Zizek, De Beauvoir and many others.

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

‘The Lamb’ by William Blake – set to music by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw3VloKBvZc

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

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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