Reflections on contemporary anarchism, anti-capitalism and the international scene
visible expressions of the Anarchist Travelling
Circus at economic summits and beyond are analysed in terms of their significance in allowing a central drama to unfold; as examples of ‘modern pilgrimages’ with the capacity to defamiliarise the familiar; and as examples of an
unlicensed carnival by inversion. Anarchism is a central characteristic of the
‘anti-capitalist/anti-globalisation’ movement, though much of the mainstream
Left has had trouble acknowledging this. Another central feature of the anti-capitalist movement is the significance of grassroots movements of
, activist networks
and protest movements that come under the rather inadequate heading of the
‘anti-globalisation’ movement,1 can be seen as an example of a new form of
radical politics that calls into question the current state capitalist global order
and the neo-liberal ideology which animates it. Moreover, this ‘movement’ or
‘movement of movements’ – as activists like to refer to it – represents new forms
of political subjectivity, ethics and practice that go beyond both the class paradigms of Marxism and the identity politics of the ‘new social movements’. In
emerging today that present fundamental challenges to the way we think about radical politics and which call into
question this perhaps over-hasty dismissal of a universal idea of emancipation.
The first is the so-called ‘war on terror’ and the new forms of power, domination and ideology that are emerging with it. The second is what is broadly
termed the ‘anti-globalisation’ movement, which is still in its nascent state, and
which already represents a significant political challenge to global capitalism.
The third issue – perhaps less concrete than the previous too, yet
of the active and lively organisations established in
that period, which were oriented towards abolition and/or change of prisons, no
The feeling is that such a time will never come again. This is not true, argues
the Swedish sociologist Stellan Vinthagen. Contrasting the bleak story of our own
time, there is an alternative story. A story of resistance in our time. Vinthagen
forcefully points out that in terms of numbers alone there are probably more
people engaged in critical protests today than there were in the 1970s.9 Look at
Moving targets: rethinking anarchist
In the anarchist movement in Britain and across the world today, there are a
number of reasonably prolific publishing projects and a few moderately successful groups and organisations. It is even true that the word anarchism has lost
much of its popular perception as a source of terror and chaos, particularly in
‘anti-globalisation’ and environmental circles; but anarchism per se simply does
not have an impact on the vast majority of the population. This is not to say that
change is not
and with a politics of belonging that is widespread among the rural population.
Balcony environmentalists, hunters and farmers: narratives of Heimat in dispute
The return of the right-thinking Germans to the East to repopulate the (imagined) ‘empty lands’ goes hand in hand with ideas of ‘purification’ of German territories and strong anti-immigration attitudes. These ideas are neatly interwoven with anti-globalisation, anti-system and anti-cosmopolitan themes, and fuelling attacks of the AfD against the Green party, city dwellers and Western Germans. All
How do we think about radical politics today, in the wake of the collapse of Marxist-Leninism and the triumph of neo-liberal capitalism? How should radical political theory respond to new challenges posed by globalisation, postmodernity, the ‘war on terror’ and the rise of religious fundamentalism? How are we to take account of the new social movements and political struggles appearing on the global horizon? In addressing these questions, this book explores the theme of universality and its place in radical political theory. It argues that both Marxist politics of class struggle and the postmodern politics of difference have reached their historical and political limits, and that what is needed is a new approach to universality, a new way of thinking about collective politics. By exploring various themes and ideas within poststructuralist and post-Marxist theory, the book develops a new approach to universality — one that has implications for politics today, particularly on questions of power, subjectivity, ethics and democracy. In so doing, it engages in debates with thinkers such as Laclau, Žižek, Badiou and Rancière over the future of radical politics. The book also applies theoretical insights to contemporary events such as the emergence of the anti-globalisation movement, the ‘war on terrorism’, the rise of anti-immigrant racism and the nihilistic violence that lurks at the margins of the political.
investigation considers that while ‘anti-capitalism’ is an inherently amorphous descriptor of diverse political positions, and it has been used to characterise a broad swathe of political-economic situations, as Simon Tormey (2013) notes, following the GFC the term was most often used to describe broad-ranging opposition to neoliberal capitalism. Anti-globalisation and anti-US neo-colonial movements of the 1990s and 2000s, for instance, were not all necessarily opposed to the core and enduring tenets of capitalism as an economic model, although they were often relatively
Does European integration contribute to, or even accelerate, the erosion of intra-party democracy? This book is about improving our understanding of political parties as democratic organisations in the context of multi-level governance. It analyses the impact of European Union (EU) membership on power dynamics, focusing on the British Labour Party, the French Socialist Party (PS), and the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). The purpose of this book is to investigate who within the three parties determines EU policies and selects EU specialists, such as the candidates for European parliamentary elections and EU spokespersons. The book utilises a principal-agent framework to investigate the delegation of power inside the three parties across multiple levels and faces. It draws on over 65 original interviews with EU experts from the three national parties and the Party of European Socialists (PES) and an e-mail questionnaire. This book reveals that European policy has largely remained in the hands of the party leadership. Its findings suggest that the party grassroots are interested in EU affairs, but that interest rarely translates into influence, as information asymmetry between the grassroots and the party leadership makes it very difficult for local activists to scrutinise elected politicians and to come up with their own policy proposals. As regards the selection of EU specialists, such as candidates for the European parliamentary elections, this book highlights that the parties’ processes are highly political, often informal, and in some cases, undemocratic.
This work demonstrates that resistance to occupation by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy during the Second World War has to be seen through a transnational, not a national, lens. It explores how people often resisted outside their country of origin because they were migrants, refugees or exiles who were already on the move. It traces their trajectories and encounters with other resisters and explores their experiences, including changes of beliefs, practices and identities. The book is a powerful, subtle and thought-provoking alternative to works on the Second World War that focus on single countries or on grand strategy. It is a ‘bottom up’ story of extraordinary individuals and groups who resisted oppression from Spain to the Soviet Union and the Balkans. It challenges the standard chronology of the war, beginning with the formation of the International Brigades in Spain and following through to the onset of the Cold War and the foundation of the state of Israel. This is a collective project by a team of international historians led by Robert Gildea, author of Fighters in the Shadows: A New History of the French Resistance (Faber & Faber, 2015). These have explored archives across Europe, the USA, Russia and Israel in order to unearth scores of fascinating individual stories which are woven together into themed chapters and a powerful new interpretation. The book is aimed at undergraduates and graduates working on twentieth-century Europe and the Second World War or interested in the possibilities of transnational history.