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.
This chapter examines what migrant labourers said about the uprising, what kinds of socio-economic antagonisms they wanted resolved, and what shape their idealised future post-revolutionary society might take. It argues that men’s oppositional politics are neither a mechanistic material “bread riot” response to low wages and high prices, nor are they wholly an emotionally or “affect-driven” response to “shame and indignation.” Drawing on the work of Ernesto Laclau, I argue that Syrian labourers’ horizontal anti-regime demands and ideas are indicative of a populist rupture in Syrian state-society relations. I show how workers took time to reflect on their material conditions. Then they identified who they felt responsible for those conditions (what they called “the regime”) and decided on what was to be done (“support the revolution”). I show how their opposition to the Assad government is thus not only down to some threatened sense of “identity,” but that sense of threat, and even those identities, always emerge through a specific interplay between their objective material conditions under (neo-)liberal capitalism (as migrant laborers) and subjective understandings of the politically possible (“the people” having overcome the “barrier of fear”).
Giuseppe Bolotta, Philip Fountain, and R. Michael Feener
Numerous commentators have pointed to the complex intersections of religion, politics, and neo-liberalcapitalism in relation to the sacralisation of monetary prosperity and the on-going commodification of social life (Goodchild, 2009 ; Collier, 2012 ; Ong, 2006 ). In her analysis of Islamic charity in Egypt, for example, Mona Atia ( 2013 ) discusses ‘pious neoliberalism’, while Jean and John Comaroff ( 1999 ) document the rise of ‘occult economies’ in post-colonial rural South Africa, where the growing deployment of magical means for material ends underlines the
production to what is
produced and how it circulates, to objects –‘things’ in Appadurai’s (1986) formulation –and to exchange, was consonant with broader shifts in the global political
economy away from the productivism of the socialist bloc to the dominance of
neoliberalism, and away from labour to post-Fordism and consumption. (Harris
As banks and economies have collapsed leaving ongoing crises, unemployment
and real suffering in their wake, neo-liberalcapitalism’s claims to offer solutions to
historic problems of inequality and exploitation look
elites moved rightwards by embracing a callous neo-liberalism. It is not unlikely
that the Irish Catholic Church will, despite its antipathy to sexual and gender
policies embraced by the left, also find itself impelled to move in liberal-left
directions as the once socially conservative and overtly Catholic parties, Fianna
Fáil and Fine Gael, become more openly neo-liberal and secular and espouse an
aggressive neo-liberalcapitalism. Declining authority and less cosy church–state
relations are wholly compatible with increased Catholic critical
Newspapers, magazines and pamphlets have always been central, almost sacred, forms of communication within Irish republican political culture. While social media is becoming the primary ideological battleground in many democracies, Irish republicanism steadfastly expresses itself in the traditional forms of activist journalism. Shinners, Dissos and Dissenters is a long-term analysis of the development of Irish republican activist media since 1998 and the tumultuous years following the end of the Troubles. It is the first in-depth analysis of the newspapers, magazines and online spaces in which the differing strands of Irish republicanism developed and were articulated during a period where schism and dissent defined a return to violence. Based on an analysis of Irish republican media outlets as well as interviews with the key activists that produced them, this book provides a compelling long-term snapshot of a political ideology in transition. It reveals how Irish Republicanism was moulded by the twin forces of the Northern Ireland Peace Process and the violent internal ideological schism that threatened a return to the ‘bad old days’ of the Troubles. This book is vital for those studying Irish politics and those interestedin activism as it provides new insights into the role that modern activist media forms have played in the ideological development of a 200-year-old political tradition.
bearing on the present, then it is likely that any resolution will be determined by the way in which recent history is understood. If an absence of social mobility is understood as the main cause of the social and economic problems of the last decade, it is likely that the existing political settlement will be able to weather the storm without radically modifying the distribution of wealth. But if these problems are understood as a product of structural inequities that have followed from neo-liberalcapitalism, it may well be that a different ideology could obtain
this text is a
recognition of the self-destructive riskiness inherent in debt economies
and neo-liberalcapitalism. Madden’s pronounced emphasis on the
optative imagination ( Flannery, 2020 :
319) and alternative futures in the delineation of the key figures in
this fiction, he contended, is an attempt to win back control of
contingency from the catastrophic economic forces that reigned supreme
This book is about science in theatre and performance. It explores how theatre and performance engage with emerging scientific themes from artificial intelligence to genetics and climate change. The book covers a wide range of performance forms from the spectacle of the Paralympics Opening Ceremony to Broadway musicals, from experimental contemporary performance and opera to educational theatre, Somali poetic drama and grime videos. It features work by pioneering companies including Gob Squad, Headlong Theatre and Theatre of Debate as well as offering fresh analysis of global blockbusters such as Wicked and Urinetown. The book offers detailed description and analysis of theatre and performance practices as well as broader commentary on the politics of theatre as public engagement with science. It documents important examples of collaborative practice with extended discussion of the Theatre of Debate process developed by Y Touring theatre company, exploration of bilingual theatre-making in East London and an account of how grime MCs and dermatologists ended up making a film together in Birmingham. The interdisciplinary approach draws on contemporary research in theatre and performance studies in combination with key ideas from science studies. It shows how theatre can offer important perspectives on what the philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers has called ‘cosmopolitics’. The book argues that theatre can flatten knowledge hierarchies and hold together different ways of knowing.
English radicalism has been a deep-rooted but minority tradition in the political culture since at least the seventeenth century. The central aim of this book is to examine, in historical and political context, a range of key events and individuals that exemplify English radicalism in the twentieth century. This analysis is preceded by defining precisely what has constituted this tradition; and by the main outline of the development of the tradition from the Civil War to the end of the nineteenth century. Three of the main currents of English radicalism in the twentieth century have been the labour movement, the women’s movement and the peace movement. These are discussed in some detail, as a framework for the detailed consideration of ten key representative figures of the tradition in the twentieth century: Bertrand Russell, Sylvia Pankhurst, Ellen Wilkinson, George Orwell, E.P. Thompson, Michael Foot, Joan Maynard, Stuart Hall, Tony Benn and Nicolas Walter. The question of ‘agency’ – of how to bring about radical change in a predominantly conservative society and culture – has been a fundamental issue for English radicals. It is argued that, in the twentieth century, many of the important achievements in progressive politics have taken place in and through extra-parliamentary movements, as well as through formal political parties and organisations – the Labour Party and other socialist organisations – and on occasion, through libertarian and anarchist politics. The final chapter considers the continuing relevance of this political tradition in the early twenty-first century, and reviews its challenges and prospects.