Anarchy in Crisis
Climate crises. Banking crises. Political crises. Everywhere today we encounter crises. Is anarchism the answer, or is it too in crisis, needing urgent reinvention to survive?
The economic crisis of 2008 left a generation of young people in the West facing unemployment, soaring inequality and a politics of austerity aimed at destroying hope. In the UK and elsewhere in the West, the seeds for this had already been planted with the dispossession of industrial workers in the 70s and 80s and the shift to more diffuse systems of governance. The Global South, following decades of destructive politics, is today facing political as well as climate crises. While in the 2000s it was possible for Uri Gordon to argue that “the past ten years have seen the full-blown revival of anarchism,” the mood today is much less optimistic, with anarchists all over the world grappling with populism, the rise of neo-fascism and extreme state oppression.
The Greek root, krisis, denoting decision, or a decisive point, implies a split temporality – the moment where two or more futures become possible and a step is taken which embraces one and rejects the other. Crisis is also etymologically related to critique, through which possibilities may emerge as realities. Anarchism has always provided both, through times of hardship and times of optimism. Confident that our sparks are going to start a fire one day, let’s meet and offer an anarchist response to the state of emergency the world and politics is in.
The 6th International Conference of the Anarchist Studies Network will be held at University of Nottingham from 2 - 4th September. ASN conferences aim to broach new frontiers in anarchist scholarship and encourage cross-pollination between disciplines. The central theme for this conference is Anarchy in Crisis. A list of suggested topics includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Individual or collective responses to situations of economic crisis (e.g. class struggle and trade unionism, the Occupy movement, politics of care.)
- Living in a time of crisis (e.g. war in Syria, the rise of populism worldwide, Brexit, state oppression in Hong Kong and Latin America.)
- Imperialism and crisis (colonialism, eugenics, anarchist histories in times of crisis, etc.)
- Climate change crisis (e.g. anarchist approaches to climate change, veganism, anti-natalism, Australian bush fires.)
- Post-apocalypse (e.g. anarchist utopias, posthumanism, transhumanism, politics of the future, seeds under the snow, anarchist theology.)
- Bridging the gap between personal experiences and collective crises (e.g. migrant solidarity, feminism, queer activism.)
- Responding to crisis theoretically (e.g. philosophy in times of emergency, capacities to respond to crisis, theory and practice.)
- The strength of anarchism today (e.g. critiques of anarchist approaches, new directions in theory, effectiveness of the anarchist response to crises.)
ASN also welcomes submissions that do not reference the main topic but are related to anarchist theory and practice. We welcome papers in any language, but please send an abstract in English. Abstracts should be sent by 31st March 2020 to firstname.lastname@example.orgMore information will be available on https://anarchiststudiesnetwork.org University of Nottingham facilities are fully wheelchair accessible and induction loops are available. Please do get in touch with any specific questions, needs or comments and we will do our best to meet them.