An Introductory Anthology of Anarchy in the Academy
Author: Randall Amster
Category: Political Science
This volume of collected essays by some of the most prominent academics studying anarchism bridges the gap between anarchist activism on the streets and anarchist theory in the academy. Focusing on anarchist theory, pedagogy, methodologies, praxis, and the future, this edition will strike a chord for anyone interested in radical social change. This interdisciplinary work highlights connections between anarchism and other perspectives such as feminism, queer theory, critical race theory, disability studies, post-modernism and post-structuralism, animal liberation, and environmental justice. Featuring original articles, this volume brings together a wide variety of anarchist voices whilst stressing anarchism's tradition of dissent. This book is a must buy for the critical teacher, student, and activist interested in the state of the art of anarchism studies.
The turn of the Millennium demonstrated a fully-fledged revival and fusion of various left-wing social movements with differing agendas. Movements for women's, black, indigenous, LGTB and animal liberation as well as ecological, anti-nuclear and anti-war groups unified against the global capital. Considering the diverse emphases of these movements, is there a philosophical framework that could help us understand their nature and their modes of operation in the 21st century? This book provides a set of conceptual tools offering a theoretical model of 'slow' social transformation, a modality of social change that explicitly differs from the irruptive model of a revolution or a paradigm-changing event. Instead, it proposes the two concepts of mimetic contagion and solidarity with singularity which allow us to understand what is currently happening in the activist milieu. By bringing together some of today's most important thinkers, including Butler, Girard, Badiou, and Sloterdijk this book suggests a philosophical lens to look at the alternative living projects that contemporary left-wing activists undertake in practice. At the heart of their projects lie the pressing concerns that these contemporary philosophers currently debate. Breaking from the conceptual apparatus of the Marxian tradition, Theorizing Contemporary Anarchism instead takes Hegelian concepts and feeds them through the thought of contemporary theorists in order to form an original, productive, and inclusive scaffold with which to understand today's world of social and political movements.
Anarchism is by far the least broadly understood ideology and the least studied academically. Though highly influential, both historically and in terms of recent social movements, anarchism is regularly dismissed. Anarchism: A Conceptual Approach is a welcome addition to this growing field, which is widely debated but poorly understood. Occupying a distinctive position in the study of anarchist ideology, this volume – authored by a handpicked group of established and rising scholars – investigates how anarchists often seek to sharpen their message and struggle to determine what ideas and actions are central to their identity. Moving beyond defining anarchism as simply an ideology or political theory, this book examines the meanings of its key concepts, which have been divided into three categories: Core, Adjacent, and Peripheral concepts. Each chapter focuses on one important concept, shows how anarchists have understood the concept, and highlights its relationships to other concepts. Although anarchism is often thought of as a political topic, the interdisciplinary nature of Anarchism: A Conceptual Approach makes it of interest to students and scholars across the social sciences, liberal arts, and the humanities.
Concealing the state frees us from admitting the unpleasant truth-in today's world we are utterly dependent upon the state's increasingly frantic efforts to control risk. To this end, states have created systems of coercion and surveillance that are difficult to reconcile with our theories of political legitimacy. The dominant ideology of contemporary politics has become the concealment of the state's overwhelming power and role in daily life. We prefer the comfortable illusion that we are autonomous individuals pursuing our plans in a free market. If we hold fast to that idea, then our distance from policy makers and dwindling political influence seems less important. Nonetheless, this book draws upon the anarchist tradition and a wide range of accessible policy examples (ranging from military organization and environmental regulations to scientific investment and education) to reveal the active role of contemporary states behind this ideological screen. Lindsey argues that we need a new politics that focuses on exposing and challenging the contemporary state's hidden agency. Otherwise, how can we democratically control the state when it denies, from the outset, having the ability to meet our demands?
With all of the provocative, sometimes highly destructive acts committed in the name of anarchy, this enlightening volume invites readers to discover the true meaning of anarchism, exploring its vivid history and its resurgent relevance for addressing today's most vexing social problems.
Political obligation refers to the moral obligation of citizens to obey the law of their state and to the existence, nature, and justification of a special relationship between a government and its constituents. This volume in the Contemporary Anarchist Studies series challenges this relationship, seeking to define and defend the position of critical philosophical anarchism against alternative approaches to the issue of justification of political institutions. The book sets out to demonstrate the value of taking an anarchist approach to the problem of political authority, looking at theories of natural duty, state justification, natural duty of justice, fairness, political institutions, and more. It argues that the anarchist perspective is in fact indispensable to theorists of political obligation and can improve our views of political authority and social relations. This accessible book builds on the works of philosophical anarchists such as John Simmons and Leslie Green, and discusses key theorists, including Rousseau, Rawls, and Horton. This key resource will make an important contribution to anarchist political theory and to anarchist studies more generally.
The Impossible Community confronts a critical moment when social and ecological catastrophe loom, the Left seems unable to articulate a response, and the Right is monopolizing public debates. This book offers a reformulation of anarchist social and political theory to develop a communitarian anarchist solution. It argues that a free and just social order requires a radical transformation of the modes of domination exercised through social ideology and institutional structures. Communitarian anarchism unites a universalist concern for social and ecological justice while recognizing the integrity and individuality of the person. In fact, anarchist principles of mutual aid and voluntary cooperation can already be seen in various contexts, from the rebuilding of New Orleans after Katrina to social movements in India. This work offers both a theoretical framework and concrete case studies to show how contemporary anarchist practice continues a long tradition of successfully synthetizing personal and communal liberation. This significant contribution will appeal not only to students in anarchism and political theory, but also to activists and anyone interested in making the world a better place.
The study of anarchism as a philosophical, political, and social movement has burgeoned both in the academy and in the global activist community in recent years. Taking advantage of this boom in anarchist scholarship, Nathan J. Jun and Shane Wahl have compiled twenty-six cutting-edge essays on this timely topic in New Perspectives on Anarchism. This collection of essays is unique in its global and multi-cultural scope, as its contributors hail from across the globe. The scholars and activists featured in New Perspectives on Anarchism view anarchism from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including philosophy, political science, religion, sociology, and ecology. Together, they attest to the vibrancy, intrepidity, and diversity of contemporary anarchist studies both within and without the academy. New Perspectives on Anarchism's broad approach to anarchism will make it appealing to scholars and political activists from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds.
Anarchism and Political Modernity looks at the place of classical anarchism in the postmodern political discourse, claiming that anarchism presents a vision of political postmodernity. The book seeks to foster a better understanding of why and how anarchism is growing in the present. To do so, it first looks at its origins and history, offering a different view from the two traditions that characterize modern political theory: socialism and liberalism. Such an examination leads to a better understanding of how anarchism connects with newer political trends and why it is a powerful force in contemporary social and political movements. This new volume in the Contemporary Anarchist Studies series offers a novel philosophical engagement with anarchism and contests a number of positions established in postanarchist theory. Its new approach makes a valuable contribution to an established debate about anarchism and political theory. It offers a new perspective on the emerging area of anarchist studies that will be of interest to students and theorists in political theory and anarchist studies.