This episode we’re talking about the 2017 British General Election, and the surprising performance of Jeremy Corbyn, and the British Labour Party. Our guest is Owen Worth, Senior Lecturer In International Relations at the University of Limerick, in Ireland. Owen specializes in the study of social movements, and has published a number of works on varieties of resistance to neoliberalism, from religious fundamentalism to more leftist expressions. On the day of the election, he had a piece published in the Irish Times, wherein he argued that Corbyn would likely do very well, as a result of the mobilization of large numbers of young “anti-establishment” voters in the UK.
In the interview, you’ll hear Owen refer to something called a War of position. This is a term drawn from the theories of Antonio Gramsci. In contrast with Gramsci’s notion of the “war of movement,” which refers more to the classic revolutionary strategy of trying to seize state power by direct assault, through armed insurrections, mass protest, strikes, and the like, the “war of position” is more about trying to catalyze new forms of social imagination, and encouraging new ideas to which we attach our consent. But what is the axis of those new ideas? In the following, you’ll hear Owen argue that the results of the election suggest British politics is in the process of being rearticulated around what might prove to be an unhealthy battleground, between young and old voters. We talk about the significance of the Corbyn result for Ireland, and the way his performance has been received by the Irish media.
We are seeking participants to contribute to our proposed Venture Research Workshop at the ISA Convention 2018 in San Francisco. If successful, the one-day workshop will be held on 3rd April 2018 and travel grants will be made available. The proposed format is a series of three short panels followed by an open roundtable discussion featuring invited questions on our themes. Participants will also be invited to contribute to an edited volume.
Proposals to participate should be submitted in the form of a short abstract (max. 200 words) addressing one or more of the themes outlined below. Please submit these to Adam Fishwick (firstname.lastname@example.org or @Adam_Fishwick on Twitter) and Nicholas Kiersey (email@example.com or @occupyirtheory on Twitter) by 15th June 2017.
If like me you are scratching your head over this sudden surge in KONY postings all over the social media sphere, you could do worse than check out the mighty Robin Cameron’s compilation of useful posts weighing up the various sides to the issue. This meme harms! Do be sure to check out the KONY Drinking Game link, too!
We are producing a special edition on the recent Occupy… movement. Our aim is to publish around a dozen short papers in a ‘virtual issue’, made freely available (open access) on our journal website; around half of these papers will also be printed in the hard copy of the journal. Given the timeliness of Occupy… events, we intend to collate this edition quickly, for publication in summer 2012 (volume 11 issue 3). Continue reading CFP on ‘Occupy’ for Social Movement Studies special edition→
Kafka, Huxley and Orwell used speculative work to highlight complex political issues which went unaddressed by standard genres. The best academic work in this field does this too, using non-traditional themes and issues as imaginative sources by which to open up fields of enquiry. Michael Shapiro, Cynthia Weber, Jutta Weldes, Iver Neumann, China Miéville and others focus on big, important issues: power and the production of knowledge; identity and representation; the blurriness of reality and fiction. In contrast, Drezner’s book serves up the same old stories, told by the same old theories. By the end of the book, I was not even sure how much he knew about zombies, at least not beyond the recent vogue for Anglo-American books and films on the subject.
But these are well-trod criticisms. What interests me is that the minimal programme of 99%ism – that it is so attractive and so immediate a rallying cry. No doubt some of this is to do with the liberating sensation that one doesn’t need a fully fledged theory of political economy to take part in action. It’s diffuse groups with similarly minimal programmes that have been peculiarly successful here, too – especially UKUncut. Like many, I share a disquiet that hesitancy to voice radical critiques of wage labour and capitalist culture (because we’re scared of spooking the horses) means that these minimal programmes will find themselves as acting, essentially, as parliamentary pressure groups, articulating basically cosmetic and reformist demands. The worst outcome of 99%ism could well be a response to one of its structuring logics – that there are some bad people in the 1%, that they have behaved badly, and that once they’re suitably chastised, we can all go home and return to normal. Continue reading Three thoughts on #Occupy | openDemocracy→
Sorry – just realized that those of you who joined up were listed only as subscribers. Seeing as that’s pretty useless, I’ve upgraded you all to Authors. Hopefully that’ll allow you make contributions. Still learning how this works!
Henceforth, all new users will be authors. (Heavens, what would Foucault say???!!!).