This is a blog focusing on the impact of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and its relevance for the academic disciplines of International Relations (IR) theory and International Political Economy (IPE). Its also a personal journal of sorts, chronicling the development of my ongoing book project, Negotiating Crisis: Neoliberal Power in Austerity Ireland, on the place of culture and subjectivity in the Irish financial crisis (the crisis in Ireland raising some of the most extreme examples of the sort of politics to which the Occupy movement is opposed).

When it was first established, the goal of the blog was to help facilitate an emerging Occupy-inspired movement within IR theory and IPE. This ‘occupyirtheory’ movement created some great projects, including a Facebook group where a lot of the interesting online dialogue continues to take place today. You can find the #OCCUPYIRTHEORY Facebook group by clicking the link in the above menu, and you’re welcome to join in. As of today (June 23, 2016), the group has has close to 1000 members!

With the height of the Occupy movement now behind us, however, the blog is in need of a new purpose. Inspired to some extent by this post in the Chronicle of Higher Education, my hope is that I can use it to help me achieve my writing goals, and also hopefully solicit some interesting feedback on the project. My book, on the culture of austerity in Ireland, is rich with themes germane to the Occupy movement, and so I hope this will be a happy marriage of interests.

The early contents of this site constitute an archive of sorts, of the moment, back in late 2011, when the Occupy Wall St. movement was first grabbing our attention. Back then, we were having meetings and wondering how this new horizontal movement spoke to us in the discipline, and not just in terms of what we see and study in the world. Indeed, we were also becoming aware of how the world of financial capital was reaching its squid-like tentacles into the ivory tower of higher education (for this, we even got a shout-out from the New York Times!). Here is a short review of the group’s results so far:

  • Journal of Critical Globalization Studies: At the outset of #occupyirtheory, Amin Samman and the other editors at JCGS made a generous offer to provide a formal academic venue for several short critical pieces (2-3 pages each) on the #occupywallstreet phenomenon itself, as well as what it means for the study of world politics. They are terming this a “a special scholarly commentary forum”. JCGS is an online journal, so it allowed us to make content available rather quickly, and in time for the 2012 ISA…
  • #OCCUPY-ISA: In April 2012 we arranged an informal session for ISA’s Annual Convention in San Diego. In the spirit of Occupy, our goal was to just occupy a space and see what came up. Attendants focused heavily on paywalls in journal publishing, and a new project, OpenIR, were discussed.
  • #OccupyISA-BISA: Later in the year, at ISA-BISA, in Edinburgh, we met again.
  • In 2016, a major debate took place on the Facebook group concerning whether or not to boycott the European International Studies Association (or EISA) conference, scheduled to take place in Izmir, late 2016.
  • Other projects? Many of the newer initiatives are discussed at Disorder of Things, and on the Facebook group.

If you are looking to get involved in #OCCUPYIRTHEORY or communicate with people interested in any of its various related projects, why not jump on over to the Facebook group and check out the ongoing conversation? Should you wish to reach me, my email is nicholaskiersey[AT]gmail[dot]com.



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Horizontal Politics & IR Theory

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