Laura Horn, Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark
Re-Imagining Class - materialities of resistance, state power and the Commons
In a context of increasingly authoritarian processes of austerity measures in response to the crisis in Europe and beyond, various groups and social movements have articulated quests for more democracy and reclaiming the Commons. Categories of public goods and the commons include amongst others education, health, environment, food, water, air, energy, land, housing, transport, cities, or waste management. These notions generally engender new forms of horizontal participatory and inclusive bottom up democratic decision-making and communal ownership structures not considered for profit. Democratic imaginaries are however only seldom spelled out, as if such wished-for democratic structures were without a teleology. This raises the question of which concrete conceptions the (radical) Left has to offer with respect to the political economy of democracy and the commons? Which lessons can be drawn from prefigurative politics and existing/real life examples in the organisation of the economy and public goods? Which implications would such imaginaries have for rethinking class, and the materialities within social movements? At the same time, in order to contextualise these processes in the concrete materiality of crisis and resistance, we need to understand the changes and continuities in the imaginaries of state power and authoritarian governance, and the relations between social forces struggling over the prerogatives of resistance and contestation.
As the overall conference theme suggests, it is through sociological imagination that we can begin to understand the current conjuncture and formulate alternatives. Re-imagining class should be a core focus in this process. We are interested in hosting a wide range of topics in our sessions that are linked to the above themes. This could include a focus on various social movements on the Commons; contestation and resistance to austerity measures; new forms of democratic participation and citizenship; conceptual reflection and critique on the use of class concepts; authoritarian dimensions of the ongoing capitalist restructuring; new manifestations of the capital-labour conflict; or the social/human geography of contestation and resistance. Of particular importance here are critical feminist political economy perspectives that challenge underlying patriarchal structures and social relations.
We are interested in all of the above plus more. We invite contributions from those with an interest in critical political economy research, regardless of their disciplinary affiliation and whether they are in academia or not. We also hope to attract a diverse range of participants, from a number of countries and backgrounds. For any questions regarding this Call and the submission of papers/panels, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes for authors
Authors are invited to submit their abstract either to the general session or any specific session. Please submit only to one session. After abstract evaluation, coordinators will have the chance to transfer papers between sessions where applicable.
Abstracts should not exceed 250 words. Each paper session will have the duration of 1.5 hours. Normally sessions will include 4 papers.
Abstracts must be submitted online to the submission platform, see below. Abstracts sent by email cannot be accepted. Abstracts will be peer-reviewed and selected for presentation by the Research Network; the letter of notification will be sent by the conference software system in early April 2015.
Abstract submission deadline (extended): 15th February 2015
Abstract submission platform: www.esa12thconference.eu
If you have further questions on the conference, please visit the conference website. For further information on the Research Network, please visit www.europeansociology.org.