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Interpreting the crisis

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Abstract

Conjunctural analysis is a way of looking at the social, political, economic and cultural contradictions in any particular period of political settlement, and trying to understand how they are articulated to produce that settlement - and how an alternative political project might seek to produce a different settlement, through different forms of articulation. Any serious analysis of the crisis must take into account its other 'conditions of existence'. For the political settlement that replaced the postwar consensus, which includes the Blair era - for convenience described as neoliberalism - these conditions of existence have included the 'common sense' that the market is the way to organise society. This is not something that operates only in the world of high finance; it is something that is internalised by everyone, and has become the common sense of the age.

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... La Gran Recesión (2007/8-2013/4) se demostró como una crisis multifacética y multidimensional cuyas proporciones socioculturales, políticas y humanas trascendieron lo estrictamente económico (Fraser, 2015;Hall y Massey, 2010;Marchand y Runyan, 2011;Orozco, 2014). En ese desbordar su magnitud rigurosamente económico-financiera, la crisis consiguió atravesar la cotidianeidad de las vidas e inscribirse en los cuerpos y sentires, interviniendo así en las subjetividades, los roles y las relaciones interpersonales -con un marcado carácter de género-(Marchand y Runyan, 2011), pero también en el imaginario colectivo y el sentido común que articularon las formas legítimas de (sobre)vivir en crisis y, sobre todo, de comprender qué (nos) estaba pasando. ...
... 99-112). Es por ello que esta infección cultural del capitalismo se identificaría con las maneras gramscianas de la hegemonía a través de la obtención y manipulación del consentimiento popular (Hall et al., 1982;Hall y Massey, 2010), ejercida mediante lo que Marx entendía como la universalización privilegiada de "las definiciones disponibles del mundo social" que fabrican y popularizan las clases poderosas, en posesión de los medios de producción y los recursos "mentales" (Hall et al., 1982, p. 59). Definiciones cuya producción se habría desplazado desde los estados hacia los medios de comunicación, el mercado financiero y las corporaciones internacionales en el marco del régimen neoliberal contemporáneo (Preciado, 2014) y que serían compartidas, no sin disonancias o resistencias, por las clases subyugadas (Hall et al., 1982). ...
... Así, que las definiciones de la Gran Recesión articuladas por las clases e intereses dominantes y difundidas a través de los medios de masas consigan penetrar en el hábito común, esto es, que su narrativa se popularice como el relato oficial de la crisis, no solo expone el "trabajo ideológico" de las "funciones culturales" de los medios de comunicación (Hall, 1981, pp. 251, 245); además, exhibe lo profundamente ideológico de la misión cultural del propio capitalismo, en la medida en que las condiciones de existencia de esta crisis fueron herederas, y a la par dependientes, del "borrado" ideológico al que se viene sometiendo el discurso político sobre redistribución, igualdad y lo público/común en el marco del proyecto neoliberal (Hall y Massey, 2010). De hecho, tal y como señala Astrid Agenjo, la Gran Recesión implicó un "recrudecimiento del neoliberalismo bajo formaciones simbólico/culturales cada vez más reaccionarias y antidemocráticas" que fundamentaron los discursos del miedo, el hiperindividualismo y el egoísmo, la normalización de la precariedad, la desigualdad y la mercantilización de todas las dimensiones de la vida (en Di Donato, 2021). ...
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Este trabajo plantea un comentario crítico del relato popular de la Gran Recesión en el Estado español. Desde el marco teórico-interpretativo feminista de los estudios culturales y la economía, se identifican y analizan tres tropos de esta narrativa en/de crisis: la privatización de la culpa, la promesa de un futuro mejor frente a la normalización de la precariedad y la caracterización de la recesión como una "mancession". Palabras clave Gran Recesión; crisis; culpa; precariedad; desigualdad; estudios culturales feministas.
... A conjunctural analysis engages with reflexive understandings of neoliberalism and financialisation as contingent and transformative processes, rather than as transcending topdown structures (Hall and Massey 2010;Peck 2017Peck , 2016. Here, neoliberalism refers broadly to a multiscalar and contextual market-disciplinary restructuring (Peck, Theodore, and Brenner 2013;Brenner, Peck, and Theodore 2010;Brenner and Theodore 2005), while financialisation refers to how former non-financial institutions across scales, adapt to or integrate financial logics and practices (Aalbers 2016;Christophers 2013b;Lapavitsas 2011). ...
... Following the conjunctural approach, the translation of neoliberalisation plays out both vertically, between scales such as the nation and the urban, as well as horizontally, that is through both political economic and ideological trajectories (cf. Hall and Massey 2010;Peck 2016). Furthermore, the spatial and temporal analysis which this paper presents emphasizes the public housing's political economic interdependence with the municipality's visions for the city or for certain urban areas. ...
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Public housing has been one of the primary tools mobilized in Sweden historically to fulfil citizens’ right to housing. However, the nominally universal character of public housing in the Swedish context has increasingly been circumvented through processes of segregation, residualisation, gentrification and displacement. Furthermore, previous housing research points to the neoliberal shift of Sweden’s housing politics since the early 1990s, encompassing the deregulation of public housing at the national level. Focusing on the example of public housing, this paper argues for a multiscalar and nuanced understanding of housing neoliberalisation in Sweden, by investigating the change of public housing locally. The political landscape of public housing in different localities has been transformed as a result of interacting trajectories of spatial restructuring, financialisation and ideological reconstruction. The paper examines this “conjunctural” transformation empirically through a case study of public housing in the city of Malmö.
... As Hall and Massey [2010] wrote about a different crisis, "we must address the complexity of the crisis as a whole. Different levels of society, the economy, politics, ideology, common sense, etc, come together or 'fuse'. ...
Chapter
Since 2015 the refugee 'crisis' has prevailed European discussions not only about migration or humanitarianism but also about the prospects of multicultural Europe. Within a context of only a few years, European as well as national policies have become harsher while the 'refugee issue' has been used as a means for further entrenching nationalist and far-right politics. Nevertheless, people seeking asylum continue to arrive and settle-even temporarily-in European places, reshaping localities, everydays and politics. Thus, this contribution turns towards the urban and discusses the role of refugees in transforming living together in European cities. In the specific context of nowadays Europe, it examines the position of asylum seekers through the lens of liminality; a position of potentialities as well as of danger and risk for them, as a threshold. Following the work of Stuart Hall, it questions where asylum-seekers can be considered as a signifier of living together in present day Europe; a signifier upon which representations of a future Europe and meaning-making practices and power relations are projected upon.
... An evaluation of Gillard's (2018) historical account of more than 145 reports by charities, commissions and government departments, government bills, acts and reviews regarding education in England identifies what we conceptualise as the 'DNA' to dismantle publicly funded education, whilst diverting public funds to private education. This is a classic manifestation of the hegemonic neoliberal project, as proposed by Harvey (2007), Hall (1978Hall ( , 2011, and Hall and Massey (2010). Arguably, the DNA model sits alongside Gillard's (2018) extensive history of education in the UK, by providing an interactive snapshot of key developments in legislation that have led to the dismantling of public sector education. ...
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This article is a response to the introduction of the Higher Education and Research Act (HERA) 2017, which in effect opens the door to privatised, deregulated Higher Education (HE) across the UK. The Act allows private for-profit companies, from their inception, to use the university title (previous legislation required a waiting period of four years), award degrees, and charge unregulated fees: they will not be required to establish or fund student unions. This is, we argue, the neoliberal project in action. As publicly-funded universities in the UK struggle to meet politically-driven imperatives such as the Research Excellence Framework, the Teaching Excellence Framework, audits, metrics and other performance indicators, new for-profit funded universities are emerging which position themselves as meeting industry and student expectations, rather than as centres for the creation, dissemination and research of knowledge. The only challenges to the hegemony of Universities UK (UUK), regulation of universities, and the governing bodies of pre-92 universities have come from individual academics and students, via UCU industrial action in defence of academic staff pensions. Strikes in 61 UK universities in 2018 were widely seen as a watershed in HE activism. Against this backdrop, an ideologically-driven, neoliberal agenda has begun to dismantle publicly-funded HE in England and Wales. To demonstrate this, we develop an interactive model predicated on the DNA double helix, where we illustrate links between government Acts and regulations and the concomitant dismantling of public sector education. Based on the review of over 140 government instruments, we argue the model represents the backbone of the neoliberal project which is intended to privatise all areas of education in the UK. To challenge this neoliberal agenda, we propose a manifesto to reclaim HE in England and Wales. Whilst in part the manifesto is based on the premise that a Labour government will be elected within the next 5 years, this is not a prerequisite for reclaiming our universities. The manifesto seeks to establish University Community Cooperatives — collegiate, collaborative spaces of knowledge creation. Our analysis of the current political landscape in England and Wales, in light of recent activism within HE, leads us to be optimistic. We argue that it is possible, through the efforts of individuals, collectives, unions and all citizens concerned with, and in, HE to work together to achieve truly inclusive, democratic, communities of learning. These communities will reclaim universities, organise, and act for the benefit of civic society. Staff and student unions have come together in common cause to challenge the neoliberal university model, rendering them the power to dismantle the neoliberal agenda; our manifesto seeks to contribute to the struggle to reject neoliberal realism and reclaim our universities.
... While it is true that covid-19 has stimulated new projects and funding streams on race and health, not least for BAME healthcare workers also found to be most at risk, the point we are making is not that there is no action around race but that it is chronically embedded in a political structure that suggests the specific historical form of racism at this time, that Goldberg (2015) captures through 'post-race'. The tears or ruptures of a hegemonic order are visible but, as in Hall's (see Hall and Massey 2010) wellknown idea of a politics 'without guarantees', there remains an uneasy balance between 'old', 'new' and still 'evolving' or emerging forms of racial orders. ...
Article
This article outlines an argument about the morbid character of racism in the time of COVID-19. Drawing on Antonio Gramsci's famous characterisation of the crisis as an ‘interregnum’ in which various ‘morbid phenomena’ appear, we suggest that one of the main underpinning logics of the current crisis could be thought of in terms of racist morbidities. Framing the article within Stuart Hall's reading of Gramsci and David Theo Goldberg's understanding of the postracial, we discuss two empirical cases: the disproportionate morbid effects of the pandemic on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) in the UK – that we name ‘political morbidities’, and the Moscow municipality's measures addressing migrant workers during the pandemic – that we name ‘socio-spatial morbidities’. The COVID-19 crisis, we conclude, seems to elicit racist morbidities in post-racial guises.
... Further, Level 1 is not the most concrete, nor level 7 the most abstract, since concrete phenomena and experiences can be large and generalized at same time as abstract concepts can be discrete and localized. Levels of generality may be moved between in ways that highlight elements of the general and particular that can serve as the foundation for multiple political actions and solidarities -as demonstrated in the conjunctural method advocated by Doreen Massey, Stuart Hall (1995;Hall and Massey, 2010) and Jamie Peck (2017) amongst others. Table 1 presents a provisional framework that should be mobilized -and critiqued -in the process of theorizing urban socio-spatial relations. ...
Article
This article discusses how critical urban theory understands generalisation and particularity by unpacking the process of abstraction. It develops an urban interpretation of dialectics through the philosophy of internal relations to: (i) heuristically examine conceptual and political fissures within contemporary urban studies and (ii) critically recalibrate neo-Marxist planetary urban theorising. Examining the conceptual extension, levels of generality and vantage points of our abstractions can assist in constructively negotiating relations between urban difference and generality. The challenge is not which assertions are true based on a given epistemological position, but which abstractions are appropriate to address specific issues, given the range of politics and possibilities each establishes.
... This brings us to the obvious question: why so much wrong information, sometimes with fatal results, regarding the coronavirus? We can begin with a structural, almost universal theory common to historical social psychology, and then move closer to a cultural studies one, which stresses its characteristic 'nowness', the conjunctural considerations that press upon its embeddedness in tensions of historical change, crisis, stability/instability, struggle -stability/instability and crisis being considerations that typify cultural and conjunctural approaches (Hall and Massey, 2010;Highmore, 2016). ...
Article
This article demonstrates and critiques the coronavirus’ cultural agency, which thanks to this human assistance, worked in synergy with its biological form. Looking at the virus as an ‘infodemic’ and a set of transnational political events, it argues that a conjuncturally specific form of toxic, especially white, masculinity is key to understanding the virus’s entwinement with contemporary post-truth or ‘emo-truth’ politics. A conjunctural focus reveals why a certain form of aggressive (masculine and white), ruggedly individualist truth-telling, its false statements, its historical causes, and mortal effects could become so spectacularly impactful at a particular point in time, in particular places.
... At the same time, this work sidesteps the important question of socio-historical change. It lacks, that is, the kind of genealogical (Foucault, 1978) or conjunctural (Massey and Hall, 2010) analysis that would show how community policing is related to evolving socio-spatial hierarchies. Herbert's (2006) seminal analysis, for example, argues that community policing produces better (more responsive) results in higher-income neighbourhoods, as the latter tend to possess more community organizations, more political acuity, and more residents with the capacity to involve themselves in community initiatives. ...
Article
Community policing is a varying operation. Recent scholarship has attempted to grapple with this variation by examining differences in the way community policing operates across space (e.g., from neighbourhood to neighbourhood), but has problematically overlooked the issue of variation over time. Aiming to analyze both geographical and historical variation, this article examines community policing in the city of Montreal between 1978 and 1994. In this period, I argue, community policing embodied at least three distinct logics, each of which were linked to variations in the racial politics of the city: (1) a logic of collaboration, (2) a logic of compromise, and (3) a logic of counter-insurgency. These three logics, emerging at specific points in time, were also specific in their geography. Documenting geographical and historical variations in community policing, I conclude, can help to link diverse forms of policing to the differentiated socio-spatial hierarchies that shape it and better contribute to the making of what Gilmore (2017) “abolition geographies.”
... Hip hop and rap have connected US urban communities such as the Bronx to urban communities throughout the globe, crossing borders of nation-states. According to Hall and Massey (2010), conjunctures are "a period during which the different social, political, economic and ideological contradictions that are at work in society come together to give it a specific and distinctive shape" (57). Gangsta rap, also known as reality rap, for example, depicted the 1980s conjuncture of deindustrialization, abandonment, police violence, drug addiction, and gang violence, created as a result of the social and economic policies of the Reagan administration. ...
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In the 1990s, the Los Angeles Police Department's Rampart Division gained notoriety for its corruption charges and excessive use of force. The Rampart scandal was not an isolated incident but rather an expression of the normalized violence of the LAPD during the ongoing neoliberal restructuring of the city. As street reporters, the Psycho Realm, a Chicano hip-hop group, documented this violence through their rap albums. According to blues scholar Clyde Woods, hip hop is a “blues revival movement” that serves as a tradition of investigation and criticism. Following Woods's framework, I conduct a content analysis of the music of the Psycho Realm through a conjunctural analysis of 1990s Los Angeles to discuss the link between the violence of policing and neoliberal racial capitalism in the city. I argue that the music of the Psycho Realm provides a disordering narrative and practice that disrupt the normative understanding of policing, as well as political economy, and envisions an alternative social warrant. Analyzing the music of the Psycho Realm and the violence of policing in 1990s Los Angeles offers a lesson for ongoing debates revolving around police violence and reform policies.
... Covid-19 as crisis, like other crises, offers opportunities for unpacking what went before. Crises then are not events, but condensed moments where the internal contradictions of a period come to light (Hall & Massey, 2010). They highlight the complex entanglements of the social and cultural character not only of the crisis but also the conditions under which it arose. ...
Chapter
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The impact of Covid-19 on international student mobility has been noted by policy makers and the media ever since the global lockdowns started in early 2020. However, most of the concerns focus on what the drop in student mobility means for the finances of the countries and educational institutions to which students would have moved; there has been little exploration of the students’ own experiences of Covid-19. This chapter explores the entangled education, migration, and finance infrastructures that shape international student migration and how they failed the students during the pandemic. It draws on questionnaires and interviews conducted with international student migrants from a range of countries and who are registered to study in the UK to point to how migration policies, consular services, educational institutions, and travel industry all affected students. It points to how these components are entangled, and that their failure during the pandemic led to particular forms of immobility and mobility, leaving many students stuck in uncertain and precarious situations. The chapter ends by suggesting that reading the pandemic as an acute unprecedented event is important but inadequate. It is also a window into the everyday failures that the entangled infrastructures of international student mobility posed before Covid-19, how these came to be and who benefited from these infrastructures.
... The concept of conjuncture invites a contextual study of cultural policy in its historicity and commonness as well as in its specificity in the current context, thereby considering both the long-term historical trajectories and the characteristics typical of the specific moment or context of today. Indeed, the concept of conjuncture refers to a certain period of time in which different social, political, economic, and ideological forces come together, create crises, and shape the society (Hall and Massey 2012). The concept emphasizes that historical moments are shaped by multiple, diverse, and contradictory relations, tendencies, forces, and temporalities (Clarke 2010(Clarke , 2019Grossberg 2006Grossberg , 2010. ...
Article
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The changes in the focus of cultural policy have been usually presented through periodisation. In the Nordic countries, during the late twentieth century, cultural policy moved from the welfare state era to a competition state era where “instrumental cultural policy” has been claimed to be hegemonic. As the periodisation does not encompass the possible continuity between these periods, this article focuses on the multiple historical forces manifested in the discourses of the Finnish cultural policy of the 2010s. Hence, this critical discourse analysis on two specific cultural policy projects focuses not only on the hegemonic instrumental emphasis but on its relations with other temporalities in the present. The theoretical concepts of conjuncture and articulation strengthen the contextual approach of the analysis, which is necessary for studying the contradictory forces and temporalities that constitute the discourses. The results suggest that the discourses embody both the concepts of welfare state cultural policy and the rhetoric of a “competition state.” The values essential to a welfare state cultural policy, such as democratisation of culture and cultural democracy, are rearticulated in the research material in a manner that constructs them as a medium for neoliberal governance.
... Conversely, the conjunctural refers to the historically and geographically specific "relations of force" between fundamental social bodies as they contend to introduce a new cultural, political, economic, and/or spatial arrangement into a given social order. These struggles are much more dynamic, fluid, and open-ended (Gramsci, 1989;Hall and Massey, 2010). ...
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Discourses of “urban violence” are deployed in reaction to the mobilizations advanced by working-class communities of color following extrajudicial police murders. This discourse delegitimates these mobilizations while pathologizing said communities by insisting that “urban violence,” not police murders, is a more pertinent issue. This article takes seriously the claims made during the Oscar Grant “moment”— a period of popular struggle — that “the whole damn system is guilty.” This article uses Gramscian conceptualizations of socio-historical activity, organic and conjunctural, along with public health and socio-economic measures, to counter the obfuscating discourse of “urban violence” by illustrating the structural violence that communities in Oakland endure and contest. The sum of this structural violence constitutes the principle contradiction of racial capitalism, which produces premature death for working-class communities of color in Oakland. The extrajudicial police murder of Grant in Oakland catalyzed the blossoming open of this contradiction into an intensified moment of struggle.
... In contrast, we argue that a progressive foreign policy position should start from a diagnosis of our times that is rooted in existing conditions. This 'conjunctural analysis' surveys the specific characteristics, dynamics and instabilities of a social order at a particular moment in time (Eckersley 2021;Hall and Massey 2010). It is only through facing the realities of contemporary world politics-in which the distribution of power is shifting, global value chains are deeply embedded, and the limits of the Anthropocene are set to redefine societies-that governments can provide security, basic needs and sustainable development. ...
... As a methodological orientation, conjunctural analysis aims to situate case studies within/with respect to structuring contexts, in historical moments in which the politicaleconomic contradictions of capitalism are particularly condensed (Hall & Massey, 2010). In the process of working through confounding cases, it seeks to stretch the limits of, problematize and, when necessary, revise extant theories and concepts. ...
Article
In the post-2008 global economy, infrastructure development and financing have risen to the top of the development agenda, emerging as a contested field for global investments involving seemingly divergent interests, objectives, rationalities and practices. Whereas multilateral development banks such as the World Bank advocate the market-based public–private partnership aimed at attracting private finance and deepening marketized governance, China is forging a state-capitalist alternative through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). These models are far from mutually exclusive. Through a conjunctural approach, the paper examines the broader trade and financial interdependencies in which these models are entangled, and the geopolitical–economic objectives enframing the emergent infrastructure regime. These are explored vis-à-vis Indonesian infrastructure projects, framed by competition between China and Japan.
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On the second weekend of March 2020, just before the Canada-wide lockdown for the COVID-19 pandemic was made official, we realized that we needed to take a snapshot of rapid changes that were unfolding around us. The biopolitical dimensions of public health and governmental responses to the pandemic were already clear, so we contacted Canadian-based scholars working in field of biopolitics to contribute short, rapid-response essays on the first, early stage of the pandemic. The editors at TOPIA and the University of Toronto Press graciously agreed to publish the essays online (Bird and Ironstone, 2020). In less than a week, 10 essays covering various biopolitical dimensions of the first week of the lockdown in Canada were published. The first volume, COVID-19 Essays, was written in the middle of March 2020, at exactly the moment when pandemic measures were being operationalized and the new pandemic discourse took on dramatic intensity in Canada. The short essays published then reflect the pandemic moment in which they appeared. On the one hand, critical engagement was tempered by pessimistic premonitions, much like Agamben's (2020a, 2020b), as our contributors recognized that our pandemic moment would be shaped by decades of neoliberal restructuring and would provide the justification of further extensions of governmental power into the everyday lives of people. On the other hand, our contributors expressed hope for new or renewed forms of social solidarity in which the stakes of life and death revealed during a public health crisis might inspire care, community and con-viviality. Even with the incursion of complex social processes of pandemicization, the contributors argued, profound transformation and an ethos of care was also possible. Attention could be directed not simply to self-protection and preservation , but also to social transformation and enhancement where the conditions of life and living-captured, controlled, regulated and, as the pandemic made clear, unequally distributed-might be reconfigured. There were two paths that might be travelled, and which would win out was not clear. Months into the pandemic, it is still unclear. Volume 2: https://utpjournals.press/toc/topia/41
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Residents of Brazilian low-income communities have long called actions of the state “corrupt,” rhetoric that has arguably intensified in the wake of large-scale infrastructural upgrading decisions. Inspired by a new wave of critical corruption studies, in this paper I ask: how is infrastructural upgrading a key site of politics and political understandings of the state for residents in Complexo do Alemão, Rio de Janeiro? How do discourses about corrupt decision-making mechanisms and money appropriation produce common sense notions of how the political system operates? And what work do these narratives do for demonstrating agency of the people living in Complexo? In answering these questions I contribute to an emerging conjunctural research agenda in global urban and corruption studies. I draw on the dual notion of articulation as central to the conjuncture: how the conjoining of political forces alongside discursive enunciations are crucial to crafting hegemonies of corruption and understandings of political and civil society. I add to this Gramscian understanding of the conjuncture a focus on how residents constitute themselves as agential subjects through discourses of corruption. By focusing on the brewing frustrations of Complexo residents, the paper argues that articulations of corruption materialized an articulated political bloc against which community members could express frustration but also, importantly, constituted a civil society demonstrating a constrained agency.
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Health and care policy is increasingly promoted within visions of the competitive city-region. This paper examines the importance of policy boosterism within the political construction of city-regions in the context of English devolution. Based on a two-year case study of health and social care devolution in Greater Manchester, England, we trace the relational and territorial geographies of policy across and through new "devolved" city-regional arrangements. Contributing to geographical debates on policy assemblages and city-regionalism, we advance a conceptual framework linking crisis and opportunity, emulation and exceptionalism, and evidence and experimentation. The paper makes two key contributions. First, we argue health and care policy is increasingly drawn towards the logic of global competitiveness without being wholly defined by neoliberal political agendas. Fostering transnational policy networks helped embed global "best practice" policies while simultaneously hailing Greater Manchester as a place beyond compare. Second, we caution against positioning the city-region solely at the receiving end of devolutionary austerity. Rather, we illustrate how the urgency of devolution was conditioned by crisis, yet concomitantly framed as a unique opportunity by the local state harnessing policy to negotiate a more fluid politics of scale. In doing so, the paper demonstrates how attempts to resolve the "local problem" of governing health and care under austerity were rearticulated as a "global opportunity" to forge new connections between place, health, and economy. Consequently, we foreground the multiple tensions and contradictions accumulating through turning to health and care to push Greater Manchester further, faster. The paper concludes by asking what the present crisis might mean for city-regions in good health and turbulent times.
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As we planned this special issue, the world was in the midst of a pandemic, one which brought into sharp focus many of the pre‐existing economic, social, and climate crises, as well as, trends of widening economic and social inequalities. The pandemic also brought to the forefront an epistemic crisis that continues to decentre certain knowledges while maintaining the hegemony of Eurocentric ways of knowing and being. Thus, we set out to explore the possibilities that come with widening our ecology of knowledge and approaches to inquiry, including the power of critical reflective praxis and consciousness, and the important practices of repowering marginalised and oppressed groups. In this paper, we highlight scholarship that reflects a breadth of theories, methods, and practices that forge alliances, in and outside the academy, in different solidarity relationships toward liberation and wellbeing. Our desire as co‐editors was not to endorse the plurality of solidarities expressed in the papers as an unyielding methodological or conceptual framework, but rather to hold them lightly within thematic spaces as invitations for readers to consider. Through editorial collaboration, we arrived at the following three thematic spaces: (1) ecologies of being and knowledge: Indigenous knowledge, networks, and plurilogues; (2) naming coloniality in context: Histories in the present and a wide lens; (3) relational knowledge practices: Creative joy of knowing beyond disciplines. From these thematic spaces we conclude that through repowering epistemic communities and narratives rooted in truth‐telling, a plurality of solidarities are fostered and sustained locally and transnationally. Underpinned by an ethic of care, solidarity relationships are simultaneously unsettling dominant forms of knowledge and embrace ways of knowing and being that advances dignity, community, and nonviolence.
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Iphi, an unemployed actor in austerity‐ridden Greece, imagines a theatre adaptation of a classic tragedy, Iphigenia at Aulis, in which the heroine is sacrificed on the altar of austerity by politicians. While writing her playscript, Iphi has a dream: she is taken to the sacrificial altar, not by politicians, but by her own parents, the generation who lived through the affluent years before austerity. Iphi's generational‐analogical thinking introduces a politically inspiring historicity, which offers insights into the accountability of austerity. It also allows us to reassess the notion of generations as a local category and an anthropological analytical construct. The article indicates the emergence of an as yet not fully articulated generational awareness – a new structure of feeling – about austerity, which is outlined here as it develops in an incipient form. I argue that the emerging generational historicity communicates a critical message, but also hides from view less visible inequalities. Le sacrifice d'Iphigénie : l'historicité générationnelle comme structure du sentiment à l'heure de l'austérité Résumé Iphi, actrice au chômage dans une Grèce rongée par l'austérité, imagine une adaptation théâtrale d'une tragédie classique, Iphigénie à Aulis, dans laquelle l'héroïne est sacrifiée sur l'autel de l'austérité par les politiciens. Alors qu'elle écrit son script, Iphi fait un rêve : c'est elle qui est mise sur l'autel sacrificiel, et pas par les politiciens mais par ses propres parents, la génération qui a connu les années d'abondance avant l'austérité. La pensée analogico‐générationnelle d'Iphi présente une historicité politiquement inspirante qui explore la responsabilité de l'austérité. Elle invite également à revoir la notion de générations en tant que catégories locales et constructions analytiques anthropologiques. Cet article évoque l’émergence d'une conscience générationnelle pas encore pleinement exprimée – une nouvelle structure du sentiment – autour de l'austérité, et résumée ici dans ses balbutiements. L'auteur avance que cette historicité générationnelle émergente émet un message critique, mais dissimule également des inégalités moins visibles.
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This article examines the limits and potential of the state in orchestrating sustainability transitions from the standpoint of critical theory on the green state. Two interrelated questions are posed. First, to what extent are democratic capitalist states necessarily compromised in their functional capacity to orchestrate ecological sustainability? Second, in light of this analysis, how can a theory of the green state that claims to be critical and transformative, rather than merely problem-solving, provide practical guidance to state and societal change agents in approaching the political challenges of ecological transition? A critical method for approaching these challenges is outlined, encompassing conjunctural analysis followed by situated, critical problem solving, which is geared to identifying the ‘next best transition steps’ with the greatest long-term transformational potential. The method is briefly illustrated in relation to the critical conjuncture presented by the coronavirus pandemic.
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This paper reviews recent work on community asset transfers (CAT): a transfer of management of facilities from the public sector to the third sector, largely led by volunteers. The emergence of CATs is placed in the context of the development of community organisations and their relation to the state. Transfer has been stimulated by cuts in local government budgets since 2010. The review focusses on leisure facilities because these are non-statutory and so more vulnerable to cuts in public expenditure. The experience of CATs is reviewed, including: the motivations of local government and volunteers; the transfer process and management of CATs post-transfer; and the market position of facility types. The methodological approaches and theoretical frameworks used in research are contrasted; in particular, how these have balanced agency and structure in analysing a contested neoliberalist discourse. The practicalities of research in this area are considered before concluding with research questions.
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The author explains his approach to researching and writing the book and acknowledges the influences of J.G. Ballard, W.G. Sebald, Samuel Beckett, Forced Entertainment and childhood memories of growing up near London after the Second World War. Murray explains how this book is positioned within the growing field of Ruin Studies and how any understanding of ruins and dereliction has to be cross-disciplinary and acknowledge multiple perspectives. He proposes that current preoccupations with ruins and ruination are helpfully understood by using Raymond Williams’ concept of ‘Structure of Feeling’. Murray explains the methodology used within the book and claims his approach to writing is a ‘situated’ and ethnographic practice based on extensive fieldwork undertaken across Europe. His approach draws heavily upon theatre, performance and cultural studies and identifies the sites and locations he has written about.
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Critiques of racism figure prominently in debates about Brexit’s causes and consequences. But while racism is often theorized in its social and political dimensions, it has received little attention as a concept that has become entangled in a cycle of contestations, denials and affirmations. By looking at racism’s conceptual dimension, with its multiple contested meanings, this article examines the impact that racism-related critiques and counter-critiques of Brexit have had on people’s political subject-positions. Drawing on case studies of both Leavers and Remainers, it is argued that the common binary view of Brexit as either racist or legitimate fails to resonate with the multiple and complex experiences of people on the ground. The article concludes with a call for a renewed conversation about Brexit on the basis of context-specific experiences and pathways to better futures for communities across the country.
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Despite experiencing an early and protracted neoliberal transformation, France has exhibited an acutely ambiguous stance towards neoliberal practice. This is illustrated by, for example, regular nationwide protests opposed to policies with an overtly neoliberal flavour, or the coexistence of heavy taxation and a profound financialisation of its economy. This article seeks to explain why neoliberalism successfully developed in France, despite such an ambiguity. The focus will be placed on the transformation of labour relations, which will reveal the important role played by both the technocratic elite and firm-level negotiations in legitimating neoliberal practice. It will be argued that while several relevant sociological explanations offer some valuable insights for making sense of neoliberalism's successful development in France, Antonio Gramsci's concept of 'passive revolution' provides a very fruitful basis upon which to capture the singularity of the French case.
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This chapter surveys the cultural and ideological function in the ruins of ancient Greece for the Greek imaginary. Murray considers the role of the prison and re-education camp on the island of Makronisos where political prisoners were detained and re-educated through building models of ancient ruins, performing classical Greek tragedies and gazing at the ruins of the Temple of Poseidon on the Greek mainland. In the second part of this chapter he considers the ancient Greek theatres of Epidaurus and Delphi and how these extraordinary sites are crucial for Greek cultural heritage and the tourist industry. From personal experience of watching a performance of the Bacchae at Epidaurus in 2017, Murray reflects on the event and its contexts, culturally and politically. He traces recent developments in the programming for Epidaurus over the last 20 years and identifies some of the tensions and debates involved in his process.
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This essay explores the intersection of art, race, and sexual politics in Pittsburgh PA, USA where generally artists of colour have been all but invisible to the overwhelmingly white arts establishment. Focus is on artist Vanessa German, who describes herself as a citizen artist. Her sculptural works reflect the legacy and contemporary realities for African Americans living with white racism. She also established the ArtHouse for local kids, to help them see how they can create communication and new futures. German is contextualised as part of a dynamic culture of Black artists in the city productive of work addressing gendered and raced identities, including the #notwhite collective, Alisha Wormsley, and Chris Ivey. I use Stuart Hall’s theories of assemblage of diasporic cultures and subjectivities to amplify legibility for their diverse work, and his theories of conjuncture to identify the moment producing it.
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As the first country to be hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese government was confronted by the dual crisis in public health and gender domination. How did the Chinese official media discursively respond to the crises? Using qualitative content analysis and critical discourse analysis, this study examines the Chinese state media’s discursive tactics amidst the COVID-19-engendered crises that destabilized the gendered symbolic order. Examining six party organs’ coverage of healthcare workers (HCWs) on Weibo in the first half of 2020, the findings show that the state media managed to achieve two seemingly incompatible objectives—valorizing women HCWs while maintaining gender domination—through selective visibility and the manipulation of the discourses of domesticity and femininity. While women HCWs were given considerable attention and valorized for their sacrifice and emotional labor, they were relegated to marginal topical areas and demanded to suppress their private and bodily needs. This study, henceforth, contributes to extant feminist studies by unraveling the sophisticated representational devices employed by powerholders in coping with crises in the gendered symbolic regime and the contradictions in such maneuvers that portent subversion of these very strategies of discursive domestication.
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Since the early twentieth century, generation has been a recurrent concept in social analysis. In spite of successive bouts of critique and periods of relative neglect, the category has never been abandoned. In this article, drawing inspiration from a broad range of thinkers – such as José Ortega y Gasset, Karl Mannheim, Antonio Gramsci, Pierre Bourdieu, Raymond Williams and Stuart Hall – we review and fine tune our conceptual toolkit regarding generations, making more explicitly visible its affordances for social analysis in times of crisis. We focus on the problem of intergenerational overlap of contemporaneity and the contradictions that emerge from it. We argue that the notion of coevalness can help us resolve some of these contradictions – for example, the lag between contemporaneity and generational awareness – and introduce, through its horizontal connotations, a decolonising ethical stance. Favouring a processual understanding of generation, we recommend ‘conjunctural analysis’ as the most flexible analytical framework for resolving the intersectional contradictions and overlaps of generational categorisation.
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In Northern Cyprus, cultural festivals are increasingly popular. The routinely celebrated festivals transform small villages into colourful celebrations with lots of activities and great culinary experiences, offering opportunities for social contact between members of different generations. People meet in the streets, where traditional food and handicrafts are on display and traditional folk dance performances usually take place. Cultural events provide an important space in which older generations often nostalgically remember the past with others of their generation and share their memories with the young people. Bi‐communal interactions between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots in these public spaces also help leave behind and bury the violence of the past, nationalistic dogma, and intolerance. Drawing on ideas from postcolonial theory, cultural studies, sociology, and scholarship on public art, this article develops a post‐postcolonial approach to explore the politics and value of Turkish Cypriot cultural festivals and the ways in which Turkish Cypriots are bridging differences with Greek Cypriots. Through observations, conversations, and interviews conducted with Turkish Cypriots from June 2014 to October 2017, the article also discusses the ways in which public art encourages dialogue and multicultural tolerance in Cyprus. The article argues that the rise of interest in Turkish Cypriot folk arts and multicultural tolerance, as propagated by Turkish Cypriots, should be understood in more complex terms than simply that of positive inclusion, as an ambivalence closely connected to the East/West division. Accordingly, the article illustrates that the coexistence of inclu‐ sion and exclusion are at the heart of Turkish Cypriot society.
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This article examines the work of the popular education collective Equipo Maíz headquartered in El Salvador. Equipo Maíz is noteworthy for its contributions to the analysis of Salvadoran and Central American politics, economics, and society since its formation in the early 1980s. This article situates the Equipo Maíz project, which uses plainspoken text paired with political cartooning, within a deep historical memory of opposition geared at demystifying the fictions that sustain capitalist sociality and its class antagonisms. Drawing on examples from Equipo Maíz’s weekly newsletter La página de Maíz and other select publications, the article demonstrates how the collective addresses a variably literate Salvadoran readership with the goal of imparting radical interpretative strategies geared toward the creation of an engaged political culture, despite the challenges of a closed media system.
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UK geopolitics for the last five years have been heavily dominated by Brexit. The lead up to the referendum, the result, negotiations, intervening general election, extensions, further negotiations, and impending exit from the European Union have captured both academic and public interest. This paper contributes to geographical and wider social science research on the everyday geographies of socio‐economic change, with a particular focus on Brexit and the temporal politics of waiting. Emerging analyses focus on Brexit as an event, as uncertainty and a discrete period for and of research on public moods. I illustrate how exploring Brexit through the lens of waiting provides new ways of thinking through the time‐spaces of Brexit, by drawing on data collected during an ethnographic participatory project in Gorse Hill, Greater Manchester (2018‐2020). Analysis of group discussions, peer‐led research projects, podcast recordings, vox pops and ethnographic fieldnotes highlights the embodied, everyday, endured and emplaced experience of waiting for Brexit. More specifically, findings make the case for this waiting as crisis, as conjuncture and as method. The paper closes with a discussion of the pace and timeliness of research, and the implications of waiting for, in and with Brexit and other forms of socio‐economic change.
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Advancing theorizations of communication in post-truth politics, where computational/big data or cognitive bias approaches often dominate the description of and proposed solutions to the problem, this article aims to theorize the cultural production of social trust, which underpins public truth-making. It argues that performing mediated trust is preconditional to public truth-making (oft-overlooked in post-truth accounts). Advocating that a more detailed theory of post-truth political performances requires amalgamating intra- and interdisciplinary resources and broadening perspectives, it unites insights from social trust theory, reality television (RTV) studies, gender studies, and political communication. It identifies and critiques an aggressive emotional and a palpably toxic (especially white) masculinist logic in a popular strand of post-truth political performance. This conjuncturally specific, traditionally aggressive masculinist post-truth political communication is best understood as a transposable style, set of practices, and disposition toward them – a cultural logic called “aggro-truth.” Aggro-truth thus moves beyond the general concept and label of post-truth by a. showing that it has a particular, widely circulating, sub-form with its own particular cultural logic for operationalizing mediated trust in post-truth tellers (such as Donald Trump); and b. demonstrating how that logic works by focusing on Trump, while noting broad evidence of transnational variations for further research.
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Post crisis, local governments’ (LGs) budgets have been drastically cut in Britain. Similar budgetary strains had serious consequences in the past, leading to major restructuring in LGs’ functions. This paper interrogates the spatial dynamics of short-term municipal finances by putting into dialogue the political economy perspectives on financialisation with the economic geography literature on urban governance. Using data for over 400 municipal authorities in Britain, we examine locational underpinnings of changing financial practices with respect to spending cuts. We find that austerity increased risk and uncertainty for LGs. To preserve key services in such an environment, they resorted to short-term borrowing in breach of regulatory guidance. Effectively, an internal market for inter-council lending and borrowing has been created based on market principles in which LGs with surplus cash and reserves have extended credit to those with liquidity problems. On the asset side, the austerity programme forced them to embrace financial logics through a spectacular shift from cash and deposit holdings to investment in money market funds and credit extension as they have strived to generate as much income as possible to fund services at risk.
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en There is a growing interest in the progressive potential of remunicipalisation, a global trend for towns, cities, and even subnational regions to take formerly privatised assets and services back into public ownership. In this paper, we offer a novel conceptualisation of remunicipalisation, developing a spatialised conjunctural perspective through critical engagement with the work of Stuart Hall, Antonio Gramsci, and recent geographical scholarship on political economy transitions. This draws attention to the open, dynamic, political, and spatially diverse aspects of remunicipalisation as part of a mutating process of neoliberalism. Emphasising the conjunctural insight of neoliberalism’s shifting and variegated terrain on which progressive forces have to mobilise, our theorisation has implications for left political strategy and broader transformative projects against a backdrop of global economic, social, and ecological crisis. Resumen es Existe un creciente interés en el potencial progresista de las remunicipalizaciones, una tendencia a nivel global por la cual ciudades, e incluso regiones subnacionales, recuperan la propiedad pública de recursos y servicios previamente privatizados. En este artículo presentamos una conceptualización novedosa sobre el fenómeno de las remunicipalizaciones. Desarrollamos una perspectiva atenta al análisis de las coyunturas y los espacios, a partir de un diálogo crítico con los trabajos de Stuart Hall, Antonio Gramsci, y con estudios provenientes de la geografía sobre las transiciones en la economía política. Esto implica prestar atención al carácter abierto y dinámico y a la diversidad política y espacial de las remunicipalizaciones como parte de los procesos de mutación del neoliberalismo. Colocamos énfasis en comprender el aspecto coyuntural del terreno cambiante y variado en el que se mueve el neoliberalismo, en donde las fuerzas progresistas deben movilizarse. En tal sentido, nuestra teorización tiene implicancias para pensar estrategias políticas de izquierda y proyectos de transformación más amplios contra el trasfondo de la crisis económica, social, y ecológica a nivel global.
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The year 2019 was the year of “OK Boomer” (OKb). From The New York Times to the New Zealand legislature, OKb emerged as a pop cultural phenomenon. For some, this phrase represents a battle of the generations wherein Baby Boomers are fed up with the utopian demands of younger generations, while younger generations see Baby Boomers as stubbornly conservative and out of touch. Alternatively, some dismiss the generational warfare trope and demand we see society for what it “really is”—one defined by class warfare. By deploying theories of politics, ideology, and cultural change from Mark Fisher, Fredric Jameson, Slavoj Žižek, and Franco Berardi, we offer a theoretical framework through which the emergence and proliferation of OKb can be understood. We find OKb to be embedded within the logic of capitalist realism, where younger generations’ cynical usage of this meme represents a muddled attempt to cognitively map within 21st century postmodernity.
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This chapter presents an overview of the struggles for cultural space and territory (Hall in Football hooliganism: The wider context. Inter-Action Inprint, p. 31, 1979), which have accompanied football (soccer) since its inception. The chapter begins by chronicling the historical trajectory of the game before focusing more exclusively on the internal and external changes which have undermined the role of the ‘traditional’ football supporter. From here, the focus of the discussion switches to the book’s underpinning theoretical framework, which is taken from Bauman’s (Postmodern ethics. Blackwell Publishing, 1993) model of social spacing. Attention is then directed towards the city of Sheffield, and more specifically, the supporters of Sheffield Wednesday football club, who provided the primary data for this book. The chapter concludes by outlining the overall structure of the book and its contents.
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O tema deste último volume da trilogia Celso Furtado: a esperança militante é Desafios. A palavra diz muito do espírito furtadiano. Ele próprio refletiu sobre o tema e escreveu, por exemplo, que o desafio do século XXI é mudar o curso da civilização, deslocar o seu eixo da lógica dos meios a serviço da acumulação para uma lógica dos fins, em função do bem-estar social, do exercício da liberdade e da cooperação entre os povos. E tudo isso num curto horizonte de tempo. As contribuições deste volume buscam refletir, estimular leituras, fazer proposições, recuperar os estudos regionais a partir do pilares que lhes deram identidade: o estudo do Brasil profundo e a interdisciplinaridade como elemento aglutinador das energias que mobilizam a produção de conhecimento para a transformação social. E onde estaria o pensamento regional hoje? As leituras que oferecemos neste volume sinalizam que ele se encontra, com maior ênfase, no interior do país, e em ‘universidades periféricas’, a maioria públicas (federais mais jovens, estaduais, comunitárias). Apesar de já significativa a diversidade de abordagens, há elementos transversais que possibilitam aproximações e compartilhamentos de experiências teóricas e práticas. O desenvolvimento regional já não constitui apenas o ponto de chegada de um projeto político, mas, também, um ponto de partida por meio do qual é possível compreender a realidade de uma nova forma.
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This article introduces the concept of cultures of rejection as a framing device to investigate conditions of acceptability of authoritarian populism among workers in Germany and Austria. After situating the concept in the current scholarly debate on right-wing populism and discussing its main theoretical points of reference, we offer an analysis focusing on experiences of crisis and transformation. Two elements of cultures of rejection are discussed in depth: the rejection of racialised and/or culturalised ‘unproductive’ others; and the rejection of the public sphere, linked to the emergence of a ‘shielded subjectivity’. These articulations of rejection are then discussed as related to two dimensions of a crisis of authority: the crisis of state or political authority in the field of labour and the economy; and the crisis of a moral order, experienced as decline in social cohesion. In conclusion, we identify possible avenues for further research, demonstrating the productivity of the conceptual framework of cultures of rejection.
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Over the last two decades, the European border regime has become the subject of a growing body of scholarship in critical security studies. In this article, I draw on Stuart Hall’s work on racialized policing, authoritarian populism and conjunctural analysis to argue that this literature has paid insufficient attention to the close relationship between racism, capitalism and state violence. Writing at the dawn of Thatcherism and neoliberal globalization, Hall theorized the growth in repressive state structures as a revanchist response to breakdowns in racial hegemony. Revisiting these insights, the article argues that the ongoing expansion of the European border regime is a hegemonic strategy of racialized crisis management. The imposition of ever more restrictive immigration policies, increased surveillance and heightened forms of deportability are attempts to defend white bourgeois order and to police a (neoliberal) racial formation in crisis. The migrant ‘crisis’ is ultimately the result of one racialized world order collapsing, and another struggling to be born.
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At this political moment within the university, mass incarceration and its most recognizable constituents, the prisoner and the prison, are at a predictable tipping point: the violence of inclusion. Neoliberal multiculturalism appears capacious enough to hold select representations of mass incarceration in its pursuit of new markets and deft enough to deploy this difference to whitewash other forms of institutional violence. Building from a long genealogy of scholarship and organizing that maps the coconstitutiveness of the university with our prison-industrial complex, this essay makes visible emergent lines and arrangements of power and resistance that inhibit and build abolition.
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Via a reflection on the evolution of a module on comparing capitalisms that I have been teaching for more than a decade, this article discusses the collective influence of new generations of students on how knowledge is (re)made. I deploy a conjunctural understanding of the term ‘generations’ in order to make sense of how students’ interpretations of the topics covered by the module have, across the 2010s, led me to increasingly question the field that was, in an earlier conjuncture, essential for my intellectual foundation and development. Their lived experiences of capitalism are more likely to be dominated by themes such as political, economic and social crises and conflicts, inequality, personal indebtedness and precarity, and in some cases activism. This has had profound and long-lasting effects on my teaching and research, discomfiting me in an ultimately beneficial way; most notably, through the recognition that future critical work on comparing capitalisms ought to move away from previous attempts to engage immanently with dominant, mainstream approaches and towards the articulation of a more confident, autonomous position. Hence, a key aspect of the development and evolution of critical research agendas occurs in and through educational exchanges in the seminar room.
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Across the Global South, authoritarian rule and extractivist agendas have intensified the harassment and murder of activists protecting remnant forest frontiers. In 2017, Global Witness documented the brutal murders of 207 defenders, the deadliest year on record. In the Philippines, violence against defenders has recently accelerated under the increasingly authoritarian regime of President Rodrigo Duterte. Excluding drug-related extrajudicial killings, an additional 30 murders were documented in the country in 2018, the highest number of such killings in any country that year. Largely because of expanding plantations and mines, the frontier province of Palawan has experienced a surge in land grabbing and illegal logging, driving defender harassment, intimidation, and death. While scholars have explored the trends and patterns behind violence against defenders in Southeast Asia, few have considered how the rural poor emerge as activists, the role of NGOs in this process, and how defenders negotiate their activism with everyday life and livelihood. This study fills this gap by ethnographically examining how NGOs on Palawan island mobilize rural communities to shape defender practices and by exploring why defenders do what they do amid mounting threats against them, their loved ones, and their comrades across the island.
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This article takes steps from the birth and consolidation of “homeland” as the central discursive engine of the US national security enterprise; and takes issue with the dominant scholarly interpretation of the geographical and spatial implications of its emergence in terms of the dissolution of space and spatialization in security policy ( Bialasiewicz et al., 2007 : 416). We adopt a multi-scalar approach to exploring security discourse/practice, comparing the performativity of national and global security with the local practice/discourse of public safety—with empirical focus on the case of Memphis (TN). Our main arguments are that the homeland builds on the same performative elements of the emergence and consolidation of a certain conception of “community”, as it has become dominant in public safety policymaking at the local scale; and that the homeland/community performativity is the expression of a never-ending movement of production of multi-scalar geographies of the “good” and “evil”, made of the coexistence of centrifugal (pushing problems away) and centripetal (incorporating any given outside) dimensions.
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Brazil is currently home to the most extensive, publicly funded donor human milk banking network in the world. While this formalized donor network is only a few decades old, it is haunted by long histories of exploitative wet-nursing in the country. In this paper I examine how Brazil’s human milk banking network is a metabolism – founded on social reproductive, breastfeeding labour – that is based in, but also transforms, racialized, gendered, and classed assumptions of milk and motherhood. Drawing on interviews, policy analysis, and participant observation, I argue that this social reproductive metabolism is constituted through: biomedical understandings of milk and lactation; gendered and racialized norms of altruism in the public sphere; legal infrastructures to curb exploitative wet-nursing; public health policies to decrease infant mortality; and embodied sensations of breast fullness. I pay particular attention to how human milk sharing in this context is a multi-scalar metabolism, drawing together global and national health policy with intimate dynamics and affects of breast engorgement and care. Overall, examining this human milk flow demonstrates how metabolisms are embodied, racialized, multi-scalar, and social reproductive in ways that are geographically situated and that relate to, but exceed, commodification.
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This Special Issue starts from the premise that the concept of ideology holds significant analytical potential for planning but that this potential can only be realised if ideology is brought to the fore of analysis. By naming ideology and rendering it visible, we hope to bring it out from the shadows and into the open to examine its value and what it can tell us about the politics of contemporary planning. The articles in this Special Issue therefore seek to contribute to established academic debates by exploring some of the ways ideology can be deployed as a tool in the analysis of planning problems. This article introduces the Special Issue by exploring the various accounts in the articles of (1) what ideology is; (2) what its effects are; (3) where ideology may be identified and (4) what different theories of ideology can tell us about planning. There inevitably remain many un-answered questions, paths not taken and debates left unaddressed. We hope other scholars will be inspired (or provoked) to address these omissions in the future.
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