CFP: Critical IR and IPE at the End of Capitalism Call for Papers/Participants for ISA Venture Research Workshop 2018

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 (adam.fishwick@dmu.ac.uk or @Adam_Fishwick on Twitter) and Nicholas Kiersey (kiersey@ohio.edu or @occupyirtheory on Twitter) by 15th June 2017.

Critical International Relations and International Political Economy are underpinned by a multi-faceted and sophisticated critique of capitalism, from its deleterious material impact across the globe to the cultural distortions it produces. But what happens once capitalism ends? It is this central question that informs our proposed Venture Research Workshop.

Theorising on and in the end of capitalism is an intractable problem that needs to be embraced as a plethora of international crises descend and intersect around us. Reflecting on these multiple crises there is an emerging literature on what comes after capitalism. From insightful debates on postcapitalism and post-work (Hudis 2012; Frase 2016; Mason 2015; Srnieck & Williams 2015; Weeks 2011) to explorations of the contradictions latent in our current conjuncture (Lorey 2015; Dinerstein 2014; Zibechi 2012; Berardi 2017), critical theory in geography, sociology, work and employment, and other social sciences has embraced the ‘end of capitalism’. Yet, with some important exceptions in critical feminist political economy (Federici 2012; Graham & Safri 2011) and environmental political economy (Moore 2016), there is limited engagement with this problem within IR and IPE. The aim of our workshop is to explore how these insights can be brought into these related disciplines and how critical theorists operating in them can contribute to these debates.

To achieve this, we pose two related questions. First, how can we understand what happens after capitalism? One of the major contributions of critical IR and IPE has been to denaturalising capitalism – placing it in geographical and historical context (Anievas & Niscangolou 2015). So, if capitalism has a starting point, it must too have an end. And if the emergence and evolution of capitalism has always been global, developing a global perspective to how it will end and what may come next is essential. So, what can critical IR/IPE scholars contribute to understanding the possibility of a global alternative to capitalism? What tendencies, actors, and sites can we identify as comprising a movement beyond capitalism? And, when global capitalism ends, will what replaces it be better?

Second, what is the role of critical IR/IPE if we have already reached the end? Mckenzie Wark (2014) raises this prospect in tentatively proclaiming ‘the mode of production of non-life’ in which life itself has become secondary to the reproduction of capital, where the state no longer acts to safeguard the reproduction of the healthy lives of workers and their environment, and where the commodification of everything is now ‘inimical to life’. So, how can and do critical IR/IPE scholars respond to this interconnection of the destruction of life and reproduction of capital? And, if they can, what does a critical IR/IPE look like in response? Not only do these questions raise important challenges for critique, but also for the very role of critical IR/IPE theory. Does critical IR/IPE have a place beyond the academy? And, if it does, what is its role in confronting and/or constructing at the end of capitalism? Submissions are invited in addressing any or all the above themes. Contributions, therefore, can focus on, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Alternatives to global capitalism
  • Critical ontologies of IR/IPE
  • Marxist, anarchist, and autonomist IR/IPE
  • Radical perspectives on ‘the everyday’ in IR/IPE
  • Beyond the crisis of social reproduction
  • Environmental crisis and the Anthropocene
  • The IPE of post-work
  • Internet movements of Right and Left
  • Critical IR/IPE and theories of ‘utopia’