As some listeners may know, I have myself been working on a book about the role of culture in Irish austerity. And I’ve always found Colin to be a really great writer on this subject. He has a real knack for seamlessly blending together both analysis of the material dynamics of the Irish financial crisis, with a critique of the role of culture as force sustaining the legitimacy of austerity as the necessary solution. This cultural project is one being carried out by government institutions, to be sure, but also by a number of other cultural agencies that exist within Irish society, as they seek to orient Irish people better to understand their responsibility in causing the crisis.
But Colin also has an analysis of how certain strains within the Irish academic left have perhaps enabled this process — namely by overlooking questions to do with the production of capitalist culture. Colin explains the role of capitalist culture in Ireland in a really accessible manner, so its great to have him on the show. I think you’ll really enjoy the interview.
You can find a copy of Colin’s article on my Dropbox. Remember, if you like what you hear, please leave us a positive review on iTunes. As ever, if you have any feedback, you can reach us on Twitter @occupyirtheory. Enjoy the show!
This episode is the first in an occasional ‘book club’ series of podcasts we will be doing, in an around the topic of fully automated luxury communism. This episode’s book is Four Futures, by Peter Frase (which is part of the Jacobin series, from Verso Books).
My guests on the show are Laura Horn and Phil Davis. Laura is a political economist working at the University of Roskilde, just outside of Copenhagen in Denmark. While her own research has mainly focused on dimensions of capitalist restructuring in the European Union, she has a strong political and personal interest in the nexus between political economy and science fiction. Four Futures is one of the texts she uses in her course ‘Repoliticising Capitalism: Contradictions, critique and alternatives’.
Phil Davis is a molecular biologist working in the Biodefense sector in the Washington DC area. He’s currently working towards a master’s degree in Bioinformatics from University of Maryland University College. Four Futures sits at the intersection of his enthusiasm for both left-wing politics and futurology. His hobbies also include music.
If you have any questions or comments, please send us a tweet @occupyirtheory
It was my pleasure recently to be invited by the ‘Always Already Podcast’ team to put in a guest appearance on their show, and respond to their recent episode on Martijn Konings’s fascinating book, The Emotional Logic of Capitalism. They offered me a 10-minute slot, and ran it in Episode 19 of their Epistemic Unruliness series. Below, you can find a slightly edited and extended version of my remarks, which were provoked by their own engagement with Konings’s book, but also by my own, continuing work on austerity and recession in Ireland. For ease of reading’s sake, I have added in some material from remarks I made at another talk I gave on February 17, this year, at Ohio State’s ‘Research in International Politics’ (RIP) group, entitled Austerity as Tragedy? From Neoliberal Governmentality to the Critique of Late Capitalist Control:
Dan O’Brien (29/10) claims that because there are no self-described neoliberals, it is not possible to engage with their ideas. But surely he would not deny the historical existence of self-described free market radicals, like Milton Friedman and Gary Becker, or the historic influence of their ideas on government policymakers, like Paul Volker and Margaret Thatcher.
Neoliberalism, quite simply, is a theory that advocates applying the laws of the market to as many domains of human existence as possible, as intensely as possible. Neoliberals take up the ideas of early liberals, like Adam Smith and David Ricardo. Those thinkers had faith in the virtue of market-based competition as a mechanism for optimizing the distribution goods and services. Moreover, they believed the experience of buying and selling in the marketplace was a moral corrective, producing over time a class of responsible and capable citizens, named ‘entrepreneurs’.
Following Cynthia Weber’s recent post over at Duck of Minerva, there has been a lot of debate about the International Studies Association’s planned ‘Saphire Series’ for the upcoming annual conference in New Orleans. Some of that debate has been taking place at the #occupyirtheory/ipe Facebook group. With now over 175 comments, there have been a wide ranging set of proposals and ideas about the issues raised by the Series, and how to respond to them. Many will be using the #Ruby hashtag on Twitter to maintain communications on these issues as the conference proceeds. Another idea has been for people to list any panels they feel might offer the possibility of institutionally balancing the dominant ‘white, male and tenured’ voices the Series is showcasing. Interested readers can also follow the Twitter hashtag #RubySeries for updates on these panels.
Disclaimer: this list is based on suggestions made in context of an open and ongoing discussion at the OccupyIR group on Facebook, among other places, about ISA’s Sapphire Series. It is not intended as a way of ‘promoting’ select panels. It is merely a way for people to link their panels together in an expression of solidarity in response to the perceived elitism of the Sapphire series. If you are part of a panel that you do want listed, let me know. Similarly, if you do not want your panel listed, I am happy to remove it for you.
Ruby Series: Celebrating Multiple Voices in Conversation
Current as of 02/17/15 — 71 Panels!
WA10: Presidential Theme Panel: Advancing Global IR (I): Challenges And Prospects
WA11: Rethinking Silence, Voice and Agency in Feminist Approaches to Security
WA21: Local Actors and the Diffusion of Gender Norms in Developing Regions
WA41: Decolonizing Methods: New Tools for Global IR
WA52: Anti-Colonial Poetics and the Lived Experience of Politics
WA 56: Presidential Theme Panel – Indigenous Peoples, Values And Sovereignty, In The Study Of Global Politics
WB30: Presidential Theme Panel: Bandung+60: Legacies and Contradictions
WB31: Postcolonialism, Feminism And Global International Relations: Remembering The Legacy Of Geeta Chowdhry
WB78: Women’s Activism in Revolutions and Crises
WC18: Embodiment, Experience and War: Methodological Challenges and Reflections
WC19: Do We Know Gender in Peacebuilding? (I) Gender Mainstreaming and UNSCR 1325
WC40: Girls, Gender and the Post-2015 Global Development Agenda
WC60: Women in Conflict: Perspectives
WD02: FTGS Eminent Scholar Panel Honoring Shirin M. Rai
WD08: New Thinking on Religions and Civilizations in World Politics
WD52: Representation and Practice: Bodies, Borders and Orders of Security
WD58: Living Globalisation: Female Academics at Home and Abroad
TA10: What’s Wrong with a Singular World?
TA11: Gendering International Organisations
TA 22: Race And International Relaons: A Debate Around John Hobson’s “The Eurocentric Conception Of World Politics”
TA30: Borders and Belonging: Gender, Nation, Ethnicity in Transnational Relations
TA29: roundtable on “(Everyday) Sexism in the Academy: Stories & Strategies”
TA38: roundtable: Does Russell Brand Have A Point, Or Does Being Cheeky Count As Revolution?
TA50: The End of Militarized Masculinity? Global Perspectives on Gender and Traveling Concepts
TA51: Is the Personal-National Globally Political? Theorizing the International Diffusion of LGBTQ Rights
TA69 Claiming a Voice: Politics in a World of Inequality.
TB30 Presidential Theme Panel – Feminist International Relations Today: A Discipline Transformed?
TB50: Global Feminist IR
TC02 Race and Racism in International Relations
TC06: Presidential Theme Panel – How The Search For ‘Non-Western IR’ Led To A Reflection Of The ‘Self’: (Un)Learning IR In And Beyond The Classroom
TC07: Globalizing International Studies Pedagogies
TC16: Gender and Human Rights, 1:45pm
TC21: Art as Subject, Art as Method
TC56: Decolonial Methodologies: Critiques and Experiences from the Fieldwork
TC72: Critical Friends and De(Con)Structure Critics: How Should Feminist Academics Engage with Global Institutions?
TD09: IR’s Eurocentric Limitations TD21: roundtable on “After Deepwater Horizon: Rebuilding Indigenous Communities After the BP Gulf Oil Disaster”
TD14: Colonial Legacies and Decolonizing Trajectories
TD33: Making Sense of Emotions, Politics and War
TD52: Global Human Trafficking and Gender
TD57: Global Masculinities in a Transnational World
FA13: Conceptualising the Use of Sexual Violence and Rape in War
FA22: Do Something: Activism, Responsibility and the Politics of ‘Helping’
FA47: Gendering the Global Political Economy
FB10: Presidential Theme Panel: Decolonizing the Western Academy: Postcolonial Challenges to Global IR
FB27: LGBT Issues and Diffusion
FB34: Queering/Querying Global Political Economy
FC01: Angela Davis honored as IPE section’s 2015 Outstanding Activist Scholar in New Orleans. (co-chaired by J. Ann Tickner and Hasmet M. Uluorta. More information will be coming shortly. If you have any questions please contact Hasmet — firstname.lastname@example.org )
FC19: Deconstructing Silence and Agency in Sites of Insecurity
FC26: Political Engagement and Political Alternatives in The Age of Austerity In Europe
FC27: Queering Global Politics: Destabilization or Disciplinarity
FC39 Presidential Theme Panel: Three Decades of Worlding IR: A roundtable Retrospective
FC55: Addressing Gender-Based Violence: Issues and Responses
FC57: Presidential Theme Panel “Postcolonialism, Race And IR: War, Capitalism, Segregation, Tribes, Literature”
FC72: Women in Conflict: Agency and Human Security
FC74: Sex Gender Violence Desire?
FD36: Queering IR Theory
FD37 Presidential Theme Panel/Global Development Distinguished Scholar Panel in Honors of Prof. Pal Ahluwalia
FD56: Presidential Theme Panel – W.E.B. Du Bois: The Global Color Line And North American IR
FD57: Making Bodies International
FD59: Gender-Based Violence in ‘War’ and ‘Peace’
SA07: Regional Institution Building In Comparative Perspective
SA25: The Global Dead (II): Mourning, Suffering, Witnessing
SA31: Economic Development and Women’s (Dis)Empowerment
SA41: Art Matters: On the Aesthetics of Violence, Death and Memory
SA61: Queer Theory and the International
SA72: International Relations as the Crossroads of the Global and the Local
SB17: Beyond Biopolitics and Risk in Post 9/11 Critical Scholarship: The Affective Politics of the War on Terror and Beyond
SB47: Masculinities, Militarism and Feminist Security Studies
SB43: Bodies In/And/Of/For Global Health
SB54: Sexualised Violence, Surveillance and New Security Technologies
SB57: Presidential Theme Panel – 34 Ways To Say “International Relations”: The Teaching, Research And Interna
Title: Global Crises / Capitalist Expressions: Critical Connections
Where: EISA 9th Pan-European Conference, Sicily, 23-26 September 2015
Abstract: What are the ways that relations of global capitalism can be made intelligible through analyses of various “crises”? This panel seeks to develop the analysis of contemporary capital by way of capturing its expressions, or effects, in a range of contemporary global crises (economic, environmental, epidemic, colonial, militaristic, etc.). We hope to highlight different iterations of global capitalism through its intrinsic tendency to crisis, and by doing so, to underscore the possibilities of a variety approaches to the critique of capitalism. Thus, we invite papers addressing a breadth of potential sites and scenes of contemporary capitalism’s globality, from those involving more immediately situated struggles over the limits it places on everyday material existence to more widely-scaled analyses, focusing on the governmental and governmentalizing dynamics of globalization itself. Gathering these various approaches together, this panel will be an opportunity to explore the stakes of global capitalist discourse and practice as it advances norms of market-based existence, individual responsibility, flexible partnership and resilience, all the while beset by the aporias of uneven development, financialization, war profiteering, corporate welfare, and the reckless extraction and consumption of resources.
For more info, contact Nicholas Kiersey (at the address on this website) or Garnet Kindervater. Submissions no later than Monday, September 29, please.
Mark Blyth, Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea, New York: Oxford University Press, 2013, 288 pp.
(Note: This is an extended, remixed version of a book review I’ve written for a forthcoming issue of New Political Science).
In the context of the current financial crisis, it is fair to expect that any book taking as its title Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea should satisfy at least two criteria. On the one hand, the book should present a robust exposition of the basic genealogy of the concept. On the other, the book should try to offer an argument as to how this idea achieved such a preeminent position in guiding not only the decisions of key policymakers but also the everyday, commonsensical worldview of the very populations for whomthese decisions will have the most serious consequences. It is in terms of the former that Blyth’s book is strong.
From Wanda Vrasti, does the language of precarity empower us? Or can we do better?
But what if precarity was the wrong rallying point to focus on? What if instead of describing a shared experience all that the concept did was point to the absence of a common ground? Is there any way we could turn precarity around from a testament to our shared vulnerability into a positive affirmation of collective desire?
Just a brief note to let you know the book I co-edited with Iver Neumann, Battlestar Galactica & International Relations, is now available. You can buy it on Amazon in hardback and Kindle formats here. A cheaper, paperback version of the book will be coming later this year. This project has been over two years in the making, and started with a random encounter at the bar at an ISA convention in New York. As the convention was taking place, the cast and crew of the show were addressing the United Nations, just up the road, on the plight of child soldiers! We were pretty blown away by the idea that such an encounter was even possible. And we got talking… well, what WAS “BSG’s” politicalmessage, anyway? At the following year’s ISA in New Orleans, we held a panel wherein we discussed some ideas about the show and noticed that, well, some IR folk were *serious* fans of the show: