Constituent Imagination: Research + Resistance in the Global Justice Movement
Over the past ten years the various tendrils of the global justice movement have developed a multiplicity of new forms of social resistance. From occupied factories and neighborhood assemblies in Argentina to raucous UK street parties and Italian social centers, these new forms of resistance and organizing have blurred, questioned, and broken down notions of political action and organization. Far from the “end of history” predicted in 1989, the circulation and spread of autonomous struggles and politics worldwide has proclaimed loudly “we are everywhere.” These forms of social protagonism are developing alternatives to a neoliberal world in the organization of resistance, constructing new possibilities through the constitutive power of lived imagination.
Just as we use narratives to construct and deconstruct our social world, so narratives about forms of politics open up or delimit possibilities for organization. But the relation of radical academics and intellectuals and the social movements we work with (or more often talk about with little real connection) has had a tenuous and not always positive history. Far too often radical theorists have used their knowledge or ideas to claim leadership roles and positions of power within movements, attempting to control and direct through vanguard structures, leading to many problems despite their positive intentions. The practices of the interwoven strands of the global justice movement, creating and enacting horizontal networks instead of top-down structures like states, parties, or corporations, demand that radical theorists and academics critically rethink their role in and relation to movements, and the nature of intellectual practice itself.
This volume seeks contributions of essays and interviews as well visual contributions that explore the relation between research, resistance, and organization occurring in the global justice movement. That is, we wish to seek out the voices not of those who comment upon organizing from afar or from above, but engage in research and investigation from an engaged perspective and political praxis, people who take seriously the Zapatistas’ concept of walking while asking questions. Contributors are encouraged to be creative with format and style (think beyond the generic academic paper format!). Please send your proposal of 500 words or less to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 15th, 2005.
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