Welcome to the Anarchist Studies Network website
This is the official website for the Anarchist Studies Network a Political Studies Association (UK), Specialist Group for the Study of Anarchism.
Conveners: Prof. Ruth Kinna (Loughborough) and Dr Alex Prichard (Exeter) Treasurer: Dr Alex Christoyannopoulos (Loughborough)
To join this group, and to be signed up to the group's email list, please contact the membership secretary Benjamin Franks: benjamin.franks@ glasgow.ac.uk.
ASN members receive a £5 discount on Anarchist Studies. Just ask Benjamin for more details.
Post-Conference Page Here you will find some of the papers presented and a collection of conference reports. We will slowly add to this page as other materials become available.
We are delighted to announce the first title in the new peer-reviewed book series Contemporary Anarchist Studies, published by Continuum Books.
Anarchism and Political Modernity by Nathan Jun is the first offering in the series. This original work looks at the place of “classical anarchism” in postmodern political discourse, claiming that anarchism presents a vision of political postmodernity. The book seeks to foster a better understanding of why and how anarchism is growing in the present. To do so, it first looks at its origins and history, offering a different view from the two traditions that characterize modern political theory: socialism and liberalism. Such an examination leads to a better understanding of how anarchism connects with newer political trends and why it is a powerful force in contemporary social and political movements. This first volume in the Contemporary Anarchist Studies series offers a novel philosophical engagement with anarchism and contests a number of positions established in postanarchist theory. Its new approach makes a valuable contribution to an established debate about anarchism and political theory. It offers a new perspective on the emerging area of anarchist studies that will be of interest to activists, students and theorists.
Advance praise for Anarchism and Political Modernity
Anarchism and Moral Philosophy by Benjamin Franks and Matthew Wilson
This ground-breaking collection of anarchist philosophy is now available from Palgrave
Post-Anarchism: A Reader by Duane Rousselle and Süreyyya Evren
Bringing together both previously published key texts and new material exploring the overlaps and affinities between anarchism, poststructuralism and postmodernism, this collection is now available from Pluto
Anarchism & Sexuality: Ethics, Relationships & Power by Jamie Heckert and Richard Cleminson
Now available from Routledge.
The Anarchist Studies Initiative at SUNY Cortland is the first center dedicated to the study of anarchism in higher education. Anarchist Studies Initiative comes out of SUNY Cortland’s commitment to cutting edge innovative liberal arts and professional public education.
The ARG is based in the Department of Politics, History and International Relations at Loughborough University. Its aims are:
To facilitate the study of anarchism across scholarly disciplines in the University To help raise the profile of anarchist studies in the wider academic community To promote international collaborative work on anarchism To provide a centre for postgraduate researchers working on aspects of anarchist history and politics To encourage the exploration and analysis of anarchist ideas and practices in the local community
What constitutes "anarchist studies," and where did it come from?
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and with it, of an entire world order based on the tension between American and Soviet power, a number of intellectuals announced (once again) that the age of "ideologies" had ended; liberal democracy and capitalism had won, and no other political or economic options remained credible as contenders for the future. Energy had drained from most of the "New Social Movements" that had come to such prominence in the sixties and seventies; having since been institutionalized, accommodated within the system, environmentalism and the various forms of "identity politics" were no longer to be seen as radical challenges to the status quo, much less as forming part of a revolutionary "Movement."
Two decades later, this cozy perception of the world is in shambles. Nearly a third of the world's population lives in "failed states"; international systems of law and order are in serious disarray; strains on the planetary ecosystem are increasingly hard to ignore; the global marketplace lurches between "irrational exuberance" and crisis. The institutional managers of this world order now cannot meet without major police and military protection; everywhere they go, angry crowds appear. Many in these crowds speak not of a Movement, but of a "movement of movements," that cannot be accommodated within the present order. It has become a common observation that, notwithstanding the novelty of this force, it cannot be understood without reference to another, older political tradition, one that had gone into an historical eclipse around the time of the Russian Revolution and the first victories of the women's suffrage movement, that had long since become something less than a memory, a mere epithet: anarchism.
It is deeply ironic that there are now arguably more people outside of the academy than inside it who possess any intellectual context for this tradition; one is hard pressed to find a few scattered, often uninformed references to anarchism in the most advanced realms of scholarly discourse. Nonetheless, over the last two decades, academics have slowly begun to rediscover the historical significance of anarchism, which, as Benedict Anderson recently had to remind his fellow historians, was for a time "the main vehicle of global opposition to industrial capitalism, autocracy, latifundism, and imperialism." Scholars have started to study the influence of anarchism on early Korean and Filipino national liberation struggles, movements for birth control from Barcelona to Boston, Latin American labor history, Jewish immigrant life, the development of modern sociology and geography, the French Resistance, debates over eugenics and Social Darwinism, modern art and Modern Schools, avant-garde film and popular music, revolutions from Mexico to China to Russia itself.
There has even been some interest in revisiting the theoretical documents left in the wake of anarchist movements, dusting off the old ideas in search of new perspectives. Far from having been anti-intellectual "primitive rebels," anarchists produced a rich critical discourse on every facet of life and knowledge, from economics to linguistics, from social history to aesthetic theory, from urban planning to ontology -- a counter-institutional archive that has barely begun to be investigated. Amid a widespread increase in doctoral theses and academic publications directly engaged with the anarchist archive, some researchers have begun to draw inspiration from it, to see their work as an extension of anarchist theory and practice. For a number of us, what we are calling "anarchist studies" no longer necessarily takes anarchism as its object of study but as a standpoint from which to study the world. Anarchist contributions to thought are making a reappearance in a number of fields, challenging established orthodoxies. Perhaps, against all odds, we are witnessing the emergence of a new anarchist paradigm in academia.
more: About Us
The research network is formally affiliated to Anarchist Studies.
Anarchist Studies is an inter-disciplinary journal of scholarly research into the history, culture and theory of anarchism, edited by Ruth Kinna at Loughborough University. It publishes papers on three broad themes:
the re-evaluation of the anarchist record, considering issues of culture, philosophy and political action the potential future of anarchism as a current of critical political action the application of anarchist ideas as an instrument of research.
Recent highlights include special issues on sexuality, and on science fiction, and articles on Tolstoy, Daoism, Locke and post-structuralism.
'There has been a remarkable surge of interest in anarchist thought and practice in recent years. Anarchist Studies has played an important part in this revival with serious and constructive inquiries into anarchism's historical experience and animating ideas, and valuable contributions to enriching and deepening them' Noam Chomsky
'Many academic journals are interchangeable, but Anarchist Studies is full of material you will discover nowhere else' Colin Ward "
More details, a full table of contents and a submissions 'style guide' can be found here
The R.A. Forum provides the most comprehensive online bibliography and database of anarchist texts in English, French, Italian and numerous other languages. It is a global portal of the most up-to-date work on anarchism. It also contains regular updates about upcoming events and links to a vast array of information.
The Anarchy Archives is an online encyclopaedia of newly transcribed and scanned documents. An Invaluable source of primary materials.
The Institute for Anarchist Studies is an nonprofit and independent organisation that promotes the re-investigation of anarchism as political and economic praxis. The Institute funds research projects and publishes its own magazine 'Perspectives on Anarchist Theory'.
The Anarchist FAQ is a huge repository of essays, definitions and opinions on everything anarchist. It includes links to hundreds of other websites and has a huge English-language bibliography - all web-based.
AK Press is the world's leading anarchist press. A worker-run cooperative, it has been publishing anarchist writings for years. The website also contains a wealth of material on anarchist writers accross the world. It's British distribution website can be found here.