Democracy Against the State: Abensour and Anti-authoritarian Geographies

Nathan Clough is looking for one or two additional panelists for this session (below) at the upcoming AAG Annual Meeting (registration deadline December 3). The session will likely be of interest to readers of this blog (see relevant posts here, here, here, and here).


Democracy Against the State: Abensour and Anti-authoritarian Geographies

The 2011 translation of Miguel Abensour’s “Democracy Against the State: Marx and the Machiavellian Moment” offers Anglophone students of heterodox Marxism an important theoretical intervention.  First published in French in 1997, Abensour’s reinterpretation of Marx’s critique of the state relies on a rereading of the 1843 “Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right” in order to reclaim the utopian imaginary of “true democracy”.  Abensour’s attempt to ground the political as the central autonomous element of Marxism is relevant to a wide range of contemporary debates in radical geography.  From the post-political turn, to critiques of neoliberalization, from the resurgence of anarchist geographies, to regulation theoretic nostalgia for the welfare state, an avidly utopian and radically democratic Marx challenges the axiomatics of radical and liberal political theory.

In this session we seek to critically interrogate Abensour’s intervention and to begin the task of critically articulating his critique with radical geographic thought.  We welcome papers that deal explicitly with Abensour’s thought.

The following is a tendential, though partial, and resolutely non-exclusive list of potential topics…

  • Anarchism, the state, and Marxism
  • Geographies of the demos and the multitude
  • Post-politics and the Machiavellian moment
  • Democratic praxis and state power
  • Democracy and Hatred of Democracy
  • Constituent power and utopian materialism
  • Abstract vs “true democracy”
  • Abensour as a critique of Zizek, Ranciere, Negri, Harvey…

Send expressions of interest and abstracts to Nathan Clough at no later than November 22nd


About nicholasjoncrane

Assistant Professor of Geography at University of Wyoming
This entry was posted in Calls, Convocatorias, Conferences. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Democracy Against the State: Abensour and Anti-authoritarian Geographies

  1. Keith Harris says:

    i saw this and thought ‘someone needs to twist mark’s arm into participating….’

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