Call for abstracts: Organizing Resilience: In, Against, Despite and Beyond Capital, LAEMOS 2018

This is a call for abstracts for a stream I’m co-convening at LAEMOS 2018, which takes place 22nd-24th March at the IAE Business School in Buenos Aires. Further information is available here.

This stream welcomes submissions that recode the concept of resilience away from survival within the present organisation of work and economic life, towards the development of alternatives ‘in, against and beyond’ capitalism. In critical management studies, resilience is associated with resistance within organizations and how working place resistance relates to other spheres in civil society (Spicer and Böhm 2007). Social movement organizations’ role is regarded as the ‘sites’ for the creation of novel organizational subjectivities and ethical practices’ (Munro, 2014: 1127). This approach demands to ‘reposition organization theory’ towards an anti-hegemonic approach (Böhm 2006: 104) that links critical organization studies with developments in anti-capitalist movements towards the renewal of organization studies (Reedy, 2014: 652) in the direction of utopia (on this see Parker –ed. 2002).

The Sub-Theme will first deal with processes of organising resilience that are grounded in the material production of capitalist social relations and explore a central contradiction of resilience: that in securing our survival in and for situations not of our choosing, we secure the strength to struggle for alternatives in the future, and, vice versa, in struggling for alternatives, we simultaneously seek our survival in the here and now.

Second, the panel will establish a connection between resilience, social reproduction and concrete forms of utopia. Social reproduction is a broad concept developed by Marxist-feminist scholarship (Vogel, 2014; Federici, 2012; Ferguson, 2016), that designates a range of activities and processes through which the ongoing conditions of life are secured.

The neo-liberal restructuring and the global crisis have precipitated a crisis of social reproduction (Zechner and Hansen, n/d). The concept and reality of resilience predominantly relates to survival within the present organisation of our social reproduction within the capital-labour relation, based around the wage relation. But there exist in the wake of the global financial crisis many practices of commoning, caring, growing and living that propose a radical break with the present and the possibility of the development of new forms of socially reproducing the capacity to live and work for different futures. These include, but are not delimited to, social movements, informal work, alternative economies, the social and solidarity economy, community agriculture projects, cooperatives, worker occupations and unemployed workers’ movements. In their development, the contribution these organisational innovations make to society’s resilience in times of crisis invites institutionalisation by the state and other authorities as a component of governmental strategies for greater stability of individuals and communities with the current economic system. The capacity of actors and groups to organise within this contradictory relationship, ‘in, against, despite and beyond’ capital and the state, is the crucial issue we hope to address in this stream.

The panel aims to bring together interdisciplinary contributions that

  • Offer theoretically-informed empirical scholarship on resilience as a contradictory concept.
  • Reflect on how social processes and movements are organising resilience beyond survival, in, against, beyond and despite, capital.

We welcome papers that investigate and analyse, empirically and/or theoretically, topics including yet not limited to:

  • social movement organizations as ‘sites’ for the creation of novel organizational subjectivities and ethical practices’ (Munro, 2014: 1127)
  • how alternative organizations cater to needs that are left unattended to due to the economic crisis and the dismantling of the welfare state
  • the role of alternative organizations in addressing the crisis of social reproduction
  • the relationship between marginalized identities and alternative organizing
  • the role of (counter-)ideologies in alternative organizations
  • how alternative organizations foster subjectivities and practices which resist capitalism as a system
  • how they foster hope and real utopia
  • how alternative forms of organizing foster solidarities cutting across capitalistic relations and/or new exclusions
  • how alternatives forms of organizing are co-opted into the reproduction of capitalism
  • how alternative forms of organization constitute sites of resistance
  • novel alliances of alternative organizations challenging existing institutions
  • institutional factors fostering the emergence of alternatives
  • the role of academics in alternative organizations.

References
Böhm, S. (2006). Repositioning Organization Theory. Impossibilities and Strategies. Palgrave Macmillan: Houndmills – New York.
Dalla Costa, M. (1995) ‘Capitalism and Reproduction’ in Bonefeld, W. (Ed.) Open Marxism Vol. III Pluto Press: London: 7-16.
Federici, S. (2012) Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction and Feminist StruggleNew York: PM Press.
Ferguson, S. (2016) ‘Intersectionality and social-reproduction feminisms: Toward an integrative ontology’ Historical Materialism 24(2): 38-60.
Grey, C. and Farsten, C. (2002). ‘Organized and disorganized utopias: an essay on presumption’ In Parker, M. (Ed.) Utopia and Organization. Oxford: Blackwell: 9-23
Munro, I. ‘Organizational Ethics and Foucault’s “Art of Living”: Lessons from Social Movement Organizations’ (2014). Organization Studies. Vol. 35(8): 1127–1148
Parker, M. (Ed.) Utopia and Organization. Oxford: Blackwell: 1-8
Reedy, P. (2014). ‘Impossible organizations: Anarchism and organizational praxis’ Ephemera, 14(4): 639-658
Vogel, L. (2014) Marx­ism and the Oppres­sion of WomenTowards a Uni­tary Theory Chicago, IL: Hay­mar­ket Books.
Zechner, M. and B.R. Hansen (n/d) ‘Building Power in a Crisis of Social Reproduction’ ROAR, issue 0.

Deadlines

  • Abstract submission (up to 1000 words): September 30, 2017
  • Notification of acceptance: October 25, 2017
  • Submission of full paper: March 10, 2018

Submissions

  • Abstracts of up to 1000 words should be submitted here
  • The abstracts should include the name and email address of the author(s). Please, contact the convening team in case you want to send your abstract in Spanish, Portuguese or French. Prior LAEMOS experiences suggest that to interact with most of the attendees, it is better to present your work in English.
  • In case that your abstract were accepted by the subtheme convenors, you are then expected to upload a full paper version via laemos.com website form by March 10, 2018 – which you will present in your sub-theme at the LAEMOS Conference 2018 in Buenos Aires.

Further info

To discuss an abstract, and for more information, please contact the convenors:
Ana C. Dinerstein A.C.Dinerstein@bath.ac.uk
Luciana Ghiotto luciana.ghiotto@gmail.com
Harry Pitts fh.pitts@bristol.ac.uk
Patrizia Zanoni patrizia.zanoni@uhasselt.be