Spaces and tactics of politics: Transnational connections, neoliberalisation and the reshaping of civil society

Place: Publicum, Assistentinkatu 7

eynote speakers:
Gail Lewis, Birkbeck, University of London
Sandro Mezzadra, University of Bologna
Jemima Repo,  Newcastle University
Neoliberalisation has emerged as a powerful yet multifaceted and contextually specific force that re-draws the boundaries between state and economy, collective and individual, public and private. Although neoliberal ideologies have sought to depoliticise relationships of power and to present the political field as one of ‘no alternatives’, various parts of the world have simultaneously witnessed waves of politicisation and wide-ranging acts of protest that challenge such political trends. Questions of transnational migration, class inequality, gender and sexual identity, and new and rearticulated forms of racism and their contestations have become key issues in current politics. The expansion of media technologies (social media, the Internet) has transformed political engagements in a far-reaching way. Many contemporary protests are cross-border in nature, drawing on and creating transnational networks and forms of solidarity. Recent political mobilisations include, for example, mass protests against austerity policies, asylum and refugee activism, the worldwide spread of Occupy movements and other forms of anti-capitalist mobilisation, anti-racist and anti-fascist group activities, feminist and queer activism, and the proliferation of groups politicising lifestyles and everyday life, as well as the rise of far-right and anti-immigration movements.
This conference maps this terrain of political struggles and, while acknowledging established forms of political action such as social movements and NGOs, seeks to unearth and make visible the spaces and tactics of political contestation that tend to escape the conventional purview of politics. In this way, the conference seeks to advance our understanding of the logics of political struggles and resistance in the current political conjuncture. How are these struggles organised? What kinds of social change do they envisage and how do they strive to achieve these? What tactics do they employ and what bonds of solidarity do they engender? How do people contest forms of power in their mundane, everyday practices and activities? How are diverse axes of inequality contested or reproduced in political engagements? Where do contemporary struggles of class, gender, race and ethnicity take place, and how are they articulated and organised?
The keynote speeches as well as the conference workshops feature a variety of empirical, theoretical and methodological presentations that engage with these questions in diverse thematic and geographical contexts. The questions and themes addressed in the course of the conference include, among others:
- Social movements and NGOs
- Political activism
- Post/neo-colonialism
- Migration, refugees and asylum seeking
- Politics of race and (anti-)racism
- Politics of class, labour and precarity
- Politics of gender and sexuality
- Feminist futures
- Urban change, neoliberalism and activism
- Politicisation of everyday life
- Politics of consumption and environment
- Challenges to and visions of democratic participation
- Affect and politics
Turku Study Group for Political Sociology (TURPO)

20014 Turun yliopisto, Finland
Tel. +358 29 450 5000

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