13th May, 2019
Call for Papers for the Rethinking Sovereignty Stream in the Historical Materialism London Conference
Historical Materialism Sixteenth Annual London Conference 2019
Claps of Thunder: Disaster Communism, Extinction Capitalism and How to Survive Tomorrow
Central London, 7-10 November 2019
Call for Papers, Deadline 15 May 2019
For all queries, email only please: firstname.lastname@example.org
Recently questions around sovereignty have returned to the fore of theoretical and political discussion from the continuous debates around the forms of contemporary authoritarian capitalist sovereign power, including the various challenges to the international institutional arrangements associated with 'globalization' but also the many forms of 'states of exception', to various movements attempting to reclaim 'popular sovereignty', to the Far Right's attempt to insist on various versions of the 'sovereign nation'. At the same time, there are open debates inside contemporary Marxist theory of the state, including whether we can think of our strategic goal as a socialist republic and consequently a form of sovereignty. All these attest to the need for theoretical discussion upon the very notion of sovereignty. To this end we encourage paper and panel proposals on this subject and in particularly the following questions:
- How can we think the political constitution of contemporary 'sovereign power'? Is it always, in the last instance, a question of domination and of the power to 'decide on the exception', or are we dealing with forms of power that are relational and thus traversed by subaltern resistances and aspirations and consequently open to transformation?
- What are the contemporary forms of capitalist 'sovereign power' emerging'? How are they related to the new antagonisms in the international plane?
- The challenges to a traditional 'free trade' conception of globalization, from 'protectionist' rhetoric to regional alliances, does it imply a retreat to classical version of 'national sovereignty'?
- Can reclaiming sovereignty –as a process of delinking from contemporary forms of imperialism– be considered part of a radical anti-capitalist strategy?
- Can sovereignty be conceived as 'sovereignty of the people' in a democratic and emancipatory manner, or contemporary claims to 'popular sovereignty' from the part of left-wing movements entail the danger of supporting the attempt of the attempt of the Far Right to present itself as a defender of 'sovereign nations'?
- Can we think of socialism as a republic and consequently a form of sovereignty? What does this imply in regards to political forms and institutions?
Please Note: Although we welcome preconstituted panels, after extensive feedback from previous years we are tightening up on panels with just titles or incomplete names. Panels should provide title, abstract and full names, emails of each participant and abstract/note of contribution (where relevant). Incomplete panel proposals will be put on the reserve list and may ultimately be rejected. We also reserve the right to reject certain papers in a preconstituted panel and to reconstitute panels as we see fit.