Tag Archives: hegemony

Radical Thinkers: Steffen Böhm Presents Hegemony and Socialist Strategy by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe


4 Mar 20147:00 pm | Studio | £5.00

Book Tickets

Steffen Böhm is Director of the Essex Sustainability Institute and Professor in Management and Sustainability at the University of Essex. His research focuses on political economies and ecologies of organization, management and the environment. He was a co-founder of the open-access journal ephemera: theory & politics in organization, and is co-founder and co-editor of the new open-access publishing press MayFlyBooks as well as Interface: A Journal for and about Social Movements. He has published three books: Repositioning Organization Theory, Against Automobility, and Upsetting the Offset: The Political Economy of Carbon Markets.
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Organizing Resistance Movements: The Contribution of Political Discourse Theory

Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to explore the possibility of articulating Political Discourse Theory(PDT) together with Organizational Studies (OS), while using the opportunity to introduce PDT to thoseOS scholars who have not yet come across it. The bulk of this paper introduces the main concepts ofPDT, discussing how they have been applied to concrete, empirical studies of resistance movements.In recent years, PDT has been increasingly appropriated by OS scholars to problematize and analyze resistances and other forms of social antagonisms within organizational settings, taking the relational and contingent aspects of struggles into consideration. While the paper supports the idea of a joint articulation of PDT and OS, it raises a number of critical questions of how PDT concepts have been empirically used to explain the organization of resistance movements. The paper sets out a research agenda for how both PDT and OS can together contribute to our understanding of new, emerging organizational forms of resistance movements.

The Limits of Multi-Stakeholder Governance Forums: The Crisis of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)










Abstract: Multi-stakeholder governance forums have become a vital part of corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. In this article we explore the political dynamics of multi-stakeholder governance forums. To do this we draw on an in-depth case study based on secondary sources of an exemplary multi-stakeholder governance forum–the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

full text available on Academia.edu

Becoming Global (Un)Civil Society: Counter- Hegemonic Struggle and the Indymedia Network


Abstract: In this article we ask how ‘civil society’ actors and organizations can become constructed and treated as ‘uncivil society’. We contest the notion that ‘uncivil’ necessarily equates with the dark qualities of violence and organized criminality. Instead, we take a Gramscian perspective in suggesting that what becomes ‘uncivil’ is any practice and organization that substantially contests the structuring enclosures of hegemonic order, of which civil society is a necessary part. To trace this, we consider ways in which a global grass-roots media network called Indymedia has established and maintained itself as a counter-hegemonic media-producing organization. In this case, a conscious positioning and self-identification as counter-hegemonic has been accompanied by the framing and sometimes violent policing of nodes and practices of this network as ‘uncivil’ by cooperating state authorities. This is in the absence of association of this network with organized violence or crime. We intend our reflections to contribute to a deepening theorization of the terms ‘civil’ and ‘uncivil’ as they are becoming used in social movement and globalization studies.

full text available on Academia.edu

(Im)possibilities of Autonomy: Social Movements in and beyond Capital, the State and Development


Abstract: In this paper we interrogate the demand and practice of autonomy in social movements. We begin by identifying three main conceptions of autonomy: (1) autonomous practices vis-à-vis capital; (2) self-determination and independence from the state; and (3) alternatives to hegemonic discourses of development. We then point to limits associated with autonomy and discuss how demands for autonomy are tied up with contemporary re-organizations of: (1) the capitalist workplace, characterized by discourses of autonomy, creativity and self-management; (2) the state, which increasingly outsources public services to independent, autonomous providers, which often have a more radical, social movement history; and (3) regimes of development, which today often emphasize local practices, participation and self-determination. This capturing of autonomy reminds us that autonomy can never be fixed. Instead, social movements’ demands for autonomy are embedded in specific social, economic, political and cultural contexts, giving rise to possibilities as well as impossibilities of autonomous practices.

full text available on Academia.edu

In Times of Crisis: Act!

In Times of Crisis: Act!

Abstract: It has been 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. We are ‘celebrating’ this anniversary at a time when global capitalism and liberal democracy, the so-called winners of the Cold War struggle between East and West, find themselves in one of the deepest economic and political crises since the Wall Street crash in 1929 and the global turmoil that followed. Perhaps more significantly, however, this is the first crisis that Eastern Europeans are experiencing since their so-called ‘transition’ from a state socialist to a capitalist ideology. What should we make of this transition since 1989? Rather than engaging in a traditional analysis of the winners and losers of this transition, I am interested in what today’s capitalist crisis has perhaps in common with the crisis of state socialism in 1989. I will explore this question by engaging with the German film Good Bye Lenin!.

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From neo-liberalism to green capitalism and back: Crisis, management and the business school of tomorrow

Abstract: About two weeks ago Martin Parker stood in for Simon Caulkin as the Observer’s management columnist, while the latter was away on holiday.  Well done, Martin, for getting into one of the leading Sunday newspapers, for it is still peculiarly unusual for any critical management scholar to actually make it into the broadsheets, or any ‘news’ for that matter. The critical management studies (CMS) project is maybe two decades old – maybe less, maybe more. Like with anything it is difficult to define the beginning of an event, a critique, a resistance. An event always takes place within history; a particular history of power, knowledge, resistance – critique. We never simply start from scratch. But however we should date the beginning of the CMS project, isn’t it peculiar that to date almost none of the big CMS canons have been able to establish themselves as truly public or ‘specific’ intellectuals, engaging with those public discourses which Ernesto Laclau might call ‘populist’; those discourses that are part of a hegemonic regime of capitalist relations? If CMS is about critiquing ‘management’, which Parker – in his 2002 book Against Management  – describes as today’s ‘generalized technology of control’ and ‘hegemonic model of organization’, and if managerialism is indeed so all-persuasive, having entered all spheres of private and public life, then isn’t it ‘strange’ – to say the least – that the CMS project is almost non-existent, as far as its visibility in public discourse is concerned? Equally, isn’t it strange that Boltanski & Chiapello’s now seminal work, The New Spirit of Capitalism , is one of the very first critical assessments of contemporary capitalism using management theory? In fact, it is one of the first Verso books engaging with management literature, which, I guess, tells us a lot about the state of critique today, and specifically the state of critique within the business school and the CMS project. So, on one hand, yes, it is strange that within the two decades of its existence CMS hasn’t really made any inroads into public discourse – nor has it been able to influence general critical social theory. However, what I’d like to suggest in this paper, on the other hand, is that this isn’t strange at all. Let me explain why.

full text available on Academia.edu