Industrious modernity

Readers of our website are familiar with the work of Adam Arvidsson, which explores the relationship between Capitalism and Commons-based peer production.  In his new book titled Changemakers: The Industrious Future of the Digital Economy, which has just been published by Polity, Arvidsson “argues that, as industrial capitalism enters a period of prolonged crisis, a new paradigm of ‘industrious modernity’ is emerging. Based on small-scale, commons-based and market-oriented entrepreneurship, this industrious modernity is being pioneered by the many outcasts that no longer find a place within a crumbling industrial modernity”.

Continue reading “Industrious modernity”

Call for applications for professorships at the European New School of Digital Studies

In the context of setting up the European New School of Digital Studies (ENS)Europa-Universität Viadrina has issued a call for applications for the following four positions:

* W2 Professorship in Political Theory and Digital Democracy
* W3 Professorship in Sociology of Technology
* W3 Professorship in Law and Ethics of the Digital Society
* W3 Professorship in Information Management and Digital Transformation

The deadline for applications is October 27, 2019. For more information, see: https://www.europa-uni.de/de/struktur/unileitung/projekte/ens/career/index.html

Katherine Gibson: Researching post-capitalist possibilities

Katherine Gibson will be in Greece for three events in Athens and Thessaloniki organized by the Greek Open University and the postgraduate course in the Social & Solidarity Economy. In specific, Prof. Gibson will be giving a public talk in Athens on Monday 16 September (at the building of the Greek Open University) and on Wednesday 18 September at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. The last event is a workshop at the Park Tsepis in Thessaloniki on Thursday 19 September.   For more information, see: https://www.eap.gr/el/anakoinvseis-ekdilwseis/sunedria-ekdilwseis/ekdiilwseis-tou-eap-fwtografiko-arxeio/7796-i-katherine-gibson-stin-ellada

 

Capitalism and the Commons

A must-read for those interested in delving more deeply into the relationship between Capitalism and Commons-based peer production is Adam Arvidsson’s new paper, titled ‘Capitalism and the Commons‘, which has just been published in Theory, Culture & Society. The crux of its argument is nicely summed up in the concluding remarks:

The medieval commons emerged out of the process of social acceleration put in motion by feudalism. In turn, they supported new relations of production that pointed beyond feudalism. Capitalism developed through the privatization and enclosure of the medieval commons. At the same time, the process of social acceleration put in motion by capitalist real subsumption has generated new commons in the form of a planetary ‘general intellect’. Today we begin to see how these new commons are supporting new forms of petty production. It is possible that such commons-based petty production will affirm itself as an alternative to a capitalist economy in decline, first for the masses, and later also for the elites. This process is likely to be accelerated by a combination of economic decline and ecological crisis, similar to that of the 14th century.

Job opening Assistant Professor STS at University of Twente

The Department of Science, Technology and Policy Studies (STePS) at the University of Twente is looking for an Assistant Professor Science, Technology, and Society Studies (STS), with a focus on shaping and/or governing technology.

For more information, here’s the link : https://www.utwente.nl/en/organization/careers/!/936462/assistant-professor-science-technology-and-society-studies-sts-with-a-focus-on-shaping-andor-governing-technology

The alter-politics of complementary currencies: The case of Sardex

A new study of the Sardex complementary currency in Sardinia by Alexandros Kioupkiolis and Paolo Dini, titled ‘The alter-politics of complementary currencies: The case of Sardex‘, has just been published in Cogent Social Sciences.  Here’s the abstract:

This paper addresses the question whether complementary currencies can help us think and practice politics in new and different ways which contribute to democratic change and civic empowerment in our times. The space created by the Sardex complementary currency circuit in Sardinia (2009-to date) seems to leave enough room for the emergence of a collective micropolitical consciousness. At the same time, the design of a technological and financial infrastructure is also an alternative political, or ‘alter-political’ choice. Both are alternative to hegemonic politics and to typical modes of mobilization and contestation. Thus, the Sardex circuit can best be understood as an alter-political combination of the bottom-up micropolitics of personal interactions within the circuit and of the politics of technology implicit in the top-down design of the technological and financial infrastructure underpinning the circuit. The Sardex experience suggests that a market that mediates the (local) real economy only and shuts out the financial economy can provide economic sustainability by supporting SMEs, supply a shield against the adverse effects of financial crises, and counteract the fetishization of money by disclosing daily its roots in social construction within a controlled environment of mutual responsibility, solidarity, and trust. We broached the Sardex currency and circuit in such terms in order to illustrate a significant and effective instance of alter-politics in our times and also to indicate, more specifically, community financial innovations which could be taken up and re-deployed to democratize or ‘commonify’ local economies.

Interesting articles on the municipal elections in Spain

2015 saw a large number of cities in Spain vote in new municipalist governments that sprang from social movements, notably the 15M movement of 2011. After four years of experimentation and struggle within and around city institutions, a new round of elections in May 2019 saw many of these candidacies decline in votes: only a few cities maintained the same municipalist mayors (Cádiz and Barcelona are examples of big cities; there are too many small cities and villages to list here). The reasons for this are manifold, complex, and locally specific: from political conjunctures to internal divisions and beyond. Below we share a few articles of analysis from Málaga, Madrid and Barcelona from June 2019 that we have used in our research (there is a myriad more places, viewpoints and texts, and much analysis to follow too, of course):

Research Methodology Issues in the Social Sciences Conference

The next Research Methodology Issues in the Social Sciences conference organized by the University of Crete’s Faculty of Sociology will be held in Rethymnon on 8-10 November 2019. Of particular interest to readers of this blog, one of the main themes of the conference is ‘commons policies: social and solidarity economy and communities of emancipation’. For more info (in greek), here’s the call.