Anarchism and agency

Conference paper


Bates, D. 2016. Anarchism and agency.
AuthorsBates, D.
TypeConference paper
Description

Michael Freeden (1996; 2003) has argued that ideologies can be differentiated into core and peripheral concepts. For Marxists, class conflict would be a core concept; the Marxist who rejects all formulations of this idea ceases to be a Marxist. For anarchists, it is more of a challenge to identify such core concepts (see Bates, 2017, forthcoming). For, anarchism as an ideology is necessarily difficult to characterise. We might argue that there is no so much an ideological identity called ‘anarchism’ as there are many ‘anarchisms’. Moreover, the various expressions of anarchism have been constituted in a context of opposition. One such context is the historical opposition between anarchism and Marxist communism – the main focus of this chapter. Another is the opposition between the various historical formations of anarchism itself – considered practically and philosophically. Consequently, anarchist ideas of agency - to use a term of Quentin Skinner (1968) - have always had an illocutionary dimension - that is, they were developed (not always intentionally) as a performative political response to their contexts of articulation – this makes it at best exceptionally difficult to provide a positive definition of agency from an anarchist point of view. The latter part of this paper will suggest that in the work of thinkers such as Hardt and Negri, there is an extent to which we can start to rethink agency beyond its anarchist (and Marxist) horizons.

Year2016
ConferenceAnarchist Studies Network 4th International Conference
Related URLhttp://anarchist-studies-network.org.uk/
Publication process dates
Deposited20 Oct 2016
Completed16 Sep 2016
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/87y3q/anarchism-and-agency

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