Call for Papers: Conflict, Revolt and Democracy in the Neoliberal World, 7. & 8. November 2013

30. Sep 2013

Conflict, Revolt and Democracy in the Neoliberal World

Thursday 7th to Friday 8th of November, 2013

Grand Parade, University of Brighton

Keynote Speaker: PROFESSOR WENDY BROWN, UCLA Berkeley

Neoliberal politics over the past four decades has linked democracy to the extension of markets and competition across the public, private and charitable sectors. These developments have been sustained through the extension of individual debt, ‘humanitarian’ wars and the normalisation of ‘exceptional’ acts of sovereign power including torture and illegal drones. Despite sustained economic crises, disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and marked increased in inequalities both within nation states, and between nation states, neoliberal regimes have flourished. The collapse of the world financial system in 2008 was rearticulated as a crisis of the state. Debts incurred by global financial institutions became sovereign debts while citizens have borne the brunt of the risks generated by the confluence of debt, war and discipline.

These crises have increasingly put in to question the claim that the state is a bulwark of democratic politics, the last outpost for the expression of the sovereign will of the people against the incursion of market mechanisms. States function to regulate and protect actors in markets, extend the remit for markets, and limit the possibility for democratic revolt against the consequences of these freedoms. However, this recognition also opens the possibility of exploring other avenues, other directions and possibilities for the expression of democratic politics. These may involve political actors both below and above the state, as well as the possibility of reconfiguring parts of the state.

This conference investigates neoliberal rationalities, practices and regimes with particular attention to the current conjuncture. It also theorises the limits of the the different theoretical accounts of contemporary capitalist politics, while investigating the news sites and agents of democratic politics. Papers might address any one of these or related topics:

·         SPECIAL STRAND: Wendy Brown on neoliberal politics

·         Neoliberal ‘Democracies’

·         Marxist critiques of Neoliberalism

·         Critical Theories of Neoliberalism

·         The Politics of Debt

·         Neoliberal property regimes

·         Reconstruction after Invasion: Market and State in Afghanistan and Iraq

·         The Outsourced State

·         Foucault on Neoliberal Governmentality

·         Thinking Resistance: From Cairo to Wall Street

·         Democracy beyond the state

Abstracts of no more than 300 words, or applications to attend, should be emailed by the 10th October  to Ian Sinclair on

The conference fee is £160. This includes refreshments, lunch on Thursday and Friday and conference dinner on the Thursday evening.

Online registration for the conference will be open within the next week, and available through the conference website:,-seminars,-events/calendar/conflict,-revolt-and-democracy-in-the-neoliberal-world2