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  1. Network Concepts in Social Theory: Foucault and Cybernetics.Vincent August - 2022 - European Journal of Social Theory 25 (2):271-291.
    Network concepts are omnipresent in contemporary diagnoses, management practices, social science methods and theories. Instigating a critical analysis of network concepts, this article explores the sources and relevance of networks in Foucault’s social theory. I argue that via Foucault we can trace network concepts back to cybernetics, a research programme that initiated a shift from ‘being’ to ‘doing’ and developed a new theory of regulation based on connectivity and codes, communication and circulation. This insight contributes to two debates: Firstly, it (...)
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  2. Friendship and Solidarity.Harry Blatterer - 2022 - European Journal of Social Theory 25 (2):217-234.
    This article explores a particular connection between friendship and social solidarity and seeks to contribute to understanding the societal significance of non-institutionalised relationships. Commonly the benefits of friendship are assumed to accrue to friends only. But this is only part of the story. Friendship, as instantiation of intimacy and site of moral learning, is conducive to solidarity understood as felt concern for unknown others. That potentiality rests on a specific characteristic: friendship’s loose institutional anchorage. Beginning with an explanation of friendship’s (...)
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  3. Adventures in the Anti-Humanist Dialectic: Towards the Reappropriation of Humanism.Kieran Durkin - 2022 - European Journal of Social Theory 25 (2):292-311.
    The hegemonic discourse on humanism in the contemporary academy – a critical discourse in the form of a theoretical anti-humanism – is marked by a certain degree of impoverishment. This impoverishment is the result of many contextual factors, including the ideological purposes to which the discourse has been put, but also the effects of internal workings of the paradigm associated with anti-humanism itself. In this article, I trace the development of this discourse in its foundational early- and mid-twentieth century manifestations, (...)
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  4.  4
    Realising Immigration as a Human Right: Public Justification and Cosmopolitan Solidarity.Alexander Elliott & David Martínez - 2022 - European Journal of Social Theory 25 (2):235-251.
    According to David Miller, immigration is not a human right. Conversely, Kieran Oberman makes a case for immigration as a human right. We agree with the latter view, but we show that its starting point is mistaken. Indeed, both Miller and Oberman discuss the right to immigration within the liberal paradigm: it is a right or not depending on the correct balance between the interests of the citizens of a given national state and the interests of the immigrants. Instead, we (...)
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  5.  5
    An Interview with Andrew Arato: Critically Revisiting Civil Society, Constituent Power and Constitutional Democracy in Populist Times.Giorgio Fazio, Paul Blokker, Manuel Anselmi & Giuseppe Allegri - 2022 - European Journal of Social Theory 25 (2):330-340.
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  6.  1
    Techniques of Futuring: On How Imagined Futures Become Socially Performative.Maarten A. Hajer, Jesse Hoffman & Jeroen Oomen - 2022 - European Journal of Social Theory 25 (2):252-270.
    The concept of the future is re-emerging as an urgent topic on the academic agenda. In this article, we focus on the ‘politics of the future’: the social processes and practices that allow particular imagined futures to become socially performative. Acknowledging that the performativity of such imagined futures is well-understood, we argue that how particular visions come about and why they become performative is underexplained. Drawing on constructivist sociological theory, this article aims to fill this gap by exploring the question (...)
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  7. Book Review: Populism in the Civil Sphere. [REVIEW]David Inglis - 2022 - European Journal of Social Theory 25 (2):341-346.
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  8. Social Nothingness: A Phenomenological Investigation.Susie Scott - 2022 - European Journal of Social Theory 25 (2):197-216.
    This article identifies and explores the realm of ‘social nothingness’: objects, people, events and places that do not empirically exist, yet are experienced as subjectively meaningful. Taking a phenomenological approach, I investigate how people perceive, imagine and reflect upon the meanings of unlived experience: whatever is significantly not present, never appeared or cannot happen to them. These ‘negative symbolic social objects’ include no-things, no-bodies, non-events and no-where places: for example, rejected roles, unpursued careers or absent people. Reversing some key concepts (...)
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  9. Body Pedagogics, Culture and the Transactional Case of Vélo Worlds.Chris Shilling - 2022 - European Journal of Social Theory 25 (2):312-329.
    During the past two decades, there has been a significant growth of sociological studies into the ‘body pedagogics’ of cultural transmission, reproduction and change. Rejecting the tendency to over-valorise cognitive information, these investigations have explored the importance of corporeal capacities, habits and techniques in the processes associated with belonging to specific ‘ways of life’. Focused on practical issues associated with ‘knowing how’ to operate within specific cultures, however, body pedagogic analyses have been less effective at accounting for the incarnation of (...)
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  10.  2
    Reformulating Emancipation in the Anthropocene: From Didactic Apocalypse to Planetary Subjectivities.Manuel Arias-Maldonado - 2022 - European Journal of Social Theory 25 (1):136-154.
    The ideal of emancipation has been traditionally grounded on the premise that human activity is not restrained by external boundaries. Thus the realisation of values such as autonomy or recognition has been facilitated by economic growth and material expansion. Yet there is mounting evidence that the human impact on natural systems at the planetary level, a novelty captured by the concept of the Anthropocene, endangers the Earth’s habitability. If human development is to be limited for the sake of global sustainability, (...)
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  11.  1
    Liberation and Limitation: Emancipatory Politics, Socio-Ecological Transformation and the Grammar of the Autocratic-Authoritarian Turn.Ingolfur Blühdorn - 2022 - European Journal of Social Theory 25 (1):26-52.
    Despite decades of emancipatory mobilization, there is no realistic prospect for any profound socio-ecological transformation of contemporary consumer societies. Instead, social inequality and ecological destruction are on the rise and an autocratic-authoritarian turn is reshaping even the most established liberal democracies. In explaining these phenomena, the struggle for autonomy and emancipation is an important parameter that has not received sufficient attention so far. This article investigates these phenomena through the lens of the dialectic of emancipation – a concept that I (...)
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  12.  2
    Emancipatory Struggles and Their Political Organisation: How Political Parties and Social Movements Respond to Changing Notions of Emancipation.Felix Butzlaff - 2022 - European Journal of Social Theory 25 (1):94-117.
    In this article, I address the ways in which debates in liberal, Marxist and postmodernist social theory have remoulded readings of emancipation – and how these reformulations have affected the organisation of emancipatory struggles by and in political parties and social movements. I focus on three conceptual ambiguities that have spurred theoretical disputes and restructured organisational imaginations of emancipation: who might struggle for liberation, to what end and in which ways. In all three respects, understandings of emancipation have become increasingly (...)
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  13. Emancipation in the Anthropocene: Taking the Dialectic Seriously.Andrew Dobson - 2022 - European Journal of Social Theory 25 (1):118-135.
    The purpose of this article is to articulate a conception of emancipation for the Anthropocene. First, the Kantian roots of emancipation understood as the capacity of rational beings to act according to self-chosen ends are explained. It is shown that this conception of emancipation sets the realm of autonomous beings humans over the realm of heteronomous beings. Accounts of the ‘humanisation of nature’ are analysed as incomplete attempts to overcome this dualism. It is argued that the root of this incompleteness (...)
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  14. Does Emancipation Devour its Children? Beyond a Stalled Dialectic of Emancipation.Margaret Haderer - 2022 - European Journal of Social Theory 25 (1):172-188.
    Emancipation serves not only as a midwife for progressive agendas such as greater equality and sustainability but also as their gravedigger. This diagnosis underpins Ingolfur Blühdorn’s ‘dialectic of emancipation’, which depicts a dilemma but offers no perspective on how to deal with it. By drawing on Foucault, this article suggests conceiving of emancipation as a task moderns are confronted with even if a given emancipatory project has come to devour its children. Claiming autonomy from given social constellations is key to (...)
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  15. The Anti-Authoritarian Revolt: Right-Wing Populism as Self-Empowerment?Torben Lütjen - 2022 - European Journal of Social Theory 25 (1):75-93.
    Right-wing populism and authoritarianism are often thought to be closely linked to each other: conceptually, ideologically, historically. This article challenges that assumption by reinterpreting right-wing populism as an essentially anti-authoritarian movement. Right-wing populism diverges from the clearly authoritarian movements of the past, such as classic conservatism and fascism, in at least two important ways: first, it follows a distinctive epistemology with a different idea what constitutes the truth and who has access to it. Second, populism has a peculiar understanding of (...)
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  16. Book Review: Technopopulism: The New Logic of Democratic Politics. [REVIEW]Daniel Matthews-Ferrero - 2022 - European Journal of Social Theory 25 (1):189-193.
  17.  2
    A Different Kind of Emancipation? From Lifestyle to Form-of-Life.Luigi Pellizzoni - 2022 - European Journal of Social Theory 25 (1):155-171.
    The modern outlook on emancipation has made its quest inseparable from a quest for endless enhancement, based on an ever-more intensive exploitation of the biophysical world. This accounts for how unsustainable ways of living are reiterated worldwide, in spite of evidence of their deleterious effects. The underpinnings of unsustainability, and a major impediment to conceiving alternatives, come from an account of the human as ontologically indeterminate, crushed on doing, both vulnerable and powerful towards the world. The impasse of such ambivalence (...)
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  18.  1
    Illiberalism and the Democratic Paradox: The Infernal Dialectic of Neoliberal Emancipation.Erik Swyngedouw - 2022 - European Journal of Social Theory 25 (1):53-74.
    The main trust of this article unfolds around the impasse of democratic politics today, marked by the fading belief in the presumably superior architecture of liberal democratic institutions to nurture emancipation on the one hand, and the seemingly inexorable rise of a variety of populist political movements on the other. The first part of the article focuses on the lure of autocratic populism. The second part considers how transforming neoliberal governance arrangements pioneered post-truth autocratic politics/policies in articulation with the imposition (...)
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