Marxist Sociology Blog: Theory, research, politics2018-10-24T10:00:29-04:00

Spatial Planning and Marxism

From a left perspective, current capitalist crises need to be solved through devaluation of old fossil and capitalist landscapes, and new landscapes and new spaces for housing, leisure, work, transportation, production and agriculture need to be produced. Considering how dependent our current cities, countries, and global infrastructure are on capital accumulation and fossil fuel, it goes without saying that the challenges will be enormous – and that planners will be needed. But at precisely the moment when we most need a Marxist theory of planning, such a discourse is nowhere to be found in the academic discipline called planning theory.

The renewed interest in Marxism that occurred in the social sciences and humanities after the 2008 economic crisis has not yet found its counterpart in spatial planning. In a recent paper in Antipode, I scrutinize relations between Marxism and spatial planning from three perspectives: first, the vibrant Marxist discourse on planning that actually existed in the late 1970s and early 1980s; second, the recent history (since the 1980s) of planning theory and its relation to the political economy of the period; and third, the current political economic context (not least defined by twin economic and ecological crises).

The Fall and Rise of […]

By |Mar 24, 2021|Categories: Blog article, News & Announcements|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Spatial Planning and Marxism

Precarity Through a Feminist Lens

The term ‘precarity’ has gained significance in the social sciences, as a number of recently published international compilations illustrate. Responding to the neoliberal transformations of the labor market, precarity emerged as a category attempting not only to describe the prevailing conditions work (marked by the continuous losing of workers’ rights), but also to highlight forms of living and everyday experience characterized by uncertainty, vulnerability, and the sense of being disposable imprinted by neoliberalism upon workers and social subjects.

One of the seminal works about precarity as a political condition is Guy Standing’s The Precariat: A New Dangerous Class, published in 2011.  In this work, Standing reflects on the post-fordist model of production and the emergence of a new class conformed by young people, old agers, ethnic minorities and women. Although coming from different  backgrounds, all of them form part of what this author calls the precariat due to the lack of resources that guarantee their survival and, therefore, the continuous threatening of their existence. Before this, in 1999, Standing published a paper entitled “Global Feminization Through Flexible Labor: A Theme Revisited” where he […]

By |Mar 18, 2021|Categories: Blog article, Theory|Comments Off on Precarity Through a Feminist Lens

The Rise and Fall of the French Left

France was once the heartland of socialism, but today its left is on the retreat and its far-right emboldened. The roots of this malaise lie in François Mitterrand’s turn from radical reform to neoliberal austerity in the 1980s.

By |Mar 10, 2021|Categories: Blog article, Research|Comments Off on The Rise and Fall of the French Left

From Factories to Platforms: Collective Resistance in China’s Platform Economy

Under the gig platform, technological control and management leads to grievances and perceived injustice. This dimension of control and management overlaps at times with, and is reinforced by, legal and organizational control and management, generating moments of escalation. The contractual design enables intense algorithmic control and management by giving platforms unbridled legal and technological power.

By |Mar 3, 2021|Categories: Blog article, Research|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on From Factories to Platforms: Collective Resistance in China’s Platform Economy

Don’t Forget the Political Earthquake in Georgia

While all eyes have turned to Trump’s fascist coup attempt in Washington, and rightly so, the political earthquake that has occurred in Georgia since November should not be forgotten. Not only did Joe Biden eke out a victory in the November presidential election, but the January Senate runoff elected two more Trump opponents, this in a state in the Deep South with a long history of voter suppression and racist violence.

In terms of alignments at a national level, this political upset gave the Democrats what the Biden campaign had signally failed to do, control of the U.S. Senate. While the new majority is razor thin — and in fact dependent on tie-breaking votes by Vice President Kamala Harris — it should at least prevent the far-right Republican Party from blocking completely the mild reforms the Biden administration will attempt on economic, environmental, and racial justice, as well as other salient issues.

It is important to note that newly elected Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff ran not only as anti-Trump candidates, but also with some progressive stances. They supported the $2000 stimulus checks for COVID relief. Nor did they adopt the familiar Carter-Clinton-Biden “centrist” strategy of playing only to white suburban […]

By |Feb 5, 2021|Categories: Blog article, Commentary|Comments Off on Don’t Forget the Political Earthquake in Georgia
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