129 Anti-State Actors and European Constitutional Participation

Thursday, July 13, 2017: 11:00 AM-12:45 PM
WMB - Hugh Fraser Seminar Room 2 (University of Glasgow)
This interdisciplinary panel explores the debates between anti-state actors, highlighted by recent referendum campaigns, over the use of electoral politics for radical change. Although traditionally anti-state activists (such as anarchists and heterodox Marxists) reject participation in elections (state democracy), preferring multiple, irreducible and flexible participatory demoi-cratic practices, there was nonetheless intense discussion on the possibilities offered, and dangers presented, by the referendums’ outcomes. There has also existed a small but significant minority within the anti-state tradition that has argued for, and engaged in, constitutional action within the European political context.

Some anti-state electoral engagements involve guerrilla constitutionalism, described by L. M. Bogad, and exemplified through the Dutch Kaboteurs and the UK’s Class War, in which radical groups stand candidates in elections primarily to highlight the inadequacies of representative, state democracy and promote non-state, anti-market demoi-cratic alternatives. An alternative stratagem, radical structural engagement, involves standing candidates with the intention of gaining representation and then using the elected position to introduce egalitarian reforms and support extra-parliamentary activities. Castelló en Moviment and Guanyem Barcelona which won local representation having come out of anarchic social movements are recent examples of the second.

This panel explores the critiques of democratic local, national and super-national democratic institutions and procedures and identifies and assesses the norms, values and identities produced by alternative, anti-hierarchical demoi-cratic practices. Contributors will also evaluate the potential impacts of such horizontal movements for shaping wider European (and global) culture and politics.

Benjamin Franks
Discussant :
Jane Cavani
Anarchist Critiques of Democracy
Uri Gordon, University of Notiingham
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