Carleton IPE cfp: Confronting Vulnerabilities

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Carleton IPE cfp: Confronting Vulnerabilities

Postby dtcochrane » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:18 am

12th Annual Graduate Student Conference Hosted
by the Institute of Political Economy


Confronting Vulnerabilities: Society, Spaces and the State

Carleton University, Fenn Lounge
Friday March 11th, 2011

We invite papers that engage with multiple understandings of vulnerability, from perspectives on ecologies, economies, labour and lives.

Suggested Topics Could Include:

Austerity as violence
Political economies of affect
Retrenchment and regulation under crisis
Food (in)security and difference
Intersections of race, gender, sex and capital
Terrains of resistance
(un)Building institutions for intervention
Political ecology, repression and displacement
Colonial economies and capital accumulation
Human security, migration and global capitalism

Deadline for Proposals: January 14, 2011

Send your proposal (including title, abstract of no more than 250 words, three keywords which relate to your topic) and full contact information to:

This wide-ranging interdisciplinary event is organized by Carleton graduate students from Geography, Legal Studies, Political Economy, Political Science, Public Policy and Administration, Social Work and Sociology. The conference offers a great opportunity for graduate students to share and discuss their research with peers and the wider academic community and thus we strongly encourage those who are in the process of working on theses and dissertations to submit proposals.
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Re: Carleton IPE cfp: Confronting Vulnerabilities

Postby dtcochrane » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:21 am

A friend says this is one of the best conference he has attended. The sessions generally have decent audiences and good discussion.

My collaborator Jeff and I are submitting the following abstract:

Trees Not Gunns: Direct Action and Differential Accumulation
DT Cochrane & Jeff Monaghan

Vulnerable people have a habit of resistance. This introduces uncertainty into the calculations of the powerful, as they count on obedience. Informed by the theory of ‘capital as power’ (Nitzan & Bichler 2009), we argue that business disruption campaigns can be assessed based on the ability of activists to insert themselves into the calculations of the owners of capital. Analysis of particular tactics aimed at specific targets can reveal the vulnerabilities of the powerful and offers one means of assessing campaigns that aim to disrupt corporate actors. In this article we detail a campaign against Australian forestry corporation Gunn Ltd. Under the banner ‘Trees Not Gunns,’ activists combined local acts of direct action with a global support movement to protect Tasmania’s ancient growth forests. While there are numerous considerations when assessing the success of social movements, we contend that one such device is the vantage point of capitalists themselves: the bottom-line. Nitzan and Bichler argue that capitalism is a ‘mode of power’ (2009), in which the capitalization formula measures the capitalist’s ability to transform control over broad social processes into earnings. Informed by their conception of accumulation as a relative - and not absolute – process, we contrast the capitalized values of various relevant market actors in order to ‘quantify’ the business disruption impacts of ’Trees Not Gunns.’ The campaign offers an opportunity to examine how diverse tactics can impact processes of accumulation despite the perceived vulnerability of those resisting. We argue that assessment of the measured impact on accumulation will help the vulnerable ensure their resistance counts.

Keywords: Capitalism and accumulation; social movements; direct action.
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