CSE Midlands launch event: What is to be done in the age of austerity and autonomy?

23 Mar

CSE Midlands launch event: What is to be done in the age of austerity and autonomy?

17 April 2015

University of Birmingham

Room: Muirhead 113

Confirmed participants include: Sarah Amsler (University of Lincoln), Malia Bouattia (National Union of Students), Craig Gent (University of Warwick/Plan C), Whyeda Gill-Mclure (University of Wolverhampton), Keir Milburn (University of Leicester), Doug Nicholls (General Federation of Trade Unions), Rob Johnston, Campaigns and Policy Officer for TUC Midlands

The ability, and desire, to mobilise, organise and associate, autonomously of traditional left institutions, has been widely noted of late. Much theorising on the left highlights the move towards a ‘politics of autonomy’; and the wave of anti-austerity movements that have challenged established institutions (in the form of the indignados, Occupy, Gezi Park, and UK Uncut) seem to chime with this theoretical agenda. This move towards an autonomous and vibrant left appears to be a source of hope especially as these new social movements add weight and renewed force to the continuing resistance from public service workers and their unions to years of austerity and public service reform.

Yet, this occurs at the same time as the so-called ‘age of austerity’, in which concessions that have in the past been made by the capitalist state are now being withdrawn; repression, rather than concessions, is increasingly becoming the response of the state to social mobilisation. This repressive neo-liberal reaction is evidence of the underlying contradictions of capitalism which traditional Keynesian-type state intervention leaves intact.

These underlying contradictory trends in contemporary capitalism raise crucial questions of strategy, tactics and analysis. The launch of this CSE Midlands group is an attempt to provide a forum for radical and anti-capitalist activists, critical scholars, and activist/critical scholars to come together to discuss ‘what is to be done’ in this apparently contradictory age of autonomy and austerity. This launch event will feature a panel focusing on some of the key contextual developments that contemporary radicals face; followed by a roundtable discussion on “what is to be done?” We intend the launch of CSE Midlands to be followed by similar events across the Midlands, including on contemporary industrial relations, the 2015 general election, contemporary social movements, and current trends in radical and Marxist theory.

CSE Midlands launch event: What is to be done in the age of austerity and autonomy?

17 April 2015

University of Birmingham

Room: Muirhead 113

2.00 Intro/opening

2.15 Session One: conceptualising the contemporary context

Sarah Amsler (University of Lincoln), Higher education for social justice

Whyeda Gill-Mclure (University of Wolverhampton), The politics of public service reform

Keir Milburn (University of Leicester), Austerity and contemporary capitalism

3.30 break

3.45  Session Two: what is to be done?

Rob Johnston, Campaigns and Policy Officer for TUC Midlands

Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, General Federation of Trade Unions

Malia Bouattia, National Union of Students Black Students’ Officer

Craig Gent, University of Warwick/Plan C

5.00 END – Followed by drinks

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One Response to “CSE Midlands launch event: What is to be done in the age of austerity and autonomy?”

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  1. CSE Midlands Summer Reading schedule | CSE Midlands - May 18, 2015

    […] our recent launch, we have agreed on the following for our summer reading schedule. We also intend to hold a number […]

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