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The Subversion of Politics: European Autonomous Social Movements and the Decolonization of Everyday Life [Paperback]

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Item description for The Subversion of Politics: European Autonomous Social Movements and the Decolonization of Everyday Life by George Katsiaficas...

"A scholarly gem which is indispensable reading for anyone interested in how social change occurs, especially in the advanced industrial countries.”—Carl Boggs, National University

"This book is an important corrective to the all-too-common view that global capitalism is triumphant, that there is no basis for opposing the values it promotes.”—Barbara Epstein, University of California at Santa Cruz

Since the modern anti-globalization movement kicked off with the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle, a new generation has been engaging in anti-capitalist direct action. Its aims, politics, lifestyles, and tactics grow directly out of the autonomous social movements that emerged in Europe from the 1970s through the mid-1990s. In fact, today’s infamous “Black Blocs” are the direct descendants of the European “Autonomen.” But these important historical connections are rarely noted, and never understood.

The Subversion of Politics sets the record straight, filling in the gaps between the momentous events of 1968 and 1999. Katsiaficas presents the protagonists of social revolt—Italian feminists, squatters, disarmament and anti-nuclear activists, punk rockers, and anti-fascist street fighters—in a compelling and sympathetic light. At the same time, he offers a work of great critical depth, drawing from these political practices a new theory of freedom and autonomy that redefines the parameters of the political itself.

George Katsiaficas—Fulbright fellow, former student of Herbert Marcuse, and long-time activist—is Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Massachusetts. Author or editor of more than 10 books, he is Managing Editor of the journal New Political Science.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   299
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 5.5" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.95 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2006
Publisher   AK Press
ISBN  1904859534  
ISBN13  9781904859536  

Availability  2 units.
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More About George Katsiaficas

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! George Katsiaficas is a Fulbright fellow, a student of Herbert Marcuse, a long-time activist, and Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Massachusetts. He has authored and/or edited more than 10 books. Professor Katsiaficas is also the Managing Editor of "New Political Science," a popular academic journal.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education > Education Theory > Contemporary Methods > Multicultural
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Subversion of Politics: European Autonomous Social Movements and the Decolonization of Everyday Life?

A fascinating excavation of obscured recent radical movements  May 21, 2007
Katsiaficas follows up on his book on the New Left and 1968 with this fascinating history that connects the dots between the upheavals of the late 60s and the anti-corporate globalization movements of the turn of the millenium. If you thought the 70s and 80s were a dead period for radical social movements, and if you thought revolution in the belly of the capitalist beast was impossible, check this book out and be inspired. The Autonomists waged a new struggle not to seize power from the state, but to check its influence and create free spaces.

The book looks first at the wave of militancy that swept Italy in the 70s after the "Hot Autumn" of 1969, in which workers and students organized outside the bounds of party politics and bureaucratic trade unions and fought for freedom and justice on their own terms. Though the movement ultimately lost its way in the adventurism of the underground guerrilla tactics of the Red Brigades, the Autonomista rocked the roots of the system in new and unexpected ways, with a militant popular presence in the streets.

Kstsiaficas continues his account with developments in Germany, where activists were inspired by the anarchistic organizing and militancy of the Italians. In Germany, a vibrant movement of squatters, feminists, anti-nuke, and anti-[...] grew up and mobilized tens of thousands for militant actions against nuclear power, gentrification, neo-[...] violence, and government repression. Even as they were combatting the worst ills of the system, the German autonomen were building up a thriving network of "dual power" alternative institutions: women's centers, housing and food coops, bars and cafes, alternative media, and financial institutions-- living proof that society based on cooperation, freedom and equality was possible. Katsiaficas details similar efforts in Holland and Denmark.

In the final sections of the book, Katsiaficas gets a little bogged down, engaging in some windy critiques of Hardt and Negri and Seyla Benhabib-- he is at his best when detailing the actions of the social movements and drawin lessons for the future.

Highly recommended for activists struggling in the developed countries-- there is much to be learned from what the Automomists did and how the state responded.

Keep an eye out for his upcoming third volume, on the Kwangju Uprising in South Korea in 1980.
clear and brilliant treatment of the subject  Feb 19, 1999
this is a major book, by a progressive thinker of long standing

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