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Ernest Mandel (1923–1995) was one of the best-known Marxist scholars active in the second half of the twentieth century. A leading member of the Fourth International, his books on capitalist economics, bureaucracies in the workers’ movement and on power and socialist strategy were translated into many languages. Democratic self-organisation of workers was a red thread that ran through all of his thinking. In Against Capitalism and Bureacuracy, Manuel Kellner presents the first and until now only comprehensive overview of Mandel’s theoretical and political contributions, arguing that his work remains important for the debates on a socialist alternative in the twenty-first century.
Author:
In F/Ailing Capitalism and the Challenge of COVID-19, Noel Chellan argues that citizens needlessly died in capitalist countries. He contends that COVID-19 has exposed the harsh workings of capitalism, contrary to the ideologies upheld by mainstream economists. Some of the questions he asks are: why were Chinese lives more important than American lives? Why were Vietnamese lives more important than British lives? Why were Cuban lives more important than South African lives? Why was the value of the grandparent that died in the US lower than the value of the grandparent that was saved in China? Why was the value of the healthcare worker that died in the UK lower than the value of the healthcare worker that was saved in China?
In Russia in the Context of Global Transformations (Capitalism and Communism, Culture and Revolution), the authors focus on the dramatic changes in Russia’s socio-economic system over the past hundred years. The contradictions of Russia’s triumphs and tragedies are studied in connection with the shifts in the world economic system.

Basing themselves on the views of the Post-Soviet School of Critical Marxism, the authors show the causes and consequences of the main shifts in Russia’s development during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Topics addressed include the October Revolution, the contradictions of post-revolutionary development, the disintegration of the USSR, the collapse and stagnation during the post-USSR period and the prospects for overcoming contemporary problems.
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The volume challenges dominant narratives of progress with a rich range of investigations of local struggles from the Global south which are based on original ethnographic research. The chapters take a point of departure in ideas and concepts developed by the pioneering anthropologist Eric R. Wolf in ‘Europe and the People Without History’, and emphasize the relevance and usefulness of applying Wolf to contemporary contexts. As such, the collection contributes to knowledge of dynamic relationships between local agency in the Global south, and broader political and economic processes that make ‘people without history.’ This shows global power as both excluding local groups at the same time as conditioning local struggles and the forms that social organization takes.

Contributors are: Paul Stacey, Joshua Steckley, Nixon Boumba, Marylynn Steckley, Ismael García Colón, Inge-Merete Hougaard, Gustavo S. Azenha, Ioannis Kyriakakis, Raquel Rodrigues Machaqueiro, Tirza van Bruggen, and Masami Tsujita.
This book discusses five cases of hatred politics on the margins of global capital: Turkey under Erdogan (assumed office in 2003), Hungary under Orbán (assumed office in 2010), India under Modi (assumed office in 2014); the Philippines under Duterte (assumed office in 2016) and Brazil under Bolsonaro (assumed office in 2019). How did they come to power? What strategies of legitimation do they employ? What resistances do they face? Country case studies lay the foundation for a systematic comparison that illuminates the key dynamics of this novel political form. Analyses of their responses to the Covid-19 pandemic further shed light on their methods in a time of crisis and a chapter that considers the Trump presidency indicates how we can understand these leaderships given their pronounced counterpart in the Global North – and vice-versa. This is not a mere collection of texts commissioned from specialists, but the result of a two-year-long collective endeavor: an international taskforce to respond to a global phenomenon.

Contributors are: Fabio Luis Barbosa dos Santos, Daniel Feldmann, Ágnes Gagyi, Daniel Geary, Tamás Gerőcs, Sefika Kumral, Cecilia Lero, Devika Misra, Ilhan Can Ozen and Aparna Sundar.
Avant-Garde Critical Studies, a series founded in 1987 for themed-anthologies and monographs on all aspects of avant-garde and avant-gardism in modern literature, theatre, music, visual and applied arts, architecture and design from the late nineteenth century to the present.

We publish high quality research on specific trends in single arts, countries and regions, as well as comparative and interdisciplinary studies in the interrelation between the different arts as well as between the arts, social and political contexts and cultural life in the broadest sense and all its diversity.
Up in Arms provides an illustrative and timely window onto the ways in which guns shape people’s lives and social relations in Texas. With a long history of myth, lore, and imaginaries attached to gun carrying, the Lone Star State exemplifies how various groups of people at different historical moments make sense of gun culture in light of legislation, political agendas, and community building. Beyond gun rights, restrictions, or the actual functions of firearms, the book demonstrates how the gun question itself becomes loaded with symbolic firepower, making or breaking assumptions about identities, behavior, and belief systems.

Contributors include: Benita Heiskanen, Albion M. Butters, Pekka M. Kolehmainen, Laura Hernández-Ehrisman, Lotta Kähkönen, Mila Seppälä, and Juha A. Vuori.

Abstract

The concluding chapter wraps up the volume by pointing to the explanatory, social, and performative aspects of gun imaginaries, as understood through the various historical contexts and interpretive lenses that the contributors engage. The transdisciplinary American Studies explications of gun debates demonstrate the great significance invested in weapons culture in the United States, be it on societal, cultural, or academic levels. Guns as imaginaries galvanize individuals who are up in arms, while their actions and reactions reverberate into further imaginaries; thus, individuals and communities simultaneously shape and are shaped by the broader power relations that they are necessarily a part of. Ultimately, the exploration of Texas as a gun imaginary and guns as a Texan imagery provides a toolbox and a roadmap for future discussions of the significance of firearms in other geographic contexts beyond the United States.

Open Access
In: Up in Arms: Gun Imaginaries in Texas

Abstract

This chapter examines firearms fetishism as a complex assemblage of gun imaginaries and belief. Understanding fetishism as tightly intertwined with religion and shifts in gun culture over the past half century, the discussion focuses on Texas and its predominant forms of Christianity, and demonstrates the connection between gun ownership and religiosity. Drawing on research materials and interviews with Texas residents at a pair of universities in Austin, the chapter also examines the significance of two shootings in churches in Texas before and after a recent law (Senate Bill 535) that allows concealed and open carry in public places of worship. In this way, the chapter analyzes the nature of the gun owner’s relationship with the object and what it symbolizes. As viewed through the lens of fetishism theory, this may involve an explicitly religious aspect, commodification, or even a sexualized interpretation. Invoking existing gendered ideals of the hero archetype, firearms fetishism is revealed to play a fundamental role in the construction and expression of moral and religious identity in Texas.

Open Access
In: Up in Arms: Gun Imaginaries in Texas

Abstract

This chapter explores the act of political imagining around guns by centering on the temporal imaginaries constructed about the Founding Fathers in gun debates in Texas. It questions how the groups on both sides invoke the Founding Fathers as both objects and subjects of political imaginations. On one hand, political activists have created imaginary historical versions of the Founding Fathers to place them in relation to their own political imaginations in the modern day, to depict their stance as a continuum of a wider arc of history. On the other hand, the debates have touched on the potential limits of the imaginations of the Founding Fathers themselves, sparking discussions and disagreements on what the historical figures could have imagined in their own times. The chapter uses a body of materials drawn from media, activists, and fieldwork interviews to explore these two points and to elucidate through them the larger dynamics of political conflict in the contemporary United States. It asks how the temporal imaginaries of the Founding Fathers constructed around guns are drawn into larger ideological tensions that govern modern politics.

Open Access
In: Up in Arms: Gun Imaginaries in Texas