Cultural Anthropology: Lessons for Liberalism from the “Illiberal East” (2018)

29 April 2018, dusan

“The cumulative effects of Brexit, the resurgence of populist politics in Europe, and the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States have given rise to the perception that Western liberal democracies are undergoing profound change, if not a bona fide crisis. Moreover, there is a sense that it is the political liberalism of the post–Cold War period—rather than its far less popular companion ideology of neoliberalism—that finds itself in disarray. As scholars and commentators rummage through their intellectual toolboxes for explanatory frameworks, many are turning to (post)socialist histories and experiences as heuristic devices for making sense of the upheavals in Western politics. In this Hot Spots series, we suggest that the postsocialist transition, as both discursive space and set of practices that attempted to make capitalists out of socialists and liberals out of totalitarians, renders the former socialist world a rich site for understanding the current shifts in the Western political landscape. We aim to make sense of this landscape in a way that is attuned to both long-term processes and to the state of emergency reinforced with each new wave of current events. Even though the ground appears to be constantly shifting beneath our feet, these essays insist that detailed, historically and geopolitically sensitive analysis of actually existing post–Cold War liberalisms is one key approach for making sense of the present.”

Edited by Dace Dzenovska and Larisa Kurtović
Publisher Society for Cultural Anthropology, Apr 2018
Hot Spots series
ISSN 1548-1360


The Birth of Digital Populism: Crowd, Power and Postdemocracy in the 21st Century (2015) [EN, IT]

24 February 2015, dusan

“The Five Star Movement led by Grillo & Casaleggio had an unexpected success in the Italian general elections of February 2013, deeply disrupting the panorama of Italian politics. This book seeks to explore some of the features characterising the emergence of a new political phenomenon: digital populism. We asked Italian and English thinkers from different political and disciplinary backgrounds to contribute to an analysis of some fundamental points behind the rise of populism and the digital relations between masses, power and democracy at the dawn of the twenty-first century. The book features nine interviews carried out between May 2013 and February 2014 with Luciana Parisi, Tiziana Terranova, Lapo Berti, Simon Choat, Godani Paul, Saul Newman, Jussi Parikka, Tony D. Sampson and Alberto Toscano.”

Published in January 2015
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
84 pages

Five Star Movement on Wikipedia

PDF: English, Italian
Issuu: English, Italian

Guy Standing: The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (2011–) [EN, PL, BR-PT]

3 March 2012, dusan

“Neo-liberal policies and institutional changes have produced a huge and growing number of people with sufficiently common experiences to be called an emerging class. In this book Guy Standing introduces what he calls the Precariat – a growing number of people across the world living and working precariously, usually in a series of short-term jobs, without recourse to stable occupational identities or careers, stable social protection or protective regulations relevant to them. They include migrants, but also locals.

Standing argues that this class of people could produce new instabilities in society. They are increasingly frustrated and dangerous because they have no voice, and hence they are vulnerable to the siren calls of extreme political parties. He outlines a new kind of good society, with more people actively involved in civil society and the precariat re-engaged. He goes on to consider one way to a new better society — an unconditional basic income for everyone, contributed by the state, which could be topped up through earned incomes.

This is a topical, and a radical book, which will appeal to a broad market concerned by the increasing problems of labour insecurity and civic disengagement.”

Publisher Bloomsbury Academic, London, 2011
ISBN 1849663513, 9781849663519
Creative Commons BY-NC Licence
ix+198 pages

Essay by the author (The Guardian, June 2011)
Excerpts from a seminar with the author (video, United Nations, September 2011)
Interview with the author (James Foley, International Socialist, November 2011)
Essay by the author (, January 2012)

Reviews: Keith Randle (Work Organisation, Labour & Globalisation, 2011), Gaverne Bennett (Socialist Review, 2011), Arne L Kalleberg & Hazel Conley & David A Spencer (Work, Employment and Society, 2012; Response), Xavier St-Denis (Canadian Rev of Sociology, 2012), Geoff Bailey (International Socialist Review, 2012), Jan Breman (New Left Review, 2013; Response), Catherine Lawlor (Global Discourse, 2013), Chris Deeming (J Social Policy, 2013), Andreas Bieler (Capital & Class, 2013), Kieran Allen (Irish Marxist Review, 2014), Monica Threlfall (E-International Relations, 2015), Dylan Taylor (POA Review, n.d.), Bengt Furåker (Arbetsmarknad & Arbetsli, 2014, SW), Edgar Augusto Valero Julio (Rev Colombiana de Sociologia, 2015, ES), Lech Mikulski (Państwo i Społeczeństwo, 2015, PL), Jean-Pierre Durand (Nouvelle Revue du Travail, 2017, FR), Anne Rodier (Le Monde, 2017, FR).

Publisher (EN)
WorldCat (EN)

The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (English, 2011, updated on 2018-12-29; EPUB)
O Precariado: A nova classe perigosa (BR-Portuguese, trans. Cristina Antunes, rev. Rogério Bettoni, 2013)
Prekariat: nowa niebezpieczna klasa (Polish, trans. Paweł Kaczmarski and Mateusz Karolak, c2014, Introduction & Chapters 1-3, HTML, PDFs)

See also Standing’s A Precariat Charter: From Denizens to Citizens (2014, EPUB, added on 2018-12-29).