CfP: Thinking Beyond Capitalism, Belgrade, June 24-26, 2015

International Conference
Thinking Beyond Capitalism, Belgrade, June 24-26, 2015
Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory

How is it at all possible to make sound statements about contemporary capitalism? How does one adequately diagnose the current state of the economy? Clearly there is no consensus whether the financial crisis which culminated in 2007-2008 should be seen as a symptom of the structural crisis of neoliberal capitalism only, or of capitalism in general. Moreover, one should keep in mind that the term ’crisis’ is itself laden with different ideologems. The talk of ’crisis’ implies the existence of a superior prior state of capitalism, free of any crisis, and that we are now witnessing an extraordinary phase which is alien to the ’normal functioning’ of the system. Should we understand the crisis merely as the means for restructuring the existing system, or as the beginning of an irreversible demise of the current mode of production? Is it possible that the crisis has actually enabled the exacom preservation of the status quo, and has prevented any change? Or was the crisis, on the contrary, the crucial catalyst for the politicization of the otherwise depoliticized actors within late capitalism? We are thus simultaneously exposed to various institutional-reformist suggestions, more or less grounded apologias, and identifications of fundamental contradictions within the capitalist reproduction process.

In The Communist Manifesto Marx argues that capitalism is a social order which arises and subsists in the form of a critique of all alternative orders and subjective dispositions. Capitalism has proven more radical than its competitors: it has destroyed the ancien régime, has rendered all societal bonds flexible and has constantly revolutionized the means of production. It is a system in which ’all that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned’. To what extent, then, is it even possible to formulate a critique of such societal system, a system that has managed to incorporate critique itself? Can one stage a revolution against the ’revolution’ itself? If capitalism thus emerges as the actual constitutive framework of our thought, how do we begin to think beyond capitalism?

Starting from the assumption that crises are in fact situations which open up space for thought rather than obstruct it, we intend to thematize the following spectrum of problems:

– Difficulties regarding the self-valorization of capital
– Inequalities within the global division of labour and the challenges of (re)distribution
– Reproduction of social classes and forms of domination
– Structural unemployment and the growth of the precariat
– Tensions between market imperatives
– Ideologems of management, esprit d’enterprise…
– The transformed property relations characterizing ’non-material goods’
– Geographical apsects of capitalism (territories, borders, etc.)
– Tensions between the centres, semiperipheries and peripheries of capitalism
– Dangers of climate change
– Competing dimensions of normativity (universal, global, particular, local, singular…)
– Democracies versus authoritarian social orders
– The cultural dimensions of neoliberalism
– Critique of ideology, critical discourse analysis of neoliberalism
– Neoliberal patriarchy and the new feminisms
– The rise and evolution of anti-neoliberal / anti-capitalist movements
– Left, right, and Romanticist anti-capitalism

Organization of the conference

The conference is organized by the Group for the Study of Social Engagement, part of the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory in Belgrade, with the support of the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Centre for Advanced Studies in Rijeka, Croatia, the Centre for Ethics, Law and Applied Philosophy in Belgrade, and the French Institute in Serbia.
The official language of the conference is English.
Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes.
The Program Committee of the conference will select the presenters based on the submitted abstracts. The book of abstracts will be published by the time of the conference.
Conference applications should be sent only via e-mail to the following address: We kindly ask you to put in your email subject the following title: ’Application: title of the paper’.
The complete application in the .doc, .docx or .pdf format must contain: the title of the presentation, an abstract of up to 200 words and a short biography, in English.
There will be no registration fees. Conference organisers will provide lunch and light refreshments during the conference program. Participants are kindly requested to make their own accommodation and travel arrangements.

Important dates
Application deadline: 10 April 2015

Notification of acceptance: 25 April 2015

Conference dates: 24–26 June 2015

Program Committee 

Petar Bojanić, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade
Laurence Fontaine, CNRS, Centre Maurice Halbwachs/ENS, Paris
Mladen Lazić, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade
Toni Prug, Queen Mary University of London
Catherine Samary, Université Dauphine, Paris
G. M. Tamás, Visiting Professor, CEU, Budapest
Mislav Žitko, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb

Categories: Rethinking The World

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