Mapping the New Right Wave

Liberal democracy today is in crisis, or, more accurately, in a state of siege. Not only in the United States but in much of Europe and in many nations across the globe, we are witnessing the advent of a new era of antidemocratic politics, much of it with increasingly authoritarian features.

— Wendy Brown, Peter E. Gordon, and Max Pensky, Authoritarianism: Three Inquiries in Critical Theory (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018)

 

How to respond to the rise of the new right as it expands with electoral gains and rhetorical force in the public domain? The Dutch writer Henk van Straten recently likened the dilemma to being caught in a wave, heading somewhere dangerous, yet feeling unable to change its direction. The image of citizens seized in a right-wing wave refers both to those attracted to elements of right-wing politics, as well as those repulsed by it but unable to find anchors for resistance or imagining viable alternatives.

The figure of the wave emphasizes aspects of the new rights’ effective organizational and communicative practices. It shapes how the new right is discussed as a symptom, a threat, a result of prior forces, or a warning for future developments. It also affects the process and form of resistance. For individuals and collectives, experiencing the new right as a wave informs how they feel empowered or helpless in relation to it, how hopes and fears become articulated and embodied, and so on.

While the description and experience of the new right as a wave seems ubiquitous across different political settings and shared in many countries, its specific meanings and functions diverge in each context – and depending on the perspective taken. An incumbent government will articulate the wave-like character of the new right differently than a member of a right-wing youth movement; for a union member in Brazil the ‘new right wave’ means something different than for a union member in the Netherlands.

How to critically deconstruct the wave as a way of describing and experiencing this political moment? How to explore its vital elements? How can we see across different local settings without losing a sense of their specificities? In addition to reflections on the figure of the wave as a particular way of framing the current political moment, we invite academic or artistic contributions that map the rise of the new right from an (inter)national comparative perspective, with a specific emphasis on responses and (the problems of) resistance in each setting. Shorter essays with a regional focus are welcomed as well.

The formats of the contributions can vary from (peer-reviewed) articles (5000-8000 words) to essays (2000-5000) and book reviews (1500-2500). Abstracts can be submitted here until June 30th 2019. See here for additional information on submissions.

 

Mobilizing Anger: the Political Potential of a Dangerous Affect

“Anger does not in itself produce political programs for change, but it is perhaps the most basic political emotion. Without it, there is no hope”, as Frantz Fanon’s biographer David Macey wrote in 2000. Since deliberative politics, and in particular parliamentary consensus seeking, show themselves increasingly incapable of addressing a widening set of issues, the relevance of political anger has only intensified in recent years.  But what is the role of anger in contemporary politics? Often described as pre-political, anger can both legitimise and delegitimise political action. It may brand political acts as ‘dangerous’ or ‘irrational’, but may also provide them with ‘authenticity’ and ‘conviction’. How can we take ‘the politics of anger’ seriously? And how can we understand the operation of anger in politics?

It is with this problematic in mind that Krisis invites contributions that explore anger and its political potential. Relevant questions include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

1. Anger as a Political Affect: Where are we to place anger in the larger field of political affectivity? How do people get angry and what happens when they do? What sustains, inflects and dramatizes political anger? Should we understand political action as a move into or out of anger? Is anger always already political and, conversely, should politics be reducible to anger? When is anger politically productive, when destructive? What is the contribution of philosophical research into affects (from Spinoza to Massumi) to current political struggles? What role may be played by art or scholarship in the production and mobilization of anger?

2. Representation, Demonstration, and Risk: Can anger truly be represented? How does anger play out in the dynamic and sometimes fraught relationships between represented collectives and their spokespersons? Whose anger is made to matter, and to whom? Bearing Audre Lorde’s emphasis on the dangerous ‘uses of anger’ in mind, we want to pay attention to the relationship between anger, political representation, and risk. Demonstration – a different modality of political action – raises slightly different questions with regards to anger: How is it possible to build upon sometimes fleeting demonstrations of anger, to make it outlive its momentary expression and channel it into a political and social movement?

3. Anger and its Discontents: Anger is not without its affective consequences for those in anger. Is it possible to inhabit it without it metastasizing into either hate or resentment? How to inhabit it without it, to paraphrase David Foster Wallace, ‘eating you alive’? Can individual and collective agents cultivate their anger in ways that create political links rather than boundaries?

Krisis welcomes essays, research articles, and book review proposals.

Krisis also accept Dutch language contributions.

Word limits, excluding bibliographies, are as follows :
Articles (peer-reviewed): 7000 words;
Essays (non-peer reviewed): 5000 words;
Review essays: 4000 words;
Book reviews: 2000 words.

See ‘Submissions’ tab for additional information on submissions. Please send submissions to: info@krisis.eu