Krisis 40 (1): 1-3.


Friday December 18th a correction has been made to page 2, where two former editors were wrongly listed as founding editors.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License (CC BY-NC 3.0).


Like many of our previous issues, this one combines reviews, research articles, essays, and sections with multi-vocal contributions on one particularly timely topic. Yet, at least to us, this is also a peculiar issue: Krisis has now existed for 40 years as an independent Journal for Contemporary Philosophy. As befits our name, we went through a number of institutional and financial moments of crisis over the years, and our 40th anniversary in 2020 coincides with a global pandemic that constrained options for organizing celebratory events. The current issue marks this special moment in two different ways.

On the one hand, we took our anniversary as the occasion to reflect on the development of politically inclined philosophy and its institutional framework, especially in the Netherlands where we are located. Next to an introduction by a current editor (René Gabriëls) this anniversary section consists of five short contributions: two from founding members of Krisis (René Boomkens and Karen Vintges), two from former editors (Ido de Haan and Gijs van Oenen) and one from our long-time editorial assistant who is now a member of the editorial board (Tivadar Vervoort). They all position the journal’s ongoing endeavor to create an independent space for philosophical discussion of emerging cultural and political matters of concern within the changing concepts of politics but also within the changing role of philosophy at (Dutch) universities.

On the other hand – not intentionally planned, but eventually coinciding with the anniversary – we can announce some good news concerning the institutional home of Krisis. Starting with this issue, Krisis partners with University of Groningen Press, which offers us a sustainable infrastructure for the open access publication of the journal while guaranteeing complete editorial independence. More than a few of the aforementioned crises that accompanied 40 years of Krisis were related to money (or rather the lack thereof), as is possibly unavoidable for any independent scholarly journal in a rapidly changing publication landscape. Somewhat ahead of the broader and much laudable current surge, Krisis moved to online only and full open access years ago. Since we considered the journal to be a place for young and non-institutional voices, we never sought article processing charges. The editorial work was always, and will continue to be, covered by volunteer participation. Good open access publishing, however, comes with infrastructural requirements too: precisely for emerging voices and less mainstream topics, it is important to safeguard what in new media lingo is called ‘discoverability’. Being retrievable in library databases, adding sustainable identifiers to articles (DOIs) and to authors (ORCID) is neither a luxury nor a chore forced on us by the digitization of everything; these are rather basic means for contributing to both scholarly and wider social debates. Joining the broader move towards open access, University of Groningen Press offers us all of that: we are grateful for their hospitality and look forward to a long and fruitful cooperation. This does not only alleviate some of the day-to-day labour of the editorial team, but it will also, first and foremost, benefit the readers and authors of Krisis.

Most importantly, both the anniversary and institutional change affirm and sustain Krisis’ curiosity for, and contribution to, emerging intellectual debates. Therefore the current issue, as with some early issues of Krisis, also includes a special section for which we asked a number of authors to comment on a new book that we consider to be especially timely and thought-provoking. Cristina Lafont’s Democracy without Shortcuts. A Participatory Conception of Deliberative Democracy is a thorough and invaluable intervention in the wide field of conceptual reflection upon possible futures for a more egalitarian social order. We are happy that a number of experts in this field agreed to engage critically with Lafont’s considered analysis, and that Lafont was willing to respond to this debate.

The two special sections are accompanied by two pieces which analyse the ambivalences of visibility in the struggles for emancipation and equality. Pablo Navarro’s article “The Performative Power of Queer Assemblies” discusses how the occupation of public spaces creates unified visibility for social alternatives, but simultaneously emerges as an uneven stage for the performance of queer identities. Mia Lerm-Hayes’s essay “Art and Research: A Portrait of a Humanities Faculty as an Inclusive Workspace” takes the unveiling of a group portrait of female professors at the University of Amsterdam as a starting point for an analysis of the entanglements between iconography and institutional empowerment.

The two book reviews in this issue, discussing Rainer Forst’s Normativity and Power and Martijn Konings’ Capital and Time, are also closely related to Krisis’ 40-year-long commitment to scrutinizing and critically exposing the economic and political structures of inequality and disenfranchisement. Finally, we are excited to present a teaser for our upcoming special issue on the New Right Wave: in Samir Gandesha’s interview with Brazilian philosopher Vladimir Safatle, ideas of Adorno, Lacan and others are activated for understanding the latest fascist/populist tendencies in Brazil and the related potential for oppositional empowerment.

The editors of Krisis gratefully take advantage of the journal’s fortieth birthday to thank all its readers and donors for the many years of support. Without you, Krisis has no future. We wish everyone a transformative reading experience, and thank you for celebrating our enduring signature style with us.