Archives For journal articles

Out in The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social Theory, fall 2017

Lefebvre, Henri

ANTONIS VRADIS

Loughborough University, UK

Henri Lefebvre (1901–1991) was one of the most important Marxist theorists, introducing the ordinary to Marxist theory while living an extraordinary life himself. Lefebvre joined the French Communist Party in 1928, and was expelled in the late 1950s, a heterodox voice in a Stalinist, orthodox structure. He joined the French Resistance, became close to the Situationist International and backed the May 1968 revolt.

Lefebvre was born at the dawn of the twentieth century and died in the year that officially ended the Cold War, the era riddled with the potentially catastrophic effects of state and power antagonisms upon the everyday lives of populations caught in their midst – very symbolic for a thinker who departed from traditional paths of Marxist theory to develop a theory encompassing the sphere of everyday life instead, one that read through and beyond the nation-state as its unit of analysis. Lefebvre left behind an extremely large amount of writing that includes more than 60 books and over 300 articles. To summarize these would be impossible. Yet, if one were to outline his legacy, it would be a gross omission not to include, at the very least, Lefebvre’s enhancing of our understanding of everyday life, of the production of space, and of the urban potential for revolution.

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In Political Geography this morning.

Joe Painter, Evie Papada, Anna Papoutsi Antonis Vradis,

Received 26 January 2017, Accepted 27 February 2017, Available online 7 March 2017

 

What is a hotspot? Ask a random passer-by in your average city street and the by now ubiquitous wireless internet access point will most probably come up immediately in response: the hotspot is somewhere that connects you to the internet’s everywhere. Ask most European Union officials, however, and the very same word will make them sing the praises of the EU’s blueprint for a holistic approach to the migration crisis: a very special “somewhere” that may very well be on its way to become―as this editorial wishes to warn―a new kind of “everywhere”, one that commences with the decades-long European integration finally reaching a tangible form.

In this editorial we reflect on our fieldwork in Lesbos and Athens as part of the Transcapes project (part of ESRC’s Mediterranean Migration Research Programme, 2015–2017) in order to call for a threefold direction for future research. First, we argue geographers need to take seriously into account the ramifications of the EC’s hotspot approach for the future of the EU integration project as a whole. This will then add to, and bring to date geographical thinking over the production of EU territory in the past decade (Bialasiewicz, Elden, & Painter, 2005) below and beyond its mainstream portrayal as an ‘uncertain’ Union (Bialasiewicz, 2008); one that is to the contrary built meticulously through everyday, calculative practices (Luukkonen & Moisio, 2016). Second, we argue that the birth of the hotspot needs to be brought into, and to update the discussion on the future of the nation-state within (Leitner, 1997) and beyond (Swyngedouw, 2000) the EU project. From the revival of area studies in spite and against the prevalence of the nation-state (Sidaway, Ho, Rigg, , & Woon, 2016) to the quest of cities for autonomy from their immediate regional or even their national context (Bulkeley et al., 2016) geographers are already tracing the ongoing globally occurring shift in the relationship between political power and territory (Elden, 2009 ;  Sassen, 2012) while striving to answer what the future geographical distribution of said power might look like after the nation-state. Third, the hotspot offers a stark warning on the future of mobility (Painter, Papoutsi, Papada, & Vradis, 2016); the way in which the state creates differentiated temporalities (Griffiths, Rogers & Anderson, 2014; Vitus, 2010), altered geographies (Mountz, 2016) and mobility regimes (Shamir, 2005) and exposes certain populations to these regimes through new, arbitrary and wholly flexible categories. A transformation that opens up a new chapter in the nature of citizenship and territory-related rights: Studying the EC hotspot approach is now key in answering these questions. Continue Reading…

Jornal Mapa

Screenshot_2015-10-29_19-29-21

Após 6 anos de imposições de austeridade os gregos foram às urnas castigar a velha plutocracia representada pelo bipartidismo da Nova Democracia e do PASOK. Ofereceram 36% dos papelinhos depositados nas urnas a uma coligação de partidos que lhes promete o fim da austeridade e a restauração da dignidade nacional. Antonis Vradis analisa as possibilidades que se apresentam aos anarquistas e demais sectores antago-nistas do espectro político grego, perante um país governado por um partido refém das suas promessas.

Se tem existido um único sentimento que descreva e que reina sobre a política na Grécia durante os seus longos anos de crise financeira, esse é o medo: medo do declínio das estatísticas fiscais; medo da deterioração dos padrões de vida que estas acarretam; medo de perder mesmo aquelas fracções de poder laboral, de liberdades políticas e de condições sociais dos quais muitos desfrutaram no país até há bem poucos anos atrás. Continue Reading…

Revista da Biblioteca Terra Livre

No dia 28 de dezembro, apenas horas antes da votação presidencial que levou a Grécia às eleições antecipadas, a tropa de choque espancou e prendeu grevistas enfurecidos no centro de Atenas. Notícia horrível, não é mesmo? A austeridade dolorosa e a sempre crescente tensão social fizeram com que a circulação de imagens deste tipo aumentasse astronomicamente.

Nesse momento, estas imagens certamente igualaram-se às ilhas de ruelas de paralelepípedo, ao pôr do sol romântico sobre o mar Egeu e todos os clichês imagináveis antes da Grécia estar no olho da mais recente tempestade financeira, há uns quatro anos e meio. Continue Reading…

Crisis-scapes suspended

September 24, 2014 — Leave a comment

CITY 18:4-5, 498-501

What may a major global financial crisis actually look like? How may it feel, what kind of form and shape may it take in the mundane and in the common, in the spaces of our everyday coexistence? These questions had been tormenting the crisis-scape project from the outset, questions that we in turn posed to our guests at our concluding conference that took place in Athens in May this year. Rather than trying to reflect upon the conference as a whole (which would have been a near-impossible task, with its twenty-two contributions in total), this Special Feature has chosen to focus on highlighting a relationship between it and the previous outcome of the crisis-scape.net team: the documentary Future Suspended. Continue Reading…

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