Capturing the Countermovement
If neoliberal capitalism is collapsing, why are countermovements so weak, fragmented, and fragile? Karl Polanyi explained the rise of socialism and fascism during the interwar years in terms of a double movement: society’s reaction to the spread of market society and the commodification of essential resources, including nature and labor. Despite numerous instances of resistance and backlash across the world, contemporary countermovements seem ineffective at reversing the broader dynamics of market expansion. Building on recent literature that has explored contemporary countermovements, this workshop will bring together students of Polanyi and researchers doing in-depth case studies. Its goal is to assess the potential of the countermovement as a conceptual tool to make sense of reactions to the current crisis. Presenters will consider contemporary processes of commodification and countermovements with regard to land, education, labor, etc., as well as state and non-state efforts to contain or repress countermovement activity. Critical contributions are welcome.