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School of Geography

Workshop - Anti-/Fascism in a Globalising World: Seeking Transformative Politics beyond the Ballot Box

20 May 2011

Time: 9:30am - 5:30pm

In Fascism and Big Business (1936), the anarchist Daniel Guerin traced the intertwined trajectories of capitalism and the rise of European fascist states in the 1920s and ’30s. Guerin proposed that resistance to fascism could not be adequately pursued through the structures of modern states because of their complicity in the rise of fascism itself. Guerin’s analysis also suggests that in this era of recession and crisis, the role of capitalism’s relationship with the state in producing dynamics that nurture fascistic attitudes and organisations may be key to making sense of fascism’s enduring presence.

The persistence of the British National Party and the growth of the proto-fascist English Defence League illustrates that dominant forms of anti-fascism and multiculturalism often continue to flounder. These approaches, focussing largely on government policy, cultural spectacles and electoral agitation, often fail to engage with and develop alternative imaginaries, relations and practices among those most likely to support the likes of the BNP and EDL.

This interdisciplinary workshop, open to academics and non-academics, seeks to explore the politics of contemporary fascism and efforts to confront it intellectually, politically and physically. Following in Guerin’s tradition, it emphasises analyses and practices that eschew or subvert capitalist and electoralist political imaginations and develop radical alternatives, in particular the possibilities and pitfalls of grassroots, anarchistic and anti-authoritarian approaches to combating fascism.

Key spaces of everyday life such as the workplace, community and home have become implicated in the economically, socially and culturally destabilising processes of globalisation and have become central sites in responding to them. Recent studies have shown that global processes shape both nationalist and internationalist practices and ideas, fuelling the growth of far-right organisations, as well as fostering grassroots multiculturalisms and solidarities. The workshop thus also considers the ways in which both fascism and anti-fascism are related to experiences of globalisation and global processes, and how these relationships may help or hinder efforts to promote free and just societies.

The workshop will take the format of a combination of presentations and group discussions, and will be followed by an anti-fascist walking tour of the East End of London (TBC).

This workshop is kindly part-funded by the Anarchist Studies Network, a specialist research group of the Political Studies Association. PSA members will get a discount on their registration fees.

Any queries, including offers to present papers (which are still welcome), should be directed to Anthony Ince:



The workshop is small, and early registration is important in order to guarantee you a place.

Waged: £15
Waged PSA member: £8
Unwaged/student: £5

Although these fees are essential for funding the event, no-one will be refused entry due to lack of funds.

Please email to confirm your attendance. You will then receive a registration form to post with a cheque for your registration fee.

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