Interdisciplinary Workshop on ‘Disciplining Dissent’

18th - 19th September 2009, Verdon-Smith Room, IAS, Royal Fort House, University of Bristol


Recent years have seen an upsurge of scholarly interest in the activities and significance of the activist groups and resistance movements which have come to be associated with ‘anti-globalisation’ politics.  Whilst analyses of the diverse assemblages, solidarity movements and activist networks involved in resisting neoliberal globalisation and promoting alternatives are an important addition to literatures on globalisation and global politics, there has been a tendency in some of this work to romanticise the activities and transformative capacities of these groups and networks.  What is often missing from the analysis is consideration of the formal and informal forms of discipline that operate towards, within and through resistance movements - be it through coercive repression, through interventions to co-opt social movements, or through the production of particular resisting subjects.

We are organising an interdisciplinary workshop that will explore the different forms of discipline and power that operate towards, within and through contemporary resistance movements.  The workshop builds on a panel session at the British International Studies Association Annual Conference in Exeter in December 2008 and a collaborative workshop held at the International Studies Association Annual Convention in New York in February 2009 that explored these themes.  It will bring together scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds who share an interest in the ways in which contemporary forms of political dissent, such as those represented by ‘anti’- or ‘alter-globalisation movement(s)’, are both disciplined and disciplining.

Call for Papers

We are currently seeking proposals for papers that address any aspect of the formal and informal ways in which contemporary forms of political dissent are disciplined and disciplining, including but not limited to forms of discipline based around class, gender, sexuality, race, law/exception, militarism and capital.  We welcome predominantly empirical as well as predominantly theoretical papers. 

Selected papers from the workshop will be published in a special issue of the journal 'Globalizations', which will be dedicated to the theme of 'Disciplining Dissent'. 

Titles and abstracts of proposed papers (max 200 words) should be sent to Lara Coleman and Karen Tucker by Friday 29 May 2009.

Registration details and a call for workshop participants will be sent out nearer the time.  The workshop fee will be £30 (with a discounted rate of £20 for research students/low incomes) and will include lunch and refreshments on both days.  We will have some funds available towards overseas and domestic travel costs for selected paper-giving participants.

The workshop is generously supported by: