Active Anarchy
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Active Anarchy : Political Practice in Contemporary Movements

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A compelling discussion of anarchist political practice, providing rich examples of politics grounded in everyday resistance, offers important insights into real world attempts to radically transform social relations in the here and now of everyday life. Written by a longtime activist and sociologist, Active Anarchy provides one of the most significant reflections on contemporary radicalism in theory and practice. It documents an important movement in its complexity, moving beyond the misconceptions that mar both popular and academic portrayals of anarchism.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 180 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 20.32mm | 498.95g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739166131
  • 9780739166130

Review quote

If you want to understand a world of practical anarchy beyond the headlines on angry, black-clad, and balaclava wearing youth derailing demonstrations by confronting police you must read this book. Jeff Shantz reveals a fascinating world of autonomous zones, direct action tactics, street reclaiming, squats, free schools and infoshops where anarchy becomes a creative and productive force through which people establish new solidarities. His description of do-it-yourself anarchism is not only a practical method of organizing social life beyond the state but it is also a practical method for reorienting theoretical production. By providing a rich and detailed panorama of such heterotopias Active Anarchy itself becomes a manual for activist citizens. -- Engin Isin, Professor of International Politics, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP) Active Anarchy is a brilliantly written autoenthnological analysis of action-oriented research in early twenty-first century social struggles and movements. Uniquely situated, theoretically sophisticated, historically grounded, and empirically rigorous, this text provides an intellectually forceful account that critically reflects on a decade of contemporary anarchist practice. In an era where it is becoming increasingly clear that capitalism is the crisis, Dr. Shantz squarely places the social, economic, and political potentialities of a practical anarchism at the centre of contemporary scholarship, politics and praxis. His rare erudition and accessible style provides a distinguished analysis that delivers a breath of fresh air to stale misconceptions and misrepresentations of anarchist practice, theory, and politics that have dominated the academy and popular culture alike for far too long. The importance of this text thus cannot be overstated. Activists, students, scholars, and anyone interested in power and politics - and practical alternatives - will benefit from reading it. Dr. Shantz has set a very high standard for dialogue and debate on the place of anarchism in everyday life including the necessity of anarchist theory and method in the social sciences. The now unavoidable and inescapable presence of organized anarchist resistance in Western society alone makes this book required reading. Overall, Active Anarchy constitutes a significant and timely contribution that will undoubtedly become a lasting treatise in the history of critical social and political thought for many generations to come. -- Heidi Rimke, University of Winnipeg Jeff Shantz's Active Anarchy gives anarchism its due as the do-it-yourself dynamic driving a new generation of social movements. As Shantz shows, these anarchic movements rock to a different sort of rhythm - a rhythm founded on the subterranean beat of Bakunin, Bey, Kropotkin, Goldman, and Debord, and attuned today to autonomy and anti-authoritarian invention. Taking the reader with him into the battles of black blocs, freegans, and Reclaim the Streets activists, Shantz provides a courageous, wide-ranging account of progressive social change in action. -- Jeff Ferrell, author of Tearing Down the Streets: Adventures in Urban Anarchyshow more

About Jeffrey Shantz

Jeff Shantz is a professor of criminology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, Canada where he teaches critical theory, community advocacy, and human rights.show more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Chapter 1: Anarchism and Social Movement Theory Chapter 3 Chapter 2: Black Blocs in Theory and Action Chapter 4 Chapter 3: Anarchist Street Reclaiming Chapter 5 Chapter 4: Marginalia: Freeganism and Anarchy Chapter 6 Chapter 5: Heterotopias of Toronto: The Anarchist Free Space and Who's Emma? Chapter 7 Chapter 6: Organizing Against Poverty Chapter 8 Chapter 7: Do-It-Ourself Housing Chapter 9 Chapter 8: Caging the Anarchist Beast: The Criminalization of Dissent Chapter 10 Chapter 9: Organizing Anarchy: Directions and Debatesshow more

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