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Worlding Politics: Justice, Commons and Technoscience

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posted on 13.07.2016, 14:54 by Andrea Ghelfi
The commons’ movements are often interpreted in social theory as political subjectivities aiming to address justice via struggles for social power. Rather than conceiving the commons’ movement inside the framework of the ‘autonomy of the social’ and instead of conceiving politics as a purely human affair, this thesis explores the emergence of a form of activism that is radically renewing our understanding of the commons. This is a form of activism grounded and enacted in the middle of hybrid compositions of the social, the technical and the material that characterise our technoscientific era. This thesis investigates the constituent practices of ‘material activism’ through analysing and discussing heterogeneous materials (e.g. practices, stories, artefacts, ethics and modes of thinking and relating) collected during a multi-sited ethnography. The research seeks to describe the emergence of a form of politics that attempts to make a difference in the ontological configuration of the world through exploring the ecological culture of permaculture, the practices of hardware hacking, the technopolitics of the 15M movement and the knowledge practices of the Science and Justice research centre. The politics of worlding which emerges is treated as the outcome of experimental processes of interaction, materialisation and mattering, which directly involves the active presence and participation of ‘significant’ human and non-human entities. The thesis asks how to think justice when politics comes to matter and offers an invitation for thinking about commoning and the worlding of justice as ‘a power to act with’ starting from the activity of crafting matter in situated ecologies. In the middle of the many technoscientific metamorphoses that characterise our contemporaneity, this politics of worlding is oriented to craft ecologies of living that are thick enough, rich enough and responsible enough for cultivating modest flourishing and justice.



Papadopoulos, Dimitris; Brown, Steven

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School of Management

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University of Leicester

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