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Marxist anthropology in a world of surplus population: Reflections on a Frontlines of Value workshop

Note from LeftEast editors: this is a reprint article which was originally published on January 26 2022 at FocaalBlog. The article is linked to a research workshop “Rethinking Surplus Populations: Theory From the Peripheries” that was held at Bergen University in December. 13-14 December 2021, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen, Frontlines of Value […]

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The people against Rio Tinto: three ecopopulist lessons for the Balkan Left

Note from LeftEast editors: We are pleased to publish the second part of Ivan Rajković’s two-part series on anti-lithium mining protests that have erupted in Serbia over the last several months, and the broader environmental movement around it. See the previous entry here. With Rio Tinto’s extraction of lithium in Serbia, the European Union was […]

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Strange bedfellows: Islamophobia, antisemitism, and central Europe’s fascination with Israel

In the summer of 2017, I took a group of students and artists to a town in northeastern Poland called Suwałki, close to the Lithuanian, Belarusian, and Russian (Kaliningrad) borders. In this historically multiethnic, multireligious region, it is not uncommon for Jewish, Muslim, and various Christian cemeteries to stand side-by-side, on the same plot of […]

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Lenin’s Socialism – From the Perspective of the Future: Some considerations

LeftEast was a cosponsor of an online conference on non-capitalist mixed economies from June 23–26 2021.  Co-sponsors of the conference included the Karl Polanyi Center, Eszmélet Journal, Social Theory College in Budapest, Polanyi Institute, Geopolitical Economy Research Group, Institute of Political History Social Theory Research Group, The Study Group on Global Labour History and Social […]

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Russia as vanguard: Authoritarian neoliberalism and surveillance capitalism

This article takes up the problem of Russian neoliberalism – how to understand the relationship between the social state and neoliberal economic reforms/governmentality (which often seem contradictory). In turn, this relationship tells us about the alignment of state, digital governance, and capital interests in Russia. Based on long term ethnographic participant observation, my research has […]

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Victimhood and Decolonization: Key Lessons from a Series on Mérce 

Note from LeftEast editors: Between June and December 2020 the Hungarian Portal Mérce published a series on “Victimhood and Decolonization”. The following text is an English-language summary on the series, written by one of its co-editors. Despite notable early post-war attempts and several more in recent years, Eastern European discussions have surprisingly rarely interpreted the […]

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The Unbearable Lightness of Critique of the Enlightenment. Reading The Invention of Eastern Europe 25 Later.

The background for writing this review was Larry Wolff’s book, Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilizations on the Mind of the Enlightenment, which was published in autumn 2020 in a Polish translation, more than 25 years after its first English edition. This review attempts to see how the book can be read today. This […]

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Colonial Legacies, Decolonial Struggles: Anthropology and Europe’s Peripheries Today

This plenary session of the European Association of Social Anthropologists Biennial Conference, which took place July 21-24 in Lisbon, rethinks anthropology in and beyond Europe and considers how disciplinary hierarchies are reinforced. This requires concerted effort to create new spaces to counter structures and practices that reinforce hierarchies. The speakers engage with anthropology’s margins and […]

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“Your Security Terrorizes”: An Interview with Ana Ivasiuc

That is an alternative political project worth thinking about: how to replace security with solidarity? In this light, I am profoundly against using the word ‘security’ in progressive political activism. To claim that the security of the subaltern is important, too, is to be blind to the fact that the powerful and propertied can never take that claim seriously in a system built on the primacy of property and of capital.

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In the name of the communist ideal

One of the received ideas that became a ‘truth’ after the fall of the Berlin Wall was that the Soviet bloc’s populations cursed communism, yet obeyed it slavishly. In fact, many social movements within the Eastern bloc had long aspired to genuine socialism. This article was first published in the French edition of Le Monde […]