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• 2021

From the spectacular to the mundane: radical democracy in the open city

By: Warren Magnusson

Radical democracy is usually fleeting. What are the possibilities for institutionalising it? If we want to understand them, we have to look carefully at the institutions and practices of local government and distance ourselves from the ideal of the nation-state, focusing instead on the possibilities of the open city. In that context, this article refers back to the work of Hannah Arendt and Robert Dahl, considering it in light of more recent contributions from Nancy Rosenblum, Andy Merrifield, Jacques Ranciere, and others.

• 2021

Janathana Sarkar (people’s government): rebel governance and agency of the poor in India’s Maoist guerrilla zones

By: George Kunnath

This article focuses on the agency of the poor in the context of rebel governance in rural India. During its five-decade-long armed agrarian struggle, the Maoist movement has established in several villages an alternative structure of governance called Janathana Sarkar (people’s government) with Adivasis and Dalits as the primary agents of social transformation. Drawing on the author’s long-term ethnographic fieldwork in the Maoist guerrilla zones, this article explores the insurgent consciousness of Dalits and Adivasis by engaging with two interrelated questions. First, how does Janathana Sarkar function as a platform for radical democracy by the marginalised? Second, is violence inherent in the emergence and manifestation of this agency? These questions, although primarily focused on the agency of Dalits and Adivasis in Janathana Sarkar, have a wider relevance to the study of transformative politics of the poor and radical democracy, which have received inadequate attention in the scholarship on rebel governance.

• 2021

Stateless citizenship: ‘radical democracy as consciousness-raising’ in the Rojava revolution

By: Dilar Dirik

This article discusses radical democratic citizenship in the context of the ‘Rojava Revolution’, an ongoing society-building effort that emerged in majority Kurdish regions in the context of the Syrian war. It describes aspects of the political vision of Abdullah Öcalan, as interpreted and applied by activists involved in the democratic self-governance system in Rojava (northern Syria), since 2...

• 2021

Refusing politics as usual: mapping women of colour’s radical praxis in London and Amsterdam

By: Akwugo Emejulu, Inez van der Scheer

This article explores an intriguing emergent organising strategy among women of colour activists in London and Amsterdam: a politics of refusal. In response to the triple catastrophes facing women of colour: the on-going roll back of social welfare states, the normalisation of the far right in everyday life and the xenophobic backlash against migrants, we find that some women of colour activist...

• 2021

Introducing radical democratic citizenship: from practice to theory

By: Andreas Zaunseder, Sophia Woodman, Akwugo Emejulu

For our special issue, ‘Radical Democratic Citizenship: From Practice to Theory’, we examine different forms of radical theorising and politics at the grassroots. Radical democratic citizenship entails forms of struggle against gross social, economic and political miseries and injustices. This special issue explores the implications of a renewed wave of revolutionary grassroots action. ‘Radical’ indicates firstly the potential for sustained fundamental change of the economic and political landscape that, secondly, is pursued from the grassroots, and, thirdly, through an egalitarian, democratic process that are transformative in rethinking and reshaping the parameters of what democracy can and should be. We raise the question of how localised alternatives -– which have been the most fertile terrain for such generation of different worlds – might be able to address wider questions of global inequality on our finite planet.

Scientific paper • 2021


Talk renewables, walk coal: The paradox of India's energy transition

By: Brototi Roy, Anke Schaffartzik

Coal is on the rise in India: despite the devasting impacts of the climate crisis, the awareness for land and forest rights, and political talk of a coal phase-out. In this article, we demonstrate that despite the renewables-led rhetoric, India is in the midst of a transition to (not away from) greater use of coal in its fossil energy system and in the electricity system in particular. We inv...

Educational paper • 2021


Caring for Change: Our Degrowth is Intersectional! 

By: Corinna Dengler, Giacomo D'Alisa

The third annual Global Degrowth Day on the theme of care will take place on 5th June 2021. Here, Corinna Dengler and Giacomo D’Alisa expand on the centrality of care to degrowth.