1st Edition

Constructive Anarchy Building Infrastructures of Resistance

By Jeff Shantz Copyright 2010

    Constructive Anarchy, the result of more than a decade of direct study within a variety of anarchist projects, provides the most wide-ranging and detailed analysis of current anarchist endeavours. The compelling discussions of anarchism and union organising, anti-poverty work and immigrant and refugee defence represent truly groundbreaking undertakings from a rising scholar of contemporary anarchism. Organised to illustrate the development of the diversity of anarchist strategies and tactics over time, the book begins with a discussion of alternative media projects before turning attention to anarchist involvement in broader community-based movements. Case studies include a discussion of anarchists and rank-and-file workplace organising, anarchist anti-borders struggles and "No One Is Illegal" movements in defence of immigrants and refugees since 9/11, and anarchist free schools and community centres. Jeff Shantz's analysis demonstrates serious and grounded practices rooted in anarchist organising: practices that may draw on previous traditions and practices but also innovate and experiment. The varied selection of case studies allows the author to compare groups that are geared primarily towards anarchist and radical subcultures with anarchist involvement in more diverse community-based coalitions, an approach that is otherwise lacking in the literature on contemporary anarchism.

    Acknowledgments; Foreword; Introduction; Chapter 1 Organizing Anarchy: Debates and Directions; Chapter 2 “Seize the Switches”: Media and Anarchy; Chapter 3 Whatever it Takes: The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty; Chapter 4 Anarchy at Work: Developing Workers’ Autonomy; Chapter 5 Building Bridges: Anarchism, Borders and Resistance; Chapter 6 Anarchy Goes to School: The Anarchist Free Skool; Chapter 7 Re-Thinking Revolution: A Constructive Anarchist Approach; “Quiet Revolutions”: Constructive Anarchy and Mutual Aid;


    Jeff Shantz, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Canada

    'Few sociologists have been as astute observers of the modern anarchist movement as Jeff Shantz. His "Constructive Anarchy" is, hands down, the best study available of anarchism’s active vision for, and practical experimentation with, the transformation of society.' Dana M. Williams, Valdosta State University, USA 'Constructive Anarchy powerfully confirms the Marxian adage that within the old society the elements of a new one have been created. Shantz portrays anarchism here less as a renunciation of what exists than a celebration of positive assemblages of new praxes. It should give hope to us all.' Roger Keil, York University, Canada