1st Edition

Tactics and Emancipation in the Age of Authoritarian Neoliberalism

Edited By Nicholas Kiersey, William W. Sokoloff Copyright 2023

    This book calls for new attention to non-traditional forms of emancipatory tactics and welcomes to the fold all manner of ‘everyday’ expressions of anti-authoritarianism.

    Capitalism has taken the mask off. Elites feel less obliged to pursue strategies of popular legitimization. The traditional institutions of representative democracies are thus hollowing out and stand before us corrupted and broken. In this milieu, the prospects for a democratic entering of the state are seen as increasingly fantastical, and the Left is advised instead to adopt a more tactical posture. These expressions can run the gamut, from the more obviously theatrical antics of ‘The Yes Men’ to those of ‘black bloc,’ and other direct-action militant groups, already well-known from their interventions in the cities of Berkeley and Charlottesville. This volume addresses this problem via the concept of tactics. The point is less to prescribe an ideal range of tactics but rather to consider a broader range of resistances—from the struggles of indigenous peoples to those who seek refuge from gender or citizenship-based discrimination to those who seek to defend “black lives” from militarized policing.

    Tactics and Emancipation in the Age of Authoritarian Neoliberalism will be a beneficial read for students and scholars of Critical Political Science, International Relations, and International Political Economy. The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of New Political Science.

    Introduction: The Question of Tactics in an Age of Authoritarian Neoliberalism 

    Nicholas Kiersey and William W. Sokoloff 

    1. Taking a Knee: Neoliberalism, Radical Imaginaries, and the NFL Player Protest 

    Courtenay W. Daum 

    2. You Can’t Handicraft the Apocalypse: The Invidious Consequences of "Opting Out" 

    Robert Kirsch 

    3. Beyond a Spectacular Image of the Working Class 

    James Calder and Charlie Umland 

    4. Revolutionary Accounting? Methods and Possibilities in Critical Strategy 

    Mindy Peden 

    5. Disentangling Neoliberalism from Leadership Education: Critical Approaches to Leadership Learning and Development in Higher Education 

    Brandon W. Kliewer 

    6. The Great American Rights Bake Off: Freedom of Religion v. Freedom from Discrimination 

    Chelsea Ebin and J. Ricky Price 

    7. Building Long Term Power in Rural America: Identity Construction, Elections, and Movement Work 

    Biko Koenig and Lee Scaralia 

    8. Between Parliamentarism and Armed Insurrection: Marxist Political Theory and the Doctrine of the Long Civil War 

    Clyde W. Barrow 


    Nicholas Kiersey is Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, USA. His research addresses austerity, biopolitics, and the crises of the neoliberal capitalist state. His current project is an investigation into the concept of socialist governmentality and the cultural political economy of the end of capitalism.

    William W. Sokoloff is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, USA. He is the author of Confrontational Citizenship: Reflections on Hatred, Rage, Revolution and Revolt (2017) and Political Science Pedagogy: A Critical, Radical and Utopian Perspective (2020). He is working on a third book on overcoming left paralysis and pessimism.