Cracking capitalist realism: the new student movement and its post-capitalist politics

Sarah S. Amsler, Joyce Canaan

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceUnpublished Conference Paper


There is much talk of =the crisis‘ in higher education, often expressed in fatalistic narratives about the (im)possibility of critical resistance or alternatives to the deepening domination of neoliberal rationality and capitalist power throughout social life. But how precisely are we to make sense of this situation? In what ways is it experienced? And what knowledges and practices may help us to respond? These questions form the basis for a series of explorations of the history and character of this crisis, the particular historical conjuncture that we occupy today, and the different types of theoretical analysis and political response it seems to be engendering. Our talk will explore the tensions between readings of the situation as a paralyzing experience of domination, loss and impossibility, on the one hand, and radical transformation and the opening of future possibilities, on the other. We will finally consider what implications new forms of political theory being created in the new student movements have for reconceptualising praxis in higher education today, and perhaps for a wider imagination of post-capitalist politics.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 9 Apr 2011
EventMarxism and Education: Renewing the Dialogue - Institute of Education, University of London (UK)
Duration: 9 Apr 2011 → …


ConferenceMarxism and Education: Renewing the Dialogue
CityInstitute of Education, University of London (UK)
Period9/04/11 → …


  • capitalist realism
  • student movement
  • post-capitalist politics


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