For the last decade and a half, we have been witnessing a worldwide resurgence of reactionary nationalist, racist, anti-feminist, and religious discourses and movements, as well as rapid authoritarian transformations of political systems in all regions of the world. These can broadly be characterized as a further deepening of the non- and anti-democratic features of neoliberal capitalist states and societies, including the expansion of their punitive and repressive nature and increasing state and para-state practices of violence, neutralization of resistance, and marginalization of subordinate groups.
Nevertheless, these ideological elements and political practices converge in specific and often very diverse amalgams, and although there are wild dreams of what Matteo Salvini has called a “nationalist International”, more often than not there seem to be more differences and disputes than commonalities between authoritarian actors.
This means that we are facing a worldwide phenomenon, which on closer inspection, however, does not in fact show up as global, but as heterogeneous and fragmented. Critical knowledge production and Left politics, which take an international and internationalist perspective, are therefore confronted with a variety of political as well as theoretical and conceptual problems.
Thus, the central question arises as to whether and how these often very different authoritarianisms can be productively conceived of together, if at all: where are the convergences, connections, and parallels between these processes of authoritarian transformation worldwide? Does the current phase differ appreciably from other, preceding phases of authoritarian capitalist rule, such as those we can periodically observe in Europe, Latin America, West Asia and North Africa, Southeast Asia, and numerous other regions? And if so, in what way, i.e. what facets and dimensions actually give this authoritarian phase its specificity?
The product of three years of collective work at the International Research Group on Authoritarianism and Counter-Strategies (IRGAC), published by transcript Verlag in cooperation with Columbia University Press, Global Authoritarianism: Perspectives and Contestations from the South brings together the work of more than 15 scholar-activists from across the Global South, combining in-depth studies of regional processes of authoritarian transformation with a global perspective on authoritarian capitalism.
Featuring a new foreword by Verónica Gago.
Global Authoritarianism: Perspectives and Contestations from the Global South
International Research Group on Authoritarianism and Counter-Strategies (Ed.)
transcript Verlag, 2022
302 Pages | ISBN: 978-3-8376-6209-2