critique

Inscribing organized resistance

Thoughts, antagonisms, innovations, demonstrations, elaborations, expectations and refutations. This is all to say, field-notes, from an array of politically engaged, non-objectifying theoretical work projects. Behold, the current issue of ephemera! Foolish is s/he who would seek to encapsulate a supposedly complete or somehow representative spectrum of such concerns within this, or indeed any format. Foolish also are those who would hope to find herein a necessary ‘image of thought’ (Deleuze, 1995).

'No we can't'. Crisis as chance

In 1931 two friends, Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht, planned to launch a journal named Krisis und Kritik, thus linking ‘crisis’ directly to ‘critique’ in a manner that would become emblematic of the very idea of societal crisis in Europe during this decade. Spreading to Europe, a financial crisis in the US reinforced the dominant crisis of the Old World: a political crisis in the form of a fascist upsurge. Whereas fascism blossomed to its fullest in total annihilation, however, Benjamin and Brecht’s journal was never realized.

No critique

Too often critique simply works as a safety valve; too often it becomes a logo. Indeed, we have seen an explosion of this logo in recent years: there are Critical Management Studies conferences and critical journals appearing everywhere. It seems as if there is a critical bandwagon that everybody feels they need to jump onto. But how much has the ‘critical’ logo really changed; how critical has our critique really been? We feel that too often the ‘critical’ signifier simply stands in for any real critique to be practiced.

Castles made of sand

How does one begin? How does one begin something like this - this introduction, this journal – but also how does one begin in general? Should we start from scratch? Set out a profile, dig the foundations, lay them in concrete and steel? Starting with the cornerstone, lay bricks on top of a stable foundation then layer by layer build our construction, our edifice, our monument – an abode where weary travellers on the road to critical enlightenment can lay their heads to rest?

submission deadline  
30 Oct 2013
call for papers pdf  

Issue Editors: Thomas Taro Lennerfors, Eric Breit and Lena Olaison

For this Special Issue of ephemera, we want to explore the possibilities of turning to theory, instead of practice, to critique corruption and anti-corruption. Corruption is often seen as a virus or a cancer that is eating away at the core of contemporary society (Wolfensohn, 1998). Correspondingly, international anti-corruption measures have risen to prominence over the last decade, exemplified by the UN Convention on Corruption and the UN Global Compact. In the 2000s, corporate scandals, such as Enron, Worldcom, and most recently the global banking crisis, have increasingly put corruption into the spotlight.

Despite this, there have been few calls for theoretical investigations into corruption – on the contrary, there seems to be an aversion to such explorations. While there are various types of corrupt practices (e.g. bribery, fraud, embezzlement, etc.) at different levels (e.g. petty, grand, systemic), few are... more

Professions at the margins

The contributions in this special issue of ephemera examine the relation between professions and the margins. While the professions have become well-established at the centre of public life over the last one hundred and fifty years, they also bear an intrinsic relation to the periphery - social, cultural and economic.

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