Capitalism in Global Crisis

Submitted by Jan Krasni on Sun, 04/12/2020 - 16:58
Registration deadline
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Valencia Valencia

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Due to the Covid 19 situation in Spain and in Europe, the #DNS7 Workshop has been postponed to January 2022. The applicants will get more info per email. Important information: we are not giving up on this event, but just postponing it!


#DNS7WS Valencia

DiscourseNet Winter School No. 7



Capitalism in Global Crisis:

economic transformations, new authoritarianism, and resistance





The DiscourseNet Winter School brings together advanced MA as well as PhD students (BA
students with an own research project are also welcome) who want to pursue research on
Capitalism in Global Crisis revolving around economic transformations, new authoritarianism,
and resistance with respect to Discourse Studies and to discuss the methodological and theoretical
challenges of their thesis projects or first ideas.

In the last decades, the economies in different countries and regions as well as the global economic
power relations have changed. Three characteristics are significant: first, the US economic
hegemony, expressed by a dominant position in almost all traditional leading industries, becomes
step by step replaced by a tri-pole structure consisting by a rising Asian field of economic innovation
(with China as regional superpower), a declining North American pole and a consolidating European
pole (with Germany as regional hegemon) torn between the aspiring East and former West. Second,
rising economic inequalities can be observed in all capitalist economies, including China, Russia and
East/Central Europe, with the formation of a small wealthy elite on the top of economic hierarchy,
shrinking middle classes splitting up between the top and bottom, and a widening array of lower
classes more and more excluded from social recognition, welfare, consumption and other forms of
social participation. Wealthy and innovative areas on the one hand, and declining regions
disconnected from global innovations on the other hand reflect these cleavages geographically. And,
finally, a forth technological revolution (catchwords: Industry 4.0, digitalisation, 5G, green economy)
is currently changing global value chains, working relations and the general distribution of labour
and value. These tendencies of the global economy have huge impacts on political discourses, social
identities, life styles, social conflicts and the formation of new milieus. Among diverse social, cultural
and political reactions to these global transformations new forms of authoritarianism seem to be of
significant analytical importance.

New authoritarianism can take different forms. The narrative that the (Western) world inscribes
itself within a history of progress, of political and social advances and that this process is irreversible
are no longer convincing. New forms of nationalism, nativism, racism, anti-semitism, anti-feminism,
chauvinism, anti-social, religious extremism, ethnocentrism and ideological responses to economic
crises are threatening human emancipation. New forms of authoritarian governance arise on a
plurality of social backgrounds and in a variety of forms, from nationalism, to populism and from
right-wing extremism towards ideologies of economic impositions. These anti-emancipatory
tendencies are not limited to specific social movements or politics. Therefore, they require an
analysis of a diversity of social phenomenon, like power constellations, discourses, historic memory,
economic conditions, processes of subjectivation, etc. In contrast to extremism, the approach on
authoritarianism does not analyze its objects from the margins of society; and unlike populism,
authoritarianism does not require an approach on hegemony. However, there are also forms of
extremist or populist authoritarianism. Yet, the role of new authoritarianism for and within ongoing
global transformations of the economy seems to be oscillating between a consolidation of existing
power relations and a nationalist form of resistance against certain neoliberal policies.
Despite the rise of authoritarian tendencies, there is a notable amount of social movements resisting
them: the feminist movement, LGBTQ movement, ecological movements, minority group movements,
worker movements, refugee movements, anti-racist, anti-nationalist, anti-fascist, anti-capitalist
movements, and also more authoritarian resistance. Many of these movements explicitly argue
against silencing of experiences of various social groups, and do the work revealing structures of
power, imagining alternatives and proposing solutions to power imbalances, exclusion, symbolic and
physical violence. In this ideological work, new subjectivities are formed and existing ones redefined,
new ways of expressing agency are created. Development of the digital communication
infrastructure has been especially important in these processes, as online spaces have been pivotal
for coordination of social action, assisting in formation of global social movements. Critical discourse
studies have been especially active in critiquing the less-democratic discourses, while the analysis of
resistant discourses and clashes between different kinds of discourses, as well as conditions that
allow them to arise and develop, are also of significance. We welcome papers exploring these and
other possible dimensions of resistant discourses.


As every year, we will have a special guest who will give insight in her research relevant to the topic of the workshop. This year it is Ngai-Ling Sum from Lancaster University. Ngai-Ling Sum is a sociologist and political economist and co-director of the Cultural Political Economy Research Centre. The focus of her research lies on the global change and capitalism. Read more about her here and here.

Keynote speaker: 

Ngai-Ling Sum (Lancaster University)

“The Cultural Political Economy of Hope/Fear: Ordoliberal Authoritarianism and the Case of China”


Possible topics for DNS7 include (but are not restricted to):
• Race, class and gender in global capitalism
• Material resistance and counter discourses
• Forms of authoritarianism and its relation to neoliberalism in crisis
• Intersectionality, identity politics and new subjectivities
• Global political economy and economic discourses
• (Post)colonial capitalism in new global constellations
• Anti-Fascism, socialism and left-wing authoritarianism
• Old and new exclusions: migration, borders and ecologic crisis
• Ideologies and post-truth in times of technological revolutions
• Digital transformation & forms of culture and sociality in late capitalism


The aim of the Winter School is to bring young and established discourse researchers together to address practical challenges in discourse research. The event will provide a collaborative exchange and hands-on research experience in a rather informal workshop setting. More experienced scholars from the Universities of Giessen, Moscow, Warwick, Tyumen and Valencia, together with guests from other international universities, will give introductory workshops on the following fields of inquiry: Discourse; New Authoritarianism; Resistance, Global Change.



Click here in order to apply for DNS7


Johannes Beetz, University of Warwick (UK) | Benno Herzog, University of Valencia (Spain) |
Jens Maesse, University of Giessen (Germany) | Ksenia Semykina, Higher School of Economics, Moscow (Russia) | Jan Krasni Tyumen State University (Russia)

University of Valencia
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The Organisation Team
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