Dr Albena Azmanova receives American Political Science Association’s Michael Harrington Book Award

Dr Albena Azmanova has received the American Political Science Association’s Michael Harrington Book Award for her boook Capitalism on Edge

The award “recognises an outstanding book that demonstrates how scholarship can be used in the struggle for a better world”.

At the award ceremony on Saturday 2 October, Dr Azmanova said: ‘This award is precious to me as it marks a critical moment in a journey that began more than 30 years ago when, as a student at Sofia University in Bulgaria, I became involved with the dissident movement against the dictatorship. That experience influenced my writing and led me to pursue lines of inquiry that challenge the entrenched views of the day.’

Dr Azmanova is Reader in Political and Social Thought at the University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies. She is also an Advisory Board member of Kent’s Centre for Critical Thought.

Capitalism on Edge contends that neoliberal capitalism has mutated into a new form—precarity capitalism—marked by the emergence of a precarious multitude. Widespread economic insecurity ails the 99 percent across differences in income, education, and professional occupation; it is the underlying cause of such diverse hardships as work-related stress and chronic unemployment. In response, Dr Azmanova calls for forging a broad alliance of strange bedfellows whose discontent would challenge not only capitalism’s unfair outcomes but also the drive for profit at its core. To achieve this synthesis, progressive forces need to go beyond the old ideological certitudes of, on the left, fighting inequality and, on the right, increasing competition. Dr Azmanova details reforms that would enable a dramatic transformation of the current system without a revolutionary break. An iconoclastic critique of left orthodoxy, Capitalism on Edge confronts the intellectual and political impasses of our time to discern a new path of emancipation.


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Double Binds of ’68 Conference, 29-30 September 2018

On the fiftieth anniversary of the global 1968 uprisings, and on the bicentenary of the birth of Karl Marx, this two-day multidisciplinary conference seeks to cast a retrospective light on the legacy of the former in order to illuminate the spectre of the latter. By thematising the figure of the double bind, this conference intends to explore the extent to which, and by means of which mechanisms, it can be argued that the radical social, political, psychic, and conceptual potential of the events of 1968 has ultimately been co-opted by the unfolding of neoliberalism over the past fifty years (the latter to be understood here as a political and economic system for organising society, subjectivity, culture, and thought).

Keynote speakers: Prof Benjamin Noys (Chichester) and Dr Iain MacKenzie (Kent)

Please e-mail doublebinds68@gmail.com in advance to confirm attendance

Double Binds of ’68 Conference
29-30 September 2018
Keynes College, University of Kent

Double Binds of 68 Conference Program and information

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Prestigious BISA prizes for Politics and International Relations researchers

The School of Politics and International Relations has had been recognised for its outstanding research and its exceptional teaching recently with two of its researchers, Dr Seán Molloy, Reader in Internation Relations, and Tom Watts, PhD candidate in International Relations and Assistant Lecturer, being awarded prestigious prizes by the British International Studies Association.

Susan Strange Book Prize
The Susan Strange Book Prize is for the best book published in any field of International Studies during the course of the 12 months up to 31 December 2017. The aim of the Prize is to honour the work of Susan Strange and also to recognise the best current work being conducted in the discipline.

Joint Prize Winner: Dr Seán Molloy (University of Kent) for the book: Kant’s International Relations: The Political Theology of Perpetual Peace.

Postgraduate Excellence in Teaching International Studies Prize
The aim of the award is to recognise postgraduate students who have contributed to the positive learning experience of students in International Studies, to raise the profile of learning and teaching activity in International Studies in the higher education sector, and to contribute to the dissemination of best practice in teaching and learning among BISA members.

Prize winner: Tom Watts (University of Kent). Tom managed to beat off an exceptional field of PhD students. There are real challenges in creating innovation for students who are frequently working within parameters set from staff. Tom’s qualities are seen in a number of extremely impressive ways (a) he has been teaching at Kent for several years and won the Universities Social Sciences ‘Seminar teaching prize’ in 2017 (b) His application contained an exceptional commitment to reflective practice – his concerns to reflect on the diverse needs of his students shone through e.g. in terms of learning styles, supporting students with dyslexia, and one-to-one support through the departments ‘learning hub’. (c) Innovations were widespread including: using Socrative application to generate weekly multiple choice quizzes; development of twitter and podcast additions to the reading lists (vital in the age of Trump!); (d) beyond the classroom Tom has an exemplary commitment to sharing best practice as evidenced in his work on editing and authoring blog posts for the BISA PGN website designed to cascade best practice (I hope you have all read them!) and his authorship of a 12 page booklet on the post-graduate teaching experience designed to improve conditions for all PGRs  (e) Finally an outstanding statement from his nominated reviewer. In short, he is an extremely worthy winner.

More information can be found on the BISA webiste.

Congratulations to Seán and Tom for their outstanding achievements!


Dr Sean Molloy - Susan Strange Book Prize winner

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Culture & Technics: The Politics of Simondon’s Du Mode

Culture & Technics: The Politics of Simondon’s Du Mode
Centre for Critical Thought
University of Kent, Canterbury, September 13th-15th, 2018

Keynote Speakers:
– Professor Bernard Stiegler (Institut de recherche et d’innovation, Centre Pompidou)
– Dr. Cecile Malaspina (Royal College of Art, UK)
– Dr. Simon Mills (De Montfort University)
– Dr. Yuk Hui (Leuphana Universität)

Culture and Technics Call For Abstracts

The initial and non-exhaustive themes and questions in the call for abstracts will structure a two and a half day conference at the University of Kent, Canterbury, on 13th-15th September, 2018.

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Public debate ‘Democracy and the Common Good: What do we Value?’ – 19 March 2018

Dr Pabst, Reader in Politics in the School of Politics and International Relations, says Brexit has raised many questions about what is going to happen regarding free movement.

The free movement of people and capital is considered fundamental to the global economy, but it has also led to widespread feelings of economic and cultural insecurity. Attempts to address this often rely on ideas about the freedom of choice for the individual or economic utility – the benefits or costs for the majority.

Dr Pabst’s report, ‘Democracy and the Common Good: A Common Good Approach to Free Movement of People and Capital’, published by St Paul’s Institute, seeks to advance an alternative approach.

It advocates addressing existing anxieties and providing a source of fresh policy ideas, adding to the ongoing work of communities, faith groups and others that mediate between the individual and the state.

The report features a foreword by Rachel Reeves MP who chairs the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee. She says that it is right that this report focuses on skills, investment and the need for closer consideration of communities in the everyday economy. She also adds that at what may only be the start of a long process of imagining and constructing an alternative to a broken economic model, this pamphlet is an important contribution to the debate.

Dr Pabst’s report will be launched as part of a public debate entitled Democracy and the Common Good: What do we Value? at St Paul’s Cathedral on Monday 19 March from 6.45pm until 8.30pm.

This debate will be moderated by Michael Sandel, the BBC’s global philosopher who will engage a conversation with a diverse group of students. Also taking part will be Professor Fran Tonkiss (LSE) and Graham Tomlin, the Bishop of Kensington where the Grenfell disaster took place last June.

Journalists and members of the public are welcome and can sign up at 


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The Future of Work seminar series

Following rescheduling due to the ongoing UCU industrial action, we are very happy to announce the final schedule for the seminar series The Future of Work. Details on speakers, titles and rooms can be found below and on the attached poster – The Future of Work seminar series

All University staff and students are welcome to attend, and please feel free to distribute to any networks, lists or individuals you feel may be interested.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch (b.turner@kent.ac.uk) if you have any questions.

Thursday 22nd March 2018,17:00-19:00, RLT2

Valeria Graziano (Coventry University) and Kim Trogal (University of the Creative Arts, Canterbury): ‘On repair movements, domestic fantasies and antiwork politics?’

Wednesday 28th March 2018, 15:00-17:00, KS13

Dawn Lyon (UoK) ‘Making a future that counts: Young people’s narratives of working futures in a post-industrial landscape.’

Wednesday 9th May 2018, 15:00-17:0,0 W1-SR6 *CANCELLED*

David Frayne (Cardiff University): ‘Capitalism and the Politics of Free-Time’

Wednesday 16th May 2018. 15:00-17:00, W1-SR6

David Bates (Canterbury Christ Church University): ‘Immaterial Labour, Exploitation and the Refusal of Work.’

Tuesday 22nd May 2018, 17:00-19:00, RLT2 *CANCELLED*

Annalise Murgia (University of Leeds): ‘Experiencing Precariousness in the Hybrid Areas of Work: The Case of Italy.’

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Book launch, 6 December at 6pm – Lenin Lives! Reimagining the Russian Revolution 1917-2017

You are cordially invited to the University of Kent launch of Dr Philip Cunliffe‘s new book: Lenin Lives! Reimagining the Russian Revolution 1917-2017

Book Launch for Lenin Lives! Reimagining the Russian Revolution 1917-2017. Zero Books (2017)

6pm, Wednesday 6 December 2017

University of Kent, Keynes College, Seminar room 17 (KS17)

What if the Russian Revolution had succeeded in spreading beyond the borders of Russia as intended by the Bolshevik revolutionaries over 100 years ago? What would a different twentieth century have looked like? This is the premise of this new book, published in September 2017 by Zero books. No tale of the Russian Revolution is complete without asking ‘what if …?’

The Canterbury book launch will be on Wednesday 6 December in Keynes Seminar Room 17 on the Canterbury campus of the University of Kent. Come along for a free drink and for a brief introduction to the themes of the book. Discounted copies of the book will also be available for purchase. This event is free and open to all (university staff, students and the general public). No booking necessary

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Centre for Critical Thought Lecture by Dr Steve Klee (Lincoln) – 1 December 2017, 5pm, DLT2

Centre for Critical Thought Lecture by Dr Steve Klee (Lincoln) – 1 December 2017, 5pm, DLT2

The Centre for Critical Thought is delighted to invite you to a lecture which will be delivered by Dr Steve Klee (Lincoln) on Friday 1 December 2017 at 5pm in Darwin Lecture Theatre 2 entitled ‘Realist Aesthetics Contra Rancière’. The lecture will have broad appeal for those interested in the current turn towards realism in philosophy, in the work of Jacques Ranciere and in debates within contemporary aesthetics.

Dr Klee’s profile – https://staff.lincoln.ac.uk/05fbc325-9dd7-49b3-80ff-cc4c08cdc45f

All are welcome (University staff, students and the general public) and no booking is necessary.

CCT Lecture

Dr Steve Klee (Lincoln)

‘Realist Aesthetics Contra Rancière’

Day: Friday 1 December 2017

Time: 17.00 – 18.30

Room: Darwin Lecture Theatre 2

All are welcome (University staff, students and the general public) and no booking is necessary.

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Centre for Critical Thought Lecture by Dr Sean Molloy – 23 November 2017, 5pm, ELT2

All are welcome (University staff, students and the general public) and no booking is necessary.

CCT Lecture

Dr Sean Molloy

‘Removing the “The Foul Stain of Our Species”? Mankind, Providence and the Prospect of Salvation in Kant.’

Day: Thursday 23 November 2017

Time: 17.00 – 18.30

Room: Eliot Lecture Theatre 2

All are welcome (University staff, students and the general public) and no booking is necessary.

Details of Dr Sean Molloy’s new book on Kant’s International Relations can be found here – https://www.press.umich.edu/5036715/kants_international_relations

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CCT Lecture by Dr Philip Cunliffe ‘Reflections on Lenin and the Russian Revolution 100 years on’ – 17 October 2017

Do come along for what promises to be a fascinating lecture.

Dr Philip Cunliffe

‘Reflections on Lenin and the Russian Revolution 100 years on’

Day: Tuesday 17 October

Time: 17.00 – 18.30

Room: Darwin Lecture Theatre 2

Open to all, no booking necessary

 More information about the book upon which this lecture is based can be found here:


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