Languages: English and German
Abolitionist movements demand the abolition of police, prisons and punishment. They argue that law enforcement agencies reproduce racialized orders. They aim to build self-organized structures of mutual aid and transformative justice and, sometimes, demand the expansion of welfare services. So far, less attention is given to how the welfare system does not only support and secure people in need, but also disciplines, punishes, banishes and lets people die. With the aim of migration control, for example, racialized and migrantized people are regularly excluded from welfare altogether, or they are only given access on condition of employment. For poor people who do not conform to the hetero- and cis-normative family model it is particularly difficult to access social services. The welfare state does not treat all subjects equally, but places them in different relationships to each other, to themselves, to the state and to the (global) labor market. Social (state) regimes thereby fundamentally shape everyday cultures and ideas about society, the economy and the individual. They are the result of historical struggles and a point of reference for social justice movements. Right-wing and conservative forces, on the other hand, mobilize for a protection of national welfare systems from the alleged threats of migration, social fraud or queer ways of living.
This workshop sets out to understand current social (state) regimes in their complexity. It is clear that much has happened in the last decades. The German social (state) regime was transformed by unequal Europeanization and (re-)nationalization, new violent border regimes, economization and austerity, but also by emancipatory struggles. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown how quickly and extensively governments can adjust social policies. The introduction of German Bürgergeld (‚citizen’s money’), on the other hand, came with an exclusionary name but, arguably, little substantial change. At the same time, the authorities have ramped up their fight against so-called welfare fraud. Today, inflation exacerbates the crisis of reproduction.
We want to discuss what a critical analysis of social (state) regimes should look like today. Our goal is to foster a conversation between critical knowledge practices from both within and outside academia. We ask: What role do social (state) regimes play in current conjunctures of racialized capitalism? What critiques of the welfare state emerge from the perspective of community organizations of precariously employed and unemployed people in a migration society? How do social (state) regimes shape the everyday life of different status groups and how do they relate to it? What the fuck is going on? How can we situate the social question in transnational and post-national contexts? What is the potential of abolitionist perspectives on struggles around ‚the Social’ and for a good life in the EUropean and German contexts and beyond?
This is the kick-off workshop of the DFG Emmy Noether Junior Research Group „Contestations of ‚the Social’ — Towards a Movement-Based Ethnographic Social (State) Regime Analysis”, based at the Institute of European Ethnology and Empirical Cultural Studies at LMU and working closely with the groups BASTA!, ALSO and Project Shelter. The Berlin-based unemployed initiative BASTA! offers advice services several times a week and conducts campaigns and training sessions. Arbeitslosenselbsthilfe Oldenburg (ALSO) provides independent and free social advice, has its own house and supports precarious workers in the meat industry, among others. Project Shelter is a group of people with and without a history of flight or migration, fighting for the rights of homeless people in Frankfurt/Main and working to guarantee that their needs are met. We are looking forward to the exchange!
|Friday, Nov. 17, 2023
Arrival and lunch
|Welcome & short inputs from the CoS team & groups, interactive format
Critical Perspectives on the (Social) State Today
with Melinda Cooper (Australian National University), Manuela Bojadžijev (HU Berlin) and
Veronika Zablotsky (FU Berlin, Abolition Beyond Borders Collective), facilitation: Lisa Riedner, CoS-Team
Legal Struggles within and beyond Social (State) Regimes
with Aino Korvensyrjä & Mitali Nagrecha (Justice Collective) and Max Pichl (Uni Kassel),
facilitation: Valentina Moraru, CoS-Team
|Interactive discussion and get together
|BASTA! Berlin invites to a public event with ALSO, Project Shelter and LACAN
(Sub-)Urban Organizing within and against Racial Capitalism
with Pete White (LACAN), Stefania Animento (HU Berlin, Workers Center Berlin), Mouna
Maaroufi (Uni Hamburg), facilitation: Anda Nicolae-Vladu (ALSO, Uni Bochum)
|11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Social (state) regime analysis through the lens of border, labour, gender
and poor people’s struggles?
with Peter Birke (Uni Göttingen), Maribel Casas-Cortes (Uni Zaragoza), Josie Hooker (Uni Bath)
(Uni Bologna), facilitation: Lisa Riedner, CoS-team
For, against and beyond?
|3:00 p.m. –5:00 p.m
|Coffee and making plans
Aino Korvensyrjä is a social anthropologist and activist whose work critically addresses deportation, borders racism, policing, punishment, and social movements. She joined the antiracist courtwatching group Justizwatch in 2016. In 2023, she worked as a research associate in Justice Collective, researching racism in German courts and the criminal legal system.
Anda Nicolae-Vladu is an activist at Arbeitslosenselbsthilfe Oldenburg, a multilingual basis organization fighting against poverty and supporting people in claiming their social rights. She is also a PhD Researcher in modern history at the Ruhr University Bochum, where she researches migrant struggles within the north-west-German textile industry.
Josie Hooker is a PhD student at the University of Bath, UK. Arising from struggles during and after the Covid-19 pandemic, her PhD explores how labour, social and border regimes mediate the health of low-paid, precariously employed migrant workers in London.
Lisa Riedner is leading the Junior Research Group „Contestation of ‚the Social’ ” at the Institute for European Ethnology and Cultural Analysis of the LMU Munich. She likes to explore the intersections of academic, activist, and artistic practices.
Manuela Bojadžijev is Professor at the Institute for European Ethnology and the Institute for Migration Research at the Humboldt University Berlin. She investigates current transformation processes of mobility and migration as well as racism, in interplay with changes in work and everyday life through digitalisation and logistics, predominantly in urban spaces and in geopolitical constellations.
Max Pichl is Professor at the Rhein/Main University. His book „Rechtskämpfe. Eine Analyse der Rechtsverfahren nach dem Sommer der Migration” (Campus: Frankfurt am Main, 2021) is now also available open access as an ebook.
Melinda Cooper is a professor in the School of Sociology at The Australian National University. Her book Counterrevolution: Extravagance and Austerity in Public Finance is forthcoming in March 2024.
Mouna Maaroufi has been a research assistant at the Chair of General Sociology at Universität Hamburg since 2022. Previously, she completed her dissertation entitled „Migration and Racialisation. Reconfiguring Infrastructures of Labour Supply After the ‚Summer of Migration’ ” at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg. She also worked part-time as a labour law advisor for migrants at Arbeit und Leben eV. Her research focuses on transformations and infrastructures in migration and labour regimes, racism and precarisation as well as autonomous labour struggles, social struggles and anti-racism.
Pete White is an organizer and artist from Los Angeles and founder of the Los Angeles Community Action Network. His work has centered on power-building, culture, and community-based innovation as essential strategic tools.
Peter Birke works at the Sociological Research Institute, Göttingen. His current main research interest is the interrelatedness of the organization of labor processes and border regimes, that might shape form of resistance against racism and exploitation.
Stefania Animento is a Sociologist, now working as an independent researcher and activist. Her interests include migration, labour, social movements, digital capitalism. She writes on labour struggles and racism in digital economies and has also been part of several activist projects in Berlin, such as Berlin Migrant Strikers, Critical Workers and more recently Workers Center Berlin.
Tim Herbold is a PhD researcher with the Junior Research Group „Contestation of ‚the Social’ ” at the Institute for European Ethnology and Cultural Analysis of the LMU Munich.
Valentina Moraru is an activist and researcher currently finishing her first PhD-year in the Contestations of the Social project. Working closely with the Arbeitslosenselbsthilfe Oldenburg, her research sits at the intersection of morality, precarious labor and migration.
Veronika Zablotsky is a political theorist and postdoc at FU Berlin who is currently working on sanctuary, abolition, and cross-border solidarity from a transnational feminist and postcolonial perspective. She co-founded the Abolition Beyond Borders Collective, the Critical Armenian Studies Collective, and is a member of the International Solidarity Action Research Network.
Interpretation: Stefan Schade and team
Event technology: Reinhard Grinschgl, Green Congress