Welcome to the CURA Events and Seminars Programme for 2021-22. This programme sets out current and forthcoming CURA events for the academic year. If you would like to contribute or have any questions, please contact CURA Research Assistant email@example.com or CURA Deputy Director firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guest Seminar: Entrepreneurializing Solidarity. The New Social Economy in (Post-)Austerity Greece
The anti-austerity movement in Greece brought forth novel modes of socio-economic organization based on co-operation and mutual aid, rather than competition and self-interest. By the mid-2010s, what started as protest had mushroomed into an initially informal solidarity economy, signifying both an answer to austerity, and an alternative to the neoliberalization of state-market-subject relations. Making good on their election promise to support this movement, the SYRIZA-led governments of 2015-2019 followed a policy-agenda of institutionalizing a new Social and Solidarity Economy sector (SSE) in Greece. By creating a legal framework to formalize solidarity structures and cooperatives towards the EU’s definitions of ‘social enterprise’, the governmental rationality of this agenda sought to mobilize discourses of ‘social innovation’, ‘entrepreneurship’, and ‘creativity’, in order to incentivize the generation of ‘social impact’. Though partly critical of the entrepreneurial dimensions of this agenda, critical research on the SSE in Greece concurs that these developments by and large prefigure post-capitalist forms of socio-economic organization.
Dimitris’ paper is sympathetic to the transformative potentialities of SSE organizations, but its intervention sheds light on the reproductive side of the coin. In elucidating the epistemics of assuming to be able to evaluate ‘impact’, ‘innovation’, ‘creativity’, ‘utility’ and ‘entrepreneurship’, this paper delineates the ways in which SSE organizations (unwittingly) reproduce the very neoliberal rationalities against which they stand. Specifically, Dimitris shows how these epistemics contribute to the quantification of the social, and the entrepreneurialization of solidarity. Based on these findings, Dimitris will conclude with some theoretical considerations on what we may call an alter-neoliberal critique: against and beyond the epistemological program of neoliberalism.
Dimitris Soudias is HBA Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the London School of Economics. In his doctoral dissertation (Philipps-Universität Marburg, 2019), Dimitris investigated the formation of political subjectivity against the backdrop of crisis and austerity in Greece. His current research explores entrepreneurial practices and governmental discourses of creativity, uncertainty, and imaginaries of the future in the Social Economies of Athens and Berlin. Dimitris’ recent publications include Subjects in crisis: Paradoxes of emancipation and alter-neoliberal critique (The Sociological Review), Imagining the Commoning Library: Alter-Neoliberal Pedagogy in Informational Capitalism (Journal of Digital Social Research), and Spatializing Radical Political Imaginaries: Neoliberalism, Crisis, and Transformative Experience in the Syntagma Square Occupation in Greece (Contention).
This seminar will take place on Wednesday 22nd September 2021 14.00-15.30