CfP: The middle classes under rising authoritarianism and economic unevenness: between great expectations and lost illusions. Panel at EASA 2022. Belfast. 26-29 July 2022

Volha Biziukova's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
March 21, 2022
Location: 
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Social Sciences

We are pleased to invite all interested contributors to submit a paper to the panel P012, “The middle classes under rising authoritarianism and economic unevenness: between great expectations and lost illusions” for the European Association for Social Anthropologists (EASA) bi-annual conference in Belfast (26-29 July 2022). Note: to submit a paper you need to be/become a EASA member.

Short Abstract:

This panel invites empirical, theoretical, and historically informed contributions from different regional research settings to interrogate how the "middle class" can be productively used as an analytical category to understand the complex entanglements between authoritarian and neoliberal contexts.

Long Abstract

The rising authoritarianism, aggravated social effects of neoliberal restructuring, and waning beliefs in a positive future in recent decades stand in contrast to the hopes of dynamic economic growth, improving wellbeing, and liberalization of political regimes that marked the turn of the century in the emerging economies. These expectations were associated with large-scale (neo) liberal economic restructuring and fostered by economic advancements of the 2000s. While the new middle classes used to be considered as the symbol and key agents of such "'progressive" transformations, their altered relationships with the state since the late 2000s, including entrenching authoritarian regimes, call for revisiting our understanding of middle classes.

This panel invites empirical, theoretical, and historically informed contributions that consider different historical trajectories of the middle classes in concrete regional contexts to investigate the forms of their agency and broader social reproduction. We are particularly interested in the relationships between middle classes and state, especially in how middle classes are shaped through policies and incorporated into (increasingly authoritarian) power regimes which entangle in various ways with neoliberal governance. We also aim to explore how they challenge or actively produce these power regimes and forms of governance.

How can a focus on the dynamic of middle classes shed light on the nexus of variegated neoliberal experiences and authoritarian political regimes? How can we rearticulate the relation between neoliberalism, authoritarianism, and class? How can "middle class" be productively employed as an analytical category in specific contexts (without aiming at a universal definition)?

Convenors:

Seda Yuksel (University of Vienna)

Volha Biziukova (Central European University)

The description of the panel: https://nomadit.co.uk/conference/easa2022/p/11530

Papers should be submitted via

https://nomadit.co.uk/conference/easa2022/paper-form/11530

Paper submission rules: https://www.easaonline.org/conferences/easa2022/cfp

Deadline: 21 March 2022

Please feel free to contact us via email or the panel page.

Contact Info: 

Volha Biziukova (Central European University)

Contact Email: