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ROSSDALE, Chris. "Reclaiming Agency: Anarchist Interventions in the International"
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Article published on 21 July 2010
last modification on 27 April 2015

by r-c.
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To date, critical theories
of international relations and security have not engaged substantively with the
potentials and promises of anarchist political philosophy and practice. This
article attempts to suggest the terms of how such an engagement might proceed, positing
a point of entry which resists the impulse to take an overly globalist or
idealist perspective, and which begins at the level of agency/practice, of
grassroots direct action. It is argued that anarchist interventions in the
field, theoretically and practically, may find force through a focus on
democratising and localising ontologies of agency, refusing and reforming
dominant, statist approaches. The argument proceeds in four sections. In the
first, one of the few explicit treatments of anarchism from within IR, Thomas
G. Weiss’s attempt to fuse anarchism with world order theory, is examined as a
means to highlighting some shortcomings of an approach which does not begin
with agency. In the second, the article discusses the normative theories of
anarchist direct action given by Gustav Landauer and Simon Critchley,
suggesting that the tensions which emerge from their broadly incompatible
positions may offer productive routes for thinking anarchism in the IR context,
particularly with respect to negotiating the contested realms of positivity and
negation. Following from this discussion, several illustrative examples are
provided as a means to suggesting the opportunities and challenges of the
preceding discussion. Finally the article engages in an extended case study of
‘the Raytheon 9’, a group of anti-arms trade activists who
smashed/decommissioned a Raytheon office during the Israeli assault on Lebanon
in 2006. It is suggested that their actions offer valuable perspectives for how
we might think anarchism in the IR/security context through their performance
of an agency which undermines dominant conceptions while prefiguring a more
localised and democratised set of relations.

As Alex
Prichard makes clear, there has been relatively little engagement with
anarchism in IR in the post-World War Two era, an absence which illuminates the
ontological and normative statism of the discipline. ftn' href="#_ftn1" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[1]

One of the few attempts to pull anarchism into the field is Weiss’s 1975
article on philosophical anarchism and world order theory. For Weiss, the
dovetailing of anarchism and world order theory comes through their mutual
concern with the dilemma of reconciling authority and autonomy. He argues that
anarchist thought can provide important value clarification for progressive
theories of world politics, in a necessarily radical and non-hierarchical
framework, avoiding the conventional binary between liberal reformism and
Marxism. The values he highlights which can be accommodated and guided by
anarchist thought are ‘(1) rejection of illegitimate authority; (2) ecological
consciousness; (3) anti-statism; (4) the political economy of freedom; (5) the
importance of life styles; (6) the dynamics of cooperation’.<a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn' href="#_ftn2" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[2]
In dealing with anarchist insights on these areas, Weiss acknowledges that he
is engaging in a cherry-picking exercise; anarchism is treated as a heuristic
device, ‘it is the prospect of influence in positive directions, rather than
the feasibility of anarchist solution per
se,
that makes the anarchist position highly relevant and of interest’.<a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn' href="#_ftn3" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[3]

He accepts that the values to which anarchism may speak are held in other
schools, citing the central contribution of anarchism as the understanding ‘that
the dangers of authority are deemed so nefarious as to necessitate taking the
extreme position on each of the values’, href="#_ftn4" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[4]

a perspective he argues should be taken seriously within peace research, and
which has the capacity to provide serious challenges to the ‘legitimate
substance of international politics’. href="#_ftn5" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[5]

Whilst Weiss’s
reading of anarchism is, in parts, detailed, and while he accords with many
central tenets of anarchist thought (such as the inseparability of economic and
political freedoms, the importance of prefigurative action, and a radical
critique of illegitimate authority), there are important limitations to his
approach which, when exposed, may help to consider alternative routes for
anarchist approaches to critical theories of and approaches to the
international. One shortcoming is the overly selective approach taken by Weiss.
Rejecting the possibility of anarchism as ‘a comprehensive and totally
consistent world view’, he suggests that it is better read as a ‘general
attitude, or action theory’, overlooking the possibility that divorcing
anarchistic action theory, attitude and world view from one another misses the
power in the interrelation of these elements, a perspective which is taken up
in more detail below. title=""> footnote'>[6] It is
perhaps this selective approach which allows the article to conclude on fairly
liberal terms, advocating a global negative income tax, and arguing that the
anarchist ‘utopia’, while ‘probably not realizable...helps one judge the human
condition and focus upon ultimate goals’. href="#_ftn7" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[7]

The article
also suffers from a limited approach to the question of transformative agency.
Although Weiss discusses the place of social change movements, and the
importance of prefigurative action, his narration of action is restricted in
two (interrelated) respects. The first is that his conception of progress, while
optimistic, is expressed in terms of ‘discussions’, ‘visions’, ‘dreaming’,
leaving the reader to wonder where more active interventions sit. The second reason
concerns the brief moments in which he does discuss direct action explicitly,
and his perception of its place in anarchist theories of change. He argues that
direct action ‘aims immediately to dissolve the existing order through
alternative institutions that either prepare for an immediate social
revolution, or guarantee that once it has begun it will not proceed in an
authoritarian manner’, and that ‘counter institutions are established to give
witness to the feasibility of theoretical values, as well as to provide a
buffer between the incipient new order and the oppressive processes that
characterize the present one’. name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[8]

Whilst these are indeed important aspects of prefigurative direct action, Weiss
does not engage with the notion that anarchist direct action goes beyond
preparation and/or example, and that counter-institutions (and
counter-agencies) are the ‘new
order’, that they inhere within them the world view which Weiss dismisses as
irrelevant. Alongside this, his perspective suggests a clear distinction
between the current order and the next, overlooking the intention of direct
action practitioners to make positive interventions in the present. Direct
action engages with the challenges of the current world, but with the aim of
creating a new world within the shell of the current, avoiding the potentially
immobilising tensions which accompany undue focus on a ‘new order’.

A third
shortcoming of Weiss’s approach is rooted in his overly idealistic approach to
both anarchism and IR more broadly. In discussing anarchist anti-statism, he claims
a crossover between peace research and philosophical anarchism, namely ‘a
desire to institutionalize equal opportunity for the potential self-development
of all the globe’s individuals’, name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[9]

but fails to engage with the political challenges of statism as a dominant
discourse of political agency, tied into powerful narratives of IR as an
anarchic realm which demands the security of hegemonic actors. His criticism of
anarchism as a philosophy opposed to institutions, based upon his ‘interpretation
of the data about the future needs of this planet’, ftn' href="#_ftn10" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[10]

while arguably incorrect in its reading of anarchist theory, reinforces what
Richard Ashley termed the ‘heroic practice’; in invoking the need for
‘guidance’, for some form of totalising mediation (however democratic), Weiss performs
a sovereignty/anarchy dichotomy in which a rationally ordered hegemony finds
its negativity in anarchy, and in which ambiguity, contingency, chance and
open-ended eventuation are banished, are treated as threats to the higher ideal
of sovereignty. title=""> footnote'>[11] Through
Weiss, anarchism’s contribution to the field is disciplined within dominant
ontologies of agency, and its progressive potentials are limited to impossible
but useful ideals and modifications within prevailing discourses.

These three
criticisms centre around the absence of a concrete agentic focus, around
Weiss’s failure to engage with the power of anarchist approaches to challenge
dominant ontologies of agency in IR. For Weiss, while power ‘should’ come from
below, the question of popular participation in IR remains unanswered in any
concrete fashion. This article will suggest that anarchist interventions may be
more productive when engaged with from such an angle.

The Politics of Intervention

This section will begin discuss
the potential for anarchist theory to animate a rethinking of agency in IR and
security at a grassroots level. Through discussing the theories of revolution/resistance
offered by Gustav Landauer and Simon Critchley, and the productive tensions
which might be drawn from a comparison of their respective positions, the
article begins to consider the place of anarchist interventions which move
beyond the limitations of Weiss’s approach.

Gustav
Landauer was a German anarchist active in the late 19th and early 20thcentury. Whilst closely aligned in many respects with Peter Kropotkin’s
communist anarchism, he moved beyond his peers in arguing that radical
transformation could not be achieved through the instantaneous destruction of existing
institutions, nor by their slow reform. Instead, he suggested a form of
hyper-positivity, advocating the creation of alternative institutions and
relationships alongside, but separate from, prevailing structures and modes of
organisation. This radical alternative (which has, to some extent, been taken
up by contemporary forms of direct action) arose directly from Landauer’s
perspective on the state. name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[12]

 He refused the prevailing
Kropotkinian view of the state as a corporeal institution which can be destroyed
through a revolution. Instead, Landauer argued that ‘[t]he State is a
condition, a certain relationship between human beings, a mode of human
behaviour’.<span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[13]

Richard Day highlights the poststructuralist inclinations of such a theory, a
link he attributes to Nietzsche’s influence on Landauer. In particular, Day
connects Landauer’s position with Foucault’s governmentality thesis, suggesting
that ‘Landauer grasped...that we are not governed by ‘institutions’ apart from
ourselves, by a ‘state’ set over against a ‘civil society’. Rather, <i
style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>we all govern each other via a complex
web of capillary relations of power’. href="#_ftn14" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[14]

Landauer’s analysis
of the state (and indeed of other social institutions, not least capitalism) engenders
his theory of revolution. If the state is a set of relationships amongst
people, ‘we destroy it by contracting other relationships, by behaving
differently toward one another...We are the state, and we shall continue to be
the state until we have created the institutions that form a real community and
society of men [sic]’.<a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn' href="#_ftn15" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[15]

James Horrox notes that ‘Landauer savagely excoriated those more concerned with
the politics of protest and demand than with creativity’, and advocated the
construction of ‘functioning enclaves of libertarianism [as a] prefigurative
framework for emancipation’. name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[16]

Horrox further observes that Landauer was active in advocating local,
small-scale examples of such enclaves, including setting up soup kitchens, and growing
food on lawns and street borders, both as a means to providing direct respite
for those in need and as a way of introducing people to the merits of
collective action. title=""> footnote'>[17] This last
point is important; as Day observes, for Landauer the alternatives constructed
are not solely intended as preparation for a future revolution, but as valuable
in and of themselves, a perspective
which moves him away from Weiss’s interpretations. ftn' href="#_ftn18" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[18]

Day interprets the merit of this position through its attempt to overcome a
central dilemma of anarchist theory, namely that ‘[we] cannot wait for everyone
to choose to live in non-statist, non-capitalist relationships, or we will very
likely wait forever. Nor can we force
socialism on anyone, since that would violate our commitment to respecting the
autonomy of individuals and groups. Hence there is no choice for those of us
who desire to live differently but to begin to do so ourselves’.<a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn' href="#_ftn19" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[19]

For Landauer, we destroy the prevailing system ‘mainly by means of the gentle,
permanent, and binding reality that we build’. href="#_ftn20" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[20]

Such an approach aims to reduce the efficacy and reach of prevailing relations
by withdrawing energy from them and rendering them redundant’.<a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn' href="#_ftn21" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[21]
In short, for Landauer, we reach a better world not through seeking to destroy
the existing one, but through building it ourselves.

Through his
view of revolution as positive construction, it is important to understand that
Landauer resisted the impulse to suggest a utopic resting point beyond current
relationships. He was careful to point out that ‘[the] utopia is the sum of all
aspirations in a pure and refined state...none of which can achieve its end,
and all of which can only bring about a new topia’. ftn' href="#_ftn22" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[22]

Martin Buber attributes this perspective to his (and Buber’s) understanding
that socialism can only ever be a relative concept, the continual becoming of
human community. ‘Rigidity threatens all realization, what lives and glows
to-day may be crusted over to-morrow and, become all-powerful, suppress the
strivings of the day after’. name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[23]

Peter Marshall frames these concerns around Landauer’s view of revolution as a
perpetual balancing process, whereby relationships are constantly renegotiated
and renewed, resisting the stasis which serves to engender oppressive modes of
organisation. title=""> footnote'>[24] In this
regard, Landauer moves beyond the conventional treatment seen in Weiss’s approach,
refusing the limited conceptions of direct action and strategic vision Weiss provides,
in favour of a revolutionary theory based in a hyper-positivity which seeks to
undermine domination through a constructive and militant
non/counter-participation.

There is much
of merit in Landauer’s approach, particularly with regards to his analysis of
the state and his corresponding view of the need for a resistance grounded in
positive construction. Nonetheless, there are clear limitations to his
approach, not least his general refusal to engage in a politics of
confrontation, in his rejection of the politics of ‘being-against-something’.<a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn' href="#_ftn25" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[25]
Criticism on this point has been most emphatic from Marxists, who have
condemned Landauer for ‘implying a withdrawal from the world of human
exploitation and the ruthless battle against it, to an island where one could
passively observe all these tremendous happenings’. ftn' href="#_ftn26" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[26]

Buber defends Landauer from this charge, claiming that ‘[no] reproach has ever
been falser’, title=""> footnote'>[27] and arguing
that Landauer’s position was rooted in a committed and active desire to see a
revolutionary politics which avoided the tendency to self-destruct. Whilst this
article is sympathetic to Buber’s defence and to Landauer’s sceptical attitude
towards approaches grounded in confrontation, there remain ambiguities here.
Simply put, it is difficult to see what Landauer could offer to those suffering
through relations of domination in which they play little if any constitutive
role. However well-disposed one might be to Landauer’s reading of the state, it
would be difficult if not impossible to extend such analysis to the victims of
imperialism, whether read through statist terms (e.g., the Palestinians) or
capitalist-globalist terms (e.g., the international arms trade). The intention
here is not to reject Landauer, but to consider where the place of more direct resistance
– impeding the flows of oppression – might sit. As will be
discussed in the next section and more extensively in the case study, such
interventions, while manifestly ‘negative’, inhere within themselves important dynamics
of positivity and creativity. In an often-cited passage, Mikhail Bakunin
proclaims that ‘[the] passion for destruction is a creative passion, too!’<a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn' href="#_ftn28" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[28]

There is a danger of an overly-simplistic (and non-contextual) reading of such
a statement; nonetheless, one might ask whether the act of intervening in the performance
of an oppressive relationship can meet the challenge offered by Landauer to
engage in a creative, subversive and essentially constructive counter-relation,
without falling into the trap of what Horrox takes to be ‘the fetishization of
values and reification of state and society’ and the all-too-common ‘lack of
imagination’ displayed by many resistance movements. ftn' href="#_ftn29" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[29]

This paper will return to this question in more detail after considering Simon
Critchley’s discussion of anarchic meta-politics, suggesting that the tensions
between his perspective and Landauer’s might offer productive directions.

Critchley provides
a number of observations and normative perspectives on contemporary anarchism.<a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn' href="#_ftn30" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[30]
Through a Levinasian view of ethics as anarchic meta-politics, where an
anarchic ethics should not seek to mirror the archic sovereignty that it
undermines, and instead ‘remain the negation of totality and not the
affirmation of a new totality’, he outlines a resistance which finds value in
its push to disturb the anti-political ‘policing’ of traditional, archic systems.
This policing limits ‘the radical manifestation of the people’, anti-political
in the sense that ‘politics is the manifestation of the multiplicity that is
the people, of the uncounted demos’. href="#_ftn31" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[31]

Such politics is anarchic in the Levinasian sense of a ‘meta-political
disturbance of the anti-political order of the police’, and thus ‘politics
consists in the manifestation of a dissensus that disturbs the order by which
government wishes to depoliticize society’. href="#_ftn32" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[32]

In more concrete terms, the anarchic ethical imperative becomes ‘the continual
questioning from below of any attempt to establish order from above’.<a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn' href="#_ftn33" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[33]

These concerns
lead Critchley to consider a resistance performed at an interstitial distance
from the state, a distance from the state that is ‘ normal'>within the state, that is, within and upon the state’s
territory...a distance that has to be opened from the inside’. Against the
Schmittian impulse towards political closure, ‘the task of radical political
articulation is the creation of
interstitial distance within the state territory’. In short, Critchley sees a
politics which opens spaces for ‘working independently of the state, working in
a situation’. title=""> footnote'>[34] Contra
Landauer’s spaces of autonomous construction, these spaces provide a level at
which ‘the atomizing, expropriating force of neo-liberal globalization is to be
met, contested and resisted’. It is a space to work ‘within the state against
the state’.<span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[35]

Critchley argues that it is in the play of this distance that a ‘true
democracy’, defined as the performance of ‘cooperative alliances, aggregations
of conviviality and affinity at the level of society that materially deform the
state power that threatens to saturate them’, might be enacted.<a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn' href="#_ftn36" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[36]
Whilst Critchley’s broader discussion on this point (and on others) might be
criticised for sliding either too far towards Gramscian counter-hegemony, or
towards liberal reformism, the interest here lies in his moves to open spaces
for a democratic/political dissensus which resists the impulse towards
political closure, refusing the tendency to form a new totality by opening
spaces within the existing order as a continuous meta-political disturbance.

Moving to more
explicit discussions of civil disobedience, Critchley sees ‘the great virtue of
contemporary anarchist practice [as] the spectacular, creative and imaginative
disturbance of the state’. name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[37]

Focussing on the comical tactics of groups such as Ya Basta! and Billionaires
for Bush, he finds value in their politics of subversion. ftn' href="#_ftn38" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[38]

[It] is the
exposed, self-ridiculing and self-undermining character of these forms of
protest that I find most compelling as opposed to the pious humourlessness of
most forms of vanguardist active nihilism and some forms of contemporary
protest...Groups like the Pink Bloc or Billionaires for Bush are performing
their powerlessness in the face of
power in a profoundly powerful way. Politically, humour is a powerless power
that uses its position of weakness to expose those in power through forms of
self-aware ridicule. This is why the strategy of non-violent warfare is so
important. Of course, history is habitually written by the people with the guns
and sticks and one cannot expect to defeat them with mocking satire and feather
dusters. Yet, as the history of ultra-leftist active nihilism eloquently shows,
one is lost the moment one picks up the guns and sticks. Anarchic political
resistance should not seek to mimic and mirror the archic violent sovereignty
it opposes. It is rather a question of the cultivation of a <i
style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>pacifist activism that deploys
techniques of non-violent warfare or what we might even call ‘tactical
frivolity’
.<span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[39]

What is compelling here is
the refusal to emulate the practices of that which is opposed, through a
self-conscious self-undermining which seeks to disturb and combat prevailing
structures while maintaining and performing a continual awareness of one’s powerful
powerlessness, and indeed one’s struggle to resist the continual impulse towards
archic practices. Critchley ties this perspective to a turn in recent years
away from a resistance grounded in common theoretical doctrines, usually
Marxism, to one grounded in a shared sense of outrage and grievance, ‘namely
that unrestrained multi-national corporate, military capitalism is wrong, that
war is the wrong response to the grief of 9/11, etc.’. ftn' href="#_ftn40" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[40]

He argues that anarchism has moved away from its traditional concern with
freedom and autonomy to a concern with ‘responsibility, whether sexual, ecological
or socio-economic, [flowing from] an experience of conscience about the manifold
ways in which the West ravages the rest’. href="#_ftn41" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[41]

Whilst such a perspective might sound problematic, and the invocation to
prioritise between ethical responsibility and freedom may be missing the
opportunity to play the two together, his presentation of contemporary
anarchist practice as one which flourishes through its centeredness around an
infinite responsibility to the Other, rather than one which insists upon
adherence to a totalising theoretical doctrine, can be more readily accepted.
Anarchist disturbance works against that which motivates anger (which Critchley
takes to be the first political emotion), and is thus a deep and active
expression of the politicization and democratization introduced above.

Whilst
Critchley can offer valuable perspectives on contemporary anarchist practice,
his approach fails to engage with the potential to engage with the direct
creativity of the dissensus and resistance he advocates (which, as will be
discussed below, ties him oddly to Landauer’s significantly different
approach). This can be seen in his criticism of David Graeber’s discussions
about consensus and autonomy. Criticising the ‘dull and emptily procedural’
strand of Graeber’s detailed discussions about consensus processes in radical
groups, Critchley suggests that ‘these techniques aim towards the goal of
consensus and are rooted in unquestioned conceptions of freedom and autonomy’,
and even that they are ‘simply liberal conceptions’. ftn' href="#_ftn42" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[42]

Whilst Graeber’s writings might occasionally slip into this territory (although
less so in his more recent Direct Action,
published after Critchley’s work), this is by no means true of other anarchist
writing on these matters. An important example of the struggles inherent in
moving towards a consensus process can be found in Uri Gordon’s <i
style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>Anarchy Alive!. ftn' href="#_ftn43" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[43]
<i
style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'> Indeed the ubiquity of the term
‘consensus process’ amongst
anarchists suggests that Critchley’s position might at the very least be termed
uncharitable. There are also countless counter-examples to the charge of
displaying ‘unquestioned conceptions of freedom and autonomy’, notably Emma
Goldman, who argued that ‘finalities are for gods and governments, not for the
human intellect’, and that ‘in the battle for freedom...it is the <i
style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>struggle for, not so much the attainment
of, liberty, that develops all that is strongest, sturdiest and finesse in
human character’. title=""> footnote'>[44] Indeed
Landauer and Buber’s concern with the dangers of rigidity and the necessarily
relative character of socialism serves well here.

This
correction is not intended to score a relatively unimportant point against
Critchley, but to expose what is argued to be his undue focus on dissensus over
consensus. Qualifying his critique of Graeber, he argues that ‘politics as an
ethical practice should not assume a pre-given or taken-for-granted notion of
autonomy, but is rather hetero-affectively interpellated by a demand that
divides it and which impels it into political sequences whose goal would be the
cultivation of autonomous spaces...a key concept in such a politics is not
consensus but dissensus’.<a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn' href="#_ftn45" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[45]

Whilst this article accords broadly with Critchley’s positive view of dissensus
as a meta-political disturbance of the depoliticizing totality of archic
systems, he seems unwilling to engage in the tension between a non-totalising
dissensus and the concrete normativities which occur within that dissensus, instead
casting anarchy primarily as negation. In one passage, he speaks of ‘the
eternal temptation of the anarchist tradition, particularly for someone like
Kropotkin’ as the desire to see ‘the vertical hierarchy of the state
structure...replaced with horizontally allied associations of free,
self-determining human beings’. name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[46]

The desire is dismissed as unattainable in present conditions, not
unreasonably, but this should not end the discussion on concrete normative
perspectives; unfortunately his apparent deployment of a dichotomy between negation
and sovereignty/totality precludes such a move. More value might be found if we
engage in the tension between negativity and sovereignty, asking whether the
refusal to establish a new totality in the place of the old can remain
normative beyond dissensus (or might at least find a productive space in the
struggle to resist a new totality).

It is here
that Landauer and Critchley might be brought against one another, not in a move
to reconcile their respective positions, but to consider the productive
tensions which might arise. Where Critchley sees value in a politics rooted in
the meta-political disturbance of an anti-political order, a dissensus which
seeks to open spaces for radical articulations within and against the state,
Landauer favours a hyper-positivity which, while favourable to the opening of
spaces within the state, rejects the question of working (directly) against it,
focussing efforts on the immediate creation of concrete alternatives. From
Critchley’s position, one might argue that Landauer runs the risk of
establishing new totalities, of refusing to engage in the politics of anger and
responsibility to the other by his rejection of confrontation (albeit a
subversive confrontation). For Critchley, impeding the flows of neo-liberal governance,
working against the anti-politics of dominant systems, is the imperative of
anarchist practice. From Landauer’s position, Critchley must be condemned for
his preference for negation and dissensus, which holds little hope for
reforming the relationships which perpetuate domination. The two find common
ground in their reluctance to engage in the concrete positivities of negation,
albeit for different reasons; for Landauer, challenging prevailing sets of
relations can only occur through the construction of alternatives away from
those dominant; for Critchley, the task lies in a constant questioning, an
ongoing negation as a move to ‘true democracy’, without place for considering
the more concrete acts of creation in that negation. Here, the challenge is to
engage with the potentially productive elements within the tension between the
two writers, exploring the potential for an approach which engages with the
struggle between the power of a negatory meta-political disturbance and the
imperative to construct new relationships as a/the means to undermining those
which prevail.

To engage in
the tensions between Critchley and Landauer’s positions is not to suggest that
they can be brought together unproblematically, nor is it to imply that the
warnings offered by both writers about the dangers of not taking their
positions are anything but serious. Rather, it is to ask whether an approach
which takes these dangers seriously, but simultaneously struggles to push
against the shortcomings discussed, might find a place in how we think and
practice anarchist interventions in the international context. A major part of
this approach is to examine and discuss the inherent positivities within
actions of dissensus. After considering some strands which might be available
here, the article will move to a discussion of the ‘Raytheon 9’ as a case study
which may provide some illumination on the challenges outlined.

Impeding Flows,
Creating Flows

In the IR/security
context, the concern here is with acts of limitation and resistance which
nonetheless might serve to engage in concrete and self-conscious acts of
creation, particularly with regards to rewriting dominant narratives of agency.
This section discusses several examples offered by others as a means to
considering possible sites of construction, before the article moves to the
more substantive case study.

Discussing the
actions of Earth First!, a radical environmentalist group, Richard Day suggests
‘that most actions oriented to impeding flows have a constructive moment,
precisely to the extent that they prevent or limit the havoc wreaked by
industrial capitalism. Human private property will have little value once we
have all died of cancer or radiation sickness’. href="#_ftn47" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[47]

Day gives further examples, including the Chipko movement active in the 1970’s
and 1980’s across India, which sought to protect forests and watersheds through
‘treehugging’, placing their bodies between the trees and the saws which would
destroy them. He also discusses the workplace sabotage carried out by the IWW
(Industrial Workers of the World) in the early part of the twentieth century,
the US dockworkers’ blockade of major ports in solidarity with the protests in
Seattle in 1999, and what he takes to be the most ‘spectacular example of a
creative direct action to impede the flows of state and corporate power’, the
Black Bloc tactic. title=""> footnote'>[48]

By
participating in a Bloc, activists offer up their semi-protected bodies to
state-sponsored violence, in the hope not only of saving other protesters from
physical harm, but also to provoke shock, horror and perhaps even dissent among
liberal citizens who hold to values like freedom of speech and the right to
legitimate protest. Also, with their balaclavas, garbage can lids and baseball
bats, Black Bloc members offer a parody of the riot police, and thereby
threaten the legitimacy of the monopoly of state and corporate forms on the use
of violent force to attain their ends.

Perhaps most
subversive of all, though, is the challenge that the Black Bloc tactic offers
to the monopoly on invisibility and silence, with its active ignorance of the
command not only to behave well, but to be available to be normal'>seen behaving well. In refusing to follow the rule of transparency
which guides the societies of control, Bloc subjects represent glaring
exceptions within the domesticated and privileged strata of the global North.
Not only has the system of cybernetic regulation failed to modulate their
behaviour properly, but they also seem to be immune to self-discipline, fear of
physical punishment, and verbal and physical attacks by other activists an
academics [sic
]. ftn' href="#_ftn49" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[49]

Day finds in the Bloc a
specific constructive dimension, directed both toward the immediate situation
and the popular imagination, which would find little place in Landauer and
Critchley, yet which engages in the struggle to resist the totalising impulse while
forming (or, more properly, engaging in the ambiguous struggle of seeking to
form) micro-relations of solidarity and mutuality. Indeed one might go a step
beyond Day here, specifically on the question of their self-discipline; while
the Black Bloc tactic is formed largely around an explicit refusal to adhere to
the self-discipline demanded by the state, alongside this runs a clear
enactment of an alternative relation of self-discipline which, to use Day’s
terminology, is founded more in affinity than hegemony. It is a self-discipline
which is built through mutual understanding and discussion rather than an
unproblematic acceptance of authority. As Graeber notes, contrary to media
representation, Black Bloc members at Seattle were mostly ‘fastidious about
their dedication to nonviolence’, even in the face of physical violence from
other activists angry with the Bloc’s window-smashing tactics.<a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn' href="#_ftn50" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[50]
Furthermore, as Graeber makes clear, this mutual understanding is not the
unproblematic adherence to ‘consensus’ suggested in Critchley’s critique above,
but an ongoing process of self-reflection and contextual awareness, which, as
Day shows, often for the Bloc finds its value precisely in the absence of
consensus.<span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[51]

Perhaps, then, the refusal to behave, while in the context of the Bloc clearly
an act of disturbance and (usually minor) destruction, inheres within itself a
powerful rewriting of the politics of agency, a challenge to totalising
conceptions of political action and legitimacy, and a construction of modes of
intervention and self-discipline founded in affinity, in a coterminous and
indistinguishable consensus and dissensus. Perhaps this refusal is an integral
part of what Day takes to be a crucial element of prefigurative struggle, that
‘[avoiding] the quest for masters requires some experience in alternatives to
slavery’.<span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[52]

Another
potential contribution can be found in Christine Sylvester’s discussion of the Greenham
Common Women’s Peace Camp, which was established in the 1980’s to protest
against the stationing of Cruise Missiles at the RAF base in Berkshire. Sylvester
suggests that the actions at the camp over a number of years opened spaces for
significant rewritings of agency in IR. She notes how the women

danced...on the missile silos under
construction at the base; they blockaded the base gates when missiles were sent
on manoeuvres...they domesticated the forces by sticking potatoes up the
exhaust pipes of convoy vehicles. Throughout, some campers burned out, became
angry, and left. Others stayed angry on, in, and around the fence – that
emblematic boundary of security that could not keep them out.
<a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn' href="#_ftn53" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[53]

In refusing to mimic the decision making
models and security practices of traditional IR, instead engaging in consensus
processes and friendly discussions with the soldiers on the base, the women
engaged in what Critchley would call the performance of powerlessness in the
face of power. In the traditional script, they were irrelevant: ‘Peace camps do
not lead us to the edge of war. They do not stockpile weapons and hurtle us
into arms races. They do not have significant trade patterns with the world.
They do not sit at the UN. They do not matter’. href="#_ftn54" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[54]

Nonetheless, as they disrupted the actions of the base, they also publically
challenged dominant expectations about agency in IR, most obviously with
regards to the place of women, but more significantly, with respect to the place
of ordinary people. By physically interacting with the tools of IR, with jeeps
and missiles and soldiers, they challenged the traditional distinction between
the global and the local. name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[55]

In essence, a group of women in rural Berkshire were normal'>doing international politics, challenging popular imaginations of
what was possible, prefiguring concrete alternatives. More expansively,

the peace camp became the bustling
point of energy for a good anarchic system where in the absence of
rule-governed expectations, there was room to change what and where one was
properly supposed to be through actions at the fences of assigned place.
Constructivist Alexander Wendt claims that “Anarchy is What State Make It.”
Anarchy is also what a variety of yet-to-be-heard people of international
relations, and their “strange” politics and conversations and empathies, make
of it...we might rehabilitate “anarchy” to think about the ways contemporary
relations international scramble and refuse IR standards of identity and place.
<a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn' href="#_ftn56" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[56]

Leaving aside the
ambiguities inherent within the suggestion of a ‘good anarchic system’,
Sylvester’s neat inversion of Wendt’s dictum opens the door to a perpetual
rewriting of the terms of IR through the interventions of grassroots agents.
The women of Greenham Common, through their disturbances, were engaged in a
struggle to reimagine and recreate the boundaries of possibility for ordinary
people to engage in IR, denying the global, elitist and militarist dimensions
as they publically practiced and formed counter-relations of localism and anti-militarism.

The final
example here comes from Polly Pallister-Wilkins and her discussion of anarchist
direct action against the Wall being constructed by Israel in the Occupied
Palestinian Territories. name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[57]

She examines the approach made by the Anarchists Against the Wall (AATW), an
Israeli group of activists, making the central point that their actions
represent a merging of anarchist ideas of the politics of acting (as opposed to
‘asking’) with Foucauldian perspectives on networks of power. What is of more
concern here is her examination of how AATW exemplify the refusal to ask, in
favour of ‘doing’. As opposed to other activist groups, such as Peace Now, AATW
are defined through ‘a refutation of the assumption that as a collective of
people hoping to change something they will take their claim to the state’.<a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn' href="#_ftn58" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[58]
Pallister-Wilkins offers three reasons why AATW act rather than ask; the first
is a fear of rendering power to institutions of oppression, reinforcing a
politics of demand; the second is the more pragmatic concern that the state
will not listen; the third is the ‘almost impossible task of identifying all
those interest groups who have converged to benefit from the separation Wall
and thus cast a large and almost impenetrable network of domination’.<a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn' href="#_ftn59" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[59]
Yonatan Pollak, a prominent member of AATW, articulated these concerns when
discussing the role of direct action, stating that ‘we do not ask anyone to
stop the constructions [of the Wall], because no one has the legitimate right
to engage this construction. We simply go and try and stop the work where it is
being constructed’. title=""> footnote'>[60] Again, the
actions of the group are most obviously rooted in a disturbance, in finding
spaces of distance within the state to work against its practices. Nonetheless,
in refusing to allow the state to mediate their demands, and in engaging with
the dominant security network at its local and diffuse level (bringing in the
Foucauldian concern with networks and nodal points of domination, rather than
the traditional focus on the state as the
pivotal point of security), AATW open spaces for a reimagination of how agency
might be advanced, disrupting dominant ontologies of agency through their
creation of alternative relations of intervention and practice. Uri Gordon
notes the powerful impact that the actions of AATW have on the Israeli public,
particularly when they act alongside Palestinians, and challenge dominant
notions of identity, existential threats, fear and ethnicity.<a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn' href="#_ftn61" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[61]
The activists’ explicit practice of the conflict as one founded in joint
struggle against authority, rather than one based in entrenched ethnic
difference, constitutes a strong and challenging rewriting of the relations
central to security practices in the region, a disturbance which is nonetheless
deeply creative.

The Raytheon 9

The remainder of this
article will examine one particular case study, that of the ‘Raytheon 9’, as a
means to elaborating on the discussions above. This study is not presented as
an exemplary example of the challenges posed above – indeed, the inherent
ambiguities of the challenges preclude any such exemplar. Instead, it is a
study which, while problematic, may help to suggest potential routes for future
interventions. It is also a study which engages with an important concern for
many critical approaches to security and IR, i.e., the international arms
trade. In doing so, and in approaching the challenges of responding to the arms
trade from an anarchist perspective, the study seeks to animate the potentials
for anarchism to make concrete interventions in prevailing concerns and
debates.

At 08:15 on
Wednesday 9th August, 2006, around thirty members of the Derry Anti
War Coalition (DAWC) assembled at the Raytheon plant on the outskirts of Derry.
They had decided to try and gain access to the plant at a meeting two days
before, in response to the use of Raytheon software in guided missile systems
which were being used by the Israeli Air Force in its assault on Lebanon. At this
point over a thousand Lebanese civilians had been killed since 12th
July 2006. When the opportunity to enter the building arose, those thirty
attempted to gain access to Raytheon’s offices. Most were prevented from
gaining access by the police, but ten were able to enter (one subsequently left
for personal reasons).

‘We piled
desks and chairs against the doors. Documents found on the premises were thrown
from the windows to supporters outside. After our supporters were moved away by
the police, computers, already damaged, were also hurled out. Our main target
was the mainframe: we knew that putting this out of action would disrupt
Raytheon’s internal ordering system and thus hamper production, including
production of missiles. The mainframe was decommissioned with a
fire-extinguisher.

...After about
eight hours inside, a contingent of police, perhaps 40 strong, smashed through
the doors wearing riot gear and stood in a semi-circle around us, many holding
Perspex shields, some pointing plastic-bullet guns. Holding formation, they
inched forward while the officer in command shouted orders to us to “surrender”
and lie on the floor. We continued playing cards at a desk in the centre of the
room.<span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[62]

After they were arrested,
the nine were charged with aggravated burglary and affray, later amended to
criminal damage and affray. On 11th June 2008, by a unanimous vote
of the jury, they were found not guilty on three charges of criminal damage
(the charge of affray having been dismissed by a judge prior to this). The
centrepiece of the Raytheon 9’s argument was that they had acted to prevent the
commission of war crimes. In his statement to press and supporters following
the verdict, Eamonn McCann stated that

the jury has
accepted that we were reasonable in our belief that: the Israeli Defence Forces
were guilty of war crimes in Lebanon in the summer of 2006; that the Raytheon
company, including its facility in Derry, was aiding and abetting the
commission of these crimes; and that the action we took was intended to have,
and did have, the effect of hampering or delaying the commission of war crimes.

We have been
vindicated.<span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[63]

The actions of the nine
were part of a longer campaign to expel Raytheon from Derry, which had been
ongoing since the plant was established in 1999, and which had employed tactics
including citizens’ juries, die-ins, vigils, protests and occupations.<a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn' href="#_ftn64" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[64]
The campaign also attempted to press the city council and the Northern Ireland
assembly to withdraw its support and permission for the company’s presence (an
emotive issue for many involved, given the strong support for Raytheon provided
by SDLP leader John Hume, who had recently received the Nobel Peace Prize, and
was well respected by anti-war communities in Northern Ireland).<a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn' href="#_ftn65" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[65]

In beginning to discuss what the actions of the Raytheon 9 might offer in thinking about
anarchism in the context of IR, it is important to note that the group itself
and the broader DAWC were not an explicitly anarchist group, and was ‘a loose
alliance of human rights activists, radical Christians, feminists, Republicans,
anarchists, socialists and environmentalists’. href="#_ftn66" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[66]

Nonetheless their actions can offer interesting perspectives on the discussions
above about the ambiguities and possibilities of anarchist interventions in the
politics of IR and security.

The Raytheon 9 performed an intervention which served to undermine dominant understandings
about the site of security practice while concurrently practicing and proposing
alternatives in a manner determined to engage with dominant public assumptions.
This intervention can be read in two interrelated ways; first, through the target
of their intervention; second, through the manner of their intervention. That
their target was not the state, or another accepted ‘political’ mediator of
security (such as the UN), is not insignificant. In a similar situation to that
discussed by Pallister-Wilkins in the context of resistance against the Wall,
the Raytheon 9 provoked a reimagination of the site of security and
responsibility, engaging with a specific point in the networks of power which
made possible the assault on Lebanon (a perspective resisted by politicians in
Derry City Council where even Sinn Féin politicians who had condemned the
violence in Lebanon refused to acknowledge the role of Raytheon).<a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn' href="#_ftn67" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[67]
In refusing the traditional site of security, the Raytheon 9 engaged in what
Critchley might call a meta-political disturbance, denying the totalising
conception placed on acceptable conceptions of security, and challenging the
common claims of the arms trade that their role in such affairs is
non-political. Through this intervention, the Raytheon 9 served to reform the
relations which make up the narrow sites of security, demonstrating to the
citizens of Derry that the depoliticising narrative of a security politics
located in the alienated realms of the Foreign Office and the UN was not necessary,
and that an alternative narrative which saw the site of security as located on
the outskirts of their city was possible.

More importantly, in their refusal to adhere to the orthodoxy of statist mediation, the
Raytheon 9 undermined dominant ontologies of agency. The action itself cannot
be divorced from the wider campaign against Raytheon’s presence in Derry,
which, from 1999 until the plant eventually shut in 2010, made the case to
local people that the company should not be made welcome in their city.<a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn' href="#_ftn68" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[68]<span
style="mso-spacerun: yes"> This argument was made by invoking
links between Derry’s own violent past and the ongoing events in Lebanon.<span
class=MsoFootnoteReference> name="_ftnref" title="">[69]

Particular ties were drawn at the time of the Raytheon 9’s actions between the
Bloody Sunday massacre of 1972 and the 28 civilian deaths which
resulted from a Raytheon-guided ‘bunker-buster’ missile hitting a house in
Qana, Lebanon, on 30th July 2006. href="#_ftn70" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[70]

Feeling that an important part of the network which facilitated the Israeli
assault was located nearby, the Raytheon 9 claim that they ‘had a legal, moral
and political duty’ to ‘stop or at least delay war crimes’. ftn' href="#_ftn71" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[71]

In refusing the expectation that ordinary people should limit their
representation to a politics of asking, and in taking government inaction as a
cue to themselves act, the Raytheon 9 might be said to be engaging in a
manifestation of the opening of spaces to act against the disciplining
authority of the totalising state, derived through anger and responsibility,
that Critchley advocates. Nonetheless it would be limiting to deny the deeply
creative aspects of the action. Whilst Landauer may have criticised the
destructive and confrontational elements of the action, in this destruction
they also practiced new relations of agency with regards to political practice,
simultaneously refusing the mediation of their actions through totalising
conceptions of agency while creating alternatives founded in affinity, in the
local and in responsibility. This might be said to have occurred both at the
level of action - of what they did, of their capacity to limit the conduct of
the Israeli assault, and at a broader level of provoking popular imagination
about the role of ordinary people in security practice. They practiced and
preached the supposedly apolitical realm of the arms trade, of security
politics and of IR as the agentic concern of ordinary people (and particularly
of local people), not solely in the
traditional context of political representation (in various forms), but as a
direct and practicable normative concern. In Landaueresque terms, the Raytheon
9 can be seen as overcoming the relations which make up dominant conceptions of
security practice through a construction and contraction of alternative relations
which seek to intervene in fundamentally different ways. The image painted in
the quotation above in which, as riot police surrounded the nine, they
continued to play cards, is remarkably evocative. In one respect, the men
refused to take their roles in the expected performance of deference to the
arrival of the real agents (of the
police, to bring Critchley’s term to the ground). In another, the riot police were
forced into an unanticipated tableau of the activists’ own creation, the forces
and protectors of militarism rendered mockingly irrelevant, absurd and pathetic
in the face of the Raytheon 9’s powerful powerlessness.

The above
considerations give some indication of how the broader discussions in this
article might find more concrete expression. However, there are ambiguities in
the Raytheon 9 example which should be examined further, as a means to engaging
with the essential ambiguities which form a part of any such intervention. The
following paragraphsDerru discuss the Raytheon 9’s potentially limited approach to
security, and the legalistic dimensions of the Raytheon 9’s actions.

As has been
suggested, the actions of the Raytheon 9 served in part to destabilise dominant
logics of security agency. However, it might also be suggested that, while they
served to undermine one approach, they also instantiated a new absolutist
discourse. The unproblematic use of slogans such as ‘War stoppers are the real
crime stoppers’ and ‘Resisting war crimes is not a crime’ reifies a security
founded in and secured by totalising logics, inverting dominant discourses,
rather than engaging in the challenge to resist and dispel such polarities.<a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn' href="#_ftn72" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[72]
The Raytheon 9 also made a number of concessions to a legalistic discourse
through their actions. They waited to be arrested after smashing the office,
and, in court, insisted that their actions were legal, that they were acting to
prevent a greater crime, i.e. ‘the commission of war crimes’.<a
style='mso-footnote-id:ftn' href="#_ftn73" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
class=MsoFootnoteReference>[73]
In addition to a legalistic defence of the actions came appeals to place the arms
trade beyond the law, and for heads of
states
to limit Israel’s aggression. href="#_ftn74" name="_ftnref" title=""><span
style='mso-special-character:footnote'>[74]

There is some space to speak critically about these aspects of Raytheon 9’s
action; particularly that, unlike AATW, they did in part serve to render power
to an oppressive institution (or, in keeping with the concerns here, serve to
reify dominant conceptions of agency even while opening spaces for new
narratives). The concerns which would be raised by both Landauer and Critchley
with respect to this dynamic need not be restated. To the Raytheon 9’s credit,
there are rereadings of this tension which paint the situation in a more
positive light. For instance, it could be argued that the importance they
placed on being tried by jury transferred their appeals from the state to
ordinary citizens who, as peers, were those from whom they wished to derive
legitimacy. It could also be argued that in appealing to the statist framework
for ‘vindication’, they performed an ironic subversion, turning the system
against itself as a tool for their own renarration of agency. Nonetheless there
is an ambiguity here which cannot be ignored and which, to some extent,
vindicates Landauer’s concerns about the paucity of working ‘against’ the
state, and Critchley’s concerns about seeking any unproblematic positivity, as
opposed to a continuous negation of that which motivates outrage.

A productive
route might be to take these ambiguities as central to how such interventions
are performed, not as a motivation to inaction, but as part of a continuous
struggle to engage in the essentially compromised nature of resistance in a
responsible manner; engaging in negation while maintaining a cautious awareness
of its potentially limited and limiting features, and while exhibiting a
sceptical but active awareness of the positive counter-narratives and counter-relations
which might be offered, and indeed prioritised over those which might render
power in an unproductive direction. Emphasising those elements of the Raytheon
9’s actions which might be read as seeking to form alternative relations of
agency with regards to security highlights both what might be seen to be the
most engaging and empowering dynamic within their intervention, and provoke an
imagination of how anarchism can engage with the politics of IR and security in
a form which engages in the struggle to resist totalising practices while
maintaining a commitment to positivity. Whilst there are problematic dimensions
running through the Raytheon 9, their intervention suggests/opens more than
might at first be apparent; in engaging in the play of agency, actively
refusing and reforming dominant ontologies, they provoke important reflections for
how we think anarchism in this context, moving away from overly globalist and
idealist approaches to one which thinks, practices and recreates the
international at the local.

This article has argued
that an anarchist approach to international relations and security studies
might find force when engaging at the level of concrete, grassroots practices.
Anarchist interventions have the potential to engage in counter-narrations and
counter-relations which undermine and reform dominant ontologies of agency, challenging
globalism and elitism by practicing both their negation and their alternatives.
Engaging in the struggle between the ambiguous realms of negativity and
positivity opens spaces for a negotiation which seeks to limit prevailing
relations of oppression and domination while practicing and preaching the
creation of new relations. Anarchist direct action is concerned with making
positive interventions in the prevailing system, while prefiguring relations
which look beyond the limits of that system. An anarchist intervention into
IR/security should place these concerns at its heart, examining the
opportunities to undermine and recreate prevailing relations of agency, seeking
a fundamental democratisation of the terms and tensions of the global field.



ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn1" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[1]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Alex Prichard, ‘What Can the Absence of Anarchism tell us About the
History and Purpose of International Relations’, normal'>Review of International Studies, forthcoming.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn2" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[2]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Thomas G. Weiss, ‘The Tradition of Philosophical Anarchism and
Future Directions in World Policy’, Journal
of Peace Research
12, no. 1 (1975): 4.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn11" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[11]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Richard Ashley, ‘Untying the Sovereign State: A Double Reading of
the Anarchy Problematique’, Millennium:
Journal of International Studies
17, no.2 (1988): 227-262.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn12" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[12]
<span
lang=EN-GB> James Horrox, ‘Reinventing Resistance: Constructive Anarchism in
Gustav Landauer’s Social Philosophy’, in New
Perspectives on Anarchism,
eds. Nathan J. Jun and Shane Wahl (Plymouth:
Lexington Books, 2010), 189-209.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn13" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[13]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Cited in Martin Buber, Paths
in Utopia
(New York: Macmillan, 1988 [1949]), 46.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn14" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[14]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Richard Day, Gramsci is Dead (London:
Pluto Press, 2005), 124-125.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn15" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[15]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Cited in Peter Marshall, Demanding
the Impossible: A History of Anarchism
(London: Fontana, 1993), 411.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn16" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[16]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Horrox, Reinventing
Resistance
, 192, 195.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn18" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[18]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Day, Gramsci is Dead,
124.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn22" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[22]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Cited in Horrox, ‘Reinventing Resistance’, 197.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn23" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[23]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Buber, Paths in Utopia, 56.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn24" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[24]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Marshall, Demanding the
Impossible,
412-413.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn25" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[25]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Horrox, ‘Reinventing Resistance’, 202.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn26" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[26]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Buber, Paths in Utopia, 50.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn28" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[28]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Mikhail Bakunin, ‘The Reaction in Germany’, in normal'>Bakunin on Anarchism, ed., Sam Dolgoff (Montréal: Black Rose Books,
1980), 57.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn29" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[29]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Horrox, ‘Reinventing Resistance’, 199.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn30" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[30]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Simon Critchley, Infinitely
Demanding: Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance
(London: Verso,
2008): 88-131. This article will not engage with the problematic uses of
Laclauian conceptions of hegemony which accompany Critchley’s position. Whilst
it could be argued that they limit his approach, the engagement here does not
rest on this aspect. For a critique of Laclau which accords with the broader
perspectives offered here, see Day, Gramsci
is Dead,
70-76.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn31" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[31]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Critchley, Infinitely
Demanding,
128-129.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn38" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[38]
<span
lang=EN-GB> In the context of the UK, one might look towards groups such as the
Space Hijackers (http://www.spacehijackers.org)
to find similar examples.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn43" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[43]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Uri Gordon, Anarchy Alive!
Anti-Authoritarian Politics from Practice to Theory
(London: Pluto, 2008),
47-78.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn44" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[44]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Emma Goldman, ‘What I Believe’, in normal'>Red Emma Speaks, ed., Alix Kates Shulman (London: Wildwood House,
1979), 35.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn45" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[45]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Critchley, Infinitely
Demanding,
128.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn47" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[47]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Day, Gramsci is Dead, 26.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn50" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[50]
<span
lang=EN-GB> David Graeber, Direct Action:
An Ethnography
(Edinburgh: AK Press, 2009), 497. 406-409

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn51" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[51]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Ibid., 406-409. See also 287-359 for a broader discussion of consensus processes.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn52" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[52]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Day, Gramsci is Dead, 34.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn53" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[53]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Christine Sylvester, <i
style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>Feminist Theory and International Relations
in a Postmodern Era (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 185.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn54" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[54]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Christine Sylvester, ‘The Contributions of Feminist Theory to
International Relations’, in International
Theory: Positivism and Beyond,
eds. Steve Smith, Ken Booth and Marysia
Zalewski (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 265.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn56" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[56]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Christine Sylvester, Feminist
International Relations: An Unfinished Journey
(Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 2002), 261.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn57" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[57]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Polly Pallister-Wilkins, ‘Radical Ground: Israeli and Palestinian
Activists and Joint Protest Against the Wall’, normal'>Social Movement Studies 8, no. 4 (2009): 393-407.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn61" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[61]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Gordon, Anarchy Alive!, 156-157.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn62" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[62]
<span
lang=EN-GB> Eamonn McCann, The Raytheon 9
(Derry: Derry Anti-War Coalition), 8-9.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn64" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[64]
<span
lang=EN-GB> McCann, The Raytheon 9,
29-31.

ftn' href="#_ftnref" name="_ftn72" title=""><span
lang=EN-GB>[72]
<span
lang=EN-GB> McCann, The Raytheon 9, 9.
This is not to deny the potential value in such statements, but to highlight
their ambiguity and limited nature.


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