P021
Entanglements of coping and resistance: precarious living in (re-)peripheralizing regions

Convenors:
Luisa Steur (University of Amsterdam)
Elisabeth Schober (University of Oslo)
Chair:
Dimitra Kofti
Discussant:
George Baca, Monique Nuijten
Location:
U6-21
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

This panel reflects on the ways coping and resistance become intertwined in people's everyday engagements with precarization and crisis in (re)peripheralizing regions affected by "overheated" globalization.

Long abstract:

Global "overheating" (Eriksen) has led to a re-peripheralization of regions that earlier seemed to be attaining a prosperous, stable position in the world system. From Southern Europe to the US Deep South and other "internal peripheries", austerity, neoliberal place-making, and the precarization of labor have become hegemonic political answers to systemic change (Friedman). This panel engages with instances of people resisting against, as well as coping with, the ways their lives become restructured as a consequence. Of particular interest are how local strategies of coping and resistance in these regions are dialectically intertwined: everyday strategies of coping can make people turn away from political engagement; the capitalist logic of competition looming over any livelihood enterprise can threaten to undermine political solidarity - yet at another point in time, the only way of coping in daily life becomes resistance and the only way to sustain political solidarity is through building economic alternatives. What determines when alternative work arrangements (cooperatives, ecological farming) lead to political mobilization challenging the wider system, or, on the contrary, become caught in securing a continued daily life under the new conditions? How can we explain the paradox in various (re)peripheralizing regions where a proud regional history of political resistance is claimed while people simultaneously articulate a strong sense of hopelessness regarding the possibility of directing social change? And what kind of "silencing" of relational histories (Sider and Smith) - concerning political struggle, political economy, or both - occurs in favour of either coping or resistance?