Oct 162014

cptOctober 15, 2014: My article Debating Violence on a Desert Island: Engels, Dühring and Robinson Crusoe [behind paywall] is now officially out in Contemporary Political Theory.  Here is the abstract:

Ever since the publication in 1719 of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, the novel’s eponymous protagonist has had a pervasive presence in the modern social and cultural imaginary, giving rise to an entire literary genre known as Robinsonades. In Anti-Dühring (1877), Friedrich Engels identifies such a Robinsonade in the work of Eugen von Dühring, the target of his polemic, and draws on it for a critique of ahistorical theories of violence. The particular version of the Robinsonade Engels ascribes to Dühring is fabricated, yet a close examination of this fabrication suggests that it serves important analytic and interpretive purposes. Ironically, Engels’s critique of Robinsonades is so compelling that it ends up undermining his own tendency to economic and technological reductionism. Despite Engels’s attempts to distance himself from the Robinsonade he projects onto Dühring, the Crusoe story acts as a fraught supplement to his own theory of violence. In particular, it reveals the tensions in his work between, on the one hand, economic and technological reductionism, and on the other hand, attention to social, cultural and symbolic forces without which no plausible history of violence can be written.

Oct 082013

cptSeptember 10, 2013: My article Debating Violence on a Desert Island: Engels, Dühring and Robinson Crusoe [behind paywall] has been published by Contemporary Political Theory. While it is not yet out in print, it is available online as part of CPT’s Advance Online Publication. The article is about Friedrich Engels’s theory of violence and the use  of Robinson Crusoe as a figure in Engels’s conceptualization of violence and in his critique of Eugen Dühring.

Dec 042012

December 1, 2012: The new issue of Political Theory is out. It includes a special section on “Machiavelli’s Politics” with two articles, one by John McCormick and one by Yours truly: Plebeian Politics: Machiavelli and the Ciompi Uprising. The Ciompi Uprising of 1378 was a revolt of Florentine textile workers, and it marked a turning point in Florentine history and a favorite motif of successive generations of historians, including Machiavelli.


May 232012

May 23, 2012:  The new issue of New Political Science contains our symposium on Johan Galtung’s concept of structural violence. Contributors include Andrew Dilts (Loyola Marymount University), Yves Winter (University of Minnesota), Thomas Biebricher (Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt), Eric Johnson (University of Florida), Antonio Y. Vázquez-Arroyo (University of Minnesota), and Joan Cocks (Mount Holyoke College). My contribution is titled “Violence and Visibility”.

Jan 032012

 March 1, 2012: The first issue of Political Concepts: A Critical Lexicon has just been published. It’s a new online journal that endeavors to create a lexicon of concepts relevant for contemporary political thought. I have an article in it on conquest.

Oct 012011


October 1, 2011: The edited collection on the Swiss elections Über den Herbst hinaus was just published in German and French (Au delà de l’automne). I have a short piece in it on the Swiss People’s Party and the Tea Party. The French version is here.