Anarchist Studies Network

A PSA Specialist Group for the Study of Anarchism.


ASN members secure £250k research grant from the ESRC. See here

Rowman & Littlefield Int publish two book series by ASN members Saul Newman and Ruth Kinna

Imperceptible Strategies, Unidentified Autonomous Organizations

:: A Drifting Seminar :: London, October 23, 2009::

Anarchist and autonomous politics are often associated, in a kneejerk way, with a celebration of chaos and disorder: a rejection of all forms of organization. The reduction of radical politics to a cheap joke (‘anarchist organization, what’s that?’) comes to substitute for an actual understanding of autonomous organizational practices. Far from rejecting organization all together, the history of autonomous politics contains a wealth of different modes of organizing, from the formation of temporary autonomous zones to affinity group models, maroon communities to networks and collectives.

These are forms of organizing that not always acknowledged as being organizations because they do not conform to what it is assumed organizations necessarily are: durable, static, and hierarchical. This understanding of organization obscures and makes difficult an actual engagement with the merits and weaknesses of different forms of organizing. But what would be found if rather than working from a fixed and unchanging concept of organization, one that excludes temporary forms of organization from consideration, it was attempted to tease out the organizational dynamics from all the temporary alliances and alliances that appear and disappear?

Might it be possible that we are already enmeshed in a world of unidentified autonomous organizations, a milieu of potential liberation that has remained imperceptible because of a narrow understanding of what organizations are? And might it not be that this imperceptibly, rather than being a condition to be addressed as a problem, could rather be part of building of what Robin D.G. Kelley calls an infrapolitical sphere: a space for politics coming out of people’s everyday experiences that do not express themselves as radical political organization at all.

The aim of this encounter is to explore the connections between anarchism, autonomism, and the revolutions of everyday life, drawing out conceptual tools useful to developing and deepening the politics of these infrapolitical spaces and organization. How can we strategize and build from the connections and movements of the undercommons, working from everyday encounters to compose new forms of social movement? How can we connect and work between spontaneous forms of resistance without forcing them into some larger form that ossifies them?

This event will not be based around formal presentations, but rather will rather take the form of a drifting seminar. Participants will be asked to read several pieces of text that will form the basis of discussion and exploration.

Registration for the event will be approximately 10 quid. There will be some limited travel funding available. If you wish to be considered for this funding indicate this when you register.

For registration and information contact: /

Sponsored by the Anarchist Studies Network ( & Minor Compositions (