CSCS provides affiliation to Indian and international researchers for varying periods of time. In addition CSCS also invites academics to interact with faculty and students and to present their work at the Centre.
The CSCS Fellowships Programme began in 2002 to make its substantial library and faculty resources available to a range of researchers outside the institution.
Current State: Published
Course 1003: Reframing the Debate on ‘the Political’ (in the wake of the Financial Crisis)
Course Instructor: Dr. Swagato Sarkar
COURSE TITLE :
Reframing the Debate on ‘the Political’ (in the wake of the Financial Crisis)
(1) Course Description:
In the last two and a half decades, a large volume of theoretical literature has been produced which tries to move away from the supposedly economicallyreductionist explanations and understanding of politics, to demarcate ‘the political’ as a separate domain, distinct from ‘economy’, etc. The recent global economic turmoil and the growing number of movements against displacements in India require us to re-look at such theorization and call for reframing the relationship between ‘politics’ and ‘economy’, in fact, question whether such a division is at all possible and whether we need a holistic framework to understand this relationship.
In this brief course, we will first engage with the debate on ‘the political’, and then try to understand the specificity of capitalism as a dynamic, but at the same time a crisis prone system, and its relationship with ‘politics’, particularly representative democracy. Instead of an outright normative judgement, we will critically examine the relationship between capitalism, (representative) politics and violence, and strive to build an analytical and conceptual framework to understand this relationship.
(2) What does the course want to achieve? What are the educational objectives? What is the scope of the course?
The course wants the students to delve into the question: ‘what is politics?’ in a coherent and holistic manner, to see the interconnections between various aspects of our existence, rather than separating out the ‘economy’, ‘politics’, etc. In the process, the course wants the students to understand what is at stake, be analytically and conceptually clear and have firm grip over the issues.
(3)Instruction models in classroom (tools of instruction)
Conventional classroom lectures and discussion, but students can watch videos of David Harvey’s lectures (the teacher can provide the videos to them) on reading Capital at home.
(4) Methods/modes of communication (only lectures or class presentations)
One student will summarize the arguments in one of the selected texts, the class will discuss the issues identified; the teacher will then intervene, clarify the issues and link the literature with the wider debate; this will again be followed by classroom discussion.
On weeks 3-5, the teacher will first give a lecture, followed by classroom discussion.
The students are required to write one 3000-word essay. They can re-examine their research project proposal or any other popular topic, and identify and question their assumptions and understanding of ‘politics’ ‘political’ and ‘economy’, and ask whether it is possible to move beyond such categorization.
A. Introduction to the course structure
B. Thinking and writing analytically and conceptually
C. Methodological note: On Ontological enquiry – what is ‘logics’?
D. What is ‘the Political’ ?
[Electronic copies of all the bibliographic materials will be provided to the students; many are also available online, on Google books]
WEEK-5: Periodic crises, destruction and the reconstruction of capitalism
Marx, Capital vol. 1 [selected sections - http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/cw/volume35/index.htm]
Karatani, Transcritique [Chapters 5 and 6]
Videos of Lectures on Capital Vol. 1 by David Harvey, available on davidharvey.org
Class notes of Williams, Gavin (2008) Finding Your Way through Capital, vol. 1, Oxford
WEEK-6: The private authority of capital vs. the public authority of the state: The existing political system and the problem of representation
Marx , TheEighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte[Chapters 3 and 5]
Laclau , ‘On representation’ in Emancipations, 1997 [pages 97-101]
Karatani, Transcritique [pages 142-152]
WEEK-7 : Capitalism and Political Violence: opening up the foundational moment
Marx, Capital Vol. 1 [Chapter 26 - on ‘Original (primitive) Accumulation’ - http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch26.htm]
Benjamin, ‘A critique of violence’
Derrida, ‘Force of law’ [pages 995-1045]