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Anarchism as Method

Semester and Year SP 2019
Course Number ELEC-GG2747
Section 001
Instructor Jacob Remes
Days R
Time 3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Units 4
Level G


Open to advanced undergraduates with permission of the instructor (


“If you put on anarchist glasses," writes political scientist James C. Scott in his book Two Cheers for Anarchism, “and look at the history of popular movements, revolutions, ordinary politics and the state from that angle, certain insights will appear that are obscured from almost any other angle.” Using an “anarchist squint,” Scott argues, allows us to better understand more clearly informal order, submerged politics, informal regulation of markets and commons, resistance to the state, subversion of legal regimes, and other topics. In can show us, in other words, the ways that people have built order, regulated their lives, and resisted domination in ways outside and against the state. The idea of this seminar is to adopt such an “anarchist squint” and take anarchism as method for students’ varied work. We will spend the term reading scholarship about communities, property, the state, law, and power to test the utility of an “anarchist squint” for our own work. Authors may include Scott, Colin Ward, Patricia Erick and Susan Silby, Elinor Ostrom, David Graeber, and others. Familiarity or affinity with political anarchism are unnecessary but welcome.


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Course Type

Graduate Electives (ELEC-GG)