Andrej Grubačić

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Andrej Grubačić
Andrej Grubacic SF anarchist bookfair '10.JPG
Andrej Grubacic speaking at the 2010 San Francisco Anarchist Bookfair.
Nationality Yugoslav
Occupation Professor and Department Chair (California Institute of Integral Studies); author; historical social scientist
Known for Anarchism; Left Yugoslavism and Balkan federalism

Andrej Grubačić is a US-based anarchist theorist, Balkan federalist, and Anthropology Professor with a Yugoslavian background who has written on cooperation and mutual aid in world history, world systems theory, anarchism and the history of the Balkans. An advocate of an anarchist approach to world-systems theory, Grubačić is one of the protagonists of "new anarchism",[1] and a member of the anti-authoritarian, direct-action wing of the global justice movement.[2][3][4][5] He is also a member of the International Organization for a Participatory Society.[6] His writings and interests range from comparative world history of exilic ("non-state") spaces and exilic societies to the neo-marxist world-systems analysis, and from the sociology of stateless democracy to the history of mutual aid.[7]

Political activism, anarchist theory and anarchist pedagogy[edit]

Grubačić co-founded the Global Balkans network of the Balkan anti-capitalist diaspora,[8] [9] the Yugoslav Initiative for Economic Democracy, Kontrapunkt (magazine), and ZBalkans–a Balkan edition of Z Magazine.[10][11][12] He is or has been active as an organizer in networks such as the post-Yugoslav coalition of anti-authoritarian collectives DSM!, Peoples Global Action,[13] the World Social Forum, Freedom Fight[14] and as a program director[15] for the Global Commons.He is a member of Retort collective, a collective of radical intellectuals based in the Bay Area.[16] As an anarchist educator, Grubačić travels around North America giving talks, lectures and workshops. He taught about anarchist education at Z Media Institute in Boston. He is a member of Bound Together Books in San Francisco, a collectively run anarchist bookstore. He is active with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies).[17] He is involved with the mutual aid project with five prisoners on death row from Lucasville Southern Ohio Correctional Facility. He wrote about the 1993 Lucasville rebellion, when 450 Lucasville prisoners, including an unlikely alliance of the Aryan Brotherhood and Gangster Disciples, rioted and took over the facility for 11 days.[18]

Academic career[edit]

Following the collapse of Yugoslavia, Grubačić left for the United States. He moved to Binghamton University where he participated in research working groups at the Fernand Braudel Center on anarchist implications of world-systems analysis.[19] In 2008 he moved to San Francisco and worked in the sociology department at the University of San Francisco and urban studies department at the San Francisco Art Institute. He is now a Professor and Department Chair of Anthropology and Social Change Anthropology at the California Institute of Integral Studies.[20] His interest in world systems analysis and anarchist anthropology has influenced his research perspective, which includes experiences of self-organization, voluntary association, and mutual aid on the world-scale. His ongoing research on exilic spaces in the modern capitalist world system considers how spatial expressions of concentrated mutual aid are produced and reproduced on the outside/inside of capitalist civilization. Exilic spaces and practices refer to liminal and non-state areas relatively autonomous from capitalist valorization and state control. His principal research focus is on the autonomous "cracks" peopled by Don Cossacks, Atlantic pirates, Macedonian Roma, Jamaican Maroons and Mexican Zapatistas. This research is included in his UC Press book Living at the Edges of Capitalism His other research interests include labor history, militant research, and activist ethnography [21]

Publications[edit]

In 2006, Grubacic teamed up with activist and historian Staughton Lynd to write the book Wobblies and Zapatistas

He went on to edit The Staughton Lynd Reader, and offer a new programmatic proposal for the "libertarian socialism for the 21st century," inspired by Lynd's work.

As of 2010, his most recent political book is Don't Mourn, Balkanize! Essays After Yugoslavia, published in 2010 by PM Press.

His most recent academic work is "Living at the Edges of Capitalism written with the Irish sociologist Denis O'Hearn.

His other works include books in Balkan languages, chapters and numerous articles related to the history and utopian present of the Balkans, anarchism, and radical sociology. As of 2009 Grubačić has started work on a book developing an anarchist version of world-systems analysis with David Graeber.[22]

Grubacic is a Professor and Department Chair at CIIS California Institute of Integral Studies, and until recently the University of San Francisco.[23][24][25] Grubačić also works as a guest host of the KPFA radio program Against the Grain.

Selected books[edit]

  • Grubačić, Andrej (2010). Don't Mourn, Balkanize!: Essays After Yugoslavia. PM Press.  [26]
  • Staughton Lynd (2010). Andrej Grubacic, ed. From Here to There: The Staughton Lynd Reader. PM Press. ISBN 978-1-60486-215-7. [27]
  • Anarchism Reader
  • Noam Comski, Politika bez Moci. Izdavac: DAF Zagreb, 2004. ISBN 953-6956-01-2.
  • Chris Spannos, ed. (2007). "Participatory Balkans". Real Utopia: Participatory Society for the 21st Century. AK Press. ISBN 978-1-904859-78-9. 

Articles[edit]

Reviews of Wobblies and Zapatistas[edit]

Wobblies and Zapatistas recounts a radical history and connects activist political movements and generations.

Global capitalism has suffered a major blow in the past year, the largest economic turmoil since the 1930s fuelling political discussions on possible alternatives to the current economic model. For those seeking alternatives to mainstream historical narratives, Wobblies and Zapatistas: Conversations on Anarchism, Marxism and Radical History is an important read. Spanning from the Cold War to the 1990s expansion of market-driven free-trade policies, this engaging book offers critical historical reflections on events that have shaped contemporary politics.[28]

The World Social Forum, in its near decade of existence, has popularized the slogan "Another World Is Possible." Although many on the left may agree, and there is broad agreement about the nature of the world we live in and the shape of the one we wish to create, there is less agreement on how to create that new world. Wobblies and Zapatistas, a conversation of sorts between longtime anarchist activist Grubacic and Staughton Lynd, who for the last 40 years has been one of the iconic figures of the U.S. left, is a contribution to resolving that argument—or at least turning it into a productive discussion.[29]

More theoretical and frankly meandering is Wobblies and Zapatistas,... The conversation starts out with the Chiapas rebellion and the Industrial Workers of the World—"the Zapatistas of yesteryear," in Lynd’s phrase—but makes brief stops with the community organizing efforts of former steelworkers in post-industrial Youngstown, the 1946 general strike in Oakland, the Vietnam-era antiwar movement, and the 1980s revolutionary upsurges of Central America. Lynd ties it all together with his concept of "accompaniment"—basically, throwing one’s lot in with oppressed, sharing the burdens and risks of their struggles.[30]

This volume brings together two radical intellectuals from alternative political traditions for an extended conversation about theory, activism, and the state of radical politics today. Throughout their conversation, Staughton Lynd, the civil rights organizer, antiwar activist, lawyer, and radical historian, responds to the probing questions of Andrej Grubacic, the radical sociologist and activist from the Balkans.[31]

Reviews of Don't Mourn, Balkanize![edit]

This is a splendid time for the North American reader to meet the extraordinary Andrej Grubacic. After something of a letdown following the Seattle 1999 events– including what many of us perceived as an ideology-driven sectarian turn–anarchists are back in the news with the Occupations. No, not the anarchism of Bakunin or even Bookchin, but anarchism in a new key as well as a new generation, more practical and more open.[32]

When this writer worked in Kosovo, attempts to interview people from the small community of Serbs that remained there after the European Union took over the city almost invariably failed...Mr. Grubačić also proposes what he calls a “balkanization from below, a pluricultural concept in which, however, rejects that of the European Union.” In this idea, Balkan people need to “find the strength and orientation for a new politics for another Balkans. It should be a politics of a Balkan Federation. A participatory society, built from the bottom up, through struggles for the creation of an inclusive democratic awareness, participatory social experiments, and an emancipatory practice that would win the political imagination of all people in the region.” [33]

Andrej Grubačić is probably the most radical writer to approach the Balkans. He does so from an anarchist perspective, and his ideas are informed by both his background and his politics. Although he is from Belgrade, which is now the capital of Serbia, he continues to think of himself as Yugoslav, despite the fact that Yugoslavia no longer exists as a country. This paradox of identity illustrates the difficulties that the changing political landscape of the Balkans have caused for people from the region.[34]

Don't Mourn, Balkanize! is divided into two main sections—on balkanization from above and balkanization from below—both chronologically organized and both revolving around the same themes: the politics of exclusion, intervention, and resistance, within and beyond the Balkans, but especially in Serbia, Bosnia, and Kosovo.[35]

See also[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Lynd, Staughton; Grubačić, Andrej; O'Hearn, Denis (2008). Wobblies & Zapatistas: Conversations on Anarchism, Marxism and Radical History. Oakland, California: PM Press. p. 245. ISBN 978-1-60486-041-2. Retrieved 2009-12-30. New Anarchism is a term that Andrej Grubacic uses to describe the most recent reinvention of the anarchist thought and practice. What distinguishes the new anarchism of today from the new anarchism of the '60s and '70s, or from the work of US-UK based authors like Murray Bookchin, Paul Goodman, Herbert Read, Colin Ward and Alex Comfort, is its pronounced global perspective. Some of the useful essays on new anarchism include David Graeber's "New Anarchists" in A Movement of Movements: is Another World Really possible?, ed. Tom Mertes (London: Verso, 2004); Andrej Grubacic, "Towards Another Anarchism" in World Social Forum: Challenging Empires, ed. Jai Sen and Peter Waterman (Montreal: Black Rose Books, 2007). A good introductory essay by David Graeber and Andrej Grubacic, "Anarchism or the Revolutionary Movement of the 21st Century," is available on line at http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/9258. see also Leonard Williams, "The New Anarchists," paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia, PA, August 31, 2006, online, pdf, 2008-05-07 http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p152623_index.html. 
  2. ^ See a review of Andrej Grubačić's first book Globalizacija Nepristajanja [The globalization of refusal], described as "an activist manifesto for our times": Ambrozić, Dragan (2003-11-13). "Kako podneti budućnost". Vreme (in Serbian). Belgrade. ISSN 0353-8028. Retrieved 2009-12-30. Krajnje redak slučaj našeg predstavnika na svim značajnijim alterglobalističkim skupovima poslednjih godina, i autora koji se često pojavljuje u značajnoj inostranoj periodici – ovo je zanimljiv dokument i jedina naša alterglobalistička knjiga koju možete naći. 
  3. ^ Williams, Leonard (September 2007). "Anarchism Revived". New Political Science 29 (3): 297–312. doi:10.1080/07393140701510160
  4. ^ Grubačić interviewed on Against the Grain Pacifica Radio http://www.againstthegrain.org/tag-directory/grubacic
  5. ^ Life After Social Forums http://www.nadir.org/nadir/initiativ/agp/free/wsf/life-after-sf.htm
  6. ^ "International Organization for a Participatory Society Interim Committee". Retrieved March 31, 2012. 
  7. ^ Major Serbian newspaper interviews Grubačić http://www.novine.ca/starevesti/intervju/intervju27.html - see also a Marxist critique of Grubačić's political thought http://www.11teza.net/kuda-idemo
  8. ^ Noam Chomsky on Grubačić's contribution as an activist scholar from the Balkans https://secure.pmpress.org/index.php?l=product_detail&p=56
  9. ^ Sen, Jai; Anand, Anita; Escobar, Arturo; Waterman, Peter, eds. (2004). El Foro Social Mundial: Desafiando imperios [The World Socal Forum: challenging empires] (in Spanish). Editorial El Viejo Topo. p. 85. ISBN 978-84-96356-10-8. Retrieved 2009-12-26. Andrej Grubacic es [...] uno de los fundadores del Instituto por la Investigacion del Movimento Global de la Universidad de Ljuljana (Eslovenia). 
  10. ^ http://www.zcommunications.org/zspace/andrejgrubacic
  11. ^ http://freedomfight.net/cms/index.php?page=z-magazin
  12. ^ Rebick, Judy (2002-05-01). "My Interview with Andrej". rabble.ca. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  13. ^ http://www.nadir.org/nadir/initiativ/agp/new/en/discuss.htm
  14. ^ Freedom Fight in conversation with Andrej Grubačić http://www.ainfos.ca/07/feb/ainfos00264.html
  15. ^ http://www.greatrehearsal.org/symposium.html
  16. ^ Retort in Portland http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJSueyfA7oM
  17. ^ https://secure.pmpress.org/index.php?l=product_detail&p=56
  18. ^ Lynd and Grubacic, Wobblies and Zapatistas, p.113
  19. ^ http://www.readysteadybook.com/Article.aspx?page=davidgraeber
  20. ^ http://www.ciis.edu/Academics/Graduate_Programs/Anthropology_and_Social_Change.html
  21. ^ http://www.ciis.edu/Academics/Graduate_Programs/Anthropology_and_Social_Change/Anthropology_and_Social_Change_Faculty/Andrej_Grubacic.html
  22. ^ http://www.antropologi.info/blog/anthropology/2007/get_out_of_the_library_and_into_the_stre
  23. ^ http://www.usfca.edu/artsci/fac_staff/G/grubacic_andrej.html
  24. ^ http://foghorn.usfca.edu/2009/04/students-protest-popular-adjunct-professor-not-rehired/ Keep Andrej Grubacic at USF Student Protest
  25. ^ http://www.sfai.edu/data/pubs/SFAI_CourseSchedule_Fall_2010.pdf San Francisco Art Institute:Teaching 2010
  26. ^ Don't Mourn, Balkanize!: Essays After Yugoslavia
  27. ^ From Here To There: The Staughton Lynd Reader
  28. ^ http://www.hour.ca/books/books.aspx?iIDArticle=18578
  29. ^ http://www.pmpress.org/content/article.php?story=WobsNACLA
  30. ^ "Mexico Unconquered and Wobblies and Zapatistas", War Resisters League, Bill Weinberg, 2009-11-02
  31. ^ "Debating how to change the world", International Socialist Review, Issue 67, September–October 2009, ERIC KERL
  32. ^ "Andrej Grubacic on Yugoslavia", Paul Buhle 2011-11-25
  33. ^ "Don’t Mourn, Balkanize!: Essays after Yugoslavia", Andrew Rosenbaum 2011-11-15
  34. ^ " Don't Mourn, Balkanize!' A Radical Approach to the Balkans by a Paradoxical Thinker", Alan Ashton-Smith 2010-12-12
  35. ^ "After Yugoslavia: Alternative Balkanization from Below", Irina Ceric 2011-04-19

External links[edit]