Anarchism and Punk – Call for Chapters

Anarchism and Punk – Call for Chapters

From jimdonaghey at noblogs

Anarchism and Punk – edited volume

There has been a wealth of excellent writing about punk over the last few years. The best of these have been the critical reflections that pull free of the quagmire of 1970s nostalgia, and the critical engagements that see beyond the narrow scope of punk’s Anglo-American birthing ponds. This Call for Chapters proposes to continue and extend that exciting work by considering in closer detail the relationships between anarchism and punk, with a contemporary emphasis and a global spread.

Whilst anarchism has been well recognised as punk’s primary political companion, it is of course not the case that all punks are anarchist, nor that all anarchists are punk. Even within the 40+ year entwinement of punk and anarchism, the relationship has been far from straightforward. In the coming together of two such multifaceted entities, fractiousness is to be expected (perhaps even embraced).

Views on the relationships between anarchism and punk are wide-ranging. There have been outright rejections of punk by ‘materialist’ anarchists worried about punk’s apparent lack of historical awareness or its ‘lifestylist’ leanings. And, equally, there have been punk-anarchist rejections of the ‘old guard’ of the anarchist movement and its preoccupations with the faded memories of failed revolutions. In a less adversarial vein, other analyses have pointed to punk as an invigorating force for moribund or repressed anarchist movements worldwide. There have been recognitions of the value of the practical example of ‘anarchy in action’ provided by DIY punk’s cultural production, and of the importance of ‘punk spaces’ such as squats and social centres in sustaining anarchist activist movements. All over the world, punk continues to play a role in politicising new generations of anarchists, almost always under the radar of the mainstream media, and often unbeknownst to academic researchers.

But none of these views are likely to go unchallenged, and that lively debate is what this volume hopes to tap into. We invite contributions that reflect on the interrelationships between anarchism and punk in particular times or places, or that consider how punk does (or does not) manifest specific aspects of anarchist political philosophy, or that draw comparisons between punk and other anarchist-inflected music cultures and art movements.

Some thought-provoking questions, to which you might respond or take as a point of departure:

  • What lessons can other milieus of the anarchist movement draw from punk’s longevity and impressive global spread?
  • Is the relationship between punk and anarchism substantially distinct in ‘other’ world contexts (especially in the ‘Global South’)?
  • Can punk’s success in ‘taking back the means of cultural production’ be replicated in other realms of production (whether social or material)?
  • Is punk well-placed to respond to, or resist, or escape, the neoliberal capitalist world? Or is punk just another harbinger of neoliberalism’s seemingly irresistible advance?
  • How do punk scenes respond to life under socialist/communist states and governments? Or to life under fascist/authoritarian/totalitarian states and governments?
  • What intervention can punk culture (or punk counter-culture) make in the ‘culture wars’?
  • In our era of perpetual crisis, what role can/do punk scenes play in providing focal points for resistance and mutual aid?
  • How has punk responded to radical ideologies other than anarchism (Marxism, autonomism, socialism, feminism, environmentalism)?
  • How has punk interacted with specific social movements (Black Lives Matter, antifa, Extinction Rebellion, trans rights, anti-globalisation, Occupy, disability rights, Food Not Bombs, LGBT, squatting)?
  • How does punk challenge, or fail to challenge, the patriarchy? Does queer punk look different in diverse global contexts?
  • What does the prevalence of veganism in punk culture tell us about tensions between individual consumer choices and activism? How do other punk behaviours and consumption practices relate to anarchism?
  • In what ways does the prevalence of anti-theism in punk reflect anarchist anti-theism and anti-clericalism?
  • How does the relationship between punk and anarchism compare with other anarchist-associated music cultures or art movements? (Hip-hop, rap, dance, rave, folk, anti-folk, metal, jazz, kraut rock, ska, avant-garde, rebetiko, corridos, no wave, Irish rebel music, ad nauseam!).

Please feel free to expand beyond these questions in your contributions.

Image by Jamie Donnelly @jamiedonnellytattoos


Will Boisseau –

Caroline Kaltefleiter –

Jim Donaghey –



23 November 2020 – Call for Chapters disseminated.

20 January 2021 – Please send 250-300 word abstracts to the editors by 20 January 2021 (to the email addresses given above).

21 June 2021 – Subsequently invited chapters, of between 5,000 and 8,000 words, to be submitted by 21 June 2021. Chapters should be written with a general readership in mind.

Winter 2021/22 – After review and revisions process, the book is under agreement to be published with a well respected radical (and punk friendly) publisher. Details to be announced.


This project emerges from the ‘Punk Panels’ of the 6th International Anarchist Studies Network Conference of 2-4 September 2020. You can view a selection of contributions from those panels here:

There are 17 Comments

"yo! no doubt, that new cyberpunk video game is gonna be dooooope!" - deltron 3030

Can you get me one, single author or artist behind the imaginary construct that is cyberpunk who was an actual punk irl!? All those I get off the top of my head are dorks, who due to not being actual punks can only fantasize about a punk existence outside of their asepticized enclaves or condos...

Contemporary ascetics are aseptics.

And I remain a skeptic.

So no, I won't buy a goddamn PS5 to "be" cyberpunk in my forest hut!

Nah, you're right. Solarpunk is the closest thing I can think of, but that in itself is kind of a rejection of cyberpunk.

Punks took too much drug n booze sex culture and mob rule smashy-smashy with them, reform the shit out of the same old herd paradigm, they didn't have Dada individualist smarts.

That was the whole point, to use substances and sex as transcendental catalysts and revolutionary tools against the growing authoritarianism of global capitalism. Punks didn't really smash things physically, they only shattered bourgeois values, the building blocks of capitalism, and they did it with fun satire and raw energy.

*points and laughs*

oh man, that's some thick baby boomer bullshit right there! leftover nonsense from the recuperation of the 60s.


yeah, good plan!

you would instead prefer millennial-zoomer bullshit of ebegging and eorganizing with half assed activism using failed tactics of generations past?

ur so rite lumpentroll. we should stop partying and instead organize the mass into a revolutionary peoples’ fighting force to confront power with our activism! it will work this time for sure! let’s gather support in social media!

Neither generation had any true interest in solving social problems, but rather their own grievances with the society they grew up into. Early '10s were peak social entry for Millenials for instance. And this is where you had some noticeable social upheavals and movements.

"substances and sex as transcendental catalysts and revolutionary tools against the growing authoritarianism of global capitalism"

lol... Sounds like a great recipe for more alienation disaster.

Mind expanding substances are what I am referring to, and sex not as in an orgy, but as made amoral and openly available without the instilled X-tian guilt and forbiden aspect which has plagued the everyday subjective platform. Freedom begins inside, not as an external activism. Burning churches will not produce a transcendental experience, but only produce a temporary venting of anger.

"sex not as in an orgy, but as made amoral and openly available"

Not that I'm not connecting with that, but sex ain't something that just happens to you (unless maybe you got this mysterious super-appeal to the gender you happen to be luckily into), it needs a level of mating rituals, that may or may not be moral, that still gotta do with showing your appeal, worth, interest for getting laid with. Punk culture has these rituals, and in the regions where it's become a shitty consumerist culture deprived of its "revolutionary" character, it's just... another flavor of conformity.

"After review and revisions process, the book is under agreement to be published with a well respected radical (and punk friendly) publisher. Details to be announced."

sounds like a done deal? will contributors receive honorariums and/or royalty percentages? asking for a friend.

Hi Anon. Good question! We have a 'verbal agreement' with a radical publisher and it will be sold/distributed on a non-profit basis, as is their normal practice. The editors won't be paid for their efforts, chapter authors won't receive honorariums or royalties - but the book will be much, much cheaper as a result (which reflects the punk ethos, I think). I hope this doesn't present a barrier to your friend contributing, but they can rest assured that no-one else will be making a quick buck out of their efforts.

By the punx, for the punx.


this is the least punk thing i could think about, reminds me of that girl who got clowned on for saying 'i have studied punk academically'

still might submit something tho

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