Reading the Conjuncture: State, Austerity and Social Movements, an Interview with Bob Jessop

Mikkel Flohr, Yannick Nehemiah Antonio Harrison

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This interview with Bob Jessop covers diverse issues ranging from the challenge of defining the state to problems of conjunctural analysis and political practice. It first explores the state and state power from a strategic-relational perspective and then addresses the relation between economics and politics in the context of a tendentially unified world market and a continuing plurality of national states. Attention then turns to the North Atlantic financial crisis and the Eurozone crisis and their relation to a variegated global capitalism organized in the shadow of neoliberalism. Financialization and the rise of political capitalism are seen as leading to a loss of temporal sovereignty, problems of crisis management, an assault on democracy, and the rise of the austerity state. Closing remarks address the role of left-wing social movements and parties, such as SYRIZA and Podemos, and the difficulties of periodization, conjunctural analysis, and lesson drawing as well as the prospects for radical democratic transformation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRethinking Marxism
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)306-321
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Ph.D. fellow in political theory at Roskilde University and currently visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, with an MSc in political sociology from the London School of Economics and an MA in philosophy and contemporary critical theory from Kingston University. His research project is a critique of political theology, departing from the early works of Karl Marx and G.W.F. Hegel. He also teaches and works on issues in contemporary political economy and philosophy.


  • Conjunctural analysis
  • Global financial crisis
  • State theory
  • Temporal sovereignty
  • World market

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