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24/11/11 13:36
Manuel Castells at Occupy London: "The crisis always rings twice: from financial crisis to fiscal crisis to political crisis"
Tent City University, St Paul's Cathedral
25 November 2011, 12:00 - 13:00. Attendance is free.

The Spanish sociologist Manuel Castells will give a talk at Occupy London's Tent City University [1], commenting on the current state of our economic and political systems and offering an analysis of their mechanisms.

Manuel Castells [2] is a highly accomplished author and a much-cited scholar. He was an advisor to the UN, and a governing member of the European Research Council. He has held teaching positions at prestigious universities including Oxford University, the MIT, and UC Berkeley, and just finished editing a book on the cultures of the economic crisis that will be published soon.

In his work he observed early what many are now experiencing here at the occupation: the potential of networked organisation, a new "culture of autonomy and the ability of people to define their own projects and build their own communication networks" [3]; the role of social movements in shaping urban space.

He does not offer political ideology, but instead rigorous models of communication, of organisational structure, of economic and political systems; empirical and based on formal theory. In his introduction to The Urban Question (1977) he remarks: "any new theoretical position that is not anchored in concrete analysis is redundant".

We can expect from him a thoughtful, considered, well-informed critique of current forms of capitalism, a careful and systematic deconstruction.