CfP: “The Making and Unmaking of Precarity. Transformations of Political Struggles in Neoliberal Age”

*This year the SISP conference will not take place as planned due to the covid-19 emergency. Therefore, this CfP is an  nitiative of the SISP Section “Political Participation and Social Movements” and the related Standing Group.


Section_Participation and Social Movements
Panel_ The Making and Unmaking of Precarity. Transformations of Political  Struggles in Neoliberal Age
Panel Chair: Laura Giovinazzi, Emiliano Esposito, Nicola Di Mauro


The panel aims to provide a nuanced reading of contemporary precarity unfolding its double face as set of processes of marginalisation and transformations of political struggles performed by individual and collective actors. The notion of precarity is difficult to summarise and be reconciled in the form of a contextualized and discrete concept belonging to a restricted disciplinary field. What it indicates, instead, is a complex mutation of subjectivity, a  ontinued restructuring of individual and collective formations that has taken place since the advent of the neoliberal age. The aim is to map these subjectivities in their embodied precarity and alternative and experimental strategies, as well as locating the diverse practices of struggle advanced by precarious agents/actors. The panel wishes to explore 1) the historical, racialised, capitalistic and material making of precarious conditions, 2) the (provisional) unmaking of precarity through the broad variety of resilience and resistance practices and 3) interferences between them (making and unmaking of precarity).
The general aim of this panel is to connect engaged scholars that focus on multiple forms of precarity and the political struggles performed by individual and collective actors from several fields of investigation; amongst which, for instance: social movements, governance, migration and citizenship, welfare, labour and the arts. In particular, the panel will gather studies on strategies and practices that are substitutive, complementary or counter-hegemonic to the neoliberal framework. Starting from the awareness that the forms of political mobilization and participation are radically transforming, the panel will answer to the following questions: what are the unconventional forms of political performance of precarious agents in the fields of social movements, governance, migration and citizenships, welfare, labour and arts? How do these unconventional forms of politics inform our conventional understanding of precarity, and the ways in which it is analysed in academic research?
The paper proposals should focus around innovative methods and analyses for framing, approaching and studying the phenomenon in question, favouring a historical perspective able to integrate also the comparative and interdisciplinary dimensions. The wider scope of this panel and its papers is to bring together analyses from different social disciplines engaging with the issues of social movements, governance, migration and citizenship, as well as those of welfare and changing labour contexts and the cultural dimension of precarity. Qualitative contributions that make use of mixed methods, aiding the analysis with quantitative methodology are also welcome. One of the scopes of this panel is to discuss diverse approaches’ contributions to our understanding of precarity in current socio-political contexts. It is hoped that this will help to shed light on the different forms and materializations that  ontemporary precarity and transformations of political struggles performed by individual and collective actors can take.

The panel will take place on Meet on 9 September, 2020 (time: 10-12) (invitation will follow after the selection of the papers).
The deadline for paper proposals is 15 July, 2020. Please send an abstract (max. 500 words) together with a short bio to, and
Notification of acceptance will be sent by the 15 August, 2020. The definitive conference programme (including seminars and a poster session) will be published shortly after the communication of the acceptance of the proposals. It should be noted that contributions, in Italian or English, will have a maximum duration of 15 minutes.
There is no registration fee.

The panel will be recorded as a SISP event and advertise on the SISP section Political Participation and
Social Movements website