Title: Annotated Bibliography on Anarchism
Author: Ruth Kinna
Date: 24 April 2019
Notes: Last reviewed: 03 March 2021. Last modified: 24 April 2019.


Anarchism developed as a distinctive strain within radical and revolutionary thought in the mid-19th century. The political theory, often associated with Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (b. 1809–d. 1865), Michael Bakunin (b. 1814–d. 1876), and Peter Kropotkin (b. 1842–d. 1921), appeared in parallel with a worldwide, international movement that shaped anarchist practices and that gave expression to a critique of capitalist exploitation, state tyranny, and an idea of rebelliousness that has been influential in sociopolitical, economic, and cultural realms. Contemporary anarchists argue about both the continuities and the discontinuities between the historical and modern movements and the antecedents of European anarchism, but there is a strong consensus that anarchism cannot be reduced to a single set of principles, conceptual arrangements, or theoretical positions that might be applied in practice, analysis, or critique. Because canonical approaches to the history of anarchist ideas are typically resisted, and because the ideological boundaries of anarchism remain contested, anarchist approaches to sociological issues are distinguished by their diversity and are difficult to pin down. However, the anarchists’ traditional opposition to processes associated with state formation, and their interrogation of the complex relationships between these processes and capitalism, society, technology, and culture, are important frames for the discussion of perennial themes, notably, domination, organization, and transformation. Reflections on the rise of the modern European state and the possibility of nonstate organization have long encouraged an interest in anthropology, supporting strongly normative accounts of mutuality, cooperation, and reciprocity. In the anticapitalist mainstream, anarchism supports a rich tradition of thinking about self-regulation, self-management, and decentralized federation. The anarchists’ principled rejection of authority has fostered an interest in systems of education, law, punishment, concepts of crime, and the institutionalization of love in heterosexual relationships, generating cultural practices and literatures that are at once subversive and utopian. Anarchist utopianism is in turn an important strain in urban design, art, and ecology. The anarchist eschewal of institutional politics and advocacy of direct action have focused attention on issues of struggle, protest, and violence as well as the theorization of direct action and prefigurative change. Notwithstanding anarchist suspicions of the elitism and complicity of academic institutions, anarchism has had an influence on mainstream sociology and is equally influenced by critical strains within it. The relationship with Marxism, though often unhappy, has provided one route into sociology. Max Weber’s engagements with anarchism have provided another; and, in late-20th- and early-21st-century history, anarchists have begun to develop approaches to sociology that resonate with both traditions.

General Overviews

Since the anarchistic nature of the global protest “movement of movements” in the late 1990s and the overtly anarchist politics of anticapitalist currents within it, recent waves of social movement activism have renewed scholarly interest in anarchism, resulting in the appearance of a number of introductory texts. Shantz and Williams 2013 presents a dedicated sociological analysis that treats anarchism as a philosophy and movement. The other introductions included here are edited collections that usefully map the ground of anarchist activism and also apply anarchist social theory to an ever-expanding range of research areas. In the thirty years between the student protest movement and emergence of the global social justice campaigns, little work of this kind was available: introductions tended instead to be historical and designed to explain or defend the ideas of a movement considered to be moribund. Ehrlich 1996 (originally published in 1979) was an exception, and the revised edition remains an important statement of anarchist practices and philosophy that brings together articles by a number of leading writers, from Bob Black to Colin Ward. One of the themes probed in Ehrlich’s collection is the relationship of historical to contemporary anarchism and the degree to which the protest movements of the 1960s renewed anarchist traditions or even encouraged a metamorphosis. These themes were revived in the 1990s. Purkis and Bowen 1997 argues that anarchist practices had altered radically in the late 20th century and that this change demanded a revision in anarchist thinking. This work’s approach brought postmodernism and poststructuralist theory to bear on anarchist analysis in order to challenge what the authors saw as the class bias of anarchist theory. The trend in anarchist theory that Purkis and Bowen encouraged is now well established in a body of work referred to as postanarchism, and it is difficult to make sense of modern anarchism without engaging with postanarchist ideas about history, philosophy, and method (see Postanarchism). Rousselle and Evren 2011 provides an excellent critical guide. Although postanarchism is one of the main currents within anarchist theory, it is not the only marker of the increasing scholarly interest that has been shown in anarchism since the early 1990s. Two others are the application of anarchist critique in political and sociological analysis and as a contribution to social transformation. The collections Amster, et al. 2009, on the one hand, and Shukaitis and Graeber 2007, on the other, are exemplars. In addition, Shantz and Williams 2013 presents a pioneering analysis of anarchist and sociological traditions. Scholars continue to debate the history of anarchist ideas and probe the boundaries of anarchism as an ideology: Jun and Wahl 2010 and Kinna 2012 survey contemporary anarchism and also address the issues of continuity and discontinuity that the explosion of late-20th-century research in anarchism has provoked. Franks, et al. 2018 develops a novel framing of anarchism as an ideology, using Michael Freeden’s conceptual-morphological approach. Levy and Adams 2018 combines historical and conceptual approaches to explore the distinctiveness of anarchism.

  • Amster, Randall, Abraham DeLeon, Luis A. Fernandez, Anthony J. Nocella II, and Deric Shannon, eds. 2009. Contemporary anarchist studies: An introductory anthology of anarchy in the academy. London and New York: Routledge.

    An important collection of contemporary writing, bringing together articles on theory, methodology, pedagogy, praxis, and thinking about the future.

  • Ehrlich, Howard J., ed. 1996. Reinventing anarchy, again. Rev. ed. Edinburgh and San Francisco: AK.

    Originally published in 1979, as Reinventing Anarchy: What Are Anarchists Thinking These Days? (London and Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul). The revised and updated collection, by leading writers from a variety of traditions, is organized into eight sections that consider approaches to anarchism, the state and organization, movements toward anarchy, anarchafeminism, work, culture, self-liberation, and tactics.

  • Franks, Benjamin, Nathan Jun, and Leonard Williams, eds. 2018. Anarchism: A conceptual approach. New York and London: Routledge.

    Divided into three sections, the collection outlines anarchism’s core, adjacent, and peripheral concepts to construct an ideology of anarchism. Chapters are written by leading scholars and are intended as stand-alone contributions to conceptual debates as well as elements of a larger whole. The editors’ intention is to highlight the stability of the six core concepts (anti-hierarchy, prefiguration, freedom, agency, direct action, and revolution) while showing how their interrelationship with adjacent and peripheral concepts, including horizontalism, intersectionality, and ecocentrism, resist doctrinal rigidity.

  • Jun, Nathan J., and Shane Wahl, eds. 2010. New perspectives on anarchism. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

    A collection of issue- and practice-based essays in philosophy, social and political science, history, culture, religion, and ecology, written by an international group of activists and scholars, from a range of methodological and political perspectives.

  • Kinna, Ruth, ed. 2012. The Continuum companion to anarchism. New York: Continuum.

    A research guide intended to survey debates in particular fields of anarchist research. Includes a collection of essays that examine contemporary methods of analysis in anarchist studies and the relationship of anarchism to art, sociology, geography, gender, history, literature, ecology, social movements, social transformation, and ethnicity.

  • Levy, Carl, and Matthew S. Adams, eds. 2018. The Palgrave handbook of anarchism. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

    A mammoth collection organized in four sections: core problems, core traditions, key events, and applications. The volume includes analysis of concepts including freedom and the state as well as strands within anarchism, notably anarchist feminism and green anarchism; historical snapshots of anarchism in 1890s France and in 1968; and analysis of anarchism and ethics, art, and the wave of occupations in the early 21st century.

  • Purkis, Jon, and James Bowen, eds. 1997. Twenty-first century anarchism: Unorthodox ideas for a new millennium. London and New York: Cassell.

    This groundbreaking collection highlights a shift in theory and practice from historical anarchist traditions, aligning anarchism with a range of horizontal movements. The authors followed this collection, in 2004, with Changing Anarchism: Anarchist Theory and Practice in a Global Age (Manchester, UK, and New York: Manchester Univ. Press).

  • Rousselle, Duane, and Süreyyya Evren, eds. 2011. Post-anarchism: A reader. London and New York: Pluto.

    A guide to one of the most influential theoretical currents within anarchist scholarship, which examines work by postanarchists and their critics. The introduction is a masterful survey of the arguments and debates.

  • Shantz, Jeff, and Dana Williams. 2013. Anarchy and society: Reflections on anarchist sociology. Boston, MA: Brill.

    Explores the intersection of anarchism and sociology from Weber and Marx; presents the sociological theory of key anarchists including P. -J. Proudhon, Emma Goldman, and Colin Ward; and highlights the transformative dynamic of anarchist social theory.

  • Shukaitis, Stevphen, and David Graeber, eds. 2007. Constituent imagination: Militant investigations, collective theorization. Oakland, CA: AK.

    An exercise in militant research, this book consciously challenges conventional scholarship by sharing experiences, ideas, and understandings in order to contribute to social transformation.

Reference Works

There are a number of anarchist readers and reference books available in print, but the most accessible, comprehensive sources are online. Anarchism has a strong web presence, and sites usefully hold valuable information about infoshops, discussion forums, archives, organizing, and publishing. Most have blogrolls and hyperlinks to other anarchist sites: new users learn easily how to navigate anarchist networks. Sites typically have information about the host group, which helps users situate the selection of sources in the spectrum of anarchist politics. The sites listed here include some of the best-known sources for reference materials and excellent coverage of anarchist political theory, politics, and movements. The Anarchist Library specializes in contemporary anarchist writing, though it also holds historical texts: the collection is constructed by free, open subscription, and it is fast becoming the most significant repository for anarchist scholarship. The collection is mainly, but not exclusively, English language. The Research on Anarchism Forum offers access to research in French, Spanish, and English, with links to and information about film, music, and literature. The Kate Sharpley Library collects and preserves anarchist materials and produces publications based on original research. This site is an invaluable source of information for researchers working on anarchist movements. The Libertarian Labyrinth has a rich collection of historical materials, commentaries, articles, and original translations of work by Proudhon and Bakunin. Sparrows’ Nest is a growing digital archive collecting materials from the anarchist communist movement. The Spunk Library is a static site but serves as a contemporary movement archive for the period 1992–2000. The Struggle Site is particularly useful for those interested in the history of anarchist and anticapitalist actions.

  • Anarchist Library.

    An extensive and growing library of anti-state and anticapitalist writings, by anarchists and of interest to anarchists. Includes contemporary and historical texts and is easy to search.

  • Kate Sharpley Library.

    A repository for historical materials relating to class-struggle anarchisms. The online library has useful reviews and extensive information about anarchist history and the international movement.

  • Research on Anarchism Forum.

    A multilingual online archive and database that provides access to an enormous range of full-text materials, essays, academic papers, and dissertations by leading authors and contemporary historians of anarchism. This site has an online discussion forum and carries news about contemporary events.

  • Sparrows’ Nest.

    A repository for zines, pamphlets, posters, books, and journals—UK and international.

  • Spunk Library.

    This project ran from 1997 to 2000 and was last updated in 2002, but it remains an incredibly rich resource for English and non-English-language materials. The site offers access to an extensive library of anarchist and radical writings, images, and links to resources.

  • Struggle Site.

    An archive of photos, books, and pamphlets documenting anarchist history and popular struggles (such as women’s campaigns, particularly in Ireland) and also covering the Zapatistas and globalization.


There are a significant number of bibliographies available online. Support for those new to anarchism can also be obtained through a number of academic anarchist groups, notably, the Anarchist Studies Network (ASN) and the North American Anarchist Studies Network (NAASN). Requests for help are readily met by members, and a number of subject-specific reading lists have been created and are available on the ASN site. For a consolidated bibliography, including a guide to work in French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finish, German, Chinese, Russian, and Italian, see Kinna 2012 (cited under General Overviews). The Anarchy Archives is an excellent starting point for online historical research. The site is easy to navigate, and the bibliographies are linked to particular writers, movements, and events. Nursey-Bray 1992 is still an invaluable guide, particularly for those new to anarchism. An Anarchist FAQ: Bibliography and Anarchism: The Unfinished Revolution; Bibliography are organized alphabetically, excellent for browsing and for finding publishing details of books and pamphlets. The latter includes links to some online material and contains Robert Goehlert’s “Anarchism: A Bibliography of Articles, 1900–1975,” a guide to academic scholarship on anarchism. The Bibliothèque Libertaire lists works by author and theme and has links to online French-language texts.

  • Anarchism: The Unfinished Revolution; Bibliography.

    Multilingual bibliography of books, articles, Internet sites, and audio and video material.

  • An Anarchist FAQ: Bibliography. Infoshop.org.

    Bibliography produced by the anarchist-communist FAQ Editorial Collective. There are some gaps in the publication details, in the process of revision, and the list is usefully subdivided into four sections.

  • Anarchy Archives.

    An extensive online research center and archive for historical anarchism, with bibliographical information about a wide range of writers and movements, periodicals, and key events and a selected general bibliography.

  • Bibliothèque Libertaire.

    Lots of downloadable documents, historical and contemporary. The old site included entry points for French, English, Chinese, Castilian, and Catalan readers but is in redevelopment.

  • Goehlert, Robert. 1976. Anarchism: A bibliography of articles, 1900–1975. Political Theory 4.1: 113–127.

    An expanded version, with some texts hyperlinked, is available at Anarchism: The Unfinished Revolution; Bibliography.

  • Nursey-Bray, Paul, ed. 1992. Anarchist thinkers and thought: An annotated bibliography. Bibliographies and Indexes in Law and Political Science. New York: Greenwood.

    Bibliographies for and about selected figures, with sections for those “on the margins” of anarchism (Ivan Illich, William Morris, Murray Rothbard). Movement histories are subdivided by country. There are useful sections for theses; journals, both historical and contemporary; and other bibliographical sources and an index of authors and activists.


Readers looking for insight into anarchist history and practices have a choice of three important documentary collections. Guérin 2005 provides a guide to the development of the European libertarian movement. Graham 2005–2013 outlines a broader history of anarchist ideas extending beyond Europe. Graham’s volumes examine the relationship between self-identifying anarchists and other antiauthoritarians and draw from a range of anarchist currents: anarcho-communists and anarchafeminists, class-struggle anarchists, and art activists. Antliff 2004 is a unique introduction to art activism and grassroots organizing. The materials this work brings together have been gathered from the Canadian movement, but the scope of the activism and the creative, playful approaches are indicative of wider trends.

  • Antliff, Allan, ed. 2004. Only a beginning: An anarchist anthology. Vancouver, Canada: Arsenal Pulp.

    A collection of Canadian materials that demonstrate the interlacing of art, protest, and community activism, examining a wealth of contemporary issues, including racism, patriarchy, squatting, wandering, and antiwar protest.

  • Graham, Robert, ed. 2005–2013. Anarchism: A documentary history of libertarian ideas. 3 vols. Montreal: Black Rose.

    These volumes are the standard reference, in the early 21st century, for the history of anarchist ideas. The material is drawn from diverse historical and cultural contexts.

  • Guérin, Daniel, ed. 2005. No gods, no masters: An anthology of anarchism. Translated by Paul Sharkey. Oakland, CA, and Edinburgh: AK.

    English translation of Ni Dieu, ni maître: Anthologie de l‘anarchisme, originally published in 1970 (Paris: Maspero). A rich collection of historical documents, letters, manifestos, and reports, collated by a leading figure in the French left-libertarian movement.


Anarchism is well served by scholarly journals, though a greater number of exchanges are conducted through a range of insightful and provocative magazines and periodicals produced in activist communities. Nursey-Bray 1992 (cited under Bibliographies) and Kinna 2012 (cited under General Overviews) both contain extensive lists of contemporary and historical activist journals.

Peer-Reviewed Journals

There are a number of active and historic peer-review journals. Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies encourages work that leans toward cultural studies and cuts across disciplinary boundaries. Affinities and Ephemera similarly encourage theoretical innovation and work that is politically engaged. Both publications are scholarly but seek to challenge academic conventions. Ephemera is not explicitly anarchist but presents innovative work in organizational studies and is open to anarchist approaches; Affinities stresses anticapitalist activism and alternative community and group action. Anarchist Studies and Perspectives on Anarchist Theory provide an outlet for multidisciplinary scholarship on socialist anarchism; the latter principally publishes online and is explicitly committed to social theory relevant to anticapitalist activism. Theory in Action also supports activist scholarship and has a particular interest in issues of social justice. Réfractions is a French-language journal, offering cutting-edge research that is usually themed.

  • Affinities. 2007–.

    Linked to Richard J. F. Day’s Affinity Project, this journal publishes peer-reviewed papers, with a particular focus on alternatives to neoliberal capitalism and the exploration of alternative, sustainable, nonhierarchical ways of living and indigenous struggles. Last issue on the site is 2015.

  • Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies. 2010–.

    An international, peer-reviewed, online and print copy, open-access journal, with an interdisciplinary emphasis and interest in challenging anarchist orthodoxies. Issues appear occasionally, the most recent is 2018.

  • Anarchist Studies. 1993–.

    An international, peer-reviewed print journal, publishing work from across the political spectrum, in a wide range of disciplinary fields.

  • Ephemera. 2001–.

    A peer-reviewed open-access journal, with an interest in conceptual and theoretical questions of organization and in organizational processes.

  • Perspectives on Anarchist Theory. 1997–2015.

    A journal, published by the Institute for Anarchist Studies, promoting discussion of contemporary anarchism; online since 2009.

  • Réfractions.

    A French-language print journal of anarchist research and discussion.

  • Theory in Action. 2008–.

    The journal of the Transformative Studies Institute is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal designed to promote dialogue about research on social justice and the interrelationships of theory and practice.

Anarchism in Non-Anarchist Academic Journals

A number of nonanarchist journals have published a substantial body of anarchist research, notably, the Journal of Political Ideologies, International Review of Social History, and Antipode. A selection of special issues on anarchism is provided here. Each has a particular disciplinary focus. Antipode is a journal for radical geographers, and this special issue (Ness 2012) explores anarchist theory and practice using concepts of spatiality and territoriality familiar in the field. The collection includes articles on contemporary activism, indigenism, and pedagogy. Contemporary Chinese Thought publishes translations of articles from Chinese sources, principally scholarly journals, and the special issue Rapp and Youd 2015 explores the work of the writer and political activist Ba Jin (Li Yaotang, b. 1904–d. 2005). The Contemporary Justice Review (Sullivan 2003) is an interdisciplinary journal that looks at issues of restorative justice, and it has an activist learning. This issue includes essays written from anarchist perspectives. Antliff 2014, a special issue of the Journal of Modern Periodical Studies, is devoted to the study of periodicals, modernist or otherwise, between 1880 and 1950. The Journal of Political Ideologies offers scholarly work in the field of ideologies and examines the methodological issues raised by the study of ideology and this special issue (Newman 2011) explores themes of utopianism and servitude. The Journal for the Study of Radicalism (Larabee and Versluis 2010) is a scholarly journal devoted to the discussion of radical social movements and their histories. The 2010 and 2011 special issues were stimulated by the attention anarchism attracted as a result of the global justice movement. The 2016 issue has a historical focus. Working USA (Special Issue: The Rebirth of Labor’s Militant Legacy: Anarchism, Syndicalism, and Class Struggle) also has a movement focus but encourages the analysis of labor movements through cross-disciplinary social science methods. Millennium is a journal that publishes work in international relations, and this issue (Prichard 2010) includes seven papers that discuss issues of globalization and protest as well as anarchist-informed theoretical approaches to international anarchy. SubStance is a journal of literature and culture, though the special issue on anarchism (Hutchens 2007) studies postanarchist politics.

  • Antliff, Allan, ed. 2014. Special issue: Anarchist modernism in print. Journal of Modern Periodical Studies 4.2.

    The issue explores the dovetailing of anarchism and modernism. The focus is on critiques of European nationalism, capitalism, industrialization, postivisitic scientism, and doctrines of progressive evolution. Patricia Leighten, Kathy Ferguson, Mark Antliff, Theresa Papanikolas, Nina Gourianova, and James Gifford explore avant-garde aesthetics and subversion in anarchist-modernist subcultures, and Allan Antliff provides a helpful introductory analysis.

  • Hutchens, Benjamin, ed. 2007. Special issue: The future of anarchism. SubStance 36.2.

    Includes essays by Allan Antliff, Lewis Call, Saul Newman, and Todd May.

  • Larabee, Ann, and Arthur Versluis, eds. 2010. Special issue: Anarchism, part 1. Journal for the Study of Radicalism 4.2.

    The first of two consecutive issues devoted to anarchism; Part 2: issue 5.1 (2011). A further special on anarchism, edited by Andrew Hoyt, appeared in 10.2 (2016).

  • Ness, Immanuel, ed. 2012. Special issue: Anarchist geography. Antipode 44.5.

    Issue 10.3 (1978) is dedicated to social anarchism; issue 17.2–3 (1985) has the section “Anarchist Leanings.” A special issue, Anarchist Geographies, was published in 44.5 (2012). The journal has a long history of publishing anarchist-inspired research.

  • Newman, Saul, ed. 2011. Special issue: The libertarian impulse. Journal of Political Ideologies 16.3.

    The journal has published a substantial body of work on anarchism, libertarianism, ecoanarchism, and utopianism and essays by anarchist scholars, including Benjamin Franks; Uri Gordon; Carissa Honeywell; and, in this issue, Carl Levy and Saul Newman.

  • Prichard, Alex, ed. 2010. Forum: Anarchism and World Politics. Millennium 39.2.

    Papers examine the concept of “anarchy” in international relations from an anarchist perspective and consider the significance of the global protest movement in international politics.

  • Rapp, John, and Daniel M. Youd, eds. 2015. Special issue: Ba Jin as anarchist critic of Marxism. Contemporary Chinese Thought 46.2.

    An introduction to Ba Jin (b. 1904–d. 2005) and translations of texts on Marxism and the dictatorship of the proletariat, Lenin, Kropotkin, and the Russian Revolution.

  • Special issue: The rebirth of labor’s militant legacy: Anarchism, syndicalism, and class struggle. 2009. Working USA 12.3.

    Includes essays by Jeffrey Shantz, Heather Gautney, and Uri Gordon.

  • Sullivan, D., ed. 2003. Contemporary Justice Review 6.1.

    A mini symposium on community, including discussions of anarchism and community.

Anarchist Literatures

When anarchism developed as a distinctive and recognizable current within revolutionary and radical movements in the late 19th century, leading figures within them made strenuous efforts to explain and propagate anarchist ideas. These ideas remain influential, and packaged, as “classical theory,” they continue to provide a springboard for contemporary anarchist theory (see Postanarchism). However, the political, cultural, and historical parameters of anarchist ideas are contested, and anarchists are resistant to the canonization of ideas and to the scholarly reification that sometimes results from sustained academic scrutiny. For this reason, there is no consensus about core ideas and no single body of work to which anarchists refer as a touchstone to elaborate their ideas. The following sections have been chosen to provide an indicative guide to anarchist debates, particularly those in which anarchist interests touch on sociological themes, and to outline some of the important theoretical and political strains within the contemporary anarchist movement. The commentaries indicate when crosscurrents within the anarchist movement have affected the framing of debates. The list does not include major works in anarchist history or in political theory, for example; for this and other literatures, see Bibliographies.

Anarchafeminism/Anarchism and Feminism

Anarchism has attracted a number of feminist voices: Louise Michel (b. 1830–d. 1905), Emma Goldman (b. 1869–d. 1940), Voltairine de Cleyre (b. 1866–d. 1912), and Lucy Parsons (b. 1853–d. 1942) are the best known, but there were important non-European voices, too. Bowen Raddeker 1997 documents the activism of Japanese anarchists, and Liu, et al. 2013 is an excellent introduction to early-20th-century Chinese feminism. The historical record of anarchist feminism is contested. Gemie 1996 and Cleminson 1998 investigate the issues in the European context, the deeply antifeminist bias of leading anarchist writers, notably, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (b 1809–d. 1865) and the sidelining of topics of particular interest to women, in mainstream anarchist campaigning. A number of writers have observed that 19th- and early-20th-century American anarchist feminists were often attracted to individualist ideas. Goldman, for example, was sympathetic to Friedrich Nietzsche, and de Cleyre mapped American anarchism to concepts of self-reliance familiar to homestead, frontier thinking. Although many feminists such as Goldman identified as communists (de Cleyre refused labels), the division of anarchists into individualist and communist schools presents significant challenges for the interpretation of synthetic philosophies. The libertarian influences acting on anarchist feminisms, sometimes sidelined in anarcho-communist histories, are discussed in Brown 1993 and McElroy 2001. McElroy’s research also examines the efforts that anarchist feminists made to bring about social transformations by changing their own behaviors. The work of Judy Greenway, offered on her website (Judy Greenway), explores similar themes and considers some of the utopian experiments with which anarchist feminists were involved. She also brings a contemporary interest in gender politics and anarchist methodology to the research (see also Gender and Sexualities). Anarchafeminism emerged as a powerful current in anarchism in the late 20th century. The roots of the contemporary movement are often said to lie in so-called second-wave feminism. Dark Star Collective 2012, which first appeared in the 1970s, is an excellent starting point for those unfamiliar with anarchafeminism and usefully distinguishes this current of anarchism from other nonanarchist socialist forms. James 2010 is another useful guide for the analysis of sex, race, and class. Hemmings 2018, a study of Emma Goldman, is a challenging and novel contemporary feminist analysis of anarchism. Further information on anarchafeminism can be found through the Anarcha Library. See also Gender and Sexualities.

  • Anarcha Library.

    A resource for anarchafeminist news, articles, images, and discussion that is intended to create a space for the many voices captured by the intersection of anarchism and feminism, inclusive of all genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, ages, and abilities.

  • Bowen Raddeker, Hélène. 1997. Treacherous women of imperial Japan: Patriarchal fictions, patricidal fantasies. London: Routledge.

    A study of the activism of Kanno Suga (b. 1881–d. 1911) and Kaneko Fumiko (b. 1903–d. 1926), executed for conspiring to assassinate the Japanese emperor.

  • Brown, L. Susan. 1993. The politics of individualism: Liberalism, liberal feminism and anarchism. Montreal and New York: Black Rose.

    Brown’s argument is that the individualist currents in anarchist feminism are consistent with anarchist communist politics.

  • Cleminson, Richard. 1998. Anarchism and feminism. Women’s History Review 7.1: 135–138.

    Looks at Catalan and Spanish sources to qualify the arguments about the sexism and patriarchy of historical anarchist traditions highlighted in Gemie 1996. Available online through purchase.

  • Dark Star Collective, ed. 2012. Quiet rumors: An anarcha-feminist reader. 3d ed. Edinburgh: AK.

    A reader, bringing together a set of historical and contemporary essays and articles, that articulates a range of anarchist-feminist positions.

  • Gemie, Sharif. 1996. Anarchism and feminism: A historical survey. Women’s History Review 5.3: 417–444.

    Gemie’s essay investigates the double paradox of the patriarchal politics of historical antiauthoritarian anarchism and the minority feminist cultures of the predominantly male movement.

  • Hemmings, Clare. 2018. Considering Emma Goldman: Feminist political ambivalence and the imaginative archive. Durham, NC, and London: Duke Univ. Press.

    Hemmings develops new perspectives on Goldman’s life and her politics by thinking through her contribution to feminism and anarchism. The result is a challenging analysis of Goldman’s feminism, through the lens of contemporary feminist theory.

  • James, Selma. 2010. Sex, race, and class: The perspective of winning; A selection of writings 1952–2011. Oakland, CA: PM Press.

    James’s work chimes with anarchist feminism and is particularly good on women’s strikes and sex workers’ struggles.

  • Judy Greenway.

    Online access to writings on anarchism, feminism, 19th-century anarchist and feminist movements and ideas, utopianism, and the politics of gender and sexuality.

  • Liu, Lydia H., Rebecca E. Karl, and Dorothy Ko. 2013. The birth of Chinese feminism: Essential texts in transnational theory. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

    A study of the feminism of He-Yin Zhen (b. 1884–d. 1920?) and translations of some of her key texts.

  • McElroy, Wendy. 2001. Individualist feminism of the nineteenth century: Collected writings and biographical profiles. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

    McElroy’s work focuses on anarchists who identified as individualists, often critical of communist anarchist traditions, and highlights the ways in which feminists in these traditions tackled issues of marriage, child care, and self-ownership.


The desire to challenge the claim that the state is the most desirable, inevitable, or sophisticated form of human organization, or a combination of these, underpins anarchist interests in prestate and nonstate societies. This interest extends back to the 19th century, notably, to Kropotkin 2006 (originally published in 1902), which drew on Victorian anthropological research and is sometimes identified as the pioneering work in the field. Barclay 1990 is a classic modern statement of anarchist anthropology that examines the practices of leaderless communities to support a critical analysis of state theory. Scott 2009 has provided a fresh, anarchist-friendly anthropology of resistance to state processes. Morris 2005 offers a good, concise guide to historical and modern literatures, setting Kropotkin’s work in context and highlighting the ways in which anarchism has resonated with academic anthropologists. Falleiros 2018 examines the relationship between European anarchist thought (notably, Proudhon’s ideas), classical anthropology, and indigenous thinking. In some anticivilization and ecoanarchist literatures (see also Ecology, Social Ecology, and Green Anarchism), anthropology is employed in the critique of civilization and, especially, work practices. Whereas Kropotkin drew on anthropology to illustrate his concept of mutual aid and cooperation, Black 1992 looks at a plethora of anthropological studies to support a critique of work and advocate its abandonment for leisure. As well as exploiting anthropological findings, anarchists have also studied anthropological methods and, more recently, a growing number of radical theorists have borrowed the ethnographic techniques widely adopted by cultural anthropologists to engage with contemporary protest cultures. Graeber 2004 promoted this approach as a way of understanding anarchism from the inside, avoiding both the imposition of analytical frameworks that distort activist ideas and the objectification of anarchism as a discrete field of study. The influence of Graeber’s ethnography is detectable in discussions of Occupy, with which Graeber is also strongly associated. The essays collected in Juris and Razsa 2012 all apply anthropological insights and approaches creatively to deal with anarchist actions.

  • Barclay, Harold. 1990. People without government: An anthropology of anarchy. Rev. ed. London: Kahn and Averill.

    Originally published in 1982. Barclay’s seminal study of nonstate societies does not claim all for anarchy but shows that anarchist critiques of the political theory of the modern state are well founded.

  • Black, Bob. 1992. Primitive affluence: A postscript to Sahlins. In Friendly fire. By Bob Black, 19–41. New Autonomy. New York: Autonomedia.

    Uses anthropological studies to critique work and advocate leisure.

  • Falleiros, Guilherme Lavinas Jardim. 2018. From Proudhon to Lévi-Strauss and beyond—a dialogue between anarchism and indigenous America. Anarchist Studies 26.2: 56–79.

    An analysis of the complex interconnections and discontinuities between Proudhonian anarchism, Claude Lévi-Strauss’s dialectics, and the ways of life and thought practiced by A’uwe-Xavante people in Brazil.

  • Graeber, David. 2004. Fragments of an anarchist anthropology. Paradigm. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm.

    Graeber’s short discussion brings anthropological insights to bear on contemporary activist interests in anticapitalist, anti-state protest.

  • Juris, Jeffrey S., and Maple Razsa, eds. 2012. Hot spot forum: Occupy, anthropology, and the 2011 global uprisings. Cultural Anthropology Online.

    A collection of essays by anthropologists and ethnographers, considering the mass occupations, democratic practices, use of social media, and contradictions and critiques emerging from Occupy.

  • Kropotkin, Peter. 2006. Mutual aid: A factor of evolution. Mineola, NY: Dover.

    Originally published in 1902. Kropotkin’s classic critique of social Darwinism and his discussion of mutual aid. The book was central to Kropotkin’s mature thought, and he used the idea of mutual aid in his sociology of the state, his ethics, and his methodology to challenge socialist teleology.

  • Morris, Brian. 2005. Anthropology and anarchism: Their elective affinity. Goldsmiths Anthropology Research Papers 11. London: Goldsmiths College.

    A really useful survey of the literature in the field, from the 19th century onward, highlighting key texts and attending to the intellectual affinity between anarchist traditions and anthropological analysis.

  • Scott, James C. 2009. The art of not being governed: An anarchist history of upland Southeast Asia. Yale Agrarian Studies. New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press.

    A study of the ways in which peoples in the zone designated Zomia in Southeast Asia have resisted the organization and encroachment of formal state structures, sympathetic to anarchist critiques of the state.

Capitalism, the State, and Alternatives

The critique of capitalism and the state and the power relationships that capitalist states foster is central to anarchist thinking. Kropotkin and Rudolf Rocker (b. 1873–d. 1958) provide two classic statements of state formation: Kropotkin 1997 and Rocker 1998. Both contest liberal political theory, dismiss notions of contract and consent, and argue that the origin of the state rests on force. For Kropotkin, the state claims sovereignty at the individual’s expense, and the coercive power of religious, military, and political elites combines to enforce a particular set of government arrangements and economic power relations that undermine cooperation and popular, organic organizational arrangements, institutionalizing exploitation in the process. Rocker relates a similar story but introduces a cultural dynamic to the analysis of state power, discussing issues of nationalism and the tendency of state power to extend to all areas of moral and social life. Goodman 2012 develops a critique of consumerism; suburban development; the ghettoization of poor, usually black, communities; and the rule of “science” in technocracy. The sociological trends pointed to a loss of community and the creation of what the author calls “the empty society.” Fredy Perlman’s poetic sociology of the state brings yet another dimension to the account of state repression by charting the rise of the “megamachine,” a term borrowed from Lewis Mumford (b. 1895–d. 1990) (see Ecology, Social Ecology, and Green Anarchism, Urbanism and Utopias). In this critique, state expansion is associated with economic exploitation, but the strongly militaristic aspects of state development are linked to the development of technologies and processes of domestication predicated on the destructive domination of the natural world. Perlman 1983, highly influential in ecological and anticivilization anarchist circles, is both a functional analysis of exploitation and an organization critique of domination in all its forms. This work also chimed with observed changes in capitalist production and the decline of industrial capitalism between the late 19th and 20th centuries. Bonnano 1998 outlines this shift, offering a strategic anarchist response based on riotous rebellion. Bonnano has produced a rich and influential body of work, and in light of the emergence of the global justice movement, this essay appears prescient. Following the banking crisis of the first decade of the 21st century, anarchists have begun to examine the socioeconomic practices supporting capitalist exchanges. Graeber 2011 highlights the coerciveness of monetary economies and the social and cultural impact of global capitalism. Noam Chomsky gives the best-known anarchist/libertarian left critique of the international state system. His work, some of which is available on his website (Chomsky.info), documents a postwar history of state terrorism and, in particular, of US state and corporate power. Anarchists have explored a number of alternatives to capitalism. Some of these are available on the Z Communications site. Shannon, et al. 2012 includes a number of proposals and sketches, alongside critiques of global exploitation, and Glasberg, et al. 2018 advances a complex anarchist theoretical model of the state to consider strategic initiatives.

  • Bonnano, Alfredo M. 1998. From riot to insurrection: Analysis for an anarchist perspective against post industrial capitalism. Translated by Jean Weir. Anarchist Pocketbooks. London: Elephant.

    Analysis of postindustrial capitalism and the implications for anarchist practice.

  • Chomsky.info.

    Site allows access to books, articles, videos, and interviews by and with Chomsky, America’s most prominent anarchist intellectual.

  • Glasberg, Davita Silfen, Abbey S. Willis, and Deric Shannon. 2018. The state of state theory: State projects, repression and multi-sites of power. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

    The book situates anarchism as a tradition of sociological thought and examines the state as institution and actor and site of multipower. Chapters examine concepts of racial formation, intersectional oppression, and heteronormativity.

  • Goodman, Paul. 2012. Growing up absurd. New York: New York Review of Books.

    Originally published in 1960, Goodman’s study of male youth delinquency established Goodman as a leading spokesperson for the New Left. The book examines sociological trends explaining fragmentation, anxiety, disillusion, and despair.

  • Graeber, David. 2011. Debt: The first 5,000 years. New York: Melville House.

    An anthropological analysis of the development of monetary economies, presenting a critique of modern capitalism and the principles of free market exchange, on which is it based.

  • Kropotkin, Peter. 1997. The state: Its historic role. Rev. ed. Translated by Vernon Richards. London: Freedom Press.

    Originally published in 1897. A classic anarchist-communist account of the state’s development and a critique of the self-regarding practices fostered by centralization and authoritarianism. The essay explores the principle of mutual aid and the idea of decentralized federalism that Kropotkin associated with it (see Kropotkin 2006, cited under Anthropology).

  • Perlman, Fredy. 1983. Against His-story, against Leviathan! An Essay. Detroit: Black and Red.

    Perlman’s inventive, extraordinary analysis has a number of facets: he looks at the process of militarization and the religious orthodoxies that support the domination of the earth and the growth of destructive, exploitative civilizing practices. Moses is cast as the first Leninist. Complicity is also a powerful theme in Perlman’s account of the state.

  • Rocker, Rudolf. 1998. Nationalism and culture. Translated by Ray E. Chase. Montreal and New York: Black Rose.

    Originally published in 1937. Rocker’s exhaustive discussion of the state interweaves an account of state theory in the history of ideas with sociological developments in state power. He provides a critique of fascism, as a state form as well as a particular political practice, and an analysis of cultural domination, with special reference to nationalism. This is a classic but neglected anarchist text.

  • Shannon, Deric, Anthony J. Nocella II, and John Asimakopoulos, eds. 2012. Accumulation of freedom: Writings on anarchist economics. Oakland, CA: AK.

    A collection of anarchist writings on economics, containing historical and contemporary critiques, alternatives to capitalism, and resistance strategies.

  • Z Communications.

    Site hosts a range of projects for an alternative participatory economics (parecon), including a magazine, media center, and blog.

Class-Struggle Anarchisms

Class-struggle anarchism describes a current in the international movement, advanced by two major federations of anarchists. The parameters of class-struggle anarchism have come into sharp definition as arguments about the historical discontinuity of contemporary anarchism with 19th-century traditions (see Introduction) have evolved. Christie and Meltzer 1970 is a classic early statement of the position. Class-struggle anarchists disagree about the overlap between their own positions and contemporary currents of anarchism but agree that anarcho-communism and anarcho-syndicalism occupied the main ground of historical anarchism and that these movements were principally concerned with addressing issues of worker exploitation, economic injustice, the organization of labor, and the process of production. There is a degree of common ground between class-struggle anarchism and nonanarchist socialism, including forms of Marxist socialism, and these are discussed by the contributors to Prichard, et al. 2017, but as Franks 2006 argues, class-struggle anarchists typically reject Karl Marx’s theory of history and, uniformly, the adoption of Leninist vanguard strategies. There are two international federations of class-struggle anarchism. The International of Anarchist Federations (IFA), which traces its roots to the 19th-century Anarchist International and the International Workers Association/Asociación internacional de los trabajadores (IWA-AIT), an organization of syndicalist and libertarian socialist groups. Global communication between class-struggle groups and individuals is also facilitated by the Anarkismo.net site. Class-struggle anarchists resist the suggestion that the focus on class exploitation precludes consideration of nonclass cleavages, such as gender or forms of oppression extending from colonialism and racism. Franks’s examination of British class-struggle anarchism outlines the politics of the constituent groups and offers a rigorous analysis of underlying theoretical principles. Schmidt and van der Walt 2009 recovers a history of class-struggle activism to configure anarchism ideologically as a class-struggle movement, challenging histories of ideas that focus on key writers or individuals. Organization is a central theme in class-struggle anarchism, and Makhno 1996 is seminal to these debates. Makhno’s legacy, platformism, remains a live tradition in anarchist activism, and the South African organization Zabalaza is a leading exponent.

  • Anarkismo.net.

    A news space and discussion forum designed to encourage cooperation and exchange between networked platormists, libertarian communists, anarchist communists, and social anarchists who identify with Anarkismo.net’s published goals.

  • Christie, Stuart, and Albert Meltzer. 1970. The floodgates of anarchy. London: Kahn and Averill.

    A classic account of anarchism by two leading UK activists. The first chapter discusses class struggle, and this becomes the lens for the analysis of anarchism.

  • Franks, Benjamin. 2006. Rebel alliances: The means and ends of contemporary British anarchisms. Edinburgh: AK.

    An introduction to postwar British anarchism that outlines the ideological parameters of class-struggle anarchism through the philosophical analysis of core concepts examined in the context of activist engagements. Franks studies the intersections of class-struggle anarchism with politically engaged aspects of poststructuralist thinking.

  • International of Anarchist Federations.

    Anarcho-communist federation, with international affiliates, that traces its heritage to the Anarchist International, established in Saint-Imier in 1872. The site includes a statement of principles as well as information about current actions and discussion of politics.

  • International Workers Association/Asociación internacional de los trabajadores.

    Revolutionary unionist/anarcho-syndicalist libertarian communist federation, with international affiliates (including the Solidarity Federation) (see Introduction to SolFed, cited under Community and Local Activism). The site contains a statement of principles as well as information about current actions and discussion of politics.

  • Makhno, Nestor. 1996. The struggle against the state, and other essays. Edited by Alexandre Skirda. Edinburgh and San Francisco: AK.

    Mahkno provides the classic statement of platformism, an organizational tendency within class-struggle anarchism, and these essays look at questions of revolutionary organization in the context of his active engagement in the Russian Civil War.

  • Prichard, Alex, Ruth Kinna, Saku Pinta, and David Berry, eds. 2017. Libertarian socialism: Politics in black and red. Oakland, CA: PM Press.

    This volume discusses the tensions and overlap between forms of Marxism and anarchism. Chapters concentrate on particular figures and groups, tracing a history of European revolutionary socialism.

  • Schmidt, Michael, and Lucien van der Walt. 2009. Black flame: The revolutionary class politics of anarchism and syndicalism. Counterpower. Edinburgh and Oakland, CA: AK.

    A global history of anarchist communist and syndicalist movements that sets the ideological parameters of the “broad anarchist tradition” of class-struggle anarchism through the account of movement actions.

  • Zabalaza.

    Southern African federation of individuals, not groups, who subscribe to platformism and anarcho-communism. The site allows access to a range of historical and contemporary resources; a journal; and links to other international and African communist, syndicalist, and labor groups and movements.

Community and Local Activism

Community activism is important to anarchists because it supports grassroots, bottom-up initiatives, facilitates direct action outside the formal power structures, and provides a locus for the development of caring social relationships and networks that are considered central to the construction of alternative, anarchist ways of living. The examinations by Colin Ward (b. 1924–d. 2012) of the possibilities of community resistance, social networking, and local activism have inspired generations of activists. Kropotkin 2006 (cited under Anthropology) was an important influence on Ward 1982: the last two chapters of this book highlight the vitality of nonstate organizations and cooperative ventures from which anarchists still take inspiration when advancing alternatives to statist and for-profit systems. The book also gives a classic account of the ethics of community activism. Van Duyn 1972 and Baldelli 2010 present two 20th-century restatements, the former drawing explicitly on Kropotkin’s work. For many activists, issues of ethical practice are intimately connected with the creation of alternative, or autonomous, spaces, or what Hakim Bey calls temporary autonomous zones (TAZs) (Bey 1991). Working outside formal structures, anarchists are involved in Anarchist Black Cross, Copwatch (see Prisons, Policing, and Criminality), and Food Not Bombs as well as a range cooperatives, independent media organizations, and cultural activities (music, publishing, education). In the context of labor organizing, local activism is sometimes identified as one prong of a two-pronged strategy. Members of the UK Solidarity Federation (Introduction to SolFed) are members not only of the industrial network, but also, primarily, of local groups. Locals organize actions within workplaces and communities in support of members and in solidarity with groups fighting against sexism, racism, homophobia, and other forms of domination. One of the distinctive features of anarchist engagement in community initiatives is the practices that anarchists adopt. These are described as direct and prefigurative, indicating, as Milstein 2010 details, that the actions anarchists engage in are consistent with the changes they seek to realize. Within or without TAZs, the process of decision making is an important aspect of community activism and prefigurative change. Ackelsberg 2010 examines how networks of local grassroots feminist movements have challenged liberal democratic theory and contributed to the reconstruction and reshaping of decision making (see also Democracy and Decision Making). Democratic processes and consensus decision making within collectives, firmly established in the early 21st century, as part of anarchist practice are outlined in Common Wheel Collective 2002, an online resource, and Seeds for Change: Consensus Decision Making.

  • Ackelsberg, Martha A. 2010. Resisting citizenship: Feminist essays on politics, community, and democracy. New York: Routledge.

    A collection of essays that examine issues of grassroots, direct activism, from an anarchist-feminist perspective.

  • Baldelli, Giovanni. 2010. Social anarchism. New Brunswick, NJ: AldineTransaction.

    Originally published in 1971 (Chicago: Aldine). A discussion of anarchist ethics that deals with the state’s exploitation of ethical capital and the potential to organize anarchist alternatives by recapturing the values of community.

  • Bey, Hakim. 1991. T. A. Z.: The temporary autonomous zone, ontological anarchy, poetic terrorism. New Autonomy. New York: Autonomedia.

    Bey’s discussion of the TAZ injects anarchist practice with carnivalesque, playful activity and extends the principle of local social networking to the construction of virtual, global networks.

  • Common Wheel Collective, ed. 2002. Collective Book on Collective Process.

    A handbook for egalitarian communities, outlining the process of consensus decision making.

  • Introduction to SolFed.

    A brief outline of SolFed’s structure, including a description of the role of locals.

  • Milstein, Cindy. 2010. Anarchism and its aspirations. Anarchist Interventions. Oakland, CA: AK.

    A succinct exploration of anarchist activism and principles that details the continuities with historical anarchism and highlights the shifts of emphasis that have taken place in the late 20th century.

  • Seeds for Change. 2010. Consensus Decision Making. Lancaster, UK: Seeds for Change.

    A practical online resource, downloadable as a pdf, discussing the practicalities, benefits, and skills necessary for effective decision making by consensus.

  • van Duyn, Roel. 1972. Message of a wise kabouter. Translated by Hubert Hoskins. London: Duckworth.

    English translation of De boodschap van een wijze kabouter, originally published in 1969 (Amsterdam: Meulenhoff Nederland). A countercultural, subversive critique of authoritarianism, by an activist of the Dutch anarchist movement, heavily indebted to Kropotkin’s theory of mutual aid (see Kropotkin 2006 (cited under Anthropology).

  • Ward, Colin. 1982. Anarchy in action. London: Freedom Press.

    Ward’s classic statement of community activism. He painted it as an updating footnote to Kropotkin 2006 (cited under Anthropology), but it is an original work that extends Kropotkin’s insights into practical activism. This remains an important text, particularly for ecoanarchists and those involved in cooperatives and radical community networks.

Democracy and Decision Making

One of the distinctive features of anarchist politics is the rejection of parliamentary, electoral politics and the principle of representation. Four critiques, CrimethInc. Ex-Workers Collective 2016, Wilson 2002, Landauer 1896, and Black 2011, are included to illustrate the historical continuity of the critique and the different perspectives that anarchists have brought to the analysis of liberal democratic models. As Clark and Gemie 2003 argues, anarchist approaches to democracy typically prioritize society, rather than the state, as the locus for decision making and root analysis in lived practice, rather than abstract models of citizenship. Bookchin 2007, one of the most influential models of pro-democracy communalism, synthesizes anarchism with classical democratic theory to rework decentralized federalism in an age of environmental degradation and class decomposition. Anarchists also discuss democracy and decision making in the context of protest and activism. In Martin 1993 and Writings on Demarchy and Democracy, questions of decision making are tackled in a discussion of social defense, nonviolence, and social change. In addition, Martin presents a critique of representative democracy and electoral systems and outlines an alternative process, demarchy. Graeber 2013 has also outlined an alternative consensual process of decision making by drawing on the experience of the New York Occupy movement. Szolucha 2017 uses the author’s involvement in Occupy in Ireland and San Francisco to examine democracy in social movements. Lundström 2018 presents a conflict in Stockholm to reflect on the relationship between democracy and anarchy. As well as being interested in the processes of decision making, anarchists have reflected on the organizational context best suited to anarchist principles: decentralized federalism. Proudhon 1989 is a classic. See also Community and Local Activism and Protest.

  • Black, Bob. 2011. Debunking democracy. Berkeley, CA: CAL.

    An eighteen-point critique of democracy and majoritarianism, designed to reveal the limits of democratic government in order to expose the flaws in the principle of government.

  • Bookchin, Murray. 2007. Social ecology and communalism. Edinburgh and Oakland, CA: AK.

    A succinct account of Bookchin’s understanding of the nature of the modern crisis, the potential of radical change, and the importance of municipalism and communalism: the foundations for democracy.

  • Clark, Patricia, and Sharif Gemie. 2003. Anarchism and democracy. In Understanding democratic politics: An introduction. Edited by Robert Axtmann, 261–270. London and Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

    Sets out the methodological perspectives supporting anarchist analyses of decision making and critiques of statist models.

  • CrimethInc. Ex-Workers Collective. 2016. From democracy to freedom. Salem, OR: CrimethInc.

    A trenchant critique of democracy that critically examines the pro-democracy activism of Occupy.

  • Graeber, David. 2013. The democracy project: A history, a crisis, a movement. London: Allen Lane.

    Maps a history of the economic crisis to a critique of corporate democracy in America and charts its rise against the expression of alternative, egalitarian, and consensual models, situating the processes adopted by Occupy in a tradition of popular, grassroots social organization.

  • Landauer, Gustav. 1896. Social democracy in Germany. London: The Torch Office.

    A brief critique of the bureaucratic tendencies of socialist party organization and of the German Social Democratic Party in particular, presaging the analysis developed by Robert Michels. Unlike Michels, Landauer associates the oligarchic pressures of organization with statist forms, rather than organization as such.

  • Lundström, Markus. 2018. Anarchist critique of radical democracy: The impossible argument. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Explores the tensions in democracy, using Jacques Rancière as a theoretical point of departure and anarchist histories of ideas to construct a genealogy that dovetails with the experience of democracy in a protest action.

  • Martin, Brian. Writings on Demarchy and Democracy.

    Access to a wide range of published work on decision making, democracy, and activism, both in theory and in practice.

  • Martin, Brian. 1993. Social defence, social change. London: Freedom Press.

    Issues of decision making are discussed toward the end of the book, which considers the relationship between nonviolence, protest, and radical transformation.

  • Proudhon, Pierre-Joseph. 1989. General idea of the revolution in the nineteenth century. Translated by John Beverley Robinson. London: Pluto.

    An outline of anarchist free exchange and mutuality, based on the spontaneous organization of labor associations and elaborated in the aftermath of the 1848 revolution as a critique of Jacobinism and “constitutional despotism,” or parliamentary democracy.

  • Szolucha, Anna. 2017. Read democracy in the Occupy movement. London: Routledge.

    An analysis of the crisis of liberal democracy and the democratic practices of Occupy, the book argues that social movement actions transform our understanding of democracy.

  • Wilson, Charlotte. 2002. Social democracy and anarchism. In Quiet rumours: An anarcha-feminist reader. 3d ed. Edited by Dark Star Collective, 69–73. Edinburgh: AK.

    A critique of democracy and an attempt to debunk the promise of social democracy as a means of achieving social transformation. Looks at the psychologies of power and greed integral to electoral systems.

Ecology, Social Ecology, and Green Anarchism

There are multiple currents within the anarchist ecological movement, and no single philosophy. Murray Bookchin (b. 1921–d. 2006) is often identified as a pioneer of ecoanarchism, and in Our Synthetic Environment (New York: Knopf), published under the pseudonym Lewis Herber, in 1962, he outlined the principles of social ecology. To Bookchin’s disappointment the book was eclipsed by Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, published that same year (Boston: Houghton Mifflin), and was not widely read. Bookchin subsequently explored social ecology in several other books: Bookchin 2004 is one of his most accessible statements and is regarded as pioneering. Bookchin’s is not the only account, however. Clark 1997 draws on different philosophical influences, notably, Daoism (see Religious Anarchisms) and, within anarchism, the work of the 19th-century geographer Élisée Reclus (b. 1830–d. 1905). Social ecologists have been accused by deep ecologists and biocentrists of wrongly attaching priority to social transformation in tackling environmental problems. An important debate between Bookchin and Dave Foreman, the cofounder of the anarchistic Earth First!, divided anarchist opinion, exposing the gaps between social and deep ecology. The cleavages are set out in Bookchin 1997. Social ecology has also been challenged by antitechnology/anticivilization and primitivist anarchists (see Anthropology). Ted Kaczynski’s outline of antitechnologist ideas attracted public interest largely because of the violence of his activism. Also known as the Unabomber, Kaczynski published his manifesto, Kaczynski 1995, as part of his ecological campaign (see Violence). John Zerzan is one of the best known writer-activists to promote antitechnologist anarchist ideas, and Zerzan 2002 is one of several collections of essays in which he sets out the principles of his primitivist anarchism. Ecoanarchism is linked with a variety of activist practices, such as veganism, animal liberation, anti-road-building, cycling, the protection of wilderness, and climate camps. The final issue of Do or Die (see Special Issue: Voices from the Ecological Resistance) is an excellent guide to the range of ecoanarchist concerns and the inventiveness of militancy. Dysophia’s Special Issue: Green Anarchism; Tools for Everyday Life details the ways in which green anarchism informs an approach to anarchist activism and, in particular, questions of ethical practice (see Community and Local Activism). Eco- and green anarchists typically regard Kropotkin as an anthropocentric thinker and technologist. Yet, his proposals for the integration of agriculture and industry in decentralized communes, in addition to his elaboration of the principle of mutual aid, remain influential. The ideas contained in Kropotkin 1912 were, moreover, taken up by subsequent generation of thinkers, notably, Mumford, who provided a bridge between 19th- and 21-century anarchist traditions (see Capitalism, the State, and Alternatives and Urbanism and Utopias). Ryley 2013 presents an important analysis of “individualist” anarchist environmental history and shows why it is still relevant in contemporary politics.

  • Bookchin, Murray. 2004. Post-scarcity anarchism. 3d ed. Working Classes. Edinburgh and Oakland, CA: AK.

    Originally published in 1971 (Berkeley, CA: Ramparts). A collection of essays in which Bookchin discusses the radical social transformations he believed necessary for ecological well-being and presents a critique of Marxism.

  • Bookchin, Murray, ed. 1997. Deep ecology and anarchism: A polemic. London: Freedom Press.

    A collection of essays by Bookchin, Graham Purchase, Brian Morris, and Rodney Aitchtey that deal with the work of the deep ecologist, Arne Næss and Bookchin’s social ecology.

  • Clark, John. 1997. A social ecology. Capitalism, Nature, Socialism 8.3: 3–33.

    Clark’s analysis of social ecology draws on sociological theory and traditions in 19th-century anarchism to construct a philosophical reflection on social ecology. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

  • Kaczynski, Ted. 1995. Industrial society and its future. Washington Post, 22 September.

    A manifesto originally published, under threat, in the Washington Post and New York Times, outlining the critique of civilization that resulted in Kaczynski’s mail bombing campaign.

  • Kropotkin, Peter. 1912. Fields, factories and workshops; or, Industry combined with agriculture and brain work with manual work. Rev. ed. New York and London: Thomas Nelson.

    Originally published in 1898. Kropotkin presents a critique of the international division of labor, showing how production for local consumption, based on the integration of agriculture and industry in local communes, makes anarchist communism a realistic economic prospect.

  • Ryley, Peter. 2013. Making another world possible: Anarchism, anti-capitalism and ecology in late 19th and early 20th century Britain. London and New York: Bloomsbury.

    A detailed investigation of individualist currents in British anarchism and a defense of the nonviolent, anti-corporate, anti-neoliberal principles.

  • Special issue: Green anarchism; Tools for everyday life. 2009. Dysophia.

    Considers the place of green anarchism in a historical context and details the ways in which green principles offer an interpretative frame for the application of anarchist ideas in everyday life. This is a discussion document and a contribution to activism, written to be accessible to activists.

  • Special issue: Voices from the ecological resistance. 2003. Do or Die 10.

    This is the final issue of a now defunct journal that appeared between 1992 and 2003. It documents the struggles of grass-roots frontline ecologists across the globe.

  • Zerzan, John. 2002. Running on emptiness: The pathology of civilization. Los Angeles: Feral House.

    Zerzan’s essays examine issues of violence, self-harm, social collapse, and the causes of environmental destruction in civilization and give a defense of the wilderness. The book includes a reflection on Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, that seeks to understand rather than condemn his campaign.

Education and De-skooling

Anarchism’s philosophical defense of independent judgment and the rejection of authority as command helps explain both the profound interest in pedagogy and schooling and the existence of a history of educational writing and experimental practice in anarchist activism. A number of leading anarchists were educationalists: Louise Michel, Voltairine de Cleyre, and Francisco Ferrer. Anarchist interest is manifest in three areas: the critique of institutional learning, proposals for alternative practices and experiments in free schooling (sometimes spelled “skooling”), and the analysis of the role of education in anarchist theory. Goodman 1964 sets out some of the concerns about orthodox educational methods and, in particular, the institutionalization of learning in schools. Herbert Read and Colin Ward advanced similar critiques, contrasting education with schooling (for Herbert Read, see Read 1958). Ward’s ideas are examined in Burke and Jones 2014. The concerns of Read and Ward dovetailed with a critique that extends back to the 19th century and was profoundly influenced by the work of Francisco Ferrer (b. 1859–d. 1909). Resistance to and complicity in institutionalized educational practices and repression remains a live topic in contemporary anarchism, and the emergence of a small but significant body of academics in university posts has encouraged reflection on the role and scope of activism in academia. Nocella, et al. 2010 and Nocella and Jurgensmeyer 2017 bring together some leading voices to discuss the issue and examines the effects of the terror attacks of 11 September 2001 on academic freedom (see also Shukaitis and Graeber 2007, cited under General Overviews). Ferrer 1913, an open challenge to the authority of the Spanish church and state, led to Ferrer’s trial by military tribunal and execution in 1909. Nevertheless, his work provided a model that was adopted in Europe and America. Avrich 2006 gives a detailed historical account of free-school experiments in the United States between 1901 and 1960 and an evaluation based on the participants’ reflections of the experiences. Haworth 2012 considers the history of anarchist engagements in education and looks at alternative educational practices and learning spaces and the role these play in collective actions. Suissa 2010 debunks the idea that anarchy is rooted in a naive concept of human nature and offers an analysis that not only probes the nature of anarchist education in the context of the philosophical arguments anarchists have presented on issues of freedom, authority, and justice, but also shows the distinctiveness of anarchist free-school traditions.

  • Avrich, Paul. 2006. The modern school movement: Anarchism and education in the United States. Edinburgh and Oakland, CA: AK.

    Originally published in 1980 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press). An account of the modern school movement, from the death of Francisco Ferrer, in 1909, to 1960.

  • Burke, Catherine, and Ken Jones, eds. 2014. Education, childhood and anarchism. London: Routledge.

    The collection examines Ward’s conception of education and socialization, his pedagogy, and practical suggestions for education reform.

  • Ferrer, Francisco. 1913. The origin and ideals of the modern school. Translated by Joseph McCabe. London: Watts.

    Sets out Ferrer’s quite prescriptive views of the modern school curriculum, based on giving precedence to principles of rationalism and science over religion and inherited belief and on the benefits of coeducation.

  • Goodman, Paul. 1964. Compulsory mis-education and The community of scholars. New York: Vintage.

    Goodman attacks the regimentation and drudgery of US education and the socializing role that schools play in preparing children for a world of alienated labor, meeting the imperatives of commerce and consumption capitalism.

  • Haworth, Robert H. 2012. Anarchist pedagogies: Collective actions, theories, and critical reflections on education. Oakland, CA: PM.

    This collection evaluates the experiences and practices of the free-school movement and, developing lessons from these experiments, looks at the potential for advancing egalitarian education, not just in higher education, but at all levels of learning as well, in and outside the classroom.

  • Nocella, Anthony J., II, Steven Best, and Peter McLaren, eds. 2010. Academic repression: Reflections from the academic-industrial complex. Edinburgh and Oakland, CA: AK.

    This collection examines the culture of academic institutions and the socioeconomic forces acting on them. Contributors study the limits on academic freedom and the barriers to free expression and critical thinking, drawing on personal experience.

  • Nocella, Anthony J., II, and Erik Jurgensmeyer, eds. 2017. Fighting academic repression and neoliberal education: Resistance, reclaiming, organizing, and Black Lives Matter in education. New York: Peter Lang.

    A collection that critiques neoliberal educational trends and considers how these might be contested and resisted.

  • Read, Herbert. 1958. Education through art. London: Faber and Faber.

    A classic study of the role that art plays in stimulating creativity and the centrality of art practice in education.

  • Suissa, Judith. 2010. Anarchism and education: A philosophical perspective. 2d ed. Oakland, CA: PM.

    Explores the political philosophy supporting anarchist experiments in education and highlights the insights of anarchist pedagogies and educational alternatives.

Gender and Sexualities

Anarchist explorations of sexuality have evolved, in part, through analysis of internal and external constraint and, in part, in connection with the exploration of anarchist ethics (see Community and Local Activism). Walter 2009 examines sexual practice as self-liberation and social subversion through the work of the Marquis de Sade. Walter’s claim that anarchists have as much reason to treat Sade as a worthy, though flawed, precursor of anarchism, like William Godwin, opens up the history of anarchist thought to review and also questions the wisdom of reading anarchist ideas within a narrowly philosophical analytical framework. The thorny question of limits to freedom that Walter considers in Sade were discussed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by the anarchist John Henry Mackay, specifically with reference to homosexuality and pederasty. Mackay popularized the ideas of Max Stirner (b. 1806–d. 1856) to defend what Mackay, publishing under the pseudonym Sagitta, called man–boy love. Mackay 2002, set in interwar Berlin, is a remarkable analysis of a relationship and the shifting power dynamics between the two protagonists. Kennedy 1983, a study of Mackay’s life, shows how his sexuality shaped his politics and lent it a particular, individualistic coloring. Daniel Guérin (b. 1904–d. 1988) also acknowledged the influence that Stirner’s thinking exercised on his thinking about anarchism and sexuality, and homosexuality in particular. In challenging the puritanical, often aggressively heterosexual norms of the predominantly male libertarian movement in Guérin 1969, Guérin incorporated insights from the work of Wilhelm Reich and Alfred Kinsey into his anarchism and contended that sexual freedom was as important to revolutionary transformation as the struggle for social justice. As Kissack 2008 asserted, some anarchists have long championed the freedom of individuals to define their sexuality without prohibition, but as Guérin discovered, resistance to personal liberation and, specifically experiments in same-sex relationships, has come from within the anarchist movement as well as from outside it. Kissack’s work, a recovery of the history of anarchist sexual politics and the battles that sexuality provoked, addresses issues that contemporary anarchists continue to wrestle with (see also Postcolonial Anarchism, Indigenism, Race, and Intersectionality). Broader ethical questions about hierarchy, domination, and sexual practices as well as anarchist feminist perspectives on sexuality are explored both in the Dysophia 2010 collection Special Issue: Anarchism and Polyamory and in the essays in Heckert 2010. The latter collection also looks at issues of activism and militancy. Heckert and Cleminson 2011 provides another excellent overview of contemporary anarchist activism and debate on gender and sexual politics (see also Anarchafeminism/Anarchism and Feminism).

  • Guérin, Daniel. 1969. Essai sur la révolution sexuelle, après Reich et Kinsey. Paris: Belfond.

    Guérin’s wide-ranging essay presents an appreciation of Wilhelm Reich, the Austrian psychoanalyst, and Charles Fourier, the utopian socialist and advocate of women’s liberation and sexual desire, and debunks myths about homosexuality in the process.

  • Heckert, Jamie, ed. 2010. Special issue: Relating differently. Sexualities 13.4.

    A special issue covering the ways in which anarchist discussion of sexualities fosters new ways of thinking about relationships and the construction of transformative behaviors. The essays deal with questions of theory and history as well as contemporary activism.

  • Heckert, Jamie, and Richard Cleminson. 2011. Anarchism and sexuality: Ethics, relationships and power. Social Justice. Abingdon, UK, and New York: Routledge.

    A collection of essays, reflection, and poetry designed to open up spaces for creative interchanges and debates about the relationship between anarchism and sexual politics.

  • Kennedy, Hubert. 1983. Anarchist of love: The secret life of John Henry Mackay. New York: Mackay Society.

    An appreciation of Mackay’s defense of pederasty contextualizes this exploration of sexual freedom and the repression of homosexual desire.

  • Kissack, Terence. 2008. Free comrades: Anarchism and homosexuality in the United States, 1895–1917. Oakland, CA: AK.

    A detailed and intricately documented account of the battles against sexual repression in the US movement.

  • Mackay, John Henry. 2002. The hustler: The story of a nameless love from Friedrichstrasse. Philadelphia: Xlibris.

    A study of an illicit and tortured relationship between a feckless, beautiful boy seeking his fortune in Berlin and the man who falls in love with him. The last sections of the book offer a dramatic defense of egoism, as Mackay understood it.

  • Special issue: Anarchism and polyamory. 2010. Dysophia 1.

    This collection looks at issues of love and sex, patriarchy, and economic power and discusses anarchist responses as a contribution to building constructive, trusting, and open alternative relationships in the present.

  • Walter, Nicholas. 2009. Sade and sadism. In The anarchist past, and other essays. Edited by David Goodway, 51–59. Nottingham, UK: Five Leaves.

    Walter’s argument is that Sade’s work serves as an interpretative lens for reviewing the contribution of philosophical anarchism, particularly the work of William Godwin, in the anarchist canon and shows how the defiance of conventional moralities and celebration of passion are central to anarchism.


Postanarchism is a theoretical current within anarchism associated with a number of authors who have different philosophical perspectives but who have advanced a common critique of historical anarchist traditions. The anarchism that postanarchists move beyond is labeled “classical anarchism,” and it describes the political theory of the canonical thinkers in the historical movement: Proudhon, Bakunin, and Kropotkin. Postanarchists endorse the politics of classical anarchism, particularly the critique of revolutionary elitism, but they argue that theoretical foundations of classical thought limit the scope, impeding the development of a truly libertarian, emancipatory project. At the heart of Newman’s postanarchist critique is the claim that classical anarchists mistakenly identified power exclusively with the state and believed, as a result, that it might be abolished in a transformative moment of revolution, providing an escape from exploitation and oppression and leading to harmonious anarchy. His critique has softened over time and his recent statement (see Newman 2016) is more focused on situating postanarchism in the longer history of ideas than in substantiating the postanarchist rupture of historical anarchist traditions. For this reason, classical anarchism is sometimes associated with a form of blueprint utopianism (see Urbanism and Utopias), a conception of history that is teleological and an idea of freedom that naively draws on an essentialist understanding of human nature. The emergence of postanarchism has been linked to the rise of the campaigns for social justice and sometimes represented as a theoretical expression of the fluid horizontalism of the protest movements (see Social Movements). This claim has encouraged historicism, in the sense that the 19th-century movement tends to be identified with a narrow form of class-struggle politics (see Class-Struggle Anarchisms). However, postanarchists reject the claim that they have treated postanarchism itself as the result of historical shifts. Indeed, the critique of classical epistemology has highlighted the existence of postanarchist currents within the 19th-century movement. Stirner and Gustav Landauer (b. 1870–d. 1919) are frequently celebrated, in the early 21st century, as forerunners of postanarchist thinking. May 1994 predates the emergence of postanarchism, but this study of poststructuralism and its affinity with anarchism laid the foundation for the epistemological critique developed in Newman 2010 and Call 2002. Some studies challenge the assumptions of postanarchist theory, the originality of its insights, and the construction of the classical anarchist tradition, such as Franks 2007. Yet, postanarchist approaches in political theory chime with a number of activist movements, though not, typically, those that identify with class-struggle anarchisms. For an overview of the debates, see Rousselle and Evren 2011 (cited under General Overviews).

  • Call, Lewis. 2002. Postmodern anarchism. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

    Presents a fluid, flexible history of ideas that maps political theory, science fiction, cinema, and classical sociology onto a matrix to describe anarchism.

  • Franks, Benjamin. 2007. Postanarchisms: A critical assessment. Journal of Political Ideologies 12.2: 127–145.

    Franks’s essay unpacks the “post” in postanarchism and maintains that it represents a change of emphasis, rather than a transcendence of classical anarchism.

  • May, Todd. 1994. The political theory of poststructualist anarchism. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State Univ. Press.

    An analysis of continental political theory that highlights the affinity with anarchism.

  • Newman, Saul. 2010. The politics of postanarchism. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press.

    Newman has championed postanarchism as a departure from historical traditions and argued that it provides a theoretical approach that is consistent with the principles of anarchist practice. Stirner is a central influence on his work. This book is a statement of Newman’s thinking in the early 21st century.

  • Newman, Saul. 2016. Postanarchism. London: Polity.

    This book reprises some of Newman’s leading arguments against metanarratives and sets out a defense of disobedience, developing a history of ideas from Étienne la Boétie to Foucault.

Postcolonial Anarchism, Indigenism, Race, and Intersectionality

Critical reflection on anarchist history, on the establishment of a canon within the history of ideas, together with the emergence of indigenous resistance movements, notably, the Zapatistas, as well as groups in North America and the Antipodes, has stimulated discussion of postcolonial anarchism. As Roger White argues in Post Colonial Anarchism, postcolonial anarchism has a number of dimensions, touching on issues of culture, nationalism, and race; concepts of universalism and internationalism; and understandings of what it means to be antiauthoritarian (see also Aguilar 2004). His analysis suggests that anarchism, as an ideological construct with roots in European history, adopted perspectives that are deeply problematic and colonial. The practical implications of colonial thinking and the tension between Eurocentric anarchisms and indigenous movements are discussed in Aragorn! 2005. As Motta 2012 shows, these tensions are not resolved by the adoption of critical postanarchist or post-left anarchy approaches. What is required, instead, is a negotiation of traditions, and this essay sets out a theoretical framework for the task. The accounts of history and political theory on which postcolonial anarchism has drawn are contested, and Hirsch and van der Walt 2010 presents a picture of non-Western European anarchist syndicalist activisms to highlight anarchism’s anticolonial and anti-imperialist dimensions. Mbah and Igariwey 1997 considers the anarchistic quality of African communalism, and Ramnath 2011 looks at the overlaps between anarchism and Indian anti-colonialism. The relevance of anarchism to black liberation struggles and the possibility of building an anticapitalist mass movement based on principles of mutual aid and solidarity, notwithstanding the failures of predominantly white anarchist movements to attract nonwhite engagement, are outlined in Ervin 1994. Ervin adopts a class-struggle approach to anarchism (see also Class-Struggle Anarchisms). Intersectional approaches acknowledge the intractability of the tensions between different activist perspectives and forms of domination, notably, race, gender, and class (see also Gender and Sexualities), while still working on the development of shared strategies of resistance. Shannon and Rogue 2009 explores the role that anarchist feminism has played in the articulation of intersectional struggle. The essays offered on the Colours of Resistance Archive deal with intersectionalism in the context of antiracism, as well as gender activism, in order to reflect on anarchist practice, movement building, and the development of effective resistance strategies.

  • Aguilar, Ernesto, ed. 2004. Our culture, our resistance: People of color speak out on anarchism, race, class and gender.

    A collection of essays and interviews examining issues of intersectionalism, antiauthoritarianism, and anarchism; antiwar activism; and police brutality.

  • Aragorn!. 2005. Locating an indigenous anarchism. Green Anarchy, no. 19.

    Identifies principles of Eurocentric anarchism and compares them with those of indigenous activism in order to expose the limitations of the former, in contemporary resistance struggles.

  • Colours of Resistance Archive.

    Analysis of grassroots liberation struggles and movement building. Writings cover antiwar and gender activism as well as racism, black liberation, and colonialism and the relationship of anarchism to race.

  • Ervin, Lorenzo Komboa. 1994. Anarchism and the black revolution, and other essays. Philadelphia: Monkeywrench.

    This essay looks at the relationship between capitalism and white supremacy and argues for a form of class-struggle anarchism that rejects all forms of domination.

  • Hirsch, Steven, and Lucien van der Walt, eds. 2010. Anarchism and syndicalism in the colonial and postcolonial world, 1870–1940: The praxis of national liberation, internationalism, and social revolution. Studies in Global Social History. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

    This comprehensive collection is designed to recover a lost history of libertarian movement activism in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. The book demonstrates the significance of class struggle activism and challenges the idea that anarchism was primarily a European movement. The authors argue that the ebbs and flows of the organizing of European anarchist movements distort both the history of anarchism and the understanding of the global forces in which anarchists operate.

  • Mbah, Sam, and I. E. Igariwey. 1997. African anarchism: The history of a movement. Tucson, AZ: See Sharp.

    The authors discuss the absence of organized anarchism in African history and the anarchistic culture of African social forms. They also reflect on colonialism and the failure of African socialism to address its legacy.

  • Motta, Sara. 2012. Leyendo el anarchism a través de ojos latinoamericanos: Reading anarchism through Latin American eyes. In The Continuum companion to anarchism. Edited by Ruth Kinna, 252–277. New York: Continuum.

    This essay shows that tensions between anarchisms and indigenous movements and are not resolved by the adoption of critical postanarchist or post-left anarchy approaches

  • Ramnath, Maia. 2011. Decolonizing anarchism. Oakland, CA: AK.

    Outlines a history of Indian anticolonial struggles, nationalism, internationalism, and the relationship to anarchism.

  • Shannon, Deric, and J. Rogue. 2009. Refusing to wait: Anarchism and intersectionality. Anarkismo.net.

    This essay outlines the principles of intersectionality by exploring anarchist feminist practice. The essay asserts that intersectionality supports anarchist struggles against domination and hierarchy and that it is essential to mutual aid and solidarity.

  • White, Roger. Post colonial anarchism.

    A critical analysis of North American anarchism and the historical cultural biases of anarchist political theory. Available at The Anarchist Library.

Post-left Anarchy

Post-left anarchy is a current that emerged as a critique of the objectification of anarchism as an ideology and of the class-biased leftism of dominant groups within the anarchist movement. Post-left anarchists are attracted to ideas of self-emancipation, individual autonomy, and creative self-expression and are defiantly resistant to norms and abstract ideas, anarchist or otherwise. The construction of social relationships and the ability to resist the regulatory pressures of commercial culture (in marking time, organizing work, and patterning consumption) are some of the central concerns of post-left anarchy explored by Bob Black. Refusing to conform to the values, goals, and principles of others, Black has been attracted to the egoism of Stirner (see Black 1986). In this, though little else, post-left anarchy dovetails with some forms of postanarchism (see Postanarchism). Themes of individual rebellion are also central to Hakim Bey and Ontological Anarchy. Bey’s communiqués talk about revolution and insurrection, dreaming, chaos, and surrealism and highlight the loveless, dull, deadening reality of middle-class living and consumerism. His enduring contribution to anarchism is the idea of the temporary autonomous zone (TAZ) (see Community and Local Activism). Post-left anarchist thinking is sometimes also associated with playful subversion, influenced by situationism, and with the celebration of the wild and wilderness; however, leading voices within this current, particularly that expressed in Landstreicher 2009, are nonprimitivist anticivilizationists (see also Ecology, Social Ecology, and Green Anarchism, Anthropology), and the provocative, militant and anticorporate activism of CrimethInc. Ex-Workers Collective (CWC) has a distinctly urban tone.

  • Black, Bob. 1986. The abolition of work and other essays. Port Townsend, WA: Loompanics.

    A notable critic of Bookchin, Black has produced a substantial body of work (see Black 1992, cited under Anthropology; Black 2011, cited under Democracy and Decision Making) that has helped define post-left anarchy. Black’s essay “The Abolition of Work” is widely read and has exercised a powerful influence on contemporary anarchist antiutopian utopians.

  • CrimethInc. Ex-Workers Collective.

    Provides essays from the journal Rolling Thunder that explore themes such as history and escape, love as resistance, the boredom of normality, and conventional politics. The site usefully lists selected key texts.

  • Hakim Bey and Ontological Anarchy.

    An extensive collection of essays and writings that deal with themes of individual rebellion, antiorganization activism, and poetic terrorism. Hakim Bey is a pseudonym for Peter Lamborn Wilson (see Religion). Available at The Anarchist Library.

  • Landstreicher, Wolfi. 2009. Willful disobedience. San Francisco: Ardent.

    Situationist- and surrealist-inspired antipolitical post-left anarchy. This is a collection of writings published as zines between 1996 and 2006.

Prisons, Policing, and Criminality

As Ferrell 1998 argues, anarchist criminology been shaped by a strong sense of the value of disobedience and resistance and a general belief that the enforcement of compliance to laws is not only unjust, to the extent that law is designed to uphold and protect the interests of particular elites, but also destructive of the social ties that forge community (see also Community and Local Activism). Indeed, in a seminal work, originally published in 1950, Comfort 1970 used the anarchist conviction that anarchy is order and that state rule is organized chaos as a springboard for illuminating the criminality of government. The same approach is adopted in the film The Corporation (DVD, 2005; Zeitgeist) to reveal the psychopathic tendencies of corporations, and it informs anarchist responses to the actions of law enforcement to control not only protests, which Fernandez 2008 and Shantz 2012 discuss (see also Protest), but also the everyday policing of local communities. For this reason, anarchists are actively involved in Copwatch, a network established to document and challenge police misconduct (see also Postcolonial Anarchism, Indigenism, Race, and Intersectionality). Williams 2015 discusses the violence of policing and presents a history. While anarchists have helped pioneer critical approaches to criminology, they have also produced a considerable literature about the operation of prison systems, typically informed by personal experience. Berkman 1912 is a well-known account, celebrated both because Berkman reflected on the dehumanizing effects of incarceration and his own activism and because he documented his reflections on his sexuality (see also Gender and Sexualities). The creation of the Anarchist Black Cross, an active prisoner support network, is a practical outcome of the intimate experience of imprisonment and the politicization of criminality (see also Community and Local Activism). The outlawing of anarchism, resulting from a tradition of actual illegal practice and from the principled disobedience that the rejection of authority suggests, has helped forge a cultural identity between anarchists and groups that mainstream society stereotypes as outcasts: pirates, tramps, gypsies, hobos, and a range of folklore rebels, for example, the Molly Maguires and Ned Kelly. Foner 1966, a study of the labor organizer and songwriter Joe Hill, provides insight into this aspect of anarchist criminality and the lethal persecution associated with it.

  • Berkman, Alexander. 1912. Prison memoirs of an anarchist. New York: Mother Earth.

    Berkman’s account of his imprisonment, following his unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Henry Frick. Berkman explores the dehumanizing effects of imprisonment and his relationships with his fellow inmates; he also reflects on his actions and details his activism.

  • Comfort, Alex. 1970. Authority and delinquency: A study in the psychology of power. London: Sphere.

    Originally published in 1950, as Authority and Delinquency in the Modern State: A Criminological Approach to the Problem of Power (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul). Applies methods from criminology to analyze leadership and political power and expose the delinquency of government.

  • Fernandez, Luis A. 2008. Policing dissent: Social control and the anti-globalization movement. Critical Issues in Crime and Society. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Univ. Press.

    Examines how dissent is controlled by state law enforcement agencies, analyzing the legal, physical, and psychological dynamics of policing in the context of the alterglobalization protests.

  • Ferrell, Jeff. 1998. Against the law: Anarchist criminology. Social Anarchism, no. 25.

    Ferrell looks at contemporary radical criminology in the context of a history of anarchist dissent and rejection of law.

  • Foner, Philip S. 1966. The case of Joe Hill. New York: International Publishers.

    Originally published in 1965. The story of Joe Hill’s activism in the International Workers’ of the World (IWW) and his arrest, trial, and execution.

  • Shantz, Jeff, ed. 2012. Protest and punishment: The repression of resistance in the era of neoliberal globalization. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

    A collection of essays that explore the repression of dissent in liberal democracy, based on discussion of theory and practice.

  • Williams, Kristian. 2015. Our enemies in blue: Police and power in America. Oakland, CA: AK.

    Theorizes policing as the state’s primary mechanism for social control.


Anarchism boasts a rich protest literature, and most of it has emerged from active involvement in protest movements. One strain of this material deals with the forms that anarchist protest might take. Walter 2011, a discussion of anarchist participation in post–World War II antinuclear movements, examines the idea of revolution, principles of protest, and relationship between protest and revolutionary change. Having emerged from the same movement, Carter 1973 outlines the principles of direct action as it was practiced within the peace, unilateralist and New Left movements, the traditions of protest from which these movements drew, and the place of direct action in democracy (see also Democracy and Decision Making). Franks 2003 considers the prefigurative ethics that inform anarchist engagement (see also Community and Local Activism). Another strain of the literature considers the diversity of anarchist tactics. In the global justice campaigns sparked by the 1999 Seattle World Trade Organization (WTO) protest, the black bloc, discussed in ACME Collective 1999, attracted considerable attention from the mainstream media. Yet, as Grindon 2004 argues, carnival was an equally prominent feature of anarchist actions, inspired both by situationism and by Hakim Bey’s poetic terrorism (see also Post-left Anarchy). Still another strain of the material documents the experience of protest and anarchist engagement in mass actions (see also Democracy and Decision Making). Aragorn! 2012, Campagna and Campiglio 2012, Taylor and Gessen 2011, and the documentaries produced in Brandon Jourdan have all emerged from early-21st-century events, specifically the global banking crisis and Occupy and the antiausterity and prodemocracy campaigns with which Occupy is associated.

  • ACME Collective. 1999. Anarchist N30 Black Bloc Communiqué.

    A statement issued in the aftermath of the Seattle WTO protest, discussing protest in the black bloc.

  • Aragorn!, ed. 2012. Occupy everything: Anarchists in the Occupy movement, 2009–2011. Berkeley, CA: Little Black Cart.

    A collection of essays by participants in a range of Occupy movements, explaining motives and methods and drawing lessons from the experience.

  • Brandon Jourdan.

    Independent documentary films that cover Occupy and global antiausterity and democracy movements, including protest actions in Greece, Portugal, and Egypt.

  • Campagna, Federico, and Emanuele Campiglio, eds. 2012. What we are fighting for: A radical collective manifesto. London: Pluto.

    Essays exploring activist responses to and analyses of the global banking and financial crisis.

  • Carter, April. 1973. Direct action and liberal democracy. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

    Situates the protest movements of the 1960s in the context of a wider history and the politics of nonconstitutional activism, looking at issues of violence and nonviolence and the legitimacy of direct action in imperfect liberal democracies.

  • Franks, Benjamin. 2003. The direct action ethic. Anarchist Studies 11.1: 13–41.

    Franks considers the prefigurative ethics of direct action and highlights the parallels between activism and some forms of postanarchist thinking.

  • Grindon, Gavin. 2004. Carnival against capital: A comparison of Bakhtin, Vaneigem and Bey. Anarchist Studies 12.2: 147–161.

    A discussion of the prefigurative elements of carnival protest.

  • Taylor, Astra, and Keith Gessen, eds. 2011. Occupy! Scenes from occupied America. London: Verso.

    In collaboration with editors from N+1, Dissent, Triple Canopy, and The New Inquiry, a collection of short essays discussing the occupations, with contributions from Angela Davis, Rebecca Solnit, Jodie Dean, and Judith Butler, among others.

  • Walter, Nicolas. 2011. Non-violent resistance: Men against war. In Damned fools in utopia, and other writings on anarchism and war resistance. Edited by David Goodway, 23–78. Oakland, CA: PM.

    Examines the relationship between anarchist revolution and a range of principles of protest, from direct action to civil disobedience, to antimilitarism, to anarchist pacifism.


There are pronounced anticlerical and atheistic currents in anarchism. Bakunin’s reversal of Voltaire’s dictum, if God were necessary, it would be necessary to abolish him, captures this mood. The strictly rationalist curriculum developed by Ferrer is another tangible reflection of the struggle that anarchists have entered into with church authorities (see Education and De-skooling). Yet, it is precisely the irrationalism and utopianism of religious thinking that appeals to contemporary writers such as Peter Lamborn Wilson (also known as Hakim Bey; see Post-left Anarchy). Wilson 1996 is a history of religious practices designed to think about intentional dreaming. In the history of anarchist ideas, Landauer integrated mystical and religious ideas into his anarchism. His conception of soul and spirit, outlined in Landauer 1978, were central to his critique of Marxism and to his understanding of individual rebellion and relational change, and they also shaped his rejection of industrial capitalism (see also Urbanism and Utopias). As Christoyannopoulos 2009 argues, it is also possible to identify a religious dynamic in apparently rationalist anarchisms, to isolate antiauthoritarian principles and practices in a range of nonconformist religious movements, and to trace a history of dissent that unites political and religious activists. The Christian anarchism of Tolstoy 1894 is a central focus of discussions of religious anarchism, not least because Tolstoy’s critique of 19th-century anarchist terrorism led him to expound a principle of nonviolent resistance that influenced Mohandas Gandhi and that has since been a significant factor in the development of anarchist nonviolent and pacifist activism (see also Protest and Violence). Yet, as Bender 1983 demonstrates, not all religious anarchisms are Christian. Clark 2005 notes the productive interplay between anarchism and Daoism. Indeed, this informs Clark’s philosophical conception of social ecology (see also Ecology, Social Ecology, and Green Anarchism). This relationship is examined in Rambelli 2013, a collection of the writings of the Buddhist Uchiyama Gudō. Rapp 2012 has also explored the resonances of Daoism and Western anarchism and highlighted the richness of religious traditions for anarchist practices.

  • Bender, F. L. 1983. Special issue: Taoism and western anarchism. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 10.1: 5–26.

    A special issue dedicated to the topic of Daoism and anarchism.

  • Christoyannopoulos, Alexandre J. M. E., ed. 2009. Religious anarchism: New perspectives. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars.

    A collection that examines the positive relationship between religion and anarchism and that looks at a range of different religious anarchisms.

  • Clark, John. 2005. Anarchism, Religion and Nature. In Encyclopedia of religion and nature. 2 vols. Edited by Bron R. Taylor, 49–56. London and New York: Continuum.

    Discusses and contests the association of anarchism with atheism and studies the overlaps between anarchism and ancient Chinese spirituality. Available online under the title Anarchism.

  • Landauer, Gustav. 1978. For socialism. Translated by David J. Parent. Saint Louis, MO: Telos.

    These articles present Landauer’s critique of Marxism not only as a political doctrine, but also as a mechanistic, materialist theory that lacks spirit or soul.

  • Rambelli, Fabio. 2013. Zen anarchism: The egalitarian dharma of Uchiyama Gudō. Berkeley, CA: Institute of Buddhist Studies.

    The introductory chapters give an account of Uchiyama Gudō’s life and work and his involvement in the plot to assassinate the Japanese emperor in 1911 (The High Treason Incident), which resulted in his execution. These chapters contextualize the essays that appear in translation.

  • Rapp, John A. 2012. Daoism and anarchism. Critiques of state autonomy in ancient and modern China. Contemporary Anarchist Studies. London and New York: Continuum.

    A detailed discussion of ancient Chinese beliefs that compares currents of ideas within radical antiauthoritarian Daoism with those found in Western anarchism.

  • Tolstoy, Leo. 1894. “The kingdom of God is within you”: Christianity not as a mystic religion but as a new theory of life. Translated by Constance Garnett. New York: Cassell.

    A classic statement of Tolstoy’s religious conviction, his critique of violence, and his understanding of transformation as a process of individual liberation and religious awakening.

  • Wilson, Peter Lamborn. 1996. “Shower of Stars”dream and book: The initiatic dream in Sufism and Taoism. New York: Autonomedia.

    A study of dreaming and the imagination, drawing on a wide variety of religious and cult traditions.

Social Movements

The appearance of the global justice movement prompted a number of authors to develop new theoretical approaches to the analysis of protest and to consider how best to capture the practices and organizational features of the movement of movements. Day 2005, Chesters and Welsh 2006, and Gordon 2008 offer very different alternatives, but each provides a framework for the analysis of contemporary anarchism and horizontalism. Dupuis-Déri 2014 analyzes the movement tactic, black bloc (see Violence). New works, such as Grattan 2016 and Gerbaudo 2017, on anarchism and social movement activism have been stimulated by the experience of Occupy. Collections such as White, et al. 2016 and Lopes de Souza, et al. 2016 examine recent protest waves through the lens of critical geography. Shukaitis 2016 offers a different view of movement activism, focusing on culture and aesthetics.

  • Chesters, Graeme, and Ian Welsh. 2006. Complexity and social movements: Multitudes at the edge of chaos. International Library of Sociology. London and New York: Routledge.

    A sociological analysis of the global justice movement, designed to capture its fluidity and to demonstrate how the processes of networking that activism encourages challenge neoliberal capitalism.

  • Day, Richard J. F. 2005. Gramsci is dead: Anarchist currents in the newest social movements. London and Ann Arbor, MI: Pluto.

    Day’s analysis of social movements is influenced by Landauer’s anarchism, though Day discusses other 19th-century anarchists, and is an attempt to escape from the logic of class hegemony, popularized by Gramscian thought.

  • Dupuis-Déri, Francis. 2014. Who’s afraid of the black blocs? Anarchy in action around the world. Oakland, CA: PM Press.

    This is a comprehensive account of the history of the tactic and its deployment in protest actions, and it looks at the question of violence and the reputation black bloc has gained.

  • Gerbaudo, Paolo. 2017. The mask and the flag: Populism, citizenship and global protest. London: C. Hurst.

    Outlines a conception of anarcho-populism to investigate organization, protest, and patriotism in contemporary social movements.

  • Gordon, Uri. 2008. Anarchy alive! Anti-authoritarian politics from practice to theory. London and Ann Arbor, MI: Pluto.

    A political theory of horizontal activism that highlights the anarchist principles of contemporary protest movements and that uses liberal theory to illustrate their power and creativity. Gordon’s approach to political theory is informed by a desire to avoid abstraction and the imposition of conceptual frameworks, alien to activists, in order to explore the ideas of the contemporary protest movement. The methodological problem he identifies in political theory is resolved through the adoption of participant observation.

  • Grattan, Laura. 2016. Populism’s power: Radical grassroots democracy in America. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

    Situates Occupy as an anarchistic, horizontal movement in a longer history of American radicalism.

  • Lopes de Souza, Marcelo, Richard J. White, and Simon Springer, eds. 2016. Theories of resistance: Anarchism, geography and the spirit of revolt. London: Rowman & Littlefield.

    This collection focuses on the conceptual framing of resistance actions.

  • Shukaitis, Stevphen. 2016. The composition of movements to come: Aesthetics and cultural labor after the avant garde. London and New York: Rowman & Littlefield.

    A history of art movements from the Situationists and examined through an autonomist Marxist lens, Shukaistis looks at art and culture as transformative practices.

  • White, Richard J., Simon Springer, and Marcelo Lopes de Souza, eds. 2016. The practice of freedom: Anarchism, geography, and the spirit of revolt. London: Rowman & Littlefield.

    A collection that situates recent activism in Greece, Turkey, and elsewhere in a history of resistance actions.

Sociology and Social Policy

In its discussion of anarchism and sociology, Purkis 2012 argues that scholarly traditions in sociology have not provided a fertile ground for anarchism and that anarchist research is more easily conducted outside than inside academic institutions. The potential for the development of an anarchist sociology, rooted in critique and ethical principles of anarchist practice, is similarly the concern of Williams and Shantz 2011 (see also Community and Local Activism). Yet, notwithstanding the constraints of academic research cultures (see Education and De-skooling), there is a history of sociological engagement with anarchist ideas, as Whimster 1999 indicates, and anarchists have long framed their anarchism sociologically. Proudhon used Auguste Comte as one of the springboards for his anarchism. A substantial part of Ward’s work (Ward 2011, Ward 2002) was directed toward the anarchist analysis of sociological problems and issues in social policy, from transport, housing, squatting, and homelessness to leisure, play, childhood, and federalism. Shukaitis 2009 has integrated cultural, social, and political theory, influenced by autonomist critique, to rethink the role of imagination in radical thinking, a distant echo of C. Wright Mills’s anarchist-friendly approach to sociology and imagination. One of Weber’s worries about anarchism was that Tolstoyan conviction discouraged political responsibility (see Religion). Other classical sociologists, especially Michels, concentrated instead on the viability of anarchist alternatives to bureaucratic state organization. Organization is a thorny issue in anarchist thinking, because blanket acceptance or rejection has become a fracture line between some class struggle and post-left anarchists (see Class-Struggle Anarchisms and Post-left Anarchy). Two important essays, by Jo Freeman and Cathy Levine, on organization and structurelessness, respectively, appear in Wilson 2002 (cited under Democracy and Decision Making). However, as Ehrlich 1996 asserts, there is scope for the development of anarchist sociology of organization, as an alternative to liberal and Marxist approaches. Indeed, as Glasberg and Shannon 2011 contends, the critique of elitism, alongside the defense of nonhierarchical alternatives to organizing, remains a central concern for radical political sociologists (see also Democracy and Decision Making).

  • Ehrlich, Howard J. 1996. Anarchism and formal organizations. In Reinventing anarchy, again. Rev. ed. Edited by Howard J. Ehrlich, 56–68. Edinburgh and San Francisco: AK.

    A short sociological study of organization, from an anarchist perspective.

  • Glasberg, Davita Silfen, and Deric Shannon. 2011. Political sociology: Oppression, resistance and the state. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge.

    Written as a monograph that can also be used as an introductory course text, this book analyzes multiple forms of oppression, concepts of power, and the relationship between the state and society.

  • Purkis, Jonathan. 2012. The hitchhiker as theorist: Rethinking sociology and anthropology from an anarchist perspective. In The Continuum companion to anarchism. Edited by Ruth Kinna, 140–161. New York: Continuum.

    Purkis employs a critical examination of sociological traditions to develop an alternative model for anarchist research, using hitchhiking as an exemplar of methodological practice.

  • Shukaitis, Stevphen. 2009. Imaginal machines: Autonomy and self-organization in the revolutions of everyday life. London: Minor Compositions.

    A reflection on the possibilities of social transformation and the problem of recuperation that uses the idea of the imaginal machine and the productivity of its breakdown as a way of framing resistance.

  • Ward, Colin. 2002. Social policy: An anarchist response. London: Freedom Press.

    In this short collection of lectures, Ward explores challenging issues of welfare, mutual support, and the gift relationship.

  • Ward, Colin. 2011. Autonomy, solidarity, possibility: The Colin Ward reader. Edited by Chris Wilbert and Damian F. White. Oakland, CA: AK.

    A posthumous collection of essays, spanning the range of Ward’s published work.

  • Whimster, Sam, ed. 1999. Max Weber and the culture of anarchy. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan.

    A collection of essays treating Weber’s involvement with avant-garde anarchists in Ascona, Switzerland, before the outbreak of World War I: his concerns about Tolstoyan anarchism and anarchist practices as well as the impact of the encounters on his subsequent thought.

  • Williams, Dana M., and Jeff Shantz. 2011. Defining an anarchist-sociology: A long-anticipated marriage. Theory in Action 4.4: 9–30.

    An attempt to advance an anarchist approach to sociology, subjecting mainstream traditions to critical anarchist review.

Urbanism and Utopias

The relationship between urbanism and utopia is explained by the influence that late-19th-century radicals, particularly William Morris (b. 1834–d. 1896) and Kropotkin, exercised on a subsequent generation of urban planners, including Patrick Geddes (b. 1854–d. 1932) and Mumford (see Capitalism, the State, and Alternatives, Ecology, Social Ecology, and Green Anarchism). Observing the spread of urban living and the social problems associated with city life, a number of 20th-century anarchists argued that planning offered a means of creating environments conducive to the expression of alternative ways of living, bringing the utopian ideals of the 19th-century anarchists into a new framework, of urban design. Goodman and Goodman 1990 is an early example that integrates the discussion of technology, education, work, and leisure into the planning process. Ward 1990 looks at the city from a child’s perspective, to consider issues of community. Ward wrote separately on the subject of utopia and, like Parker, et al. 2007, he maintained that the ability to think beyond the apparent reality of existing social and political arrangements is an important part of resistance; p.m. 2011 is an anarchistic example of an anticapitalist and overtly utopian text. Similarly, as Horrox 2009 shows, the potential to structure everyday life according to utopian ideals through the construction of intentional communities can be transformative. Landauer, as Buber recognized, was a utopian in this sense and an important influence on anarchist communitarianism (see Religion). Both Berneri 1982 and Buber 1996 claim that there is a strong element of utopianism in anarchism. Yet, this utopianism has a particular form, which Berneri described as nonauthoritarian. Contemporary anarchists talk instead about resistance to blueprint planning, but the idea is similar. Postanarchists, especially, are not only suspicious of blueprints, but also critical of 19th-century classical anarchists, whom, they assert, either provided detailed outlines of anarchy or believed that anarchy described a fixed condition, set by the realization of a specific idea of human flourishing (see Postanarchism, Post-left Anarchy). Divorcing themselves from blueprint utopianism, postanarchists advocate a form of utopianism that is open-ended and without definite content. The claim that classical anarchists were blueprint utopians is contested, and the debates, together with a discussion of a broad tradition of anarchist utopian thinking, are rehearsed by contributors to the collection Davis and Kinna 2009.

  • Berneri, Marie-Louise. 1982. Journey through utopia. London: Freedom Press.

    A history of utopian ideas, written from an anarchist perspective.

  • Buber, Martin. 1996. Paths in utopia. Translated by R. F. C. Hull. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse Univ. Press.

    Originally published in 1949 (New York: Macmillan). A critical analysis of socialist utopianism in which Buber discusses Vladimir Lenin, Marx, Proudhon, and Kropotkin. Buber’s appreciation of Landauer’s anarchism serves as the basis for the call for a return to community.

  • Davis, Laurence, and Ruth Kinna, eds. 2009. Anarchism and utopianism. Manchester, UK, and New York: Manchester Univ. Press.

    A collection that examines fictional and nonfictional utopianism and the intersections with anarchism as well as the role that utopianism has played in developing anarchist ideas of liberation.

  • Goodman, Percival, and Paul Goodman. 1990. Communitas: Means of livelihood and ways of life. 2d ed. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

    Originally published in 1947 (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press). An illustrated discussion of city planning and the principles of city building, directed toward the realization of a new spirit of community. The text includes an overtly utopian master plan for the development of New York.

  • Horrox, James. 2009. A living revolution: Anarchism in the kibbutz movement. Edinburgh and Oakland, CA: AK.

    A study of intentional communities and of the anarchist currents in the early kibbutz movement. Horrox evaluates the practices and principles of the communities in order to reflect on the possibilities of contemporary experimentation.

  • Parker, Martin, Valérie Fournier, and Patrick Reedy. 2007. Dictionary of alternatives: Utopianism and organization. London and New York: Zed.

    A dictionary designed to challenge the neoliberal doctrine “There is no alternative.”

  • p.m. Bolo’bolo. 2011. New York: Autonomedia.

    Originally published in 1983. An extraordinary picture of a utopian world offering community and autonomy.

  • Ward, Colin. 1990. The child in the city. Society Today. Rev. ed. London: Bedford Square.

    Looks at city life from the perspective of children to consider the benefits as well as the shortcomings of cities.


It is not unusual to see analyses of anarchism open with a discussion of violence or a denial that anarchism is a necessarily or unusually violent doctrine, or both. The reputation that anarchism has for violence derives, in part, from a 19th-century wave of individual anarchist acts of terror. These reached their height in Europe and America between 1892 and 1900 and resulted in a number of high-profile assassinations. The adoption of terrorist methods by radical groups in the 1960s, though not all anarchist, cemented this association. Moreover, anarchism is associated with violence because of the conduct of anarchists in protest actions. Neither property damage nor the willingness to engage in physical resistance is the exclusive preserve of anarchists, but the popular association of anarchy with chaos, combined with the anarchists’ rejection of authority (see Prisons, Policing, and Criminality), explains the ease with which the generic descriptor “anarchist” is sometimes applied. These caveats are important because arguments about the principled rejection of violence have long divided anarchists, and the use of violence and terrorist methods are defended by groups within the movement; it would be difficult to make sense of these debates if anarchism were simply dismissed as a form of aggression. The list here includes discussion of terrorist methods and protest violence. Richards 2000 brings together articles published in the London journal Freedom in the aftermath of an unsuccessful assassination attempt on Hendrik Verwoerd, the architect of South African apartheid, and in response to the editorial “Too Bad He Missed.” Libertarian Socialist Organisation, et al. 1985 is a classic rejection of terrorist methods. The involvement of anarchists in post–World War II antiwar and antinuclear movements encouraged the adoption of nonviolent strategies of protest (see Protest). In this the doctrine of nonresistance, advanced in Tolstoy 1990, was and remains a key influence (see also Religion). For anarchists such as Ostergaard, nonviolence committed anarchists to pacifism. He outlines his reasons in Ostergaard 1982. Not all anarchists agree, and, following the principle of civil disobedience advanced by Henry David Thoreau (b. 1871–d. 1862), some root the determination of conduct in individual conscience. Thoreau outlined his position in Thoreau 1849. Kaczynski adopted Thoreau’s position to support his ecological campaign (see Ecology, Social Ecology, and Green Anarchism). The concept of “tactical diversity” that encompasses this view is outlined in Feigenbaum 2007. In the context of the alterglobalization movement protests, arguments about violence are strongly linked to the principle of tactical diversity, discussed in the activist collection Green Mountain Anarchist Collective 2001. McQuinn 2001, written in light of criticisms of the black bloc, confronts condemnations of property damage with a counterblast on policing.

  • Feigenbaum, Anna. 2007. Death of a dichotomy: Tactical diversity and the politics of post-violence. Upping the Anti 5.1.

    A succinct discussion of the divisions within the anarchist movement on the question of protest violence.

  • Green Mountain Anarchist Collective. 2001. On fire: The battle of Genoa and the anti-capitalist movement. Edinburgh: One-Off.

    A book produced by militants, including Starhawk, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, involved in the 2001 anti-G8 (Group of Eight) demonstrations in Genoa, which was marked by the killing of a protestor, Carlo Guiliani, and a notorious police raid on the Indymedia Centre.

  • Libertarian Socialist Organisation, Libertarian Workers for a Self-Managed Society, Monash Anarchist Society, and Adelaide Libertarian Socialists. 1985. You can’t blow up a social relationship: The anarchist case against terrorism. San Francisco: Arcata.

    Originally published in 1978. A statement opposing terrorist violence as theoretically wrongheaded and politically counterproductive.

  • McQuinn, Jason. 2001. “Stop the violence”: Policing the antiglobalization movement. Anarchy, no. 52.

    The editorial for this issue of the journal was written as a response to the mainstream media treatments of the antiglobalization actions in Gothenburg and Genoa. The article reflects on the ways in which the critique of violence is used to demonize protesters and deflect attention from deployment of state force.

  • Ostergaard, Geoffrey. 1982. Resisting the nation state: The pacifist and anarchist tradition. Studies in Nonviolence. London: Peace Pledge Union.

    Ostergaard presents an anarchist critique of the state that links the principle of sovereignty to warfare to show that antistatism is necessarily antimilitarist, antinationalist, and pacifist.

  • Richards, Vernon, ed. 2000. Violence and anarchism: A polemic. London: Freedom Press.

    Captures the cleavages between pacifists active in the campaign for nuclear disarmament and nonpacifist supporters of nonviolent direct action. Includes critiques of state violence in order to contextualize traditions of resistance within anarchist and other popular movements.

  • Thoreau, Henry David. 1849. Resistance to civil government. Boston: G. P. Putnam.

    A classic statement of the duty to resist unjust laws.

  • Tolstoy, Leo. 1990. Government is violence: Essays on anarchism and pacifism. Edited by David Stephens. London: Phoenix.

    A selection of essays on anarchist themes, illustrating the limits of Tolstoy’s identification with political anarchism and setting out the basis of his critique of the state and his rejection of violence.