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The Theory and Practice of Anarchism

24th November 2019 · 3:00pm - 4:30pm

In person | Virtual event

 The Theory and Practice of Anarchism

Anarchism routinely gets a bad press. It is seen as meaning chaos and disorder — or even nothing at all. Contrary to popular perception, different strands of anarchism — from individualism to collectivism — do follow certain structures and a shared sense of purpose: a belief in freedom and working towards collective good without the interference of the state. From the Occupy Movement and Extinction Rebellion to Pussy Riot, Noam Chomsky to David Graeber, this philosophical and political movement is as relevant as ever.

In her masterful, sympathetic account, The Government of No One, political theorist Ruth Kinna traces the tumultuous history of anarchism, starting with thinkers and activists such as Peter Kropotkin and Emma Goldman and through key events like the Paris Commune and the Haymarket affair. Skilfully introducing us to the nuanced theories of anarchist groups from Russia to Japan to the United States, Kinna reveals what makes a supposedly chaotic movement particularly adaptable and effective over centuries — and what we can learn from it.

‘Ruth Kinna’s book will be the standard text on anarchism for the twenty-first century. Written with brio, quiet insight and clarity and taking us from the nineteenth century anarchist Proudhon to Occupy and Rojava, this offering will appeal to the novice student, the activist and the grizzled professor. Quite a feat.’

– Carl Levy

Professor Ruth Kinna is Lecturer in Politics at Loughborough University, UK. She is the co-editor of the journal Anarchist Studies and the author of The Beginner’s Guide to Anarchism (Oneworld, 2005/2009) and Kropotkin: Reviewing the Classical Anarchist Tradition (University of Edinburgh, 2016). Her research focuses on socialism and anarchism in 19th century Britain.

Her book The Government of No One: The Theory and Practice of Anarchism will be available to buy on the day.



Twitter: ‏ @PenguinUKBooks

Doors 2.45pm. Start 3.00pm.

Entry £8, £5 concessions (free to Conway Hall Ethical Society members, who should book these tickets in advance via the Book Now button)

Event is subject to capacity, without exceptions. Space will be reserved for ticket holders.

This event is in the Brockway Room on the ground floor (Accessible. Induction loop audio). For accessibility info:

It is part of Conway Hall Ethical Society’s charitable programme and is tax-exempt.

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