By Benjamin Franks on 1 February 2018

Call for papers for panel on Anarchist Hybrids

Are you drawn to a particular cross-current of anarchism like anarcha-feminisms, anarcho-syndicalisms, libertarian Marxisms, or eco-anarchisms? Or are you interested in what constitutes a hybrid of anarchism or the development and function of hybrid ideologies in general? If so, you may be interested in the following call for papers for a stream on Hybrid Anarchisms. (Jump to the contact information if the background material does not grab you.)


Anarchist Hybrids

Whilst all ideologies change over time and place, with once prominent concepts retreating to more minor positions and new ones arising (Freeden 1996, 2003), anarchism is particularly noted for its diverse ideological structures and manifold organisational forms (Williams 2007). Alongside this plurality there have been attempts to unify anarchism into one ‘without adjectives’ or hyphens (see for instance Voltairine de Cleyre, Fernando Tarrida del Mármol and Ricardo Mella). Others have argued that it is not possible to find a single stable anarchist minimum capable of unifying all anarchisms (Schmidt and van der Walt 2009, Franks 2013). Hybridity thus seems to be a significant feature of anarchism.


There are distinctive structures of concepts, organisational forms, tactics, identities, and agencies which find affinities with similarly located anarchist movements and with organisations situated within other ideologies. Anarchism itself may be the prototypical hybrid ideology in its fusion of liberal individualism and socialist collectivism (Rocker nd; Freeden 1996). This fits with Franks’ (2016) account of a transcendent hybrid that develops into a wholly discrete and competing ideology. Other hybrid forms include unstable phenotypes which combine concepts in such a contradictory manner that they have only highly temporary and localised impacts before collapsing; single operator hybrids that stabilize or operate within the domain of only one of the ideological parents; or joint attribute cross-breeds that contain significant shared characteristics of both ideological parents and operate effectively within both ideologies (like Marxist-Feminism).


The notion of hybridity in general is a complex concept. It has been utilised as a conceptual tool in political analysis of ‘hybrid regimes’ (state structures that combine features of democracy and authoritarianism). As John Hutnyk (2005) and Marwan Kraidy (2005) identify it is also widely discussed in communication studies, ethnic studies, cultural studies, and sociology to cover ‘cultural exchange,’ identity change, human–technology interfaces, and communication strategies. Less attention has been paid to the notion of ideological hybridity, particularly as it applies to radical movements seeking to mobilise support across diverse terrains and avoid recuperation and domestication or intent on generating new languages for rethinking strategies and tactics (Williams 2011).


We invite contributions to a panel or panels to examine anarchist hybrids (such as anarcha-feminisms, eco-anarchisms, anarcho-syndicalisms, and the like), to explore particular characteristics of specific anarchist hybrids, and to identify what can be learnt from them that may benefit wider anarchist practices and our understanding of ideological hybridisation.


Amongst possible research questions are:


  • Is anarchism prone to hybridisation and, if so, in what ways is this is a strength or a weakness?


  • To what extent are hybrids deliberate, conscious adaptations and how far are they are unconscious or organic features of (anti-)political engagement? What factors influence the development of hybridisation?


  • What constitutes an ideological hybrid in general and a hybrid of anarchism in particular? How does a hybrid differ from a sub-ideology or mere eclectic contrivance?


  • Is hybridity a characteristic of particular thinkers as well as movements? What are the hybrid/eclectic/mestizaje aspects in the thought of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Michael Bakunin, Emma Goldman, or Lucy Parsons – and more recently Murray Bookchin or Judi Bari? 


  • How might hybrid forms assist in developing alliances between various anarchist groups and solidarities with other ideological movements?


  • What are the relationships within and between different hybrids? With which are their affinities?


  • Why are some supposed hybrids of anarchism (for instance Tory anarchism, anarcho-capitalism, and nationalism anarchism) wholly incompatible with most prevalent anarchist hybrids (anarcho-syndicalism, anarchist-communism, eco-anarchism, anarcha-feminisms)? How has the adoption of some anarchist principles by oppositional ideologies re-shaped those ideologies and their practices?


  • What types of hybrids are constituted by post-, post-left, egoist-, anti-civilisation, and insurrectionary-anarchisms?




If you are interested in participating in this stream: please send a short description of your contribution (an abstract) to:


Prof. Leonard Williams:

Professor of Political Science, Manchester University, 604 East College Avenue, North Manchester, IN 46962


Dr Benjamin Franks:

Lecturer in Social and Political Philosophy, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Glasgow, Rutherford McCowan Building, Crichton Campus, Dumfries DG1 4ZL


ASN Conference

The 5th International conference of the Anarchist Studies Network will take place 12-14 September 2018 at Loughborough University, England-UK.

For further information about the conference and how to book please contact: