marx2016: To Change a Changed World

The Marx Conference in Stockholm 2013 was a huge success with more than 2.000 participants and contributors, such as John Bellamy Foster and Michael Heinrich. The conference centred on how Marxist theories can help our understanding of the contemporary era.

With this invitation to the 2016 Marx conference, we aim to identify political openings and continued struggles for a world beyond capitalism – which goes hand in hand with an analysis of contemporary society. The benefits of the Marxist perspective stretch beyond explaining the world, to also changing it. Therefore, the banner and theme of the Marx Conference, 2016 will be called: To change a changed world.
We are making a call for presentations and sessions that in different ways will cover political change and political future, using a Marxist approach. We suggest the following four main themes:

  • Capitalism in 2050 – Expansion, destruction, transition? The free dissemination of information, accelerating technological development and creative gift/sharing economies are examples of factors that have restructured capitalism in the past few decades. Some suggest that capitalism is no longer the most efficient way to produce and distribute products, and that it is already changing into something essentially new. Others suggest that the contrary is true, that contemporary capitalism is more refined and barbaric than ever, and that it is truly extinguishing more life on Earth. Will the productive forces deepen, strengthen or burst asunder the capitalist relations of production?
  • Eco-Socialism and Climate. Capitalism is on its way to destroy the bio-physical relationships on which it – as all human societies – rests upon. Brave attempts to ease these problems through system conformity measures, such as reformed environ- mental policies and eco-friendly consumption, have failed. The need to challenge and overcome fossil capital is voracious, and Marxist and socialist knowledge could help to contribute to the environmental struggle and solution. How can we articulate successful alliances and truly sustainable alternatives?
  • Critical theories, platforms and movements. How do we move on from today’s situation where concepts such as identity politics and intersectionality put emotionson the breaking point? How do we do so without losing perspective of how power relations can indeed work in contradictory ways? What unites us in the struggle against capitalism? What can we bring from the history of class struggle and from contemporary movements with new platforms, such as Syriza and Podemos, feminist networks and action groups, the LGBTQ movement and postcolonial activism? Can it teach us something as we face a future where anti-capitalist movements must handle inner contradictions of new types?

To both understand and change. The bourgeoisie has delivered several beliefs and concepts that have helped pave the way for right-wing politics, such as New Public Management and NAIRU (Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment). But what is today’s link between Marxist theory and the concrete demands of the Left? What progressive ideas does the Left endorse in the long and middle-long term? And to what extent can these ideas be facilitated and developed by the Marxist social sciences? In this theme we challenge everyday Marxists, big shot Marxists and all other types of Marxists by asking: How do we best use Marxist tools to create a whole different world?
Marx 2016 is meant to be a meeting place for everyone inspired by Marx or taking Marxist theories as a point of departure in their research, authorship, political thinking and activism. Contributions are however encouraged to communicate with other theoretical, political and organisational traditions than the traditionally Marxist as well.

Submit a contribution!

Proposals can be sent both individually – as individual papers – or as a group session. Sessions are normally conducted based on 3–4 individual papers of about 15–20 minutes each. Including a discussion, a session normally lasts between one and a half and two hours. Larger sessions can be divided into two or more parts, so that every single part does not exceed two hours and four active participants. The format of sessions can vary. A classical session consists of a presentation of papers followed by an open discussion, sometimes with a commentator that has been appointed prior to the session and can provide constructive commentaries on the contributions. It is also possible to shape the session as a workshop, where focus is placed on comments on texts and discussion between the active participants in a seminar form. It is also possible to suggest panel talks where the focus is on discussion and debate.
If you wish to contribute with an individual paper, you should send an abstract of 200–300 words. The following should be included: title, language (a Scandinavian language or English), a general descriptive summary of your contribution and the theme it is connected to.
For sessions (including workshops and panel talks), we ask you to send an abstract of 300–400 words, where the following should be included: title, suggestion for format, language (a Scandinavian language or English), a general descriptive summary of content and theme: theoretical context, planned participants with their name and titles of papers, or wishes for additional participants.
Please send your abstracts no later than 31 January 2016 to:

Venue and Date:
ABF-huset, Stockholm, 14–16 October 2016, Organisers:
ABF Stockholm, Clarté, Fronesis, Tidsignal, Centre for Marxist Social Studies (CMS)
For more information and contact with the organisers:, info@marx2016, contact person: Daniel Hedlund (+46 70 460 71 09)