Panel 1 Environmentalism – Plural Ecologies & Multi-Sociologies 

Environmentalists and environmental groups within Southeast Asia almost always adopt a holistic approach to resolving environmental issues. In this sense, we encourage a dialogue between presentations regarding the COVID-19 crisis that highlight the continuum between health, environment, and social issues. In addition, in regards to emerging alternatives that attempt to propose solutions to both infrastructural and ecological crises, the contributors will discuss: 

  • The development of collective mobilizations in front of the land, water, and air pollutions;
  • Conflicting conceptions regarding bio-social symbiosis, the exploitation of natural resources, and human domination over other species;
  • Concrete ways in which the protection of ecological systems intersects with collective reflexivity on diachronic and territorial continuums, as well as the dialogues, arrangements, misunderstandings, and conflicts that this intersection provokes; 
  • Knowledge, practical, and material resources that are or could be mobilized concerning, for example, the interconnections between biological diversity and social plurality.

Panel 2 Religiosities – Order & Disorder between Immanent Life Forces & Transcendental Religions 

The political management and public perception of the COVID-19 pandemic affect the way social relationships and human and non-human interactions are conceived and implemented. For instance, lockdown measures reconfigure networks of community solidarity; they enhance the visibility of the vital interdependence between different living species, the impact of information, communication, and beliefs. Possible questions are:

  • How does the pandemic inflect the religious narratives on life and death, the need for faithful mutual assistance and solidarity, as well as the need for authoritative figures and texts?
  • How does the current situation impact the relations between religious groups in society and their discourse?
  • How does the agenda of radical religious groups change in the COVID-19 context and in face of the “State of exception” style policies established by regional governments?

Panel 3 Identity, Culture & Heritage – Commonality & Alterity within Cosmopolitan & Historical Territories 

This panel follows the political scientist Jean-François Bayart (2017) on the integration of nation-states into the global economy, which intersects in a triangular relationship with the reinforcement of states as social regulators and with the resulting tension amid territorial, communitarian, or religious identities.

  • How can alter-political groups contribute to counterbalancing conservative identity-centered movements, which are increasingly promoted or sponsored by the State, or exploited by regional governments?
  • How can individuals emancipate themselves from normative frames and reciprocally, how can cosmopolitanism, collective action, and organization counterbalance anti-social political tendencies and individualistic development models? How can vulnerable populations, such as minority political groups, autochthonous people, and migrant populations, be taken into consideration in relation to the territorial and memorial issues they face?

Panel 4 Political Participation – The Geometry of Participation in the face of Neoliberal-influenced Authoritarianism 

Facing the effects of national-liberalism within the global tendency towards authoritarianism, how do different political participation models interact, combine, or exclude each other?

  • The contributors analyze the co-existence of different models, from traditional triangular and circular social organizations to representative bottom-up and top-down democracy, to self-organized and federative organizations embracing certain anarchist tendencies.
  • With the renewal of government authoritarian strategies, how do the governed social groups adapt their tactics, objectives, and modes of action?
  • How can governmental technologies be hijacked and become tools for social emancipation?

Panel 5 Goods, Tools & Transactions – Alternative Materialities & Non-Commercial Circulation

How is the transaction of goods mediated by social organizational modes of regulation that compete with, run in parallel to, or complement the capitalist model of accumulation? 

  • How are these organizational modes sustained by clientelist local networks and mechanisms of interpersonal arrangements?
  • Why do different kinds of reactions develop (from passivity to incorporation, to complaint, and contestation) in front of the governmental and management tools that contribute to the regulation/deregulation of economics and politics, and to the right to use and share?
  • What happens when the circulation of goods is oriented towards small-scale and intergenerational solidarity, rather than stimulating the desire for capitalization?
  • Do new technologies of information, circulation, and communication favor social emancipation?
  • Are there common goods exclusive to one community that does not correspond or comply with public interests? It may be interesting to re-examine experiences of establishing “commons” on different spatial and temporal scales as opposed to the notion of “public” (and vice versa) to enrich reciprocal interrogation of these two fields of research.

Panel 6 Subjectivities & Subjugation – Gender, Generation, Class & Race 

In what conditions do inter-individual and inter-social relations contribute to cohabitation and equitability? How can we foster cosmopolitanism, intergenerational solidarities, and gender inclusiveness as assets for a common, desirable and sustainable future?

  • In a classical sense, we will reflect on how gender, generation, class, and race, among other axes of power, intersect, making certain individuals or groups more prone to experiencing discrimination. 
  • The dominant ideology of liberal economy and performance can have perverse effects when, in order to encourage the autonomy of women, social minorities, and poor sectors of the population it formulates an injunction that enforces and paralyzes the roles assigned to each. In parallel, behind certain postures of protest, the mobilization of concepts such as gender, race, and class can make the realities to which they relate seem natural and thereby reinforce certain dominant logics. The contributors address the complexity of these different situations in order to understand how certain modes of protest also reflect forms of incorporation, interiorizing assigned places, and norms defined by dominant ideological systems.
  • Through the promotion of individual responsibility, liberal discourse and action can result in the State neglecting to protect its citizens’ collective rights. In the frame of liberal ideology, the individual is encouraged to be his own manager, taking charge of his health, career, wealth, sexuality, and gender. Still, does the system really change, reorganize hierarchies and provide individuals with the possibility to be emancipated from their conventional roles?
  • In some cases, the figure of the foreigner is caricatured as a veiled woman wearing a burqa who must remain locked in her home so as not to disturb the indigenous public space. In other cases, women are exemplified and identified with notions of care and altruism. Pointing out anti models and normalizing identities can have similar effects: the image of the emancipated woman can become a tool for subjugation that identifies particular models with a specific gender, class, and race and then fosters inequalities and the control of social categories designated as exterior or different.