UW School of Music: Carillon TowerEstablished in the Sociology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1984, the A. E. Havens Center for Social Justice is dedicated to promoting critical intellectual reflection and exchange, both within the academy as well as between it and the broader society. The Center is named in honor of the late Professor of Rural Sociology, A. Eugene Havens, whose life and work embodied the combination of progressive political commitment and scholarly rigor that the Center encourages.

The traditional tasks of critical social thought have been to analyze the sources of inequality and injustice in existing social arrangements, to suggest both practical and utopian alternatives to those arrangements, and to identify and learn from the many social movements seeking progressive social and political change. These tasks are as relevant today as ever. Indeed, we face a variety of challenges, both new and enduring, that demand creative critical reflection. These include the increasingly integrated and global character of capitalist economic development, the durability of racial and gender oppressions, the threats of global environmental catastrophe, and the failure of many traditional models of progressive reform.

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Upcoming events

After Capitalism?

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David Schweickart
"What’s Wrong with Capitalism?"
Tuesday, September 26, 4pm
"Where Do We Want to Go? How Might We Get There?"
Wednesday, September 27, 4pm
Open Seminar for students, faculty, and public
Thursday, September 28, 12:20pm

DAVID SCHWEICKART is Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.  He holds Ph.D's in mathematics and philosophy. He is the author of Capitalism or Worker Control? An Ethical and Economic Appraisal (Praeger, 1980), Against Capitalism (Cambridge, 1993), Market Socialism: The Debate Among Socialists (Routledge, 1998; coauthored with Bertell Ollman, Hillel Ticktin and James Lawler), and After Capitalism (Rowman and Littlefield, 2002). He is also the author of numerous articles in social-political philosophy. His primary focus has been on developing and defending, as both economically viable and ethically desirable, a socialist alternative to capitalism, which he calls Economic Democracy. His work has been translated into Chinese, Spanish, French, Norwegian, Slovak, Farsi, and Catalan. 

Dismantling Solidarity

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Michael McCarthy
"Dismantling Solidarity: Capitalist Politics and Retirement Income since the New Deal"
Monday, October 2, 12 noon

MICHAEL McCARTHY is assistant professor of sociology in the Department of Social and Cultural Sciences at Marquette University. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University and was a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies. In general, his research interests lie at the intersection of political sociology, political economy, labor and social movements, work and social policy. He is the author of Dismantling Solidarity: Capitalist Politics and American Pensions since the New Deal (Cornell University Press, 2017), which explores the sociological causes of the current crisis in retirement.

Why have capitalist markets come to play a growing role in the distribution of retirement income in the US since the New Deal? Drawing on rich archival data that covers more than fifty years of American history, this talk argues that the critical driver was policymakers’ reactions to capitalist crises and their political imperative to promote capitalist growth.  

Legacies of Fascism: Race and the Far-Right in the Making of the Cold War

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Alexander Anievas
"Reassessing the Cold War and the Politics of the Far-Right: Fascist Legacies and the Origins of the Liberal International Order after 1945"
Tuesday, October 10, 4pm
"Defending White Supremacy at Home, Projecting Liberalism Abroad: Race, Anti-Communism, and the Making of US Hegemony"
Wednesday, October 11, 4pm
Open Seminar for students, faculty, and public
Thursday, October 12, 12:20pm

ALEXANDER ANIEVAS is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Anievas studies international relations, with a particular focus on the development of non-Eurocentric approaches to international historical sociology and political economy. He has held fellowships at the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge. He is the author of Capital, the State, and War: Class Conflict and Geopolitics in the Thirty Years’ Crisis, 1914-1945 (University of Michigan Press, 2014), for which he was awarded the Sussex International Theory Book Prize, and co-author (with Kerem Nişancıoğlu) of How the West Came to Rule: The Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism (Pluto, 2015). He is also the editor or co-editor of five books, including Historical Sociology and World History: Uneven and Combined Development over the Longue Durée, Cataclysm 1914: The First World and the Making of Modern World Politics, and Marxism and World Politics: Contesting Global Capitalism. He is currently working on a manuscript (with Richard Saull) entitled Legacies of Fascism: Race and the Far-Right in the Making of the Cold War.

Havens Center Award for Lifetime Contribution to Critical Scholarship

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Tariq Ali
"1917-2017: Wars and Revolutions"
Thursday, October 19, 2017

TARIQ ALI is a writer and filmmaker. He has written more than two dozen books on world history and politics, and seven novels (translated into over a dozen languages) as well as scripts for the stage and screen. He is an editor of New Left Review and lives in London. His nonfiction books include Pirates Of The Caribbean, Conversations with Edward Said, Bush in Babylon, Clash of Fundamentalisms, The Obama Syndrome, and The Extreme Centre: A Warning. His most recent book, The Dilemmas of Lenin: Terrorism, War, Empire, Love, Revolution, is due out in April 2017.

Week of October 30

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David Bacon

DAVID BACON is a writer and photographer, and former union organizer. He is the author of several books on labor, migration and the global economy, including The Children of NAFTA, Communities Without Borders, Illegal People and The Right to Stay Home.