Anarchic Agreements: A Field Guide to Collective Organizing
Authors: Ruth Kinna, Alex Prichard, Thomas Swann, and Seeds for Change
Series: PM Press
Subjects: Anarchism, Constitutions, History & Theory
A new world is possible and not just in our hearts. Anarchic Agreements is a quintessential field guide for the revolution, answering the practical questions often left out of works of political theory and philosophy. How do leaderless groups organize? How might they create constitutions, balance power and write protocols? How do group cultures and institutions maintain coalitions? This urgent and inspiring how-to is the product of more than twenty years of research. Designed explicitly for everyday use, it contains lived examples and text from current horizontally organized constitutions. These documents illustrate the never-ending process of developing community and keeping collaborations alive in the fairest ways possible. Written by dedicated anarchist scholars and organizers, and based on the widely popular Anarchic Agreements pamphlet series, this book facilitates grassroots activism and provides methods to improve and streamline decision making. It is an inspiring celebration of the novel, complex, and flexible constitutions anarchists have created over time. This book shows how to realize another world, collectively without domination, while leaving the future open to infinite other possibilities.
“Anarchic Agreements is a kind of how-to offering about something not often codified at all, much less with systematic and comprehensive care—forming effective groups, and then, groups of groups, consistently with anarchist aspirations and insights. It addresses the nitty gritty of working well together, a focus that everyone who wants a better world ought to prioritize.”
—Michael Albert, ZNet, author of Practical Utopia
“I’ve been using the tools and principles in the Anarchic Agreements pamphlets—here at last as one book, with more besides—since 2017. The book works with campaign groups, charities, housing co-ops, workers' co-ops, and all sorts of organisations and committees with an aspiration to be less hierarchical or to work better with volunteers. Making agreements that are consensual, changeable, and conscious is the keystone for making groups that last. It can also be a tonic for groups that have gone stale, inherited old rules, or need a new shared vocabulary to move from a vision of the future to the real thing.”
—Jed Picksley, community organiser, trainer, activist, and permaculturist
“Informed and informative, this is a rare and much needed response to the often simplistic approaches to anarchist organising. For every piece of practical advice useful to organisers, there’s an equally valuable reflection on the complexities of working together without hierarchies. I couldn’t recommend this more highly for newcomers to horizontal organising—and I’d make the case that it should be mandatory reading for anarchist veterans!”
—Matthew Wilson, author of Rules Without Rulers
About the Authors
Ruth Kinna teaches at Loughborough University, UK. She has published numerous books on anarchism, historical and contemporary, and is a contributor to PM Press’s Mutual Aid: An Illuminated Factor of Evolution. She is coeditor of Libertarian Socialism: Politics in Black and Red, also published by PM Press.
Alex Prichard teaches international relations at the University of Exeter, UK. He has published widely on the international political thought of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, most recently a new translation of his 1861 work War and Peace. He is also the author of the new edition of Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press).
Thomas Swann writes on anarchist politics and alternative organization. His book Anarchist Cybernetics: Control and Communication in Radical Politics was published in 2020. He is also coeditor of Anarchism, Organization and Management, a book that introduces anarchism to business school students.
Seeds for Change is a workers' co-op of experienced campaigners and co-operators. It offers training, facilitation, online resources and other support for campaigns, community groups, and co-operatives. It provides free-to-use resources on campaigning, facilitation, and workshops. Its members authored A Consensus Handbook: Co-operative Decision-Making for Activists, Co-ops and Communities.
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