Institute in Paris

Theory in Crisis Seminar - Engin Isin, ‘Planetary Movements: Willing, Knowing, Acting’

Planetary Movements

Theory in Crisis Seminar - Engin Isin, ‘Planetary Movements: Willing, Knowing, Acting’

Planetary Movements
University of London Institute in Paris
Online Event
Event dates
, 4:00PM - 6:00PM (CEST)

What is the role of critical theory today and who is it for? What kind of maps can theory provide in the context of entrenched capitalist crisis? These are some of the questions posed by this Theory in Crisis seminar series.

In this session, Engin Isin will give a talk titled ‘Planetary Movements: Willing, Knowing, Acting’: 

Multiple but resonant social movements marked the beginning of the 21st century with several emergent qualities. There are far too many to mention here but even though the international congresses of working peoples, suffragette, anti-slavery, anti-colonial, anti-war, anti-racist, feminist, queer, trans, indigenous, and environmental movements, world social forums, migration movements, and sanctuary movements have all made indelible marks on the 19th and 20th centuries, the 21st century movements from No one is Illegal to Idle No More or from The Narmada Bachao Andolan resistance to Black Lives Matter, Rhodes Must Fall, and Extinction Rebellion signify qualities of a planetary politics. The naming of the present as the planetary either as a period or condition must proceed with an understanding of the emergent qualities of these movements.

Planetary movements intersect with each other: solidarity between oppressed, dispossessed, and displaced peoples and movements against sexual, racial, national and class domination. Planetary movements resist domination of peoples by peoples, species by species and planets by planets. Planetary movements are also not international, global, or transnational movements. The planetary is not a scale but a stage of politics. The planet earth, its peoples, its species, and its relation to other planets play out on a different stage.

This lecture is an invitation to interpret these movements as ‘planetary movements’ through twelve propositions organised into three parts: willing, knowing, and acting.  


Engin Isin is Professor of International Politics in the School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London. His work is focused on how politics uptakes people and how people uptake politics.  

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