Confirmed: Conference on International Solidarity and Relational Inequality

September 13, 2020
IIRE, Lombokstraat 40, Amsterdam

Attendance will be limited due to COVID-19 measures. Speakers confirmed: Ulrich Brand (Vienna), Markus Wissen (Berlin), John Smith (Sheffield). Ben Selwyn (Brighton). Conference chair Marcel van der Linden (IISG).


The Imperial Mode of Living in Context Workshop to be held in Amsterdam, 13 September 2020
Organized by SOC21

Subtly they had been bribed, but effectively: Were they not lordly whites and should they not share in the spoils of rape? High wages in the United States and England might be the skillfully manipulated result of slavery in Africa and of peonage in Asia.
W.E.B. Dubois (1920) [1]

The challenge

Why is working-class internationalism so difficult to achieve? Why could workers so often be seduced by jingoism and xenophobia? Why do Northern workers frequently behave indifferently towards the misery of workers in the Global South? Socialists have been discussing these questions for a long time, across the world. Often these discussions are framed in moral or even moralistic terms (e.g., Christian notions of universal charity). A materialist approach however demands that we address at least the following issues: i) the dynamics of global capitalism and its ramifications for the emancipation of the world working class; ii) the relationship between this capitalist dynamics and changing moralities; iii) the fear of slightly ‘privileged’ workers for deteriorating living conditions; and iv) the necessary conditions for organizing countervailing power and a radical counter-culture. The issue is as important as it is complex; its analysis can only proceed step by step. (……… ) 

For full introduction see here.

How to get there:

International Institute for Research and Education (, Lombokstraat 40, 1094 AL Amsterdam.

Tram 14 from Central Station. Stop Zeeburgerdijk. Follow tramline and turn left after square with huge building.

Given the constraints by the COVID-19 measures (1.5 metre distancing), we will proceed with a physical conference (old style) with a limited number of participants , together with a webinar, as well as streaming on our website.

Provisional programme:

Sunday 13 September 2020

9.00-9.30 Welcome by Joost Kircz (Chair of SOC21), and short substantive introduction by Marcel van der Linden.
9.30-11.15Ulrich Brand (Vienna) and Markus Wissen (Berlin): The Imperial Mode of Living: An Introduction.
11.30-13.15John Smith (Sheffield):
Exploitation in the epoch of imperialism – how to measure a social relation
14.15-16.00Ben Selwyn (Brighton):
Super-exploitation, uneven and combined development, and the imperial mode of living
16.15-17.30 How to continue? All participants

The speakers will be requested to provide a draft text prior to the workshop, in order to foster the discussion.

After the workshop which will be captured on video, the speakers will be requested to provide final documents including addressing the issues put forward by the commentators and others.

Together the documents will be collected in a workshop report, to be published on the website of SOC21.


The Papers presented can be found here.

Who is Who?

Marcel van der Linden:


Ulrich Brand:

Markus Wissen:

John Smith: see e.g.

Ben Selwyn


Rossana Baragán (La Paz): and

Kaveh Yazdani (Bielefeld):

Kwame Nimako, see e.g.: Layers of Emancipation Struggles: Some Reflections on the Dutch Case, In: Melissa F. Weiner & Antonio Carmona Báez (eds.), Smash the Pillars: Decoloniality and the Imaginary of Color in the Dutch Kingdom. Lanham MD: Lexington Books, 2018.
Nimako, Kwame and Glenn Frank Walter Willemsen. The Dutch Atlantic: Slavery, Abolition and Emancipation (Decolonial Studies, Postcolonial Horizons). Pluto Press, 2011

Registration (real life or webinar)

Please register using the button on this page. There will be no registration fee but the capacity is very limited. We will ask a voluntary donation of € 20 for the lunch and other costs. When exceeding the capacity we will invite you for the webinar. You can also indicate WEB on registration if you want to attend via the webinar only.


As we will be spending more than usual due to the dual format (both online and real life), extra funds for the conference are very welcome. Please send your donations to:

St. Socialistisch Onderzoekscollectief


IBAN: NL94 SNSB 0787 4947 12

Register (please note WEB after your name if for webinar only)

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