Politics & Political Theory

Agitative pauses, intentional moorings: Stasis as resistance

Stasis has reemerged in recent accounts of resistance. In this paper that draws from ethnographic research with a youth antiauthoritarian community in Cyprus and their long-term occupation of a city square, I provide a broader theorization of this multi-semantic concept that has hitherto been missing from accounts on stasis commonly found in literature on the squares movement(s). I argue that stasis constitutes a key form of resistance to modern forms of power by pausing the circulation of capitalism and scheduled time and subverting the production of subjectivities that support such circulation. By drawing on Nicole Loraux’s interpretation of stasis as “movement at rest,” I overturn the negative connotations often associated with stasis as (unwanted) immobility by showing how stasis can be a desired political action that includes forms of mobility and circulation within it. Developing this theorization further, I analyze stasis as a threshold to critical political subjectivization, as productive of ipostasis (existence) that enables the subjects under stasis to appear in political terms and exercise their right to politics. I thus contribute to recent literature on the political potential and existential necessity of occupying practices that allow for a politicizing of the urban everyday.

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Volume 39 Issue 4

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