Organised State Abandonment: A Concept for our Times?

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5:15 PM to 7:00 PM
Russell Square: College Buildings

About this event

Brenna Bhandar (SOAS)

Abstract:  In the 1990s, management guru Peter Drucker used the term “organised abandonment” in his book Post-Capitalist Society to describe what organisations in the new “knowledge economy” needed to do in order to effectively manage and plan for change. The concept of organised abandonment denotes the purposeful jettisoning of any mode of management, any aspect of organisational structure or way of doing things that will no longer serve the interests of the organisation (be it a corporation or state apparatus). This concept has been taken up and critically transformed by Ruth Wilson Gilmore, David Harvey and Avery Gordon, among others, as a way to understand how a range of institutions and organisations, both public and private, operate to further the objective of private profit at great cost to particular populations. In this paper, I will discuss the idea of “organised state abandonment” in relation to UK government policy as it relates to the regulation of housing, using the Grenfell Tower tragedy as a point of departure. My aim is to assess how this concept can illuminate various forms of state abandonment and neglect, as it relates to vulnerable communities in particular.


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