(Mis)Conceptions of Anarchism

Issue: 
Autumn 2018
Author(s): 

Difficulties in defining anarchism arise from there being different ways of conceptualising anarchism. Instead of trying to develop one common definition for every conceptualisation of anarchism, it is better to define each conceptualisation separately. It is also important to distinguish between providing a philosophical basis for any conception of anarchism and defining it. The differences between philosophical anarchism conceived as scepticism toward authority and anarchism conceived as a political theory are examined in order to illustrate these points. Then, using a historical-conceptual approach focusing on anarchism as a political theory, anarchism is defined as a political doctrine based on anti-authoritarianism, anti-statism, anti-parliamentarianism, voluntary association, libertarian methods and direct action.

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