Planning for Conflict

Mandarini, Matteo and Toscano, Alberto. 2020. Planning for Conflict. South Atlantic Quarterly, 119(1), pp. 11-30. ISSN 0038-2876 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Planning is widely perceived as an approach to economic life which both subordinates decisions about production and distribution to a supposedly objective Science and as an illegitimate subjection of economic laws to a commanding political Will. This article excavates two key phases in the Soviet experiment with a planned economy - namely, the New Economic Policy under Lenin and the Stalinist institution of the five-year plan - to explore the way in which planning could be thought of as directly incorporating a dimension of social and class conflict. This archaeological reconstruction of an antagonistic politics of planning is contrasted with the disavowed elements of planning within contemporary business logistics but also to efforts within critical Marxist theory after 68 to push against the depoliticizing dimensions of the plan.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


antagonism, class struggle, logistics, New Economic Policy, planning

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature > Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought


15 March 2019Accepted
1 January 2020Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

01 Nov 2019 16:05

Last Modified:

12 Jun 2021 01:04

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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