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Anarchism in Local Governance

Anarchism in Local Governance

A Case Study from Finland

By Stephen Condit

‘Anarchism in Local Governance’ relates the municipal political and administrative governance of Savonlinna, Finland, to anarchist thought and praxis to investigate how they might complement each other.

PDF, 366 Pages


June 2019

£80.00, $125.00

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EPUB, 366 Pages


June 2019

£80.00, $125.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents

About This Book

Stephen Condit begins ‘Anarchism in Local Governance’ arguing that anarchism and anarchists must engage with the ruling order in a more inclusive manner than radical opposition, at least in the environment of a stable and cautious welfare society like Finland. This encounter may enlarge the purposes and values of municipal governance towards some of the fundamental values of anarchism, primarily individual and communal self-governance, and as well develop anarchist thought and praxis, not to renounce radical and non-conventional action, but to enlarge its scope and opportunities by strengthening the legitimacy of anarchist values and praxis, and their practical relevance to the social order.

The discussion entails three intertwined discourses: anarchist thought in philosophical and theoretical terms with an emphasis on the possibilities of its praxis; a descriptive examination of municipal governance through its organisations, strategies and policies; and a rather anecdotal account of Condit’s 30-year career in attempting to combine these dimensions of anarchism, municipal governance and citizen participation in civil society. The counterfactual ideal of Bookchin's libertarian municipalism is a significant measure of evaluation.

Condit’s self-assessment is equivocal. He failed to instil much practical anarchism into the municipality and possibly diluted his own demonstration of anarchism beyond what most anarchists would accept. Nevertheless he considers his project justified because it has clarified potentialities for the municipality, citizen associations and anarchism, and because it may express in more coherent conceptual and ethical form significant emerging trends in Western society.


‘Stephen Condit provides a personal and informed perspective on anarchist engagement in local state government. This is a book that would be useful to those interested in municipalism, left republicanism and all those concerned with the potential for – and limitations on – anti-hierarchical transformation of political logics.’
—Benjamin Franks, Senior Lecturer in Social and Political Philosophy, University of Glasgow, Dumfries Campus, UK

Author Information

Stephen Condit is an American-born naturalised Finnish citizen retired from a lectureship in English, translation and culture studies in the University of Eastern Finland. He has been active for over 30 years as a Green in both the local and regional politics of Savonlinna, Finland, and in the national party, the Green League. Condit served for six terms on the municipal council, as well as in numerous other posts in the municipality and the party. He has published works on anarchist philosophy and on environmental philosophy, with particular emphasis on nature tourism.


No series for this title.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Prospects of My Situation; 2. Evoking Anarchism; 3. Municipal Possibilities for Anarchist Praxis; 4. The Impossible Ideals of Libertarian Municipalism; 5. A Municipal Expedient for Anarchists; 6. Latent Anarchism in Citizen Associations; 7. An Equivocal Vindication; References; Index.

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