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Schizorevolutions vs. Microfascisms: The Fear of Anarchy in State Securitization
International Political Theory (2016)
  • Athina Karatzogianni
  • Andy Robinson

This article examines how hierarchy operates as a productive political structure in state securitization, within the third logic of Mattern and Zarakol’s (2016: 623) three logics of hierarchy operationalized in International Relations scholarship: Hierarchy as an institutional function bargain between actors (a logic of trade-offs); hierarchy as differentiated social and political roles shaping behavior (a logic of positionality); and hierarchy as a productive political space or structure (a logic of productivity). In Mattern and Zarakol (2016), ‘the feature of hierarchies most central to the logic of productivity is their practical or performative, ontology’ (p. 641) with the focal point ‘disclosing the mechanisms of power through which particular discursive regimes of truth produce and naturalize hierarchies and the political inequalities that flow from them’ (p.642). In order to discuss hierarchy as a productive political structure, we investigate the role of “anarchy” in state securitization. By discussing state hierarchies’ struggle with active and reactive anarchic networks, we theorise a state in existential crisis which exploits anti-anarchist discourses to respond to network threats, and in the second part, we illustrate with examples the use of fear of anarchy in hierarchical productive structures of securitization. In the concluding part, we discuss visions of desecuritizing society, breaking away from majoritarian logics of control, and the coming of other worlds counterposed to the hierarchies producing and reproducing an eternal loop of state and network terror. The central starting point of this argumentation is that the world system is a hierarchical system, not an anarchic system and that the fear of  ‘anarchy’ itself is used as a red herring by states, in the context of the antagonism between statist, hierarchical structures versus network social logics (both active and reactive). We suggest that the network form and 'social principle' in Kropotkin’s (1897) sense translate to statist thought as anarchy in the Hobbesian sense.  We suggest that Hobbes inaccurately portrays states as necessarily protective and industry-promoting, a viewpoint untenable from a bottom-up point of view, yet pointing to the necessity of the state's integrative function for capitalism as an axiomatic system.  This role is not productive, but rather, consists in separating active force from what it can do, in order to capture it for exploitation.  As an 'antiproduction assemblage', the state treats logics stemming from the 'social principle' as a repressed Real, the exclusion of which underpins its own functioning.  Applying this analysis to the present day, we analyse the securitization discourse of 'new threats' as a statist response to the uncertainty and fear brought on by the proliferation of opposing network forms of organization. This response is a statist form of terror attempting to fix network flows in place. The scarcity and fear resulting from state terror ensures responses to this structural violence by reactive networks, whilst paradoxically also exacerbating reactive tendencies within social movements, creating a spiral of terror, and the very situation of global civil war which Hobbesian/Realist IR theory - reliant on the schema of states struggling for power in an anarchic international system - attempts to ward off. 

  • active networks,
  • reactive networks,
  • deleuze,
  • security,
  • state theory
Publication Date
October 18, 2016
Citation Information
Karatzogianni, A and Robinson, A. (2017) 'Schizorevolutions vs. Microfascisms: The Fear of Anarchy in State Securitization', Journal of International Political Theory, 13(3), pp. 282 - 295. Online available at:
Creative Commons license
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons CC_BY-SA International License.