From the events of May 1968 to the Arab Spring and Occupy, we have seen social movements develop spontaneously around the globe propelling thousands and, at times, millions of people into the streets to demand an end to oppression.
“In order to make sense of such events, the authors draw on George Katsiaficas’s conception of the ‘eros effect,’ which picks up and takes off from concepts developed by Herbert Marcuse. This effect describes moments in which the instinctual human need for justice and freedom undergoes a massive spontaneous awakening. Drawing on Marcuse, the concept foregrounds the instinctual foundation of the desire for freedom, in which a biologically-based pleasure drive—eros—is given free play.” — from the Foreword by Peter Marcuse
However, even as the eros effect provides a valuable framework for understanding spontaneous global uprisings, Katsiaficas has acknowledged that the concept has remained underdeveloped. Spontaneous Combustion provides an introduction to the eros effect along with a series of elaborations, applications, and critical rejoinders concerning its implications. A truly interdisciplinary venture, the book features contributions from cutting-edge scholars and activists on the frontlines of today’s struggles.