Contract and Contagion presents a theoretical approach for understanding the complex shifts of post-Fordism and neoliberalism by way of a critical reading of contracts, and through an exploration of the shifting politics of the household. It focuses on the salient question of capitalist futurity in order to highlight the simultaneously intimate, economic and political limits to venturing beyond its horizon.
In capitalist history, as well as in philosophy, finance, migration politics, and theories of globalisation, contagions simultaneously real, symbolic and imagined recur. Where political economy understood value in terms of labour, Contract and Contagion argues that the law of value is the law of the household (oikonomia).
In this book Angela Mitropoulos takes up current and historical theories of affect, intimacy, labour and speculation to elaborate a queer, anti-racist, feminist Marxism, which is to say: a Marxism preoccupied not with the seizure of opportunity to take power, form government, or represent an identity, but a Marxism which partakes of the uncertain movements that break the bonds of fate.
“In this stunning reworking of the philosophical fibres of economy, Angela Mitropoulos provides an expansive realignment of how risk is apportioned and contingency valorised. The result is a febrile politics of debt and credit to pre-occupy the movements in and for the future.” – Randy Martin, author of Empire of Indifference: American War and the Financial Logic of Risk Management
“Angela Mitropoulos’ work moves beyond the impasses of autonomist Marxism and queer theory to forge a critical analysis of the imbrications between economy, nation-state and family. Locating the dynamic of capital in the ‘double movement’ of contract and contagion, Mitropoulos radicalizes the Marxian critique of contract while refusing the foundational nostalgias of the left. Most forcefully, Mitropoulos proposes the prism of household politics (or oikonomia) as a means of interrogating the shifting nexus between the sexual and the economic across different regimes of accumulation. Baroque and incisive, this book will unsettle the most familiar of political categories.” – Melinda Cooper, author of Life as Surplus: Biotechnology and Capitalism in the Neoliberal Era