Perspectives on Anarchist Theory

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Vol. 4 - No. 1
Spring, 2000

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Institute for Anarchist Studies Update

Every new year we reflect on the accomplishments of the previous year and prepare for the challenges ahead. We are especially excited about the contributions the IAS will make in 2000 to the revitalization of radical social theory.

In January, the IAS decided upon two important changes. This year we are raising our grant awards from $6000 to $8000 and we will also begin to provide a monthly stipend for my position of general director.

It has always been our intention to raise grants award amounts and we are excited to be able to do this so soon. Raising our grant awards by $2000 is a significant and satisfying development for the IAS. At times it has been frustrating to receive more high quality grant applications than we can support.

We have found it necessary to begin providing a small monthly stipend to my position of general director. For four years the IAS has been operating completely on a volunteer basis. However, even the most committed organizations are susceptible to traditional weaknesses of the left. These include burn out due to asking capable people to sacrifice too much, reliance on persons of privileged economic status to do most of the work and dependence of an organization on one person. This change will enable the IAS to grow in a stable manner.

January grant awards continued our mission to develop anarchist theory. Mike Staudenmaier was awarded $1500 for his piece Toward a New Anarchist Theory of Nationalism. His ambitious project aims to address contemporary issues of nationalism and the anarchist response. In view of the increasingly international nature of radical politics, we were happy to award Alberto Villarreal $2500 for his Spanish translation of Remaking Society: Pathways to a Green Future by Murray Bookchin. A Spanish translation will enable thousands of new readers to take advantage of Remaking Society's  contribution to radical politics. A more detailed description of the grant awards is on page 3.

Seeing projects we have supported come to completion is always gratifying for us. So far, five projects have been completed and published and four are in the publication process. The grant update section on page 3 reports on the progress of projects still in the works.

IAS supported projects are not always easy to find once they are published. For example, some projects result in various parts being published in different magazines. We will being putting information on our website about where to find published pieces we have supported.

Increasing our grant awards and providing a small monthly stipend are ambitious goals for this year. It also puts us in the position of having to raise more money than we normally do. However, we have found it necessary to spend a little more in order to give out a little more, with the end goal of larger grant awards. 

This year's fundraising campaign will be our biggest undertaking yet. We have set a fundraising goal of $20,000. This will not only help us increase our annual grant awards to $8000 and begin to provide a small stipend for the position of general director, but will also ensure publication of Perspectives and maintaining regular operations. We have already raised $10,000 thanks to generous donations by two longtime IAS supporters but we will need the sustained support of all IAS allies as well as new friends to reach our year 2000 fundraising goal. See page 7 for more details on our fundraising campaign and a list of our 1999 supporters.

We are yet again gratefully indebted to Raven Used Books for providing the IAS with fabulous books for all IAS donors. This year's books include forty new titles in addition to carrying over six titles from last year. Remember that IAS donors also receive a 20% discount on any purchases made at Raven Used Books. Please see the insert enclosed in this issue for a list of the exceptional books we are offering. 

As the IAS enters its fifth year of existence, we continue to do our part for the revitalization of a  radical movement. Due to the recent events in Seattle, I am personally inspired by the new possibilities for a radical movement. I hope the IAS' focus on radical theory will play a role in these exciting developments.

~ Rebecca DeWitt