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Within the context of these "conjunctures," a critical engagement of what these terms could have meant and do mean at specific times and places within history and contemporary religious practice would certainly have been fruitful.
But he does also talk about using the notion of conjuncture in a broader, more methodological way: as a way of marking significant transitions between different political moments; that is to say, to apply it as a general system of analysis to any historical situation.
Doreen One of the reasons for needing to understand the structural character of the current conjuncture is that, as you say, it's not predetermined what the outcome will be, or what will happen.
Doreen Do you think, though, that finance is crucial to the conjuncture that we've just been through-if it's ended?
My understanding of the current conjuncture is that it begins with the collapse of the welfare state and Keynesian demand-management, and all of the thinking that went with that.
Our aim here is to take up this task of adding conjunctural analysis, through two main sections of argument, which separately analyse frame and conjuncture. These two concepts are complementary: we have no wish to endorse an over-eager revisionism which bends the stick too far and argues that a concept of conjuncture is the only key to understanding present-day capitalism.
The conjuncture is the space of temporary, contradictory and partial organisation, which we define in a Braudelesque, non-Marxist, sense.
All this can be illustrated with a brief description of the excess liquidity conjuncture. This developed out of the wreck of the new economy after 2000, when the tech stock crash led to a two year fall in the public markets and then their subsequent rise.
The conjuncture from 2000 to 2007 took a cyclical form, and ended as most capitalist credit cycles do with a failure of liquidity that left the over-borrowed holding depreciating assets, which created a crisis of solvency; and in this case the crisis affected ordinary home-owners as well as intermediary players in the market.
(2) This interwovenness of place makes the conjuncture more difficult to analyse, not least because it makes the dynamics of causes and consequences spatial, as well as economic or political.
If the place of the conjuncture is difficult to analyse, then its time is equally so.
There are certainly the crisis tendencies that I have just described, but it is important to think the conjuncture rather more widely, to see just how much may be condensed into the sense of the present as a crisis.