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After Accountability
A Critical Genealogy of a Concept

An oral history and critical genealogy of “accountability,” the complex abolitionist concept that pushes us to ask: just what do we mean by “community?"

A concept just short of a program, accountability has been taken up as a core principle within leftist organizing and activity over the past quarter century. While it invokes a particular vocabulary and set of procedures, it has also come to describe a more expansive, if often vague, approach to addressing harm within movement work. The term’s sudden, widespread adoption as abolitionist concepts began to circulate broadly in recent years cast light on certain shifts in its meaning, renewing the urgency of understanding its relation to militant leftist history and practice.

After Accountability gathers interviews conducted by members of the Pinko collective with nine transformative justice practitioners, socialist labor organizers, incarcerated abolitionists, and activists on the left, and also includes framing essays by the Pinko collective in which its members situate and reflect on those illuminating conversations. An investigation into the theoretical foundations and current practice of accountability, this volume explores the term’s potential and limits, discovering in it traces of the past half-century’s struggles over the absence of community and the form revolutionary activity should take.

Contributors: Kim Diehl, Michelle Foy, Peter Hardie, Emi Kane and Hyejin Shim, Esteban Kelly, Pilar Maschi, and Stevie Wilson, and Pinko collective members Lou Cornum, Max Fox, M.E. O'Brien, and Addison Vawters.