The Radical Imagination

Social Movements in the Age of Austerity

By Max Haiven and Alex Khasnabish  

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The idea of the imagination is as evocative as it is elusive. Not only does the imagination allow us to project ourselves beyond our physical and temporal limits, it also allows us to envision the future, individually and collectively. The radical imagination, then, is that spark of difference, desire and discontent that can be fanned into the flames of social change. Yet what precisely is the imagination and what might make it “radical”? How can it be fostered and cultivated? How can it be studied and what are the possibilities and risks of doing so?

This book seeks to answer these questions at a crucial time. As we enter into a new cycle of struggles marked by the crisis of social reproduction, scholar-activists Haiven and Khasnabish explore the processes and possibilities for cultivating the radical imagination in dark times.

The Radical Imagination is a lively and crucial intervention in radical politics, social research, social change and the collective visions and cultures that inspire them.

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Contents

  • Introduction: The Importance of the Radical Imagination in Dark Times
  • Part One: Solidarity Research
  • The Methods of Movements: Academic Crisis and Activist Strategy
  • Convoking the Radical Imagination
  • Part Two: Dwelling in the Hiatus
  • The Crisis of Reproduction
  • Reimagining Success and Failure
  • Part Three: Making Space, Making Time
  • The Life and Times of Radical Movements
  • The Temporalities of Oppression
  • Part Four: The Methods of Movements
  • Imagination, Strategy and Tactics
  • Towards a Prefigurative Methodology
  • References

Authors

  • Max Haiven

    Max Haiven is an activist, writer and teacher working in New York and Halifax.

  • Alex Khasnabish

    Mount Saint Vincent University

    Alex Khasnabish works as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His current research explores the connection between the radical imagination and radical social transformation amongst collectives of activists in Halifax. In addition to Zapatistas, Khasnabish is the author of Zapatismo Beyond Borders: New Imaginations of Political Possibility (U of T Press, 2008) as well as several articles and book chapters about contemporary radical politics, social movements, and globalization.