1st Edition

A New Political Imagination Making the Case

By Tony Fry, Madina Tlostanova Copyright 2021
    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    The book presents the case for the making of a new political imagination by offering a critique of existing political institutions, philosophy and practices that are unable to provide the thinking, means and leadership to deal with the complexity and crises of specific locales and the world at large.

    The authors make clear that there is a fundamental disjuncture between the complexity of the combined critical conditions that are now putting life on Earth at risk, and the divisions and theories of knowledge that are dominantly and instrumentally trying to understand the situation. In response, this work makes the case for the need for a new political imagination that rejects the sufficiency of existing political ideologies (including democracy) being the end point of politics. The book tackles the political underpinnings of social and economic life in a world still embedded in the inequities of the afterlife of colonialism and state socialism. Thereafter it engages narratives of change, rethinks imagination and critical practices, to finally present a relationally connected way to move forward.

    This trans-disciplinary volume is directed at those working in political philosophy and epistemology, critical global and security studies, decoloniality and postcolonial studies, design, critical anthropology and the post humanities. It is accessible to both academic audiences and activists and practitioners.

    Introduction: The Political (De)formation of the Now

    Chapter 1. Openings: Configuring the Critical and Criticality

    Chapter 2. A Lexicon of Analytics

    Chapter 3. Narratives of Gathering(s) of the Political

    Chapter 4. Imagination Otherwise

    Chapter 5. Towards a Research Agenda and Researching Research


    Tony Fry is Adjunct Professor, Architecture and Design, University of Tasmania, and Visiting Professor, Universidad de Ibagué, Colombia.

    Madina Tlostanova is Professor of Postcolonial Feminisms at Linköping University, Sweden.


    "It is seldom that books with bold titles deliver on their initial promise, but this one is among the few that do. Defying disciplinary and theoretical affiliation while drawing from a wealth of truly global and transdisciplinary sources, Fry and Tlostanova make a dense and compelling case for a new planetary political imagination that they do not want to own, but to initiate. Prepare to be skilfully led out of your intellectual and political comfort zone, surprised, irritated, drawn into a most necessary and urgent conversation about what the authors call 'the age of unsettlement' and 'futureless leadership' and alerted to the relational interconnections between pathways out of the current epistemological and political maze". —Professor Manuela Boatcă, University of Freiburg, Institute of sociology and Global Studies Programme

    "Neither new messiahs nor missionaries, Tony Fry and Madina Tlostanova beckon compellingly to we readers to join their efforts of informing and directing our agency. Calling on us to resolutely reject a reactive pragmatism rooted in impoverished political imagination, they offer sober and tentative hope. The world might still have at least a promise of a future, but only if we, from the present desert, think together publicly about complex issues with no ready answers". —Jane Anna Gordon, Associate Professor of Political Science, Department of Political Science, University of Connecticut; and author of Statelessness and Contemporary Enslavement

    "A path that takes humanity out of the multiple crises of the present, an understanding able to direct politics to that path – such is the call of A New Political Imagination. Undogmatic, dialogic, decolonial, Fry and Tlostanova blow open the Eurocentric horizon and reconfigure some of the most radical elements of today’s political action and discourse into an experimental collective work in process. The political imagination suggested here is not fantasy, utopianism or idealism but openminded and deliberated critical judgment in the true sense – an informed appraisal of facts: that politics as we know it is unsustainable and that we must find new ways of living, learning and acting together. Before the boldness and urgency of this book most contemporary political theory pale."—Stefan Jonsson, author of A Brief History of the Masses and Crowds and Democracy and co-author of Eurafrica, professor at the Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society (REMESO), Linköping University, Sweden