The Education of Radical Democracy: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Education of Radical Democracy

1st Edition

By Sarah S. Amsler


208 pages

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The Education of Radical Democracy explores why radical democracy is so necessary, difficult, and possible and why it is important to understand it as an educative activity . The book draws on critical social theory and critical pedagogy to explain what enables and sustains work for radical democratization, and considers how we can begin such work in neoliberal societies today.

Exploring examples of projects from the nineteenth century to the present day, the book sheds light on a wealth of critical tools, research studies, theoretical concepts and practical methods. It offers a critical reading of the ‘crisis of hope’ in neoliberal capitalist societies, focusing on the problem of the ‘contraction of possibilities’ for democratic agency, resistance to domination, and practices of freedom. It argues that radically democratic thinking, practice, and forms of social organization are vital for countering and overcoming systemic hegemonies and that these can be learned and cultivated.

This book will be of interest to academics, practitioners, researchers, and students in education and critical theory, and to those interested in the sociology, philosophy and politics of hope. It also invites new dialogues between theorists of neoliberal power and political possibility, those engaged in projects for radical democratization, and teachers in formal and informal educational settings.


"This is a beautiful, necessary and powerful book. Inspired in Ernst Bloch’s philosophy of hope, the book explores and discusses counter and post-capitalist and democratic possibility, thus bringing light to the darkness of the present. This book is opening a new path in the field of radical education." - Dr Ana Cecilia Dinerstein, University of Bath

"This is a stunning, scholarly and passionate book. It provides a clear-sighted analysis of where we find ourselves today, as well as offering intellectual and practical strategies for the urgent task of opening up spaces of possibility and hope. Everyone should read it." - Keri Facer, Professor of Educational and Social Futures, University of Bristol

Table of Contents

Introduction: Foreshining, or possibility in dark times 1. A question of learning hope 2. Refusing despair: the chance of the new alternatives 3. Living on the Front of the world 4. Radical democracy: a fragile promise 5. Encouraging democracy: foundations of radical reason 6. Educational pioneers on the democratic frontier 7. Cultivating counter-capitalism, educating the politics of possibility 8. Radical democracy: a pedagogy of hope Index

About the Author

Sarah S. Amsler is a Reader in Education at the University of Lincoln.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Education

This series aims to present the latest research from right across the field of education. It is not confined to any particular area or school of thought and seeks to provide coverage of a broad range of topics, theories and issues from around the world.

Please send inquiries or proposals for this series to one of the following:

Will Bateman: [email protected] – Editor, UK and Rest of World

Elsbeth Wright: [email protected] – Editor, North & South America

Vilija Stephens: [email protected] – Editor, Australia & New Zealand

Katie Peace: [email protected] – Publisher, Asia


Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects