1st Edition

The Education of Radical Democracy

ISBN 9780815356332
Published December 21, 2017 by Routledge
240 Pages

USD $56.95

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Book Description

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.

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

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


"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