The Radical Imagination: Social Movement Research in the Age of Austerity

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This book seeks to answer these questions at a crucial time. As we enter into a new cycle of struggles marked by a worldwide crisis of social reproduction, scholar-activists Max Haiven and Alex Khasnabish explore the processes and possibilities for cultivating the radical imagination in dark times. A lively and crucial intervention in radical politics, social research and social change, and the collective visions and cultures that inspire them. A timely reminder for scholars to get their hands dirty, immerse themselves in radical movements and write for change rather than academic careers.

Drawing on a breathtaking range of examples, they urge us to learn from and understand the knowledge produced within radical political movements. This impressive book is a must-read for those committed to radical social change and concerned with producing alternate worlds. This is a compelling book, highly readable and full of possibility.

The Radical Imagination

A welcome contribution to the kinds of engaged research needed right now. It is a sort of dialogical manual, bringing the reader into a conversation on what the radical imagination is and can be.


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While questioning, the authors suggest alternative ways of thinking about important issues, such as the meaning of success, failure, research and methodology — all from below, and grounded in the thoughts and experiences of others involved in movements. It insists that social transformation requires research and that the process of research should itself be transformative.

It crackles with new ideas and innovative approaches while asking that most important of questions: what would it mean for social movements to win?


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Zed Books Ltd. The idea of the imagination is as evocative as it is elusive. Not only does the imagination allow us to project ourselves beyond our own immediate space and time, it also allows us to envision the future, as individuals and as collectives.

The radical imagination, then, is that spark of difference, desire and discontent that can be fanned into the flames of social change. How can it be fostered and cultivated?


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  8. 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 a worldwide crisis of social reproduction, scholar-activists Max Haiven and Alex Khasnabish explore the processes and possibilities for cultivating the radical imagination in dark times.

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