What is utopia if not a perfect impossible world? Anahid Nersessian reveals the basic misunderstanding of that ideal. Applying the lessons of art to the rigors of life on an imperiled planet, she enlists the Romantics to redefine utopia as an investment in limitation—not a perfect world but one where we get less than we hoped but more than we had.
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In the light of globalization's failure provide the universal panacea expected by some of its more enthusiastic proponents, and the current status of neo-liberalism in Europe, a search has begun for alternative visions of the future; alternatives to the free market and to rampant capitalism. Indeed, although these alternatives may not be conceived of in terms of being a 'perfect order', there does appear to be a trend towards 'utopian thinking', as people - including scholars and intellectuals - search for inspiration and visions of better futures. If, as this search continues, it transpires that politics has little to offer, then what might social theory have to contribute to the imagination of these futures? Does social theory matter at all? What resources can it offer this project of rethinking the future? Without being tied to any single political platform, Utopia: Social Theory and the Future explores some of these questions, offering a timely and sustained attempt to make social theory relevant through explorations of its resources and possibilities for utopian imaginations. It is often claimed that utopian thought has no legitimate place whatsoever in sociological thinking, yet utopianism has remained part and parcel of social theory for centuries. As such, in addition to considering the role of social theory in the imagination of alternative futures, this volume reflects on how social theory may assist us in understanding and appreciating utopia or utopianism as a special topic of interest, a special subject matter, a special analytical focus or a special normative dimension of sociological thinking. Bringing together the latest work from a leading team of social theorists, this volume will be of interest to sociologists, social and political theorists, anthropologists and philosophers.
The German filmmaker Alexander Kluge has long promoted cinema's relationship with the goals of human emancipation. Jean-Luc Godard and Filipino director Kidlat Tahimik also believe in cinema's ability to bring about what Theodor W. Adorno once called a "redeemed world." Situating the films of Godard, Tahimik, and Kluge within debates over social revolution, utopian ideals, and the unrealized potential of utopian thought and action, Christopher Pavsek showcases the strengths, weaknesses, and undeniable impact of their utopian visions on film's political evolution. He discusses Godard's Alphaville (1965) against Germany Year 90 Nine-Zero (1991) and JLG/JLG: Self-portrait in December (1994), and he conducts the first scholarly reading of Film Socialisme (2010). He considers Tahimik's virtually unknown masterpiece, I Am Furious Yellow (1981–1991), along with Perfumed Nightmare (1977) and Turumba (1983); and he constructs a dialogue between Kluge's Brutality in Stone (1961) and Yesterday Girl (1965) and his later The Assault of the Present on the Rest of Time (1985) and Fruits of Trust (2009).
Strategies and priorities for the public sector in Europe The public sector in our society has over the past two decades undergone substantial changes, as has the academic field studying Public Administration (PA). In the next twenty years major shifts are further expected to occur in the way futures are anticipated and different cultures are integrated. Practice will be handled in a relevant way, and more disciplines will be engaging in the field of Public Administration. The prominent scholars contributing to this book put forward research strategies and focus on priorities in the field of Public Administration. The volume will also give guidance on how to redesign teaching programmes in the field. This book will provide useful insights to compare and contrast European PA with PA in Europe, and with developments in other parts of the world. Contributors: Geert Bouckaert (KU Leuven), Werner Jann (University of Potsdam), Jana Bertels (University of Potsdam), Paul Joyce (University of Birmingham), Meelis Kitsing (Estonian Business School, Tallinn), Thurid Hustedt (Hertie School of Governance, Berlin), Tiina Randma-Liiv (Tallinn University of Technology), Martin Burgi (Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich), Philippe Bezès (Science Po Paris; CNRS), Salvador Parrado (Spanish Distance Learning University (UNED), Madrid), Mark Bovens (Utrecht University; WRR), Roel Jennissen (WRR), Godfried Engbersen (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Meike Bokhorst (WRR), Bogdana Neamtu (Babes Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca), Christopher Pollitt (KU Leuven), Edoardo Ongaro (Open University UK, Milton Keynes), Raffaella Saporito (Bocconi University, Milan), Per Laegreid (University of Bergen), Marcel Karré (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Thomas Schillemans (Utrecht University), Martijn Van de Steen (Nederlandse School voor Openbaar Bestuur), Zeger van de Wal (National University of Singapore), Michael Bauer (University of Speyer), Stefan Becker (University of Speyer), Benoit Cathala (Centre national de la fonction publique territoriale), Filipe Teles (University of Aveiro), Denita Cepiku (Tor Vergata University of Rome), Marco Meneguzzo (Tor Vergata University of Rome), Külli Sarapuu (Tallinn University of Technology), Leno Saarniit (Tallinn University of Technology), Gyorgy Hajnal (Corvinus University of Budapest; Centre for Social Research of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences).
More than 700 'utopian' novels are published in Russia every year. These utopias – meaning here fantasy fiction, science fiction, space operas or alternative history – do not set out merely to titillate; instead they express very real Russian anxieties: be they territorial right-sizing, loss of imperial status or turning into a 'colony' of the West. Contributors to this innovative collection use these narratives to re-examine post-Soviet Russian political culture and identity. Interrogating the intersections of politics, ideologies and fantasies, chapters draw together the highbrow literary mainstream (authors such as Vladimir Sorokin), mass literature for entertainment and individuals who bridge the gap between fiction writers and intellectuals or ideologists (Aleksandr Prokhanov, for example, the editor-in-chief of Russia's far-right newspaper Zavtra). In the process The Post-Soviet Politics of Utopia sheds crucial light onto a variety of debates – including the rise of nationalism, right-wing populism, imperial revanchism, the complicated presence of religion in the public sphere, the function of language – and is important reading for anyone interested in the heightened importance of ideas, myths, alternative histories and conspiracy theories in Russia today.
This book explores what science fiction can tell us about the human condition in a technological world, with the ethical dilemmas and consequences that this entails. This book is the result of the joint efforts of scholars and scientists from various disciplines. This interdisciplinary approach sets an example for those who, like us, have been busy assessing the ways in which fictional attempts to fathom the possibilities of science and technology speak to central concerns about what it means to be human in a contemporary world of technology and which ethical dilemmas it brings along. One of the aims of this book is to demonstrate what can be achieved in approaching science fiction as a kind of imaginary laboratory for experimentation, where visions of human (or even post-human) life under various scientific, technological or natural conditions that differ from our own situation can be thought through and commented upon. Although a scholarly work, this book is also designed to be accessible to a general audience that has an interest in science fiction, as well as to a broader academic audience interested in ethical questions.
Living Without Domination defends the bold claim that humans can organise themselves to live peacefully and prosperously together in an anarchist utopia. Clark refutes errors about what anarchism is, about utopianism, and about human sociability and its history. He then develops an analysis of natural human social activity which places anarchy in the real landscape of sociability, along with more familiar possibilities including states and slavery. The book is distinctive in bringing the rigour of analytic political philosophy to anarchism, which is all too often dismissed out of hand or skated over in popular history.
Examines Shelley's unique utopian vision as a product of the tumultuous eighteenth century that uniquely blended the personal, poetic, and political realms.
In early modern Europe the law developed as one of the few non-religious orderings of civil life. Its separation from religion was, however, never complete and we see the contest continued today not only in the campaigns of religious fundamentalists of the right, but also in the clains of critical intellectuals to reshape government institutions and the legal apparatus in accordance with moral principle - whether of indivudual autonomy or communitarian self-determination. In Anti-Lawyers, David Saunders traces the story of this unresolved conflict from Hobbes' Leviathan to the American law texts of today, and discusses how we might regard today's moral critics of government and law in the light of the early modern effort to disengage spiritual discipline from secular government and conscience from law. Separate sections look at major figures in English common law in the Early Modern period, French and German absolutism and jurisprudence as it is taught in the American law texts of today.
This book is about contemporary issues in architecture and urbanism, taking the form of a project for The Corviale Void, a one kilometre long strip of urban space, immured in the notorious Corviale housing development in the Southwestern sector of Rome. Corviale is a bizarre object, single-minded in its idea, the history of Corviale can be traced to debates in Italian architecture culture of the 1960’s, including Aldo Rossi’s objection to urbanisation, as articulated in his books and projects. On the one hand the project for the Corviale Void begins with one of the original theorists of modern urbanisation and architecture, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, looking into his fascination with the insides of walls. On the other hand the project begins with a new material form, The Air Grid. Like the forms appearing in Piranesi’s etchings, Air Grid is made from a kind of hatching, but Air Grid is hatched out of colour vectors, literally drawn into the air. The human eye is easily mesmerised by the Air Grid, scanning back and forth it reads the colour form as animated, in some sense alive. At the same time as the Italian architects were engaged in those activities that would eventually give birth to the Corviale Void, the painter Yves Klein, was creating The Architecture of the Air. Klein’s work is of special interest to the project of the Corviale Void because of the important role of colour in the development of his thinking about architecture. By attending to Klein’s parallel inquiry Air Grid is brought into dialogue with the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, who was one of the first thinkers to develop a physiological theory of colour. The important thing about Schopenhauer’s thinking is the careful way he looked at physiological phenomena, regarding them as directly informed by metaphysical powers; for Schopenhauer Architecture too is a physiological matter and hence metaphysical. The concluding proposal for the Corviale Void presents a metaphysical architecture of colour: the colour that was originally immured in the Air Grid lattice is finally set free, its release has interesting implications for the debates about architecture and urbanism today.