The pragmatic vision of visionary pragmatism: The challenge of radical democracy in a neoliberal world order: Visionary pragmatism: Radical and ecological democracy in neoliberal times Romand Coles, Duke University Press, Durham, 2016, 240 pp., ISBN: 9780822360643
Coles, R. & Susen, S. (2018). The pragmatic vision of visionary pragmatism: The challenge of radical democracy in a neoliberal world order: Visionary pragmatism: Radical and ecological democracy in neoliberal times Romand Coles, Duke University Press, Durham, 2016, 240 pp., ISBN: 9780822360643. Contemporary Political Theory,17(2), 250-262. United Kingdom: Springer International Publishing. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1057/s41296-018-0196-5
Visionary Pragmatism is a project formulated in the face of a hyper-malignant mode of capitalism that is provoking and entangled with ecological collapse, dedemocratization, unfathomable inequality, destruction of the commons, intensifying xenophobia, and racism. In the book, I seek modes of radical and ecological democracy that advance beyond both modest resistance and radical posturing that is largely empty and formulaic. I explore possibilities for generating new political modes in a variety of locations, and especially at the intersections where democratic initiatives in higher education engage with myriad publics to intensify alternative processes of knowledge production, political practice, and power that are sufficiently game-transformative in their own right to stand a chance of generating radical change. Beyond myopic pragmatism and hyper-professionalized scholarship, ‘visionary pragmatism’ offers a path along which we might refashion more imaginative theory through modes of creatively engaged practice and, in turn, more radical politics in conjunction with theory thus generated and critical theory broadly construed. Stylistically, the book moves between theoretical reflection and ethnography.
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