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The Radical Imagination


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Table of Contents

  • Introduction: The Importance of the Radical Imagination in Dark Times
  • Part I: Solidarity Research
    • 1. The Methods of Movements: Academic Crisis and Activist Strategy
    • 2. Convoking the Radical Imagination
  • Part II: Dwelling in the Hiatus
    • 3. The Crisis of Reproduction
    • 4. Reimagining Success and Failure
  • Part III: Making Space, Making Time
    • 5. The Life and Times of Radical Movements
    • 6. The Temporalities of Oppression
  • Part IV: The Methods of Movements
    • 7. Imagination, Strategy and Tactics
    • 8. Towards a Prefigurative Methodology

About the Author

Max Haiven is an assistant professor in the Division of Art History and Critical Studies at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and co-director of the Radical Imagination Project ( He is author of Crises of Imagination, Crises of Power: Capitalism, Creativity and the Commons (Zed Books, 2014) and Cultures of Financialization: Fictitious Capital in Popular Culture and Everyday Life. More information can be found at Alex Khasnabish is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology/Anthropology at Mount Saint Vincent University and co-director of the Radical Imagination Project ( He is the author of Zapatistas: Rebellion from the Grassroots to the Global (Zed Books, 2010) and Zapatismo beyond Borders, and co-editor (with Jeffrey Juris) of Insurgent Encounters: Transnational Activism, Ethnography, and the Political. More information can be found at


'I deserted the academy for activism over ten years ago, but this book reminds me that there are some scholars who really do radicalize their research processes so that the university once again becomes a tool of post-capitalist struggle rather than a feather in the neoliberal crown. A timely reminder for scholars to get their hands dirty, immerse themselves in radical movements and write for change rather than academic careers.' John Jordan, artist, activist and co-founder of the direct action protest movement Reclaim the Streets. 'For Haiven and Khasnabish the "Radical Imagination" is the most important tool of resistance to neoliberal capitalism. 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.' Imogen Tyler, senior lecturer of sociology, Lancaster University and author of Revolting Subjects 'The Radical Imagination offers astute insights into the ways capitalism and crisis constrain our social and political imaginaries. This is a compelling book, highly readable and full of possibility. A welcome contribution to the kinds of engaged research needed right now.' Emma Dowling, senior lecturer in sociology, Middlesex University 'Theoretically sophisticated and politically grounded, The Radical Imagination challenges us to think beyond the limits of both contemporary social movement organizing and scholarship.' Lesley Wood, assistant professor of sociology, York University 'This book is an important and thought-provoking tool for activists and scholars. It is a sort of dialogical manual, bringing the reader into a conversation on what the radical imagination is and can be. 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.' Marina Sitrin, author of They Can't Represent Us! and Everyday Revolutions 'The Radical Imagination is a fantastic resource for both social movements and the scholars who study them. 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?' Keir Milburn, lecturer in political economy and organisation, University of Leicester, and co-author of Moments of Excess: Movements, Protests and Everyday Life

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