Geographies of radical democracy

For anyone interested in this sort of thing, I have a new paper, co-written with Gary Bridge, just published on-line in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, which addresses how best to theorise about the relationship between democracy and geography. It develops the idea of agonistic pragmatism, and the notion of transactional space, and explores how the idea of ‘all affected interests’ may, or may not, provide the grounds for rethinking this relationship. It’s an attempt to expand a little the range of reference points, in geography and related fields, for discussions of ‘radical democracy’. You can access a pre-publication draft of the paper here, and the abstract is below:

“There is significant interest in democracy in contemporary human geography. Theoretically, this interest has been most strongly influenced by poststructuralist theories of radical democracy and associated ontologies of relational spatiality. These emphasize a priori understandings of the spaces of democratic politics, ones that focus on marginal spaces and the destabilization of established patterns. This article develops an alternative account of the spaces of democratic politics that seeks to move beyond the stylized contrast of poststructuralist agonism and liberal consensualism. This alternative draws into focus the spatial dimensions of philosophical pragmatism and the relevance of this tradition for thinking about the geographies of democracy. In particular, the geographical relevance of pragmatism lies in the distinctive inflection of the all-affected principle and of the rationalities of problem solving. Drawing on John Dewey’s work, a conceptualization of transactional space is developed to reconfigure understandings of the agonistics of participation as well as the experimental institutionalization of democratic will. The difference that a pragmatist approach makes to understandings of the geographies of democracy is explored in relation to transnational and urban politics.”

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3 thoughts on “Geographies of radical democracy

  1. Hi Clive, this looks really interesting, am looking forward to reading it – i may be being a bit dense but is there a way to get the paper without an OU login? (other than waiting for publication or writing on this blog, of course).

  2. I tried to register with OU and got the following message: “Open University Authorisation Denied
    Sorry, you are not authorised to access this page. This page belongs to a service that you are not authorised to use.” Radical democracy indeed.

  3. So much for open access! Not sure why the ORO system doesn’t allow access to this, it works for other papers. Never mind, have adjusted the link, should be able to get it now. Apologies. Clive

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