Towards an adventurous institutional politics: The prefigurative ‘as if’ and the reposing of what’s real

  title={Towards an adventurous institutional politics: The prefigurative ‘as if’ and the reposing of what’s real},
  author={Davina Cooper},
  journal={The Sociological Review},
  pages={893 - 916}
Discussion of prefigurative politics typically focuses on the revisioning of means to ends within grass-roots activities taking shape against or apart from the state. This article takes a different approach. Addressing prefiguration through the terms of the ‘as if’, it explores the assertion of counterhegemonic meanings, facts, norms and authority both by and about institutions, including state ones. Through four contentious acts: municipal expressions of international solidarity; legislating… 
Geographies of the future: Prefigurative politics
This paper uses an examination of prefigurative politics – popularly imagined as ‘being the change you wish to see’ – to reflect on geographies of the future. We argue that prefigurative politics,
Flexible institutionalisation in Auroville: a prefigurative alternative to development
Scholars interested in mechanisms of transformative change are increasingly looking at ‘real utopias’, emancipatory enactments within the mainstream that prefigure its transcendence: eco-villages and
Exploring the Textual Alchemy of Legal Gender: Experimental Statutes and the Message in the Medium
This article draws on original empirical research to explore the politics of experimental feminist statutes. It has two main aims. First, it traces how conventional legislative drafting techniques
Transforming legacies, habits and futures: reshaping the collection at the Museum of European Cultures
ABSTRACT Collection development presents a major challenge for contemporary museums as part of wider efforts to address their changing societal role. This article considers what could be learned from
Transplantation of economic institutions: An extended (post-institutional) theory
Most of research on institutional transplantation is based on a set of general methodological principles and theoretical positions, which in total might be termed the “classical theory”. Despite its
It’s funny because it’s true? Reflections on laughter, deception, and critique
This essay challenges the prevailing view among critical theorists that laughter’s emancipatory power stems from its ability to speak the truth. The disparate accounts of laughter offered by Plato,
Reimagining Gender Through Equality Law: What Legal Thoughtways Do Religion and Disability Offer?
British equality law protections for sex and gender reassignment have grown fraught as activists tussle over legal and social categories of gender, gender transitioning, and sex. This article
Adverse commoning: Tracing contested legal geographies of the urban commons
  • Elsa Noterman
  • History
    Environment and Planning D: Society and Space
  • 2021
Under threat of enclosure in rapidly gentrifying cities, some urban commoners are turning to legal tactics to ward off dispossession. In this article, I explore the contested legal geographies of
Charity Fundraising and the Ethics of Voice: Cancer Survivors’ Perspectives on Macmillan Cancer Support’s “Brave the Shave” Campaign
ABSTRACT “Brave the Shave”, a campaign by the UK charity Macmillan Cancer Support, encourages people to seek sponsorship to shave off all their hair and share the event on social media. Brave the


The politics and practices of intersectional prefiguration in social movements: The case of Sisters Uncut
Considering contemporary movements as sites of struggle between attempts at inclusiveness and enduring tendencies to exclude and reproduce power hierarchies, this article examines how movement actors
Rethinking Prefiguration: Alternatives, Micropolitics and Goals in Social Movements
Theories and concepts for understanding the political logic of social movements' everyday activities, particularly those which relate directly to political goals, have been increasingly important
Prefiguring the State
Merging means and ends, prefigurative politics perform life as it is wished-for, both to experience better practice and to advance change. This paper contributes to prefigurative thinking in three
Not Not but Not yet: Present and Future in Prefigurative Politics
Prefigurative politics, the idea of ‘building the new world in the shell of the old’, increasingly forms part of the common sense of radical social and political movements but deserves more careful
The Prefigurative Politics of Tahrir Square–An Alternative Perspective on the 2011 Revolutions
Only one year after the global wave of protest movements and revolts—starting with the ‘Arab Spring’, then, subsequently, the Indignados movement and Occupy- our appreciation of such movements turned
Using the master's tools: rights and radical politics
This chapter brings anarchist perspectives to bear on Charles Mills’s and Carole Pateman’s critical review of Rawlsian contract theory to explore the possibility of re-appropriating ‘master’s tools’
Prefiguration, strategic interaction and political belonging in undocumented migrant and solidarity movements
  • S. Mensink
  • Sociology
    Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
  • 2019
ABSTRACT This article investigates how ‘prefigurative politics’ and strategic interactions of undocumented migrant and solidarity movements shape different forms of political belonging. The overall
Pulling the Thread of Decertification: What Challenges are Raised by the Proposal to Reform Legal Gender Status?
In decertification, the state withdraws from registering, assigning, or guaranteeing a person’s sex and gender, giving one shape to the growing momentum towards their informalization. This article
Doing is Believing: Prefiguration as Strategic Practice in the Alterglobalization Movement
In most accounts of social movements, prefiguration and strategy are treated as separate movement practices that are either contradictory or complementary to each other. In this article I argue that
States of imagination
This article recontextualises the way we think of the state, and asserts its continuing importance for the left. It argues that we need to re-imagine the state as a site of contestation and