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Rethinking prefigurative politics: introduction to the special thematic section

Cornish, Flora and Haaken, Jan and Moskovitz, Liora and Jackson, Sharon (2016) Rethinking prefigurative politics: introduction to the special thematic section. Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 4 (1). pp. 114-127. ISSN 2195-3325

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Identification Number: 10.5964/jspp.v4i1.640

Abstract

This special thematic section responds to the 21st century proliferation of social movements characterised by the slogans ‘another world is possible’ and ‘be the change you want to see’. It explores prefigurative politics as a means of instantiating radical social change in a context of widening global inequalities, climate change, and the crises and recoveries of neoliberal global capitalism. ‘Prefigurative politics’ refers to a range of social experiments that both critique the status quo and offer alternatives by implementing radically democratic practices in pursuit of social justice. This collection of articles makes the case for psychologists to engage with prefigurative politics as sites of psychological and social change, in the dual interests of understanding the world and changing it. The articles bridge psychology and politics in three different ways. One group of articles brings a psychological lens to political phenomena, arguing that attention to the emotional, relational and intergroup dynamics of prefigurative politics is required to understand their trajectories, challenges, and impacts. A second group focuses a political lens on social settings traditionally framed as psychological sites of well-being, enabling an understanding of their political nature. The third group addresses the ‘border tensions’ of the psychological and the political, contextualising and historicising the instantiation of prefigurative ideals and addressing tensions that arise between utopian ideals and various internal and external constraints. This introduction to the special section explores the concept and contemporary debates concerning prefigurative politics, outlines the rationale for a psychological engagement with this phenomenon, and presents the articles in the special thematic section. The general, prefigurative, aim is to advance psychology’s contribution to rethinking and remaking the world as it could be, not only documenting the world as it is.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://jspp.psychopen.eu/index.php/jspp
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors © CC BY 4.0
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Departments > Methodology
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2016 09:51
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2017 15:15
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/67886

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