Author Meets Critics: Critic 3

Stream: Panel 10 - Political Theory: Critical Reflections on Romand Coles' Visionary Pragmatism: Radical and Ecological Democracy in Neoliberal Times, including response by Romand Coles 
Date: Monday, 26 September 2016
Time: 11.30 am – 1.00 pm


David Schlosberg will provide critical reflections and commentary on Romand Coles’ recent book, Visionary Pragmatism, in light of his expertise in environmental justice. As neoliberal capitalism destroys democracy, commonwealth, and planetary ecology, the need for radically rethinking and generating transformative responses to these catastrophes is greater than ever. Given that, Romand Coles presents an invigorating new mode of scholarship and political practice he calls "visionary pragmatism." Coles explores the profound interrelationships among everyday micropractices of grassroots politics and pedagogy, institutional transformation, and political protest through polyfocal lenses of political and social theory, neuroscience research, complex systems theory, and narratives of his cutting-edge action research. Visionary Pragmatism offers a theory of revolutionary cooptation that, in part, selectively employs practices and strategies of the dominant order to radically alter the coordinates of power and possibility. Underscoring the potential, vitality, and power of emerging democratic practices to change the world, Visionary Pragmatism's simultaneous theoretical rigor and grounding in actual political and ecological practices provokes and inspires new ways of cocreating knowledge and action in dark times.


David Schlosberg (Presenter), University of Sydney
David Schlosberg is Professor of Environmental Politics in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, and is known internationally for his work in environmental politics, environmental movements, and political theory - in particular the intersection of the three with his work on environmental justice. Most recently, he has co-authored Climate-Challenged Society (Oxford 2013) with John Dryzek of ANU and Richard Norgaard of UC Berkeley; the same team edited The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society (Oxford 2011). Professor Schlosberg has held visiting appointments at the London School of Economics, Australian National University, and Princeton.