Author's Response

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


Romand Coles will respond to panel critics regarding his recent book, Visionary Pragmatism: Radical and Ecological Democracy in Neoliberal Times. 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.


Romand Coles (Presenter), Australian Catholic University
Romand Coles is a Research Professor of Political Theory and Practice at the Institute for Social Justice at Australian Catholic University. He is the author of several books, including Beyond Gated Politics: Reflections for the Possibility of Democracy and Christianity, Democracy, and the Radical Ordinary: Conversations between a Radical Democrat and a Christian (with Stanley Hauerwas). He is currently doing research on environmental political theory and social movements in the face of planetary ecological crisis, and is also completing a book manuscript on transforming higher education through participatory action research practices.