Review essay – “Theory as Political Technology”, Clive Barnett on Amin and Thrift’s “Arts of the Political”

What is to be done? Arts of the Political, so says its publisher, ‘argues that only by broadening the domain of what is considered political and what can be made into politics will the Left be able to respond forcefully to injustice and inequality’. Its authors, Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift, make the case for ‘a more imaginative and experimental approach to the politics of creating a better society’.

Clive‘s review is an engaged, and indeed engaging , essay – one that approaches the book from an interesting angle:

‘Because Arts of the Political has this ambition to redefine the tasks of the Left, there is an inevitable temptation to get caught up in questions of whether or not Amin and Thrift’s vision is Left enough, or genuinely Left. Others will be both better qualified and more motivated than I to judge the book in these terms. As far as is possible, I want to try to maintain a focus on the mode of argumentation deployed in this book. This may appear to be an act of folly. But the question of whether or not one should align oneself with the specific vision of Left politics that Amin and Thrift present is strictly dependent on the question of how much credence you are willing to extend to their account of the dynamics of contemporary political practice…’.

You can read it online now.

Amin and Thrift


  1. Antipode Editorial Office Post author

    Dave Featherstone has just published his review of Arts of the Political in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. You can read it, without a subscription, here.
    Dave’s latest Antipode paper, ‘Articulating Climate Justice in Copenhagen: Antagonism, the Commons, and Solidarity’ (co-authored with Paul Chatterton and Paul Routledge), was published in 2013’s issue 3 here.