Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Prefiguring the State

Cooper, Davina (2016) Prefiguring the State. Antipode, 49 (2). pp. 335-356. ISSN 0066-4812. E-ISSN 1467-8330. (doi:10.1111/anti.12277) (KAR id:57645)


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 ways. It explores what it might mean to prefigure the state as a concept; takes its inspiration from a historical episode rather than imagined time ahead; and addresses what, if anything, prefigurative conceptions can do when practiced. Central to my discussion is the plural state—taking shape as micro, city, regional, national and global formations. Plural state thinking makes room for divergent kinds of states but does not necessarily foreground progressive ones. Thus, to explore in more detail a transformative left conception of the state, discussion turns to 1980s British municipal radicalism. Taking up this adventurous episode in governing as a “thinking tool”, an imaginary of the state as horizontal, everyday, activist and stewardly emerges.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/anti.12277
Uncontrolled keywords: State; prefigurative politics; concepts; legal pluralism; state pluralism; radical local government
Subjects: K Law
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Sarah Saines
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2016 09:42 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 08:33 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Cooper, Davina.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.