Prefigurative Politics Within, Despite and Beyond Contemporary Capitalism

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

    19 Downloads (Pure)


    The purpose of this chapter is to elaborate on the concept of prefiguration by outlining the necessity of its contribution to bring progressive social change and transcend contemporary capitalism through a process of erosion from within. It is argued that prefigurative politics entails a holistic (from the Greek holos, meaning ‘whole’ or ‘entire’) approach to social change that digs its roots in feminist and ecological thought and focuses on social reproduction and the preservation of life rather than solely on economic production. By referring to recent scholarly work on real utopias and alternatives to capitalism (for example, by Nancy Fraser and Erik Olin Wright), the chapter contends that prefigurative politics constitutes a fundamental and necessary component of any political strategy aimed at transcending contemporary capitalism since it conceives progressive social change in an ontologically and epistemologically different way with respect to political parties and protest movements. Taking this into consideration, it is concluded that conventional politics and prefigurative politics can be seen as having the potential to mutually reinforce each other.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Future Is Now : An Introduction to Prefigurative Politics
    EditorsLara Monticelli
    Number of pages17
    Place of PublicationBristol
    PublisherBristol University Press
    Publication date2022
    ISBN (Print)9781529215656
    ISBN (Electronic)9781529215670, 9781529215687
    Publication statusPublished - 2022
    SeriesAlternatives to Capitalism in the 21st Century

    Bibliographical note

    This research was conducted under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship scheme funded by the European Union (Grant number 798866, Project ‘EcoLabSS – Ecovillages as Laboratories of Sustainability and Social Change). Fellow: Lara Monticelli. Host Institution: Copenhagen Business School.

    Cite this