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Society Despite the State

Society Despite the State

Reimagining Geographies of Order

by Anthony Ince and Gerónimo Barrera de la Torre

Series: Radical Geography

A sharp, critical perspective on what the state is and does, drawing on anarchist, decolonial and indigenous thought

'An accessible, expansive and beautifully written intervention in critical social theory' Alex Prichard, Associate Professor of International Political Theory, University of Exeter

The logic of the state has come to define social and spatial relations, embedding itself into our understandings of the world and our place in it. Anthony Ince and Gerónimo Barrera de la Torre challenge this logic as the central pivot around which knowledge and life orbit, by exposing its vulnerabilities, contradictions and, crucially, alternatives.

Society Despite the State disrupts the dominance of state-centred ways of thinking by presenting a radical political geography approach inspired by anarchist thought and practice. The book draws on a broad range of voices that have affinities with Western anarchism but also exceed it.

This book challenges radicals and scholars to confront and understand the state through a way of seeing and a set of intellectual tools that the authors call 'post-statism' In de-centring the state's logics and ways of operating, the authors incorporate a variety of threads to identify alternative ways to understand and challenge statism's effects on our political imaginations.

Anthony Ince is Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at Cardiff University. He has been active within radical movements for more than a decade. He primarily studies issues around human agency, and the capacity of people in different contexts to collectively self-manage the affairs of life.

Gerónimo Barrera de la Torre holds a PhD in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and is a postdoctoral research associate at Brown University. His research focuses on the political ecology of forest conservation, historical geography, post-statist geographies and participatory cartography.

'This is an accessible, expansive, and beautifully written intervention in critical social theory. It will spur readers, novice and adept, to reconsider the 'silent statism' in prevailing ways of knowing our shared world.'

- Alex Prichard, University of Exeter

''Society Despite the State' asks why the state endures. Ince and de la Torre's probing, panoramic analysis accentuates its pull on our imaginations, its operational logics and ordering practices while also brilliantly modelling creative pathways into critical pedagogies and methodologies.'

- Ruth Kinna, Loughborough University

1. The Anti-Authoritarian Family
Vignette I: Counterfactual Statism
2. Threads of the State
3. Myths of the State
Vignette II: We Are the Romans
4. Statist Timescapes
Vignette III: Are We Afraid of Ruins?
5. Naturalising the State
6. Un/making Order
Vignette IV: A Conversation Across / Beyond / Despite Worlds
7. Seeking Post-Statist Horizons

Published by Pluto Press in May 2024
Paperback ISBN: 9780745341248
eBook ISBN: 9781786808202

140mm x 216mm