By Mark Trekson
Arts of the Political: New Openings for the Left, by Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift, isn’t exactly beach reading, but to those interested in a novel effort to link a wide range of political theory to practical politics, it is an interesting and (surprisingly—given the theoretical range it covers) engaging read. With apologies to Claude Levi-Strauss, this is the sort of book that is “good to think with,” especially for readers willing to use its engagement with political thought as a jumping off point for further reading or as a way to understand their own activism in a new way. That said, while this is a book about social movements, those looking for a direct engagement with what I would consider to be the main currents in social movement theory (both contemporary and historical) will be disappointed.
Amin and Thrift, at least in the United States, are probably best known to those working in what could loosely be considered “critical” urban geography. Continue reading