For the activist, the academic interested in power and politics, the development practitioner and the engaged citizen, these last couple of years have offered a veritable treasure of moments with which to re-imagine the world and the place of the ‘citizen’ in it, the relationships between rulers and the ruled, and the very meaning of ‘democracy’.
Almost two years ago, Hivos organized a two-day knowledge exploration, The Changing Face of Citizen Action. Out of this inspiring event, the Civic Explorations Knowledge Programme was born. Next to this, we decided to share and take further the treasure of insights and new knowledge gained at this event. Hivos and IDS asked academics, activists and development practitioners to contribute and share their views on this complex and exciting matter. The result can be downloaded below.
This working paper develops an approach based on thinking at the IDS and Hivos about ‘Unruly Politics’, a framework that offers new ways to understand and engage politics and political action. ‘Unruly Politics’ is a broad conceptual space rather than a descriptive or nominal category. Broadly, it is an approach that looks at politics beyond what has conventionally been defined as ‘politics’, institutionally and formally. It is simultaneously the insistence on new languages of politics, the redefinition of spaces of politics, ruptures in the aesthetic regimes of power, and the creation of imaginaries of power beyond what is already intelligible.