The Open UniversitySkip to content

Geographies of radical democracy: agonistic pragmatism and the formation of affected interests

Barnett, Clive and Bridge, Gary (2013). Geographies of radical democracy: agonistic pragmatism and the formation of affected interests. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 103(4) pp. 1022–1040.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


There is significant interest in democracy in contemporary human geography. Theoretically, this interest has been most strongly influenced by poststructuralist theories of radical democracy, and associated ontologies of relational spatiality. These emphasise a priori understandings of the spaces of democratic politics, ones which focus on marginal spaces and the de-stabilization of established patterns. This article develops an alternative account of the spaces of democratic politics, one which seeks to move beyond the stylised contrast of poststructuralist agonism and liberal consensualism. This alternative draws into focus the spatial dimensions of philosophical pragmatism, and the relevance of this tradition for thinking about the geographies of democracy. In particular, the geographical relevance of pragmatism lies in the distinctive inflection of the all-affected principle and of the rationalities of problem-solving. Drawing on John Dewey’s work, a conceptualisation of transactional space is developed to reconfigure understandings of the agonistics of participation as well as the experimental institutionalisation of democratic will. The difference that a pragmatist approach makes to understandings of the geographies of democracy is explored in relation to transnational and urban politics.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2013 Association of American Geographers
ISSN: 1467-8306
Keywords: affected interests; Chicago; democracy; pragmatism; transactional space
Academic Unit/School: ?? fass-pped ??
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Related URLs:
Item ID: 32439
Depositing User: Clive Barnett
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2012 10:15
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 16:38
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU