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The Post-Political and Its DiscontentsSpaces of Depoliticization, Spectres of Radical Politics$
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Japhy Wilson and Erik Swyngedouw

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748682973

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748682973.001.0001

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The Limits of Post-Politics:

The Limits of Post-Politics:

Rethinking Radical Social Enterprise

(p.189) 9 The Limits of Post-Politics
The Post-Political and Its Discontents

Wendy Larner

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines the limits of post-politics through a case study of CoExist. CoExist is a registered Community Interest Company based in Stokes Croft, Bristol. It was set up in August 2008 to manage spaces in which people can coexist (verb – to exist in harmony) with themselves, with each other, and with the environment. The expressed ambition is to establish CoExist specifically, and the city of Bristol more generally, as a ‘beacon of good practice’ that will enable others to emulate this grass-roots model of socio-environmental innovation. Can CoExist’s model for fostering economically and environmentally sustainable futures avoid the traps of gentrification and subsequent socio-economic displacement? Why does CoExist want to build ‘inter-institutional relationships of mutual benefit’ when we already know the problems that arise when government agencies and universities ‘partner’ with NGOs and community organisations? This chapter reviews relevant theoretical and substantive debates in an effort to analyse the new political-economic formations and processes of political re-invention ensuing after neoliberalism. It argues that claims about post-politicization risk overlooking the importance of micro-political experiments such as CoExist in the search for alternative socio-environmental futures.

Keywords:   Post-politics, Neoliberalism, Social enterprise, Alternatives, CoExist

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