In Pluriversal Politics Arturo Escobar engages with the politics of the possible and how established notions of what is real and attainable preclude the emergence of radically alternative visions of the future. Reflecting on the experience, philosophy, and practice of indigenous and Afro-descendant activist-intellectuals and on current Latin American theoretical-political debates, Escobar chronicles the social movements mobilizing to defend their territories from large-scale extractive operations in the region. He shows how these movements engage in an ontological politics aimed at bringing about the pluriverse—a world consisting of many worlds, each with its own ontological and epistemic grounding. Such a politics, Escobar contends, is key to crafting myriad world-making stories telling of different possible futures that could bring about the profound social transformations that are needed to address planetary crises. Both a call to action and a theoretical provocation, Pluriversal Politics finds Escobar at his critically incisive best.
“Conveying a powerful message about the dire state of the world, Arturo Escobar offers a monumental critique: the crisis we face is civilizational; the tools that modernity has made available are inadequate to the tasks we face; and the only viable way forward entails a radical break from conventional practices. Escobar's vigorous call to decolonize our imaginaries in order to liberate our individual and collective sense of what is possible is compelling, deeply inspiring, and sure to spark urgently needed dialogue.”
Charles R. Hale, coeditor of
Otros Saberes: Collaborative Research on Indigenous and Afro-Descendent Cultural Politics
“With optimism of the will and of the intellect, Arturo Escobar does not tell us what is or what could be; rather he contributes tools to imagine possibility differently—to dare think the unthinkable. The pluriverse he proposes is unknown practice, that, however, does not authorize us to think it is impossible practice.”
Marisol de la Cadena, author of
Earth Beings: Ecologies of Practice across Andean Worlds