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Tracing the PoliticalDepoliticisation, governance and the state$
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Matt Wood

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447326601

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447326601.001.0001

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Thinking big: the political imagination

Thinking big: the political imagination

(p.227) Conclusion Thinking big: the political imagination
Tracing the Political

Matthew Flinders

Matt Wood

Policy Press

The aim of this collection was to be provocative and open up debate, and the book appears to have succeeded. In doing so, it seems to have achieved the not insubstantial feat of provoking Colin Hay, who makes several abject criticisms of the collection. He is uninspired by Bob Jessop’s ‘neologistic’ approach to the topic, exhausted by the myriad attempts at conceptual re-formulation, and somewhat aghast at the potential implications of our own discussion of Carl Schmitt’s work. This very short concluding chapter responds to Hay’s critique of Flinders and Wood’s chapters, and of the broader purpose of this collection, in three senses. It argues that Carl Schmitt’s work is used to contextualise the collection, rather than set a theoretical agenda. Secondly, it argues that conceptual reflection and problem-based research need not be antagonistic, but can in fact be complimentary. Lastly, taking the lead from C Wright Mills’ work on ‘the sociological imagination’, it argues for a little more ‘big thinking’ in the social sciences, and the development of a ‘political imagination’.

Keywords:   depoliticisation, politicisation, Carl Schmitt, political imagination

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