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Space, Politics and Aesthetics

Mustafa Dikeç

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Explores the force of aesthetic experience and the role of space in political thinking

Mustafa Dikeç reveals the aesthetic premises that underlie Hannah Arendt, Jean-Luc Nancy and Jacques Rancière's political thinking, and demonstrates how their politics depend on the construction and apprehension of worlds through spatial forms and distributions. Exploring these dimensions of the political, he argues that politics is about how perceive and relate to the world. Space is a form of appearance and a mode of actuality, and the disruption of such forms and modes is the sublime element in politics.

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1. Politics and the spatial imagination
2. Politics of aesthetics
3. Politics for beginners
4. Politics in-common
5. Politics for equals
6. The sublime element in politics

About the Author

Mustafa Dikeç is Professor at the Ecole d’urbanisme de Paris. He is the author of Badlands of the Republic: Space, Politics and Urban Policy (2007, Blackwell), and co-editor of Extending Hospitality: Giving Space, Taking Time (2009, Edinburgh University Press). He is currently working on a book on urban revolts, Urban Rage (Yale University Press), and completing a research project on the politics of time in nineteenth-century Paris.


What if political action is the very invention of space? And what if we were to see this making of space as a work of art and imagination? With an artistry of his own, Mustafa Dikeç brings Arendt, Nancy and Rancière into conversation with ordinary people shaping their own everyday worlds. The warmest of invitations into challenging political thought, Space, Politics, and Aesthetics is a celebration of the sheer joy of bringing shared spaces into being.

- Nigel Clark, Lancaster University

Mustafa Dikeç’s Space, Politics and Aesthetics is philosophically profound, politically astute and conceptually powerful. Articulating critical geography with a politics of aesthetics, the work crosses disciplinary boundaries and provides an innovative intervention into contemporary social theory.

- Michael J. Shapiro, University of Hawai'i

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