Envisioning Real Utopias—Announcing a Book Event in the Fall
Crooked Timber have posted an item announcing Erik Olin Wright's Envisioning Real Utopias which not only includes some very nice words about the book but also details about a symposium dedicated to the book for Fall 2010.
Erik has spent a long time working on the book, and even longer on the ideas (I remember a meeting in 1994, in which he announced his decision to name the broader project of which this is a part the "Real Utopias Project"—predating, I think, Rawls's use of the phrase "realistic utopianism"). At the core of the Real Utopias Project and of the book, is a recognition that the anti-capitalist left has been strong on critique of capitalism, but weak on the presentation of feasible alternatives, and in particular on providing the kind of detail about those alternatives that demonstrates both how they would realize egalitarian values and makes them open to scrutiny and critique. Envisioning Real Utopias is both a manifesto and a guidebook, if you like: an argument for taking institutional design seriously, and a guide to how to do that. It's a book that sociologists will want to read, but also, frankly, that everyone in political theory and philosophy should be reading too (even if they do not think of themselves as egalitarians).
Visit Crooked Timber to read the article in full.