Prefigurative PoliticsBuilding Tomorrow Today
Prefigurative Politics
Building Tomorrow Today

Many of us wonder what we could possibly do to end oppression, exploitation, and injustice. People have studied revolutions and protest movements for centuries, but few have focused on prefigurative politics, the idea of 'building the new society within the shell of the old'. 

Fed up with capitalism? Get organised and build the institutions of the future in radical unions and local communities. Tired of politicians stalling on climate change? Set up an alternative energy collective. Ready to smash racism and the patriarchy? Root them out in all areas of our lives, not just in 'high politics'. 

This is the first book dedicated to prefigurative politics, explaining its history and examining the various debates surrounding it. How can collective decision-making be inclusive? In what ways are movements intersectional? Can prefigurative organisations scale up? It is a must-read for students of radical politics, anarchism, and social movements, as well as activists and concerned citizens everywhere.

Show More
Buy Now


Order Exam Copy

For Lecturers Only

More Info
  • February 2020
  • 180 pages
  • 143 x 219 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $64.95
  • 9781509535903
  • Paperback $22.95
  • 9781509535910
  • Open eBook $18.99
  • 9781509535927
Table of Contents

Chapter 1  Introduction

Chapter 2  What Prefigurative Politics Is and Is Not

Chapter 3  Praxis and Social Change

Chapter 4  Decision-Making in Large-Scale Organisations

Chapter 5  The Personal is Political

Chapter 6  Prefigurative Politics and the State

Chapter 7  Radical Prefigurativism, Not Liberal Individualism

Chapter 8  Conclusion: Now. Here. You.


About the Author

Paul Raekstad lectures in Political Theory at the University of Edinburgh and is one of the creators of the YouTube channel Red Plateaus.

Sofa Saio Gradin is an organiser, writer and youth worker, and lectures in Politics at King's College London.

Show More


Prefigurative Politics is essential reading for anyone who is serious about building a new world in the shell of the old. Concise, clear, and powerful, Raekstad and Gradins work illuminates histories of prefiguration and charts a course forward.
Mark Bray, Dartmouth College, author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook

The left often struggles with an internal contradiction between (a) implementing strategies and tactics to undo its opponents, and (b) advocating for an alternative social structure. Raekstad and Gradin embrace this contradiction and consider how best to mutually reinforce both components of a broad left strategy. Here is productive strategic thinking among advocates of basic social change.
Richard D. Wolff, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

A wonderful and timely contribution to the growing literature on (socialist) activist strategy. Both authors draw extensively on their own experiences with activism and their academic research... Everyone interested in left-activism or simply longing for a better future should read Prefigurative Politics.
Marx and Philosophy Review of Books

Show More