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Imaginal PoliticsImages Beyond Imagination and the Imaginary$
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Chiara Bottici

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231157780

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231157780.001.0001

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Imaginal Politics

Imaginal Politics

(p.90) 5 Imaginal Politics
Imaginal Politics

Chiara Bottici

Columbia University Press

This chapter argues that politics, and in particular modern politics, has always been imaginal. More specifically, it shows why politics, both in the largest and the strictest understanding of the term, depends on the imaginal. Politics coincides with the sphere of public life and therefore includes all that concerns the social and the political. Hence, politics depends on the imaginal because it is only by imagining it that a public comes into being. This holds for large communities such as modern states, but also for small ones. This chapter also considers the concept of persona, or “person,” a general category indicating every human being independently of the physical differences between them, and the development of the modern concept of juridical personality. Finally, it examines the link between the modern notion of sovereignty and the imaginal and Hannah Arendt's understanding of the interrelationships between politics, imagination, and the imaginal.

Keywords:   politics, imaginal, public life, persona, juridical personality, sovereignty, Hannah Arendt, imagination

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