Hope: new philosophies for change



Publication Details

This book was originally published as: Zournazi, M, 2002, Hope: new philosophies for change, Pluto Press Australia, Annandale, NSW. The book includes a number of interviews. Contents include:

Acknowledgments 10
Prologue 12
Introduction 14
Section I - The Elements of Hope
1. Murmurs of life – with Alphonso Lingis 22
2. Carnival of the senses – with Michael Taussig 42
3. Joyful revolt – with Julia Kristeva 64
4. Faith without certitudes – with Nikos Papastergiadis 78
Section II - A Politics of Hope
5. On believing – with Christos Tsiolkas 98
6. Hope, passion, politics – with Chantal Mouffe and Ernesto Laclau 122
7. ‘On the side of life’ – Joy and the capacity of being – with Ghassan Hage 150
8. The rest of the world – with Gayatri Spivak 172
Section III - Revolutionary Hope
9. The art of living – with Michel Serres 192
10. Navigating movements – with Brian Massumi 210
11. A ‘cosmo-politics’ – risk, hope, change – with Isabelle Stengers 244
Epilogue 274
Appendix – Biographical details and associated readings 276
Index 284


Prologue: This is a book about hope. To me, ‘hope’ is about a certain generosity and gratefulness that we all need in life. If life is a series of encounters and chance meetings, events and social relations, then hope lies across all of these. It is a basic human condition that involves belief and trust in the world. It is the stuff of our dreams and desires, our ideas of freedom and justice and how we might conceive life.

In this book, hope is also about a spirit of dialogue, where generosity and laughter break open a space to keep spontaneity and freedom alive – the joyful engagements possible with others. For in any conversation – individual or political, written, spoken or read – there needs to be the ability to hear, listen and give. If we shut down a discussion through resentment, fear or unwillingness – through adversity or polarised individual or political positions – generosity ceases, and the openness of real discussion and debate is diminished. When a dialogue is not permitted there can be no space for exchange – words and ideas become self-enclosed and the exchange becomes a kind of monologue, a type of depression and narcissism where territories are defended and the stakes raised are already known.

Reflections, conversations and dialogues build new social and individual imaginaries – visions of the world that create possibilities for change. They lift us out of despair and let us take new risks in our encounters with each other. What I pose here is the ethical and political responsibility we can share in writing and thinking about hope. This is about collaboration – in writing, in thinking, in politics – how working ideas together, across different styles and traditions, can let new ideas, views and expressions emerge. This involves a sense of trust and a ‘faith without certitudes’ about where hope may lie in thinking about the future. In secular times, when hope has moved out of the religious sphere, the turn towards the future may be found in struggles for individual justice, and in political activity across the globe.

Please refer to publisher version or contact your library.