Chapter 1: Introduction: A return to utopia
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Building on Levitas's notion of utopia as method, this volume explores the role of utopia in law and politics, including alternative forms of social engineering, such as technology and architecture. Utopia is considered an imaginative tool which aims at producing alternative future scenarios, providing hope in a hopeless world. The volume consists of 16 chapters, divided into three parts. Part I explores the relationship between utopia and the law. Part II addresses the notion of utopian politics, both from Berlin's critique of utopianism as a 'recipe for bloodshed' and a more positive perspective of redemption for a society in despair. Part III presents utopia in architecture and technology. As is shown, the concept of utopia can be used for criticising, redefining and reconstructing social reality by means of the imagination. This multidisciplinary volume intends to inspire scholars and citizens worldwide to reflect on the challenge of utopianism – its attraction as well as its dangers.