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Micropolitics and Collective Liberation: Mind/Body Practice and Left Social Movements


This article explores the growing use of mind/body practices like meditation and yoga in Left social movements. The analysis is rooted in interviews with activists participating in the transformative movement-building current: the growing number of organizations integrating subjective and social transformation practices. William Connolly’s work on micropolitics is put into conversation with the transformative movement-building current. The epistemological assumption undergirding this article is that textual political theory, and the knowledge being produced by activists, can benefit from dynamic exchange. My argument is that Connolly’s post-Nietzschean political theory offers a powerful justification for the political importance of mind/body practices, one that adds to activist justifications. I also argue that transformative movement-building contributes to recent theoretical debates by concretely demonstrating the integral importance of micropolitics for successful macromovements.

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