Political Aesthetics highlights the complex and ambiguous connections of aesthetics with social, cultural and political experiences in contemporary societies. If today aesthetics seems a rather overused term, mixing a variety of historical realities and complex personal states of being, its relevance as a connecting agent between individual, state and society is stronger than ever.

The actual context of political and economic crisis generates new relations between official imposed aesthetics and the resistance and critiques they trigger. Considered beyond the poles of power and protest, the book examines how traditional or innovative artistic practices may acquire unexpected capacities of subversion. It nourishes the current debate around the new political stakes of aesthetics as an inviolable right of ordinary citizens, an essential element of empowerment and agency in a democratic every day.

It will be of interest to students and scholars of international relations, political culture and political aesthetics, as well as critical sociology and history. It will also be useful for some broad courses in media studies, cultural studies, and sociology.

chapter |9 pages


ByArundhati Virmani

part 1|57 pages

Aesthetics in political culture

chapter 1|17 pages

Imagining pasts and futures

South Africa's Keiskamma Tapestry and the Indian Parliament murals*
ByRachel E. Johnson, Shirin M. Rai

chapter 2|19 pages

Politics of aesthetics

Mussolini and fascist Italy
BySimonetta Falasca-Zamponi

part 2|58 pages

Power of aesthetical critique

chapter 4|16 pages

French underground raves of the 1990s

Aesthetic politics of affect and autonomy
ByJean-Christophe Sevin

chapter 5|19 pages

Aesthetics as critique

A photographic inquiry into the Mafia
ByFranco Zecchin

chapter 6|21 pages

Prior to erasure

Looking for adivasis in photographs
ByRashmi Varma

part 3|74 pages

Everyday as aesthetics

chapter 7|11 pages

Aesthetics of the suburban fabric

Discovering the Marseille metropolitan area through GR2013
ByHendrik Sturm

chapter 8|19 pages

Perfecting political performance

Spinning and Gandhian virtuosity*
ByRebecca M. Brown

chapter 9|22 pages

Some reflections on the aesthetics of contemporary judicial ceremony

Making the ordinary extraordinary
ByLeslie J. Moran

chapter 10|20 pages


Narratives, politics, history
ByMaria Tamboukou

chapter |8 pages


Some sociological afterthoughts. Continuous vision and rationalizations of cultural forms, secular rituals and aesthetics
ByEmmanuel Pedler