Editors: Mariavita Cambria / Milena Meo / Neil Turnbull


It has become a commonplace in recent discussions in relation to the state of contemporary politics to observe that in the current period we are witnessing a crisis of politics, at least as it has been traditionally conceived. This, as Zygmunt Bauman pointed, out, is because the new global economy has wrought a separation of power from politics, such that the only role left for the political agent is to maintain a direct rule over social representations.

Clearly, such a shift suggests that our understanding of politics is now forced to make its way back to politics’ ancient connection with the imaginary, with Platonic dreams of kings and tyrants, to the extent that political actors today need meet the new challenge of how to ‘do’ politics in a way that acknowledges its increasingly mythological, image-based and ‘aestheticised’ nature.  There is now a clear and growing sense that political power resides in the images, the promotional styles, the use of new linguistic genres and environments and the mediated ‘affects’ of political actors.

The imaginary thus becomes central to the production of the space of the political itself: it addresses the self-constitution of the political more directly. The idea here is that there is an imaginary dimension to all politics. This renaissance of an imaginal world imposes a new mode of thought, crossed by images, pervaded with the symbolic, the imaginary and the immaterial.

This insight poses a series of important questions: how is the political field imagined today, how is the political agency imagined across a wide range of contexts? How might politics be re-imagined and re-conceptualized? What does the political mean when it has become disconnected from traditional conceptions of truth and become increasingly connected to the posed and poetic nature of everyday life?

This special issue will address these questions via an interdisciplinary examination of what we believe to be an emergent social formation at the beginning of the 21st century. Other questions that might be explored include:


  • Ancient and modern political imaginaries
  • Imaginaries of re-politicisation
  • The rhetoric of new politics
  • The politics of affect
  • Charisma and the political imaginary;
  • Legitimacy and legitimation of political power.
  • Populism as a new political mood based on the activation of feelings and “affect”
  • The rise of aestheticised form of ‘tribal politics’ and a communitarian politics of feeling
  • the political itself based around ‘the management of feeling/affect’
  • Ethnic mobilisation and identity politics
  • The rhetoric of the new politics – its use of ‘us’ and ‘them’ – and the employment of more visual and clearly theatrical modes of performance.
  • Language and new political genres and web environments
  • Critical Discourse Analysis and political representation
  • Benjamin, critical theory and the dialectical imagination
  • The features of “new” leadership: ‘cults of personality’; the culture of celebrity; the ‘mad leader’ and his/her position in the social imaginaries of the 20th and 21st
  • The role of mediation and impression management in democratic politics (image consultants, campaign management, spin doctors)


Proposal may be submitted in Italian, English and French and sent simultaneously to: rivistaimago @;; mcambria @ and @


Proposal for papers should be no more than 350 words and should contain:

  • abstract title, author’s or authors’ names and full institutional affiliations;
  • contact email address of the first author
  • five key words
  • a brief bibliography (no more than 5 references)


Deadline for the submission of abstracts: September, 2nd, 2019

Notification of abstract acceptance: September 16th, 2019

Preliminary papers to the editors: October, 21st, 2019

Revised peer-reviews papers to the editors: November, 25th, 2019

Publication: December 2019

More info: