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WHITE, Stuart. "Making anarchism respectable? The social philosophy of Colin Ward"
Article published on 5 January 2008

by r-c.
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Journal of Political Ideologies (Feb 2007) Vol. 12 Issue 1, p. 11-28.


Anarchism suffers from a respectability deficit, a problem of achieving a threshold level of credibility in the eyes of non-anarchists. One anarchist thinker who has grappled persistently with this problem over 60 years of activism is the influential post-war British anarchist, Colin Ward. Responding directly to the respectability deficit, Ward helped to develop a ‘pragmatist’ anarchism characterized by direct engagement with urgent social problems. The paper explains the nature of this pragmatist anarchism, and places it in its historical intellectual context. It discusses how far Ward has indeed succeeded in producing a social philosophy that is at once genuinely anarchist and ‘intellectually respectable’.

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