The “death of utopia” has been frequently announced, and as frequently denied. This article considers the reasons both for the announcements and the denials. It looks in particular at Fredric Jameson’s recent claim that not only are utopias necessary today but that utopia is well and thriving. I express skepticism towards this claim, as towards others of a similar kind. I also consider the variety of utopia known as utopian social theory, a cousin of the literary utopia, and find here too an absence of vitality. The third section considers the new form of the “glocalized utopia,” a form of practical experimentation that links local communities, aiming at the good life, within a global space. I conclude that while this has promising aspects, it cannot perform the functions previously performed by the classic utopias of the past, and that perhaps the times remain unpropitious for utopia.


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pp. 549-569
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