In Scandinavia there exists an action research tradition called critical utopian action research (CUAR). Within CUAR, criticism and utopia is a core activity in the methods used and in the research as such. The utopian concept in this tradition should be understood as a productive concept, and thus not as eyebrow-lifting fantasy. Utopian horizons are, in light of critical reflection, formulated and developed. They act as Horizons indicating the direction of the work. The point of utopian notions – dreams and visions – is that they go beyond ‘the existing’ and become a way of working that allows us to think in concrete alternatives; in ‘different futures’. It allows us to ask the question: how do we wish to live? The rationale for the work of utopia must be found in CUAR’s connection to critical theory. From there, a perception that the world could be different is collected. It is only by utopian thinking that we can move the world in a different direction. Thus the notion of utopia becomes part of an ontologically basic understanding. But these different orientations must be developed and protected in a free space. In this article we will focus on the creation of free space for the utopia work.
Action Research, 2013, Vol 11, Issue 4, p. 369-385