Though utopias may be “good” if not “perfect” societies, they have to face the possibility that some people might not approve of the utopian way of life. Therefore, the question of how to cope with conflict, deviance, and dissent is vital for the utopian imagination. Taking into account how utopias have commonly handled conflicts, this article closely examines Cory Doctorow's science fiction novel Walkaway (2017) and the post-scarcity society it envisions. As this article shows, Doctorow's “critical utopia” experiments with alternative strategies of conflict resolution and engages with central problems of anarchism. By exploring utopia's limitations and contradictions as they emerge in moments of crisis and conflict, the novel, this article argues, not only reveals how much utopia has to be understood as encompassing the structural as well as the individual level, but it also places the politics of conflict at the heart of the utopian endeavor.

You do not currently have access to this content.