Cover: Cultural Agents Reloaded: The Legacy of Antanas Mockus, from Harvard University PressCover: Cultural Agents Reloaded in PAPERBACK

Focus on Latin American Art and Agency 4

Cultural Agents Reloaded

The Legacy of Antanas Mockus

Edited by Carlo Tognato

Product Details


$40.00 • £34.95 • €36.95

ISBN 9780674088559

Publication Date: 06/04/2018


646 pages

6-3/4 x 9-3/4 inches

78 halftones, 15 line illustrations

Cultural Agents Initiative at Harvard University > Focus on Latin American Art and Agency


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Antanas Mockus, academic, mathematician, and philosopher, twice elected as mayor of Bogotá without funds or a party, belongs to no stereotype of right or left or populist. His administrations’ campaigns of Cultura Ciudadana (Civic Culture) surprised and often delighted through their use of symbolism, theater, and sheer playfulness. At the same time they were based on thorough theoretical thinking and, as were all aspects of his administrations, on scrupulous execution and profound ethical convictions. Carlo Tognato has assembled here a varied and consistently stimulating collection of assessments and interpretations, together with interviews with a number of Mockus’s collaborators, including an indispensable contribution by the former mayor himself. Often the chapters depart as interestingly from conventional political analysis as Mockus’s methods departed from conventional politics. They are accompanied by an extended photographic essay, which is an essential and welcome novelty. Opinions differ about how much was dependent on Antanas Mockus’s personality; he has the rare and perhaps untheorizable gift of making hard lives a little bit happier. But this excellent book is itself evidence of continuing interest in this remarkable philosopher and politician.—Malcolm Deas, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford

To transform a social equilibrium requires changing institutions, rules, social norms, expectations, beliefs, and interests. It’s hard to do, but it happened in Bogotá in the 1990s. This book deconstructs how it was precipitated and evolved under the innovative strategies of Antanas Mockus. A remarkable experience with profound lessons for social science.—James Robinson, University of Chicago

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