• utopianism;
  • democracy;
  • green politics;
  • nature

This article offers a controversial argument, namely that a utopian approach adds something valuable to the study of politics. I develop this position by showing how utopian fiction and experimentation can contribute to a recent debate in environmental politics; the call for a democracy that ‘includes nature’. I argue that a utopian approach has limits – for example, it cannot provide all the answers or offer blueprints for a perfect world – but that it can create spaces in which to imagine a different and better political relationship. Simply put, a utopian approach can shift the parameters of what is conceivable.