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Reconceptualizing Resistance: Residuals of the State and Democratic Radical Pluralism



Abstract:  Arguing that resistance to the state is too narrow a conceptualization of a political project that challenges neoliberalism, we posit that there are latent, residual apparatuses of the state which can be activated as part of a systematic progressive politics. We examine Massachusetts’“Dover amendment”, a legal framework which governs group home siting throughout the state. Dover offers a powerful tool with which to resist a neoliberal socio-spatial agenda, though it has been underutilized toward enabling an alternative landscape. We analyze how and why Dover has often remained latent as a tool for socio-spatial resistance, and consider a provocative case in Framingham, Massachusetts that suggests how residual state apparatuses may be leveraged in support of an explicitly resistive, progressive agenda.