Post-Automobility Futures

Addressing ontological (matters related to being or being in) and political (relations and contexts of power) questions is a key ambition of this book. This is, authors claim, the precondition for even imagining post-automobility futures. Automobility not as a separate social or socio-technical arrangement among others that make up our world, but an apt if ill name of the world we dwell in. Automobility is a paradigmatic order: the technoscientific world of late-modernity that is the time and space we inhabit. The authors of this book argue that there is no other cause to those millions of events in lives across the globe, one life lost every 23 seconds, happening as the reader reads this sentence, or the causes of the ecological destruction of our planet. The causer is automobility: the ontological politics and paradigm of late modernity. It is neither automobiles nor drivers that kill, nor for that matter is it automobiles that are turning our planet into a wasteland, but an imaginary: meanings that together fall under the ill-named sign that is “automobility.” Automobility death and injury has been rendered banal by their numbing regularity, ceasing to outrage and offend; reported in newspapers only when they involve someone famous or are unusual in some other way. Physical causality and moral responsibility have been constructed as laying with “the driver,” a psychological displacement that allows others who are also responsible to sleep in peace. The death and injury and environmental destruction caused by automobility are no less crimes against humanity than other recognized crimes against humanity.

The book "Post-Automobility Futures", written by Robert Braun and Richard Randell presents an in-depth phenomenological and deconstructive analysis of the automobility imaginary, which is none other than the mundane automobility reality within which we dwell in everyday life. A successful transition to a post-automobility future will require new ways of thinking about and conceptualizing automobility, one of the most significant and powerful imaginaries of contemporary neo-liberalism. This book offers such a view by reconceptualizing automobility in its entirety as both an imaginary and a dreamscape.

In his summary of the book IHS researcher Johannes Starkbaum presents and discuss the core arguments of the book.