Laclau: A Critical Reader / Edition 1

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"Laclau: A Critical Reader is the first full-length critical appraisal of Ernesto Laclau's work and includes contributions from several leading philosophers and theorists. The first section examines Laclau's theory that the contest between universalism and particularism provides much of the philosophical background to political and social struggle, taking up the important place accorded to, amongst others, Hegel and Lacan in Laclau's work. The second section of the book considers what Laclau's 'radical democracy' might look like and reflects on its ethical implications, particularly in relation to Laclau's post-Marxism and thinkers such as Jurgen Habermas. The final section investigates the place of hegemony in Laclau's work, the idea for which he is perhaps best known." This stimulating collection also includes replies to his critics by Laclau and the important exchange between Laclau and Judith Butler on equality, making it an excellent companion to Laclau's work and essential reading for students of political and social theory.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
' ... is exemplary in its attempt to do justice to the rich and complicated thought of its subject.' - Times Literary Supplement

'After the editor's superb introduction that sets the general implication of Laclau's work, a collection of snappy and well-written articles deal with Laclau's novel conceptualisation of hegemony and its implications ... the text is so well edited that it is quite difficult to find any problem with it.' - Political Studies Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415238434
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/1/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Simon Critchley is Professor of Philosophy in the Graduate Faculty, New School University and at the University of Essex. He is the author and editor of many books.
Oliver Marchart is a lecturer in Cultural and Media Theory at the University of Basel and in Political Theory at the University of Vienna.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. I Philosophy : universality, singularity, difference 15
1 How empty can empty be? : on the place of the universal 17
2 Laclau and hegemony : some (post) Hegelian caveats 35
3 Politics and the ontological difference : on the 'strictly philosophical' in Laclau's work 54
4 Politics as the real of philosophy 73
5 This universalism which is not one 88
Pt. II Democracy : politics, ethics, normativity 111
6 Is there a normative deficit in the theory of hegemony? 113
7 Ethics and politics in discourse theory 123
8 Democratic decisions and the question of universality : rethinking recent approaches 140
9 The ethos of democratization 167
10 Anachronism of emancipation or fidelity to politics 182
Pt. III Hegemony : discourse, rhetorics, antagonism 199
11 Encounters of the real kind : sussing out the limits of Laclau's embrace of Lacan 201
12 'Taking up a task' : moments of decision in Ernesto Laclau's thought 217
13 Competing figures of the limit : dispersion, transgression, antagonism, and indifference 226
14 The political and politics in discourse analysis 241
15 Hegemony, political subjectivity, and radical democracy 256
Pt. IV A reply 277
16 Glimpsing the future 279
App. I The uses of equality 329
App. II Bibliography of Ernesto Laclau's work 345
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