Poststructuralism And The Politics Of Method

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Since the time of Plato, political philosophy has attempted to create a secure basis upon which to build the prescriptive claims for political action. However, if knowledge is a human construction, not the discovery of some essential reality, is it possible to support collective acts by reference to such foundational claims? If not, we must rethink our understanding society, politics, and the exercise of power. Beginning with the premise that our knowledge of political and social life is historical and contingent, Andrew Koch seeks to re-conceptualize our understanding of politics and power. Koch moves the discussions of power and politics away from search for foundational truths. Viewing politics and power through an epistemological lens, he explores what our understanding of politics and power looks like in the wake of deconstruction and genealogy. Koch begins with a general overview of the poststructuralist epistemology. From there the work contrasts this position with the interpretive sociology of Max Weber, uses deconstruction to politicize the work of Niklas Luhmann, and explores the implications of deconstruction for democracy, Marxist theory, institutional power, and anarchist politics.

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Editorial Reviews

Edward M. Wheat
In a series of articles and books over a period of several years, Professor Andrew Koch has grappled with the most interesting and challenging problems at the center of the methodological and policy debates of the political and social sciences. In this book, accepting that 'all political orders use power and are, on some level, repressive,' and that all present political orders are unyieldingly committed to absolutist secular or sacred conceptions of knowledge and human nature, Professor Koch offers a poststructural reformation of the political that abandons the reliance on absolutes and opens up space for counter-discourses of liberation, diversity, and a more open view of our collective political future. Professor Koch's book is a welcome addition to current debates about the need for a fundamental reorientation of thinking about human prospects on planet Earth.
Horst Hutter
This is a book well worth reading for its comprehensive sweep and the succinctness of its exposition of all aspects of post-structuralism.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739114087
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 6/1/2007
  • Pages: 156
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Koch is associate professor of political science at Appalachian State University.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Poststructuralism and Political Philosophy Chapter 2 The Methods of Inquiry: Weber and Poststructuralism Chapter 3 Niklas Luhmann, Jacqeus Derrida and the Politics of Epistemological Closure Chapter 4 Democracy and Personal Autonomy Chapter 5 Marx, Derrida, and the Politics of Emancipation Chapter 6 Conclusion: The Epistemological Crisis in Contemporary Politics

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