Thinking Radical Democracy is an introduction to nine key political thinkers who contributed to the emergence of radical democratic thought in post-war French political theory: Hannah Arendt, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Pierre Clastres, Claude Lefort, Cornelius Castoriadis, Guy Debord, Jacques Ranci�re, �tienne Balibar, and Miguel Abensour. The essays in this collection connect these writers through their shared contribution to the idea that division and difference in politics can be perceived as productive, creative, and fundamentally democratic. The questions they raise regarding equality and emancipation in a democratic society will be of interest to those studying social and political thought or democratic activist movements like the Occupy movements and Idle No More.
As China's centrally planned economy and welfare state have given way to a more loosely controlled version of "late socialism," public concern about economic reform's downside has found expression in epic novels about official corruption and its effects. While the media shied away from dealing with these issues, novelists stepped in to fill the void. "Anti-corruption fiction" exploded onto the marketplace and into public consciousness, spawning popular films and television series until a clampdown after 2002 that ended China's first substantial realist fiction since the 1989 Beijing massacre. With frankness and imagination seldom allowed journalists, novelists have depicted the death of China's rust-belt industries, the gap between rich and poor, "social unrest"—i.e., riots—and the questionable new practices of entrenched communist party rulers. Corruption and Realism examines this rebirth of the Chinese political novel and its media adaptations, explaining how the works reflect contemporary Chinese life and how they embody Chinese traditions of social criticism, literary realism, and contemplation of taboo subjects. This is the first book to investigate such novels and includes excerpts from personal interviews with China's three most famous anticorruption novelists.
The Democratic Paradox is Chantal Mouffe's most accessible and illuminating study of democracy's sharp edges, fractures, and incongruities. Orienting her discussion within the debates over modern liberal democracy, Mouffe takes aim at John Rawls, Jürgen Habermas, and the consensus building of 'third way' politics to show how their conceptions of democracy fall victim to paralyzing contradictions. Against this background, Mouffe develops a rich conception of 'agonistic pluralism' that draws on Wittgenstein, Derrida, and the provocative theses of Carl Schmitt, attempting to reclaim the antagonism and conflict of radical democracy as its most vital, abiding feature.
From John Maynard Keynes’s prediction of a fifteen-hour workweek to present-day speculation about automation, we have not stopped forecasting the end of work. Critical theory and political philosophy have turned their attention away from the workplace to focus on other realms of domination and emancipation. But far from coming to an end, work continues to occupy a central place in our lives. This is not only because of the amount of time people spend on the job. Many of our deepest hopes and fears are bound up in our labor—what jobs we perform, how we relate to others, how we might flourish. The Return of Work in Critical Theory presents a bold new account of the human significance of work and the human costs of contemporary forms of work organization. A collaboration among experts in philosophy, social theory, and clinical psychology, it brings together empirical research with incisive analysis of the political stakes of contemporary work. The Return of Work in Critical Theory begins by looking in detail at the ways in which work today fails to meet our expectations. It then sketches a phenomenological description of work and examines the normative premises that underlie the experience of work. Finally, it puts forward a novel conception of work that can renew critical theory’s engagement with work and point toward possibilities for transformation. Inspired by Max Horkheimer’s vision of critical theory as empirically informed reflection on the sources of social suffering with emancipatory intent, The Return of Work in Critical Theory is a lucid diagnosis of the malaise and pathologies of contemporary work that proposes powerful remedies.
In this hugely influential book, Laclau and Mouffe examine the workings of hegemony and contemporary social struggles, and their significance for democratic theory. With the emergence of new social and political identities, and the frequent attacks on Left theory for its essentialist underpinnings, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy remains as relevant as ever, positing a much- needed antidote against 'Third Way' attempts to overcome the opposition between Left and Right. "A brilliant tour de force of scholarship and argument." Marxism Today
Exploring NATO’s post-Cold War determination to support democracy abroad, this book addresses the alliance’s adaptation to the new illiberal backlashes in Eastern Europe, the Western Balkans and Afghanistan after the alleged ‘return of history’. The book engages the question of what has driven NATO to pursue democratisation in face of the significant region-specific challenges and what can explain policy expansion or retrenchment over time. Explaining NATO’s adaptation from the perspective of power dynamics that push for international change and historical experience that informs grand strategy allows wider inferences not only about democratisation as a foreign policy strategy but also about the nature of the transatlantic alliance and its relations with a mostly illiberal environment. Larsen offers a theoretical conception of NATO as a patchwork of one hegemonic and several great power interests that converge or diverge in the formulation of common policy, as opposed to NATO as a community of universal values. This volume will appeal to researchers of transatlantic relations, NATO’s functional and geographical expansion, hegemony and great power politics, democracy promotion, lessons of the past, (Neoclassical) Realism, alliance theory, and the crisis of the liberal world order.