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Ernesto Laclau

Author: David Howarth
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134489250
Size: 58.93 MB
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Ernesto Laclau has blazed a unique trail in political theory and philosophy since the early 1970s. In so doing, he has articulated a range of philosophical and theoretical currents into a coherent alternative to mainstream models and practices of conducting social and political science. The editors have focused on work in three key areas: Post-Marxist Political Theory: Discourse, Hegemony, Signification Laclau has developed an original conception of post-Marxist political theory that is grounded on a materialist theory of discourse. The latter is constructed from a range of theoretical and philosophical sources, including poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, linguistic theory and post-analytical philosophy. The centerpiece of this approach is the category of hegemony, which develops Antonio Gramsci’s seminal contribution to Marxist theory, and is in turn connected to a web of related concepts, including articulation, dislocation, the logics of equivalence and difference, political identification, myth and social imaginary. These ideas have informed a number of empirical and theoretical studies associated with the Essex School of Discourse Theory. Analyzing Populism A central concern of Laclau’s writings has been the question of populism, both in Latin America where hebegan his interrogation of the phenomenon (especially the experience of Peronism), and then in his engagement with the "new social movements" and socialist strategy more generally. The concept of populism becomes a general way of exploring the "primacy of politics" in society. Critical Engagements Laclau is first and foremost an engaged intellectual who has consistently sought to theorize contemporary events and reality, and to debate with the leading intellectual figures of the day, with respect to questions of political principle and strategy. His recent debates with Judith Butler and Slavoj Žižek in Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Dialogues on the Left, published in 2011 (London: Verso), exemplify this critical ethos. He continues to elaborate his approach by challenging and articulating related approaches, and by situating his work in connection to the democratic Left.

Richard E Flathman

Author: P.E. Digeser
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1317527445
Size: 63.75 MB
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Richard E. Flathman is a ground-breaking theorist of key political concepts, a fierce defender of individuality, a close and original reader of Hobbes and an advocate of a willful conception of liberalism. In this volume P E Digeser draws together some of his key works. The collection is framed by an introduction and an interview with Flathman, where he reflects on his contributions. By thinking through and with Wittgenstein’s later philosophy of language, his work clarifies and refines terms that are central to politics and to the tradition of political thought. His work also seeks to cure certain persistent muddles and confusions in our political concepts as well as create and defend a space for the opaque and opalescent features of ourselves. Flathman advances a liberalism that is more open to and celebratory of the idiosyncratic as well as to voices not ordinarily associated with the liberal tradition. The editor has focused on her work in three key areas: The first part focuses on Flathman as a theorist of meaning and presents excepts from his analyses of quality, authority, and rights; The second part focuses on his contributions to understanding the meaning and value of freedom; The final part presents selections that illustrate his conception of liberalism and individuality. Helping to highlight how the innovations in Flathman's thought have shaped the field of political theory, this collection will be of interest to students and scholars.

John G Gunnell

Author: Christopher C. Robinson
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1317435818
Size: 23.12 MB
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John Gunnell has compelled political theorists to rethink their relation to political science, the history of political thought, the philosophy of social science and political reality. His thinking has been shaped by encounters with Heidegger and Plato, Wittgenstein and Austin, the Berkeley School and émigrés such as Strauss and Arendt. His writings have challenged the idealist assumptions behind the idea of a Great Tradition of Political Thought and the philosophical claims about mind and language. Gunnell has engaged and challenged colleagues in political theory, political science and the philosophy of social science on a range of issues from political action, time, pluralism, ideology, concepts, conventions, "the political" and democracy to the roles of philosophy, science, literary theory, cognitive science, mind, and history on the enterprise of theorizing today. The book focuses on his work in three key areas: Political Theory and Political Science Gunnell’s work has often focused on the historical emergence of the study of political theory as a subdiscipline of political science, and its critical relation to and alienation from political science from the postwar era. His argument has been consistent: political theory self-identified as an interpretative social science and mode of historical reflection is an invention of political science. Political theory divorced from political science weakens both activities in their ties to, concerns with and relevance to political society and the contemporary university. Interpretation and Action Gunnell has been particularly interested in the nature of concepts and how they change. These investigations begin with analysis of theory and theorizing as they are constituted and practiced in historiography, the philosophy of social sciences, the philosophy of science, political science and metatheory. He engages with thinkers whose positions inform and oppose his own and explores concepts such as: democracy, justice, time, pluralism, science, liberalism, and action. Theorists, Philosophers, and Political Life Gunnell’s work has developed through a series of encounters with theorists and philosophers. He has rejected attempts to present politics as a stable and essential set of phenomena. There are common themes that guide conversations with the German émigrés, ordinary language philosophers, and theorists from the history of political thought. This book includes works that focus on Max Weber, Leo Strauss and Eric Voegelin, Gilbert Ryle, J.L. Austin and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Hanna Fenichel Pitkin

Author: Dean Mathiowetz
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 131780192X
Size: 48.38 MB
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Hanna Fenichel Pitkin has made key contributions to the field of political philosophy, pushing forward and clarifying the ways that political theorists think about action as the exercise of political freedom. In so doing, she has offered insightful studies of the problems of modern politics that theorists are called to address, and has addressed them herself in a range of theoretical genres.. This collection of her works approaches each of these dimensions of Pitkin’s contributions in turn: The Modern Condition and the Impetus to Theorize: Pitkin has offered sustained reflection on what aspects of modern political life prompt the impulse to theorize politics. Highlighting the pitfalls that modern life and philosophy also present for that enterprise, she suggests an agenda for political theorizing that engages the dilemmas of modernity in ways that grasp the importance of paradox as a portal of insight into the modern condition, and eschews attempts at easy resolution. Moral Philosophy, Judgment, Justice: Pitkin has turned at several points in her career to the concept of justice as one that particularly brings together questions of agency and responsibility, the insights of moral philosophy, and judgment. Drawing upon a variety of methodological resources and theoretical inspirations, her work engages ordinary language philosophy, pedagogical practice, and textual study, to yield a complex and subtle set of observations, all of which open moral philosophy and matters of judgment to questions of action and responsibility in the exercise of political freedom. Action: Political agency and its obstacles are a key theme in Pitkin’s work and a main area of her theoretical innovation. She has examined the appeal of autonomy as a picture of political agency, explored the ways that the institutional arrangements of modern liberal societies attempt to link of individual and political agency and offered a picture of political freedom as maintaining the tension between individual "parts" and collective "wholes," Finally, Pitkin has meditated on the political and social conditions that most impede our ability to grasp agency as a practice of political freedom, and gestured to paths that may lead forward.

Thinking The Political

Author: Mark Devenney
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781138915589
Size: 63.90 MB
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Combining rigorous theoretical debate with a set of articles exploring Ernesto Laclau's thinking of politics, leading international scholars of contemporary radical theory demonstrate the relevance of Laclau's work to conceptualizing the Political and politics. Part 1 situates Laclau's conceptualisation of the political in the past four decades, both before and after the publication of Hegemony and Socialist Strategy. In particular it reviews Laclau's critique of Marx and Marxism, in order to explore questions not addressed at the time. Part 2 addresses Laclau's work on Rhetoric and Affect developed in some detail over the past decade. These chapters emphasise the centrality of affect and rhetoric to Laclau's conceptualisation of hegemony, thinking this in relation to the importance of rhetoric to neo-liberal politics, and arguing that rhetorical tropes are central to any thinking of the political. Part 3 positions Laclau's work in relation to Contemporary Political theory marking his distance and debt from/to Althussser, Schmitt and Wittgenstein respectively. Part 4 explores Laclau's account of Radical Democracy in relation to contemporary political concerns. Authors address the recent financial crisis; debt in relation to Greek and European politics; the analysis of contemporary capitalism; the politics of the Occupy movement and Latin American populism.