19.01.2015 Mouffe – Agonistics

Mouffe, C., 2013. Agonistics – Thinking World Politically. London, UK: Verso.

Text chosen by Caroline Gausden 

I would like to propose a chapter from Chantal Mouffe’s 2013 text Agonistics. Mouffe is Professor of Political Theory at the University of Westminster in London. She is best known for her contribution to the development – jointly with Ernesto Laclau, with whom she co-authored Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, of a form of discourse analysis. They developed a post-marxist political inquiry drawing on Gramsci, post-structuralism and theories of identity, to redefine Left politics in terms of radical democracy.

In defining Agonistic politics she touches on and departs from contributions made by Hannah Arendt and Alain Badiou, previously discussed in the reading group, drawing important distinctions between ethics and politics. As well as discussing antagonism Mouffe’s writing takes an antagonistic form setting up theorists against each other in difficult configurations and the dismissing them in relation to each other and her own position.

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