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 ofHegemony 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.