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Dimensions of Radical Democracy: Pluralism, Citizenship, Communityby Chantal Mouffe
Synopses & Reviews
The themes of citizenship and community are today at the center of a fierce debate as both left and right try to mobilize them for their cause. For the left such notions are crucial in all the current attempts to redefine political struggle through extending and deepening democracy. But, argue the contributors to this volume, these concepts need to be made compatible with the pluralism that marks modern democracy. Rather than reject the liberal tradition, they argue, the aim should be to radicalize it.
These essays set out to examine what types of “citizen” and “community” might be required by such a radical and plural democracy. From a range of disciplines and a fruitful diversity of theoretical perspectives, the contributors help us to address the following challenge: how to defend the greatest possible pluralism without destroying the very framework of the democratic political community.
Despite their differences, a vision emerges from these essays which is sharply at odds both with the universalistic and rationalistic conception to be found in the work of Habermas, and with postmodern celebrations of absolute heterogeneity. For this book is an exploration of politics—of a politics where power, conflict and antagonism will always play a central role.
About the Author
Chantal Mouffe is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster. Her books include The Return of the Political; Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (with Ernesto Laclau); The Dimensions of Radical Democracy; Gramsci and Marxist Theory; Deconstruction and Pragmatism; The Democratic Paradox; and The Challenge of Carl Schmitt, all from Verso.
Bryan S. Turner is professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology at Cambridge University in England and a professorial fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. His previous publications include The Body and Society (1984), Medical Power and Social Knowledge (1987) and Regulating Bodies (1992). He is the joint editor with Mike Featherstone of the journal Body & Society. He teaches medical sociology and the sociology of human rights at Cambridge. He is currently editing the Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology (with Craig Calhoun and Chris Rojek) and the International Handbook of Sociology. He is also doing research on rights, learning disabilities, and social inclusion.
Slavoj iek is a Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic. He is a professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His books include Living in the End Times, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, In Defense of Lost Causes, four volumes of the Essential iek, and many more.
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