Synopses & Reviews
Since its original publication fifteen years ago, this hugely influential book has been at the centre of much debate. The arguments and controversies it has aroused are, furthermore, far from abating: the disintegration of the Soviet bloc, the emergence of new social and political identities linked to the transformation of late capitalism, and the crisis of a left-wing project whose essentialist underpinnings have increasingly come under fire have, if anything, made more relevant than ever the theoretical perspective that the book proposes. Moreover the political project of 'radical and plural democracy' that it advocates provides a much-needed antidote to the attempts to formulate a Third Way capable of overcoming the classical opposition between Left and Right.
Updated with a new preface, this is a fundamental text for understanding the workings of hegemony and grasping the nature of contemporary social struggles and their significance for democratic theory.
"A brilliant tour de force of scholarship and argument." Marxism Today
To what extent does it call into the question the idea of social totality that underpinned Marxism and many other socialist theories? Does the concept of hegemony imply a new logic that goes beyond the essentialism of classical Marxist thought? These are some of the questions that this now seminal book attempts to answer. It traces the genealogy of the present crisis, from the nineteenth-century debates to the contemporary emergence of new forms of struggle, making it a classic text both for understanding hegemony and for focusing on present social struggles and their significance for democratic theory.
This text traces the genealogy of the present crisis in left-wing thought and reexamines the idea of hegemony to posit a claim for the new possibilites of a radical democracy.
How is the present crisis of left-wing thought to be understood?
About the Author
Ernesto Laclau is Professor of Political Theory in the Department of Government, University of Essex, and Distinguished Professor for Humanities and Rhetorical Studies at Northwestern University. He is the author of, amongst other works, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (with Chantal Mouffe), New Reflections of the Revolution of Our Time, The Populist Reason, Contingency, Hegemony, Universality (with Judith Butler and Slavoj Zizek), and Emancipation(s).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.