Thinking Radical Democracy: The Return to Politics in Post-War France
Thinking Radical Democracy is an introduction to nine key political thinkers who contributed to the emergence of radical democratic thought in post-war French political theory: Hannah Arendt, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Pierre Clastres, Claude Lefort, Cornelius Castoriadis, Guy Debord, Jacques Rancière, Étienne Balibar, and Miguel Abensour.
The essays in this collection connect these writers through their shared contribution to the idea that division and difference in politics can be perceived as productive, creative, and fundamentally democratic. The questions they raise regarding equality and emancipation in a democratic society will be of interest to those studying social and political thought or democratic activist movements like the Occupy movements and Idle No More.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 288 pages
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 0.9in x 9.3in
‘Thinking Radical Democracy is an important intervention in contemporary debates concerning political thought; it demonstrates both the historical roots of radical democratic theory and the respective merits of the work of Abensour, Balibar, and Rancière.’
Devin Zane Shaw
Symposium: Journal of the Canadian Society for Continental Philosophy vol 19:01:2015
‘Thinking Radical Democracy makes an important contribution to our understanding of recent French intellectual history. Its intervention in postulating a left wing of the French ‘return’ of political philosophy breathes new life into this historical interpretation.’
Politics, Religion, and Ideology; March 2016
‘As a series of surveys into discrete theories of radical democracy, this collected volume excels… Breaugh does a quite admirable job in explicating the underlying philosophy that informs radical democratic ideas.’
J. Matthew Hoye
Contemporary Political Theory March 2017
“Thinking Radical Democracy is a serious contribution to the literature on theories of radical democracy. I learned something new from every chapter.”
Lasse Thomassen, School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary, University of London
“Pushing the renewed interest in post-war French political thought in new and exciting directions, this collection makes the case that there is an understudied radical current of democratic thinking in post-war French thought. Thinking Radical Democracy does an immense service to Anglophone political thought by starting a conversation on the political theory of these thinkers.”
Jimmy Casas Klausen, Instituto de Relacoes Internacionais, Pontifícia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro
Author InformationMartin Breaugh is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at York University.
Christopher Holman is an assistant professor in the Public Policy and Global Affairs program at Nanyang Technological University.
Rachel Magnusson is the director of the Vancouver office of MASS LBP and teaches at the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria.
Paul Mazzocchi is an instructor and doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at York University.
Devin Penner is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Studies at Trent University.
Table of contents
Introduction: Radical Democracy and 20th Century French Thought
Part I – The Forebearers of the Return of Radical Democracy
1 – Hannah Arendt: Plurality, Publicity, Performativity (Christopher Holman)
2 – Politics À L’Écart: Merleau-Ponty and the Flesh of the Social (Paul Mazzocchi)
3 – The Counter-Hobbes of Pierre Clastres (Miguel Abensour)
Part II – The Critique of Totalitarianism and the Emergence of Radical Democratic Thought
4 – Claude Lefort: Democracy as the Empty Place of Power (Carlo Invernizzi Accetti)
5 – Cornelius Castoriadis. Auto-Institution and Radical Democracy (Brian C.J. Singer)
6 – Guy Debord and the Politics of Play (Devin Penner)
Part III – New Directions and Possibilities in Radical Democratic Thought
7 – A Politics in Writing: Jacques Rancière and the Equality of Intelligences (Rachel Magnusson)
8 – Democracy and Its Conditions: Étienne Balibar and the Contribution of Marxism to Radical Democracy (James D. Ingram)
9 – From a Critique of Totalitarian Domination to the Utopia of Insurgent Democracy: On the “Political Philosophy” of Miguel Abensour (Martin Breaugh)
Subjects and Courses