Chantal Mouffe’s writings have been innovatory with respect to democratic theory, Marxism and feminism. Her work derives from, and has always been engaged with, contemporary political events and intellectual debates. This sense of conflict informs both the methodological and substantive propositions she offers. Determinisms, scientific or otherwise, and ideologies, Marxist or feminist, have failed to survive her excoriating critiques. In a sense she is the original post-Marxist, rejecting economisms and class-centric analyses, and also the original post-feminist, more concerned with the varieties of ‘identity politics’ than with any singularities of ‘women’s issues’.
While Mouffe’s concerns with power and discourse derive from her studies of Gramsci’s theorisations of hegemony and the post-structuralisms of Derrida and Foucault, her reversal of the very terms through which political theory proceeds is very much her own. She centres conflict, not consensus, and disagreement, not finality. Whether philosophically perfectionist, or liberally reasonable, political theorists have been challenged by Mouffe to think again, and to engage with a new concept of ‘the political’ and a revived and refreshed notion of ‘radical democracy’.
The editor has focused on her work in three key areas:
- Hegemony: From Gramsci to ‘Post-Marxism’
- Radical Democracy: Pluralism, Citizenship and Identity
- The Political: A Politics Beyond Consensus
The volume concludes with a new interview with Chantal Mouffe.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Democracy and Conflict in the Work of Chantal Mouffe PART I Hegemony: From Gramsci to ‘Post-Marxism’ 1. Hegemony and Ideology in Gramsci (1979) 2. Hegemony and New Political Subjects: Toward a New Concept of Democracy (1988) 3. Post-Marxism Without Apologies (with Ernesto Laclau) (1987) PART II Radical Democracy: Pluralism, Citizenship and Identity 4. Radical Democracy: Modern or Postmodern? (1988) 5. Democratic Citizenship and the Political Community (1992) 6. Politics and the Limits of Liberalism (1993) 7. Feminism, Citizenship and Radical Democratic Politics (1992) 8. For a Politics of Nomadic Identity (1994) PART III The Political: A Politics Beyond Consensus 9. The Radical Centre: A Politics Without Adversary (1998) 10. Carl Schmitt and the Paradox of Liberal Democracy (1997, rev. 2000) 11. Politics and Passions: the Stakes of Democracy (2002) 12. For an Agonistic Model of Democracy (2000) 13. Cultural Workers as Organic Intellectuals (2008) 14. Democracy in a Multipolar Word (2009) An Interview with Chantal Mouffe: interview questions from James Martin
James Martin is Professor of Politics at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK. He has published widely on Italian political thought, contemporary political theory and rhetoric.
'The scope these essays open for further discussion and debate confirm Martin’s astute analysis of Mouffe’s “vocation as a democratic theorist” to engage theoretically with “the arguments, disputes and conflicts in the real world” (10). The volume will supply a useful introduction to Mouffe’s work for the uninitiated and will also deepen understanding and highlight new questions and issues for those already acquainted with it.'
Kevin Inston, University College of London, UK, The European Legacy, Volume 24, Number 2, 2019.