In addressing the political and theoretical debates between critical and post-Marxist theorists, this book discusses the politics of communication and rationality, subjectivity, sovereignty, ethics and deliberative democracy, considering questions such as:
* Does the theory of communicative action justify deliberative democracy?
* Is a theory of hegemony compatible with an account which relies upon an ideal of communicative success?
* Is autonomy a good which should be fostered?
* Can the ideal of democracy extend beyond the nation state?
* Does post-Marxism have anything interesting to say about ethics?
Analysing the work of Ernesto Laclau and Jürgen Habermas - as representatives of different choices made in regard to theory, politics and morality - Ethics and Politics in Contemporary Theory develops a critical response to the contrasting conclusions of these approaches.
Mark Devenney is a senior lecturer in politics and philosophy at the University of Brighton, UK. His current research concerns political economy and death, and involves a re-reading of Marx's labour theory of value and Foucault's biopolitics.
'It is extremely hard to do justice in a short review to the complex arguments developed in this book. They touch upon fundamental problems such as the nature of language, relations between language and reality, and rationality.' - Krzystof Jaskulowski in Political Studies Review