1st Edition

Hegemony and the Politics of Labour Towards a Discourse Theory of Value in Contemporary Capitalism

By Simon Tunderman Copyright 2024

    Hegemony and the Politics of Labour takes up a question that goes to the heart of the debate about politics, capitalism, and discourse: how can labour relations and value production be understood as discursive processes?

    When they launched their poststructuralist discourse theory almost 40 years ago, Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe positioned the contingency of discourse and politics in sharp contrast to the deterministic tendencies of the Marxist critique of capitalism. Moving beyond Marxism as an essentialist ‘other’, discourse theory has since remained notoriously silent on questions related to the core workings of capitalism. This book is the first to bring the central categories of discourse theory into conversation with Marx’s critique of political economy. Reintegrating both traditions, it argues that the social relations of labour in capitalism emerge as a hegemonic formation. Its contribution is to extend the reach of discourse theory to the capitalist economy, exploring how a post- Marxist account of labour, value, and class connects to the contingent politics of populism.

    Hegemony and the Politics of Labour is an original and important contribution to the fields of discourse theory and critique of political economy.

    Introduction  1. Post-Marxism and the Materiality of Labour  2. Labour and Political Society: On the Contingency of Capitalism  3. Money and the Limits of Labour  4. Domination and the Antagonisms of Value  5. Subjectivity and the Logics of Value  Conclusion: Labour, Class, and the Political


    Simon Tunderman is a researcher at the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP). He holds a PhD in political theory from the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS). Previously he worked as a lecturer in European Politics and Society at the University of Groningen.