On the Political: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

On the Political

1st Edition

By Chantal Mouffe


160 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415305211
pub: 2005-04-15
SAVE ~$5.99
Hardback: 9780415305204
pub: 2005-05-09
SAVE ~$27.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203870112
pub: 2011-02-25
from $14.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


Since September 11th, we frequently hear that political differences should be put aside: the real struggle is between good and evil. What does this mean for political and social life? Is there a 'Third Way' beyond left and right, and if so, should we fear or welcome it?

This thought-provoking book by Chantal Mouffe, a globally recognized political author, presents a timely account of the current state of democracy, affording readers the most relevant and up-to-date information.

Arguing that liberal 'third way thinking' ignores fundamental, conflicting aspects of human nature, Mouffe states that, far from expanding democracy, globalization is undermining the combative and radical heart of democratic life.

Going back first to Aristotle, she identifies the historical origins of the political and reflects on the Enlightenment, and the social contract, arguing that in spite of its good intentions, it levelled the radical core of political life.

Contemporary examples, including the Iraq war, racism and the rise of the far right, are used to illustrate and support her theory that far from combating extremism, the quest for consensus politics undermines the ability to challenge it. These case studies are also highly effective points of reference for student revision.

On the Political is a stimulating argument about the future of politics and addresses the most fundamental aspects of democracy that will aid further study.


'Clear, direct and accessible…Mouffe represents a position that every serious student of of contemporary political thought must acknowledge and come to terms.' - The Philosophers' Magazine

'An excellent book. It is very clear, straight to the point and with a minimum amount of jargon. Its succinctness, clarity and contemporary relevance should ensure its success.' - Donald Sassoon, Queen Mary and Westfield College

'Carries a clear, relevant and provocative message. It is likely to stir up an important debate.' - Jacob Torfing, Roskilde University

'On the Political is a thought-provoking book tackling urgent domestic and international political problems trhough a disputatious engagement with various contemporary domestic theory. Mouffe succeeds in presenting these problems and disputes in an accessible language.' - Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

About the Series

Thinking in Action

'Three of the first batch deserve high praise: On Immigration and Refugees, by the great logician (and campaigner for racial equality) Michael Dummett; On Belief, by that master of postmodern paradox, Slavoj Zizek; and On the Internet by Hubert L Dreyfus.' - Boyd Tonkin, The Independent

This is clearly an important series. I look forward to reading future volumes.' - Frank Kermode, author of Shakespeare's Language

Both rigorous and accessible.' - Humanist News

The series looks superb.' - Quentin Skinner

'An excellent and beautiful series.' - Ben Rogers, author of A.J.Ayer: A Life

"Routledge's Thinking in Action series is the theory junkie's answer to the eminently pocketable Penguin 60s series.' - Mute Magazine

'Routledge's new series, Thinking in Action, brings philosophers to our aid.' - The Evening Standard

'A welcome new series by Routledge.' - Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society

Thinking in Action
is a major series that takes philosophy to its public. Each book in the series is written by a major international philosopher or thinker, engages with an important contemporary topic, and is clearly and accessibly written. The series informs and sharpens debate on topics as wide ranging as the internet, religion, the problem of immigration and refugees and the way we think about science. Punchy, short, and stimulating, Thinking in Action is an indispensable series of books for anyone who wants to think seriously about major issues confronting us today.

Edited by Simon Critchley, New School University, USA and Richard Kearney, Boston College, USA

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Political