1st Edition

The Political Philosophy of Judith Butler

ISBN 9781138696402
Published May 31, 2016 by Routledge
150 Pages

USD $46.95

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Book Description

Judith Butler can justifiably be described as one of the major critical thinkers of our time. While she is best-known for her interventions into feminist debates on gender, sexuality and feminist politics, her focus in recent years has broadened to encompass some of the most pertinent topics of interest to contemporary political philosophy.

Drawing on Butler’s deconstructive reading of the key categories and concepts of political thought, Birgit Schippers expounds and advocates her challenge to the conceptual binaries that pervade modern political discourse. Using examples and case studies like the West’s intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Schippers demonstrates how Butler’s philosophically informed engagement with pressing political issues of our time elucidates our understanding of topics such as immigration and multiculturalism, sovereignty, or the prospect for new forms of cohabitation and citizenship beyond and across national boundaries.

A detailed exposition and analysis of Butler’s recent ideas, championing her efforts at articulating the possibilities for radical politics and ethical life in an era of global interdependence, this book makes an makes an important contribution to the emerging field of international political philosophy.

Table of Contents

Introduction. 1. The Politics of Subject Formation. 2. The Political Philosophy of the Human. 3. The Paradox of Violence. 4. Towards a Post-secular World. 5. Undoing the State? Radical Politics beyond Sovereignty. Conclusion.

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Birgit Schippers is a Senior Lecturer in Politics at St. Mary's University College Belfast, UK.  Her areas of interest include French feminism, citizenship, identity politics, and poststructural and psychoanalytic models of politics.


“Like so many writers, especially theorists, Judith Butler's early work has created a disproportionate sort of gravitational pull – a force that exceeds not only Butler's early intentions but also, perhaps, her later wishes. Since at least the late 90s Butler has been writing about so much more than gender, and yet her increasing fame still remains tethered to notions such as performativity and drag. Schippers may be the first author to take Butler’s later writings seriously on their own terms. The Political Philosophy of Judith Butler reads Butler as a widely-ranging political philosopher and as a public intellectual and it mines Butler’s later writings for their concepts of livability and relationality, thereby showing the significance of Butler’s broader project to debates in global politics and international ethics. In so doing, Schippers makes a crucial contribution not just to Butler scholarship but to international political theory.”
—Samuel A. Chambers, John Hopkins University

“This fresh and insightful study of Judith Butler focuses on her writings from 2001 onwards. Centered on an exploration of the ideas of relationally, ekstasis, dispossession and liveability, The Political Philosophy of Judith Butler seeks to assess Butler’s contribution to international political philosophy and post 9/11 public discourse. Lucidly written, precise, and original in scope, this engaging and timely book will be of interest not only to readers new to Butler's writings but also to Butler scholars as well.”
—Moya Lloyd, Loughborough University

“Schippers tackles Butler post-Gender Trouble and post-9/11, linking performativity to liveability, and to the other ethical concepts through which Butler actively engages the global politics of violent conflict and military intervention. The Political Philosophy of Judith Butler presents her as a brave and controversial public intellectual, unafraid of character smears and partisan outrage, giving the lie to Nussbaum’s charge that her philosophy made her the ‘professor of parody’. This book presents Butler as a key reference point for the scholarly study of global politics.”
—Terrell Carver, University of Bristol