Theory of the Political Subject: Void Universalism II, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Theory of the Political Subject

Void Universalism II, 1st Edition

By Sergei Prozorov


160 pages

Look Inside
Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415842457
pub: 2013-09-20
Hardback: 9780415842440
pub: 2013-09-23

FREE Standard Shipping!


Together these two companion volumes develop an innovative theory of world politics, grounded in the reinterpretation of the concepts of ‘world’ and ‘politics’ from an ontological perspective.

Theory of the Political Subject continues the project of reconstruction of political universalism begun in Ontology of World Politics. Having redefined world politics in terms of the affirmation of the universal ontological axioms of freedom, equality and community in an infinite multiplicity of particular situations or ‘worlds’, in this book Prozorov focuses on the way this affirmation is actually practiced, analysing the conditions for the emergence within a world of the subject of its radical transformation. Drawing on the contemporary reassessment of the notion of the subject in continental political thought, particularly the work of Alain Badiou, Prozorov defines the political subject in terms of one’s subtraction from the positive order of one’s world, the weakening of one’s particular identity that makes possible one’s participation in the affirmation of the universal. The book proceeds with outlining the path of the political subject within its world, from the point of its inception to its confrontation with ethical, epistemic and other limits to its activity. This account of the subjective aspect of world politics also offers new and stimulating perspectives on such key issues of political theory as the relation of politics to human nature, the role of violence in politics and the conditioning of politics by philosophical or scientific knowledge.

Systematic and accessible, these works will be key reading for all students and scholars of political science and international relations.


With a level of philosophical sophistication rarely found in the discipline of international relations, Sergei Prozorov’s texts issue challenges that no one interested in politics in general and global politics in particular should ignore.

Michael J. Shapiro, University of Hawai’i Manoa, USA.

Taken together, Ontology and World Politics and Theory of the Political Subject represent the most ambitious re-articulation of the ontological and ethical foundations of universalism to date by one of the most brilliant and provocative scholars of his generation. I can thus warmly recommend these volumes to anyone with an interest in cutting-edge international political theory.

Jens Bartelson, Professor of Political Science, Lund University, Sweden.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Occupy the Void! Chapter 1. The Inexistent: Objects and Subjects of World Politics Chapter 2. The Idea of the Wrong Chapter 3. Politics and Evil 4. Politics and Violence Chapter 5: Politics and Knowledge Chapter 6. Why Not Everything is Political

About the Author

Sergei Prozorov is University Lecturer in World Politics at the University of Helsinki and Academy of Finland Research Fellow. He is the author of four monographs and has also published numerous articles on political philosophy and international relations in major international journals.

About the Series


The Series provides a forum for innovative and interdisciplinary work that engages with alternative critical, post-structural, feminist, postcolonial, psychoanalytic and cultural approaches to international relations and global politics. In our first 5 years we have published 60 volumes.

We aim to advance understanding of the key areas in which scholars working within broad critical post-structural traditions have chosen to make their interventions, and to present innovative analyses of important topics. Titles in the series engage with critical thinkers in philosophy, sociology, politics and other disciplines and provide situated historical, empirical and textual studies in international politics.


We are very happy to discuss your ideas at any stage of the project: just contact us for advice or proposal guidelines. Proposals should be submitted directly to the Series Editors:

  • Jenny Edkins ( and
  • Nick Vaughan-Williams (

‘As Michel Foucault has famously stated, "knowledge is not made for understanding; it is made for cutting" In this spirit The Edkins - Vaughan-Williams Interventions series solicits cutting edge, critical works that challenge mainstream understandings in international relations. It is the best place to contribute post disciplinary works that think rather than merely recognize and affirm the world recycled in IR's traditional geopolitical imaginary.’

Michael J. Shapiro, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, USA


Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Political Parties
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / General