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Politics on the Edges of Liberalism: Difference, Populism, Revolution, Agitation
An innovative exploration of ways of thinking and doing politics that challenge liberal assumptions.
’Politics on the edges of liberalism’ refers to a grey zone where phenomena such as difference, populism, revolution and agitation turn the distinction between the inside and the outside of liberalism into a matter of dispute.
Each chapter takes on one of these ideas, discussing the intellectual background animating the politics of the culture wars and its celebration of particularism over the universalism of classical liberal thought. Populism becomes a spectral recurrence rather than an outside of democracy. Agitation reappaers in emancipatory politics, and the idea of revolution is thought through outside the Jacobin view of insurrection, overthrow and total re-foundation.
This is truly interdisciplinary inquiry at the cutting edge of contemporary debates in politics, critical theory, philosophy and sociology. The author draws from an impressive range of thinkers such as Kant, Benjamin, Derrida, Freud, Schmitt, Ranciere, Gramsci, Canovan, Oakeshott, Foucault, Vattimo, Laclau and Zizek. Depsite the complexity of his reasoning, he writes with the reader in mind, presenting his ideas clearly and persuasively and drawing on examples from recent political history to illuminate his arguments.
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