The misguided search for the political : social weightlessness in radical democratic theory / Lois McNay
- McNay, Lois
- Cambridge ; Malden, MA : Polity Press, 2014.
- Physical Description:
- 250 pages ; 23 cm
- Introduction --- 1. Suffering and Social Weightlessness -- 2. The Unbearable Lightness of Theory: Mouffe's Dissociative Agonism -- 3. Freedom beyond the Subject: Feminism, Agency and Agonism -- 4. All or Nothing: Ranciere's Ruptural Agonism -- 5. Pluralism and Practice: The Existential Agonism of Connolly and Tully --- Conclusion: political theory as critique: reconsidering the negative.
- There has been a lively debate amongst political theorists about whether certain liberal concepts of democracy are so idealized that they lack relevance to ʹrealʹ politics. Echoing these debates, Lois McNay examines in this book some theories of radical democracy and argues that they too tend to rely on troubling abstractions - or what she terms ʹsocially weightlessʹ thinking. They often propose ideas of the political that are so far removed from the logic of everyday practice that, ultimately, their supposed emancipatory potential is thrown into question. Radical democrats frequently maintain that what distinguishes their ideas of the political from others is the fundamental concern with unmasking and challenging unrecognized forms of inequality and domination that distort everyday life. But this supposed attentiveness to power is undermined by the invocation of rarefied models of political action that treat agency as an unproblematic given and overlook certain features of the embodied experience of oppression. The tendency of radical democrats to define democratic agency in terms of dynamics of perpetual flux, mobility and agonism passes over too swiftly the way in which objective structures of oppression are often taken into the body as subjective dispositions, leaving individuals with the feeling that they are unable to do little more than endure a state of affairs beyond their control. -- Back cover.
- 9780745662626 (hardback)
- Bibliography Note:
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
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