Laclau and Mouffe

Brett Levinson

in Market and Thought

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780823223848
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235421 | DOI:
Laclau and Mouffe

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This chapter examines a work that was of great influence in the 1980s and 1990s: Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe's Hegemony and Socialist Strategy. Hegemony outlines the possibilities for new political movements, yet from within a state context. The discussion reveals how the Laclau-Mouffe model, predicated on the theoretical notion that radical politics today turns on a given project's exposure to a “constitutive outside”—to an exteriority that is foundational to the interior of the endeavor—permits one to rethink the global. This chapter stresses that undecidability between political action of the Left and of the Right indexes the possible limit on choice itself, and thereby the contingency not of the state but of the market. Yet it argues that because this limit is always already indexed by a signifier, it adds to the field of choices and continues the very market development that it interrupts.

Keywords: Laclau; Mouffe; Hegemony; undecidability; constitutive outside; Left; Right; signifier

Chapter.  6544 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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