David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Contemporary Political Theory 7 (4):376–394 (2008)
Agonism is a political theory that places contestation at the heart of politics. Agonistic theorists charge liberal theory with a depoliticization of pluralism through an excessive focus on consensus. This paper examines the agonistic critiques of liberalism from a normative perspective. I argue that by itself the argument from pluralism is not sufficient to support an agonistic account of politics, but points to further normative commitments. Analyzing the work of Mouffe, Honig, Connolly, and Owen, I identify two normative currents of agonistic theory: emancipatory agonism, aimed at challenging violence and exclusion, and perfectionist agonism, aimed at the cultivation of nobility. From a normative perspective the former presents an internal challenge to liberalism, while the latter constitutes an external challenge to liberalism by providing a competing account of the ends of politics. Recognition of the distinction between emancipatory and perfectionist agonism is crucial in assessing the purchase of agonistic critiques of liberalism. Furthermore, this analysis draws us beyond the simple opposition between contestation and consensus. It is not simply a question of valuing genuine pluralism and therefore criticizing consensus; rather the question comes to be: what are the ends of politics?
|Keywords||agonism liberalism emancipation perfectionism pluralism contestation|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Edward C. Wingenbach (2011). Institutionalizing Agonistic Democracy: Post-Foundationalism and Political Liberalism. Ashgate.
R. W. Glover (2012). Games Without Frontiers? Democratic Engagement, Agonistic Pluralism and the Question of Exclusion. Philosophy and Social Criticism 38 (1):81-104.
Monique Deveaux (1999). Agonism and Pluralism. Philosophy and Social Criticism 25 (4):1-22.
John S. Brady (2004). No Contest? Assessing the Agonistic Critiques of Jürgen Habermas’s Theory of the Public Sphere. Philosophy and Social Criticism 30 (3):331-354.
Alexandros Kioupkiolis (2012). Freedom After the Critique of Foundations: Marx, Liberalism, Castoriadis, and Agonistic Autonomy. Palgrave Macmillan.
Herlinde Pauer-studer (2001). Liberalism, Perfectionism, and Civic Virtue. Philosophical Explorations 4 (3):174 – 192.
Andrew Schaap (2006). Agonism in Divided Societies. Philosophy and Social Criticism 32 (2):255-277.
Maria Baghramian & Attracta Ingram (eds.) (2000). Pluralism: The Philosophy and Politics of Diversity. Routledge.
Hans Lindahl (2008). The Opening : Alegality and Political Agonism. In Andrew Schaap (ed.), Law and Agonistic Politics. Ashgate Pub. Company.
Keith Breen (2008). Agonism, Antagonism and the Necessity of Care. In Andrew Schaap (ed.), Law and Agonistic Politics. Ashgate Pub. Company.
Andreas Kalyvas (2008). The Democratic Agonism of the Ancients Compared to That of the (Post)Moderns. In Andrew Schaap (ed.), Law and Agonistic Politics. Ashgate Pub. Company.
Matteo Bonotti (2011). Religious Political Parties and the Limits of Political Liberalism. Res Publica 17 (2):107-123.
Added to index2011-10-20
Total downloads186 ( #4,809 of 1,692,611 )
Recent downloads (6 months)29 ( #5,696 of 1,692,611 )
How can I increase my downloads?