Contemporary Political Theory 9 (3):284-303 (2010)

The question of Judith Butler's ‘politics’ and their normative justification has been raised by critics and supporters alike for some time. The number of recent texts dedicated to this topic suggests that it remains an unresolved and still pressing question. I argue that in order to identify and evaluate the political implications of Butler's work, we must first recognize the relationship and distinction between four vectors of her thinking: her diagnosis of the human condition, her expression of specific normative aspirations, her defense of a distinct ethical comportment and finally her theory of political engagement. I conclude that Butler implicitly counsels the cultivation of certain ethical dispositions, including generosity, humility, patience and restraint, as part of a practice of preparing to engage in a kind of politics that breaks radically with the mastery- and sovereignty-seeking variety all too familiar to us in contemporary times.
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DOI 10.1057/cpt.2009.14
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Subject, Psyche and Agency.L. McNay - 1999 - Theory, Culture and Society 16 (2):175-193.

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