Constellations 22 (4):543-554 (2015)

Matheson Russell
University of Auckland
It is hard to gauge the significance of Jacques Rancière’s conception of politics for contemporary political theory without addressing his attempt to break with the Habermasian linguistic-pragmatic paradigm and to set up an alternative model of political speech (“dissensus”) which “has the rationality of disagreement as its very own rationality.” But Rancière’s departure from Habermas’s theory of communicative action is subtle and difficult to assess. In this essay we aim to explicate and examine their disagreement. In doing so we also seek to measure the distance between the two thinkers. We argue that Rancière’s critique of Habermas is cogent and represents an innovative and provocative contribution to the theory of democracy.
Keywords disagreement  public sphere  democracy  inclusions
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DOI 10.1111/1467-8675.12174
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