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Unstable UniversalitiesPoststructuralism and Radical Politics$
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Saul Newman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719071287

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719071287.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Unstable Universalities

Saul Newman

Manchester University Press

What is the future for radical politics in an age that proclaims itself to be not only post-ideological but post-political as well? There are three fundamental and, in some ways, contradictory conditions that radical political theory must contend with today: the so-called ‘war on terror’, the ‘anti-globalisation’ movement, and the stifling atmosphere of consensus and centrism that so dominates modern democratic politics. This book examines and critically appraises the ideas of a number of key thinkers, including Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida, who have all had a strong impact on radical political theory and represent a broad range of theoretical perspectives such as poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, post-Marxism, and autonomism. It discusses the points of intersection and divergence amongst these various thinkers on questions that are central to radical political theory today: power and ideology, subjectivity, ethics, democracy and collective action. Forming a background to these debates and issues will be the question of universality, and the extent to which these various interventions allow for some sort of universal, emancipative dimension to be realised.

Keywords:   radical politics, war on terror, anti-globalisation movement, consensus, centrism, poststructuralism, universality, democracy, collective action, post-Marxism

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