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Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Dialogues on the Left

The Hegelian legacy, Left strategy, and post-structuralism versus Lacanian psychoanalysis.
What is the contemporary legacy of Gramsci's notion of Hegemony? How can universality be reformulated now that its spurious versions have been so thoroughly criticized? In this ground-breaking project, Judith Butler, Ernesto Laclau and Slavoj Zizek engage in a dialogue on central questions of contemporary philosophy and politics. Their essays, organized as separate contributions that respond to one another, range over the Hegelian legacy in contemporary critical theory, the theoretical dilemmas of multiculturalism, the universalism-versus-particularism debate, the strategies of the Left in a globalized economy, and the relative merits of post-structuralism and Lacanian psychoanalysis for a critical social theory. While the rigor and intelligence with which these writers approach their work is formidable, Contingency, Hegemony, Universality benefits additionally from their clear sense of energy and enjoyment in a revealing and often unpredictable exchange.

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  • Ernesto Laclau: Constructing Antagonisms by Razmig Keucheyan

    As Europe's political climate is increasingly defined by an assurgent left populism, we re-publish Razmig Keucheyan's discussion of political theorist Ernesto Laclau, whose theoretical legacy is a critical engagement with this problematic realised today in Greece and Spain. This piece was originally published in Keucheyan's cartography of the contemporary world's leading critical thinkers; The Left Hemisphere: Mapping Critical Thinking Today.


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  • An Izquierda Unida MP: ‘Podemos have literally copied us’

    The decline of the Izquierda Unida (IU), the Front de Gauche’s traditional partner in Spain, is a collateral effect of the rise of Podemos. In this interview with Mediapart, Alberto Garzón, a candidate for the IU leadership, argues that Podemos’s ‘caesarism’ provides no solutions. He calls for the different Left forces to converge in the run up to the elections. This piece, from the viewpoint of Podemos's political rivals in the established Spanish Left, provides a critique of Podemos and the populism that has been inspired by Argentinian political theorist Ernesto Laclau.


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  • The Verso Undergraduate Reading List



    BACK TO UNIVERSITY/SCHOOL! 50% OFF EVERYTHING FOR ONE WEEK ONLY!

    Feeling underwhelmed by your orthodox assigned readings? Expand your knowledge of left theory, give your political arguments some bite, and spark a love for revolutionary writers with this updated list of essential Verso books for undergraduates.

    Whether you're a student of history, sociology, political science, or geography, look no further for key radical texts and indispensable primers on today's top thinkers. 

    The list is divided into Politics, Philosophy, Feminism, Postcolonial Studies, History and Geography - see below for our recommended reading in these areas.

    All of these books will be discounted by 50%, with free shipping and bundled ebook, when you buy through our website until midnight on Tuesday September 16th! Not all books are available in all regions (apologies!) and - of course - only whilst stocks last.

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Other books by Judith Butler, Ernesto Laclau, and Slavoj Žižek

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