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.


  • Radical Thinkers Competition: win the entire series!

    The competition is now over! Thank you to everyone who took part: the answer and winners have been announced here.

    The notorious 
    Radical Thinkers competition is back! This time to celebrate the publication of Set 12!

    We'll be picking two SUPER WINNERS who will win a copy of every single Radical Thinkers book we currently have in stock. That's well over 100 books covering everything from the development of US capitalism since 1945 and studies on Freudian metapsychology to classic theory from the likes of Judith Butler, Alain Badiou and Louis Althusser!

    A further 6 runners up will win the new setfeaturing Ellen Meiksins Wood, Judith Butler, Norman Geras, OSkar Negt and Alexander Kluge.

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  • “El luto se convierte en ley” – Judith Butler desde París

    Translated by Neliza Chicangana, Sergio Rueda and Manuel Vargas. Originally posted here.

    Por Judith Butler, en París el 14 de noviembre del 2015

    Estoy en París y pasé cerca de la ubicación de la matanza sobre la rue Beaumarchais en la tarde del viernes. Cené a diez minutos de otros de los objetivos. Todos los que conozco están a salvo, pero muchas personas que no conozco están muertas o traumatizadas o de luto. Es impactante y terrible. Hoy las calles estaban pobladas por la tarde, pero vacías en la noche. La mañana se encontraba en completo silencio.

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  • Judith Butler: Precariousness and Grievability—When Is Life Grievable?

    "One way of posing the question of who “we” are in these times of war is by asking whose lives are considered valuable, whose lives are mourned, and whose lives are considered ungrievable. We might think of war as dividing populations into those who are grievable and those who are not. An ungrievable life is one that cannot be mourned because it has never lived, that is, it has never counted as a life at all. We can see the division of the globe into grievable and ungrievable lives from the perspective of those who wage war in order to defend the lives of certain communities, and to defend them against the lives of others—even if it means taking those latter lives."—Judith Butler, Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable?

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

Other books of interest