Politics on the Edges of Liberalism

Politics on the Edges of Liberalism, Benjamin Arditi, Edinburgh University Press, 2007 (hard cover), 2008 (paperback)

ISBN 978-0748625116 (hadback),

ISBN 0748636374 (paperback).

 

 

Spanish translation Gedisa, Barcelona, 2010, 2014 (see below)

Turkish translation Metis Books, Istambul, 2010 (see below)

“Politics on the edges of liberalism” refers to a grey zone where phenomena such as difference, populism, revolution and agitation turn the distinction between the inside and the outside of liberalism into a matter of dispute. The edges are the internal periphery of liberalism.

Each chapter takes on one of these phenomena, discussing the intellectual background animating the politics of the culture wars and its celebration of particularism over the universalism of classical liberal thought. Populism becomes a spectral recurrence rather than an outside of democracy. Agitation reappears in emancipatory politics, and the idea of revolution is thought through outside the Jacobin view of insurrection, overthrow and total re-foundation.

This is truly trans-disciplinary inquiry at the cutting edge of contemporary debates in politics, critical theory, philosophy and sociology. The author draws from an impressive range of thinkers such as Kant, Benjamin, Derrida, Freud, Schmitt, Rancière, Gramsci, Canovan, Oakeshott, Foucault, Vattimo, Laclau and Žižek. Despite the complexity of his reasoning, he writes with the reader in mind, presenting his ideas clearly and persuasively and drawing on examples from recent political history to illuminate his arguments.

Key Features: Difference, populism, revolution and agitation are key concepts in contemporary political thought. This is the first book to bring these concepts together in a consideration of a politics ‘beyond’ or ‘on the edge’ of liberalism. Features the work of major contemporary political theorists.

Reviews

Read review in Culture Machine 9, 2007

Read review in Borderlands 6 (1), 2007

Read review in Social Semiotics 17 (4): 536-45, 2007

Read revise in  Theory & Event 11 (4), 2008

Read review in Political Studies Review 9 (1): 67, 2011

Read review in Political Theory 39 (3): 394-405, 2011

This is a remarkable collection of essays. Benjamin Arditi navigates skilfully between continental philosophy and political theory by critically engaging with major figures from both fields. His approach is thoughtful and provocative as it sheds fresh light on a variety of concepts and ideas that liberalism has sought, rather hastily, to bury. On populism, in particular, he is brilliant. This book is essential reading for those who are interested in democracy, emancipatory politics, radical alternatives, and critical thinking. It is political theory at its best.

Andreas Kalyvas, New School for Social Research, NY

Right at the cutting edge of contemporary theory

Terrell Carver, University of Bristol

In the best sense of political philosophy understood by Gilles Deleuze … Arditi invents new concepts … He has the extraordinary ability to achieve clarity while dealing with very arcane and sophisticated aspects of political thought.”

Michael Shapiro, University of Hawai’i

“Arditi is a theorist of political activism. This book is extremely well-versed in both traditional and radical Continental and Anglo-American political and cultural theory, so it will be of interest and importance both to political theorists and to political activists… Arditi surveys, analyses and takes what is best from any political theory and deploys it in the development of new concepts that will stimulate action and activism in academic theory as well as cultural and political practice.” 

Culture Machine

“A very welcome addition to the field of post-structuralist political theory… Arditi’s take on populism is outstanding, and perhaps represents the most sophisticated conceptualization of this difficult topic in the literature to date… What is most exciting about this book overall is how successfully it marries sharp theoretical insight with conceptual tools for real-life political activism. In this sense, it is a brilliant example of that good old fashioned Marxist term, praxis. Written clearly, concisely and with a particularly deft touch, it is highly recommended to political theorists and activists alike.”

Benjamin Moffitt, University of Sydney

Edición ampliada en Español Gedisa, Barcelona, 2010, 2da. edición 2014

De la contraportada: Benjamín Arditi explora con maestría las formas de pensar y hacer política allí donde los presupuestos liberales son interrogados. Fenómenos como el populismo, la diferencia o la emancipación se despliegan en una zona turbulenta y ambigua donde la distinción entre el adentro y el afuera se vuelve motivo de disputa y no puede ser especificada al margen de una polémica. Cada capítulo aborda estos fenómenos, comenzando con el análisis crítico de la política de las guerras culturales y su celebración del particularismo. Una visión novedosa y provocativa del populismo lo presenta como un espectro que aparece frente a la democracia liberal, algunas veces para acompañarla y, en otras ocasiones, para atormentarla. La agitación reaparece en la política emancipatoria y la idea de revolución deja de ser incompatible con las coordenadas de lo que habitualmente llamamos política democrática. En el sentido en que lo comprendía Guilles Deleuze, la filosofía política de Arditi crea conceptos y expone con claridad los aspectos más complejos del pensamiento político contemporáneo, desde Vattimo y Derrida hasta Ranciére y Laclau.

Ver reseña en Metapolítica 74, 2011

Turkish trans. Metis Books, Istambul, 2010

Liberalizmin Kiyiralinda Siyaset. Farklilik, Popülizm, Devrim, Ajitasyon

Çeviri: Emine Ayhan

Yayına Hazırlayan: Savaş Kılıç
Kapak Tasarımı: Emine BoraKitabın Baskıları:
İlk Basım: Şubat 2010Liberalizmin perspektifi dışında bir demokrasi mümkün mü?

Meksikalı siyasetbilimci Benjamin Arditi, günümüzün önde gelen düşünürleriyle (örneğin Laclau, Zizek, Rancière, Badiou) yaratıcı bir biçimde hesaplaşmaya girişerek “liberal demokrat mutabakat”ı sorguluyor. Farklılık, popülizm, devrim ve ajitasyon kavramları çevresinde girişilen bu sorgulama sonucunda “başka tür bir demokratik siyaset” için stratejiler öneriyor.

Bugün siyasal alanın hepimiz tarafından az çok hissedilen bir özelliğini vurguluyor Arditi: “Farklılık”ın öne çıkarılması üzerine kurulu olan kimlik siyasetinin sahip olduğu itici gücün eşitlik talebi yerine gitgide ayrıcalık talebine dönüşmesinin taşıdığı parçalayıcı risklere dikkat çekiyor ve liberalizmin öcü olarak gördüğü iktisadi ve siyasi “popülizm”in iddia edildiği kadar demokrasiye ters olmadığını savunuyor (Freud’un “dahili yabancı ülke” metaforundan da yardım alarak). Düşünce evrenimizden kovulan “devrim” kavramı, bir anda gerçekleşen ikonik bir değişim yerine, sürekli düşünülen, hayal edilen, tasarlanan ve her an vuku bulabilecek/bulabilen bir değişim olarak tasavvur edilmeli. Devrim böylece hayali bir hedef olmaktan çıkabilir, elle tutulur bir hale gelebilir.

Demokrasinin, liberal demokrat siyaset anlayışı dışında nasıl tasavvur edilebileceğini merak edenler için.

Turkish Reviews

Read Review in Bir Gün 17 May 2010

Read review in Radikal 8 June 2010

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