Democracy And The Political Unconscious

Autor: Noelle McAfee
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231511124
File Size: 62,36 MB
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Political philosopher Noelle McAfee proposes a powerful new political theory for our post-9/11 world, in which an old pathology-the repetition compulsion-has manifested itself in a seemingly endless war on terror. McAfee argues that the quintessentially human desire to participate in a world with others is the key to understanding the public sphere and to creating a more democratic society, a world that all members can have a hand in shaping. But when some are effectively denied this participation, whether through trauma or terror, instead of democratic politics, there arises a political unconscious, an effect of desires unarticulated, failures to sublimate, voices kept silent, and repression reenacted. Not only is this condition undemocratic and unjust, it may lead to further trauma. Unless its troubles are worked through, a political community risks continual repetition and even self-destruction. McAfee deftly weaves together her experience as an observer of democratic life with an array of intellectual schemas, from poststructural psychoanalysis to Rawlsian and Habermasian democratic theories, as well as semiotics, civic republicanism, and American pragmatism. She begins with an analysis of the traumatic effects of silencing members of a political community. Then she explores the potential of deliberative dialogue and other "talking cures" and public testimonies, such as the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to help societies work through, rather than continually act out, their conflicts. Democracy and the Political Unconscious is rich in theoretical insights, but it is also grounded in the practical problems of those who are trying to process the traumas of oppression, terror, and brutality and create more decent and democratic societies. Drawing on a breathtaking range of theoretical frameworks and empirical observations, Democracy and the Political Unconscious charts a course for democratic transformation in a world sorely lacking in democratic practice.

Radical History And The Politics Of Art

Autor: Gabriel Rockhill
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231527780
File Size: 12,59 MB
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Gabriel Rockhill opens new space for rethinking the relationship between art and politics. Rather than understanding the two spheres as separated by an insurmountable divide or linked by a privileged bridge, Rockhill demonstrates that art and politics are not fixed entities with a singular relation but rather dynamically negotiated, sociohistorical practices with shifting and imprecise borders. Radical History and the Politics of Art proposes a significant departure from extant debates on what is commonly called "art" and "politics," and the result is an impressive foray into the force field of history, in which cultural practices are meticulously analyzed in their social and temporal dynamism without assuming a conceptual unity behind them. Rockhill therefore develops an alternative logic of history and historical change, as well as a novel account of social practices and a multidimensional theory of agency. Engaging with a diverse array of intellectual, artistic, and political constellations, this tour de force diligently maps the various interactions between different dimensions of aesthetic and political practices as they intertwine and sometimes merge in precise fields of struggle.

The Return Of Work In Critical Theory

Autor: Christophe Dejours
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231547188
File Size: 79,24 MB
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From John Maynard Keynes’s prediction of a fifteen-hour workweek to present-day speculation about automation, we have not stopped forecasting the end of work. Critical theory and political philosophy have turned their attention away from the workplace to focus on other realms of domination and emancipation. But far from coming to an end, work continues to occupy a central place in our lives. This is not only because of the amount of time people spend on the job. Many of our deepest hopes and fears are bound up in our labor—what jobs we perform, how we relate to others, how we might flourish. The Return of Work in Critical Theory presents a bold new account of the human significance of work and the human costs of contemporary forms of work organization. A collaboration among experts in philosophy, social theory, and clinical psychology, it brings together empirical research with incisive analysis of the political stakes of contemporary work. The Return of Work in Critical Theory begins by looking in detail at the ways in which work today fails to meet our expectations. It then sketches a phenomenological description of work and examines the normative premises that underlie the experience of work. Finally, it puts forward a novel conception of work that can renew critical theory’s engagement with work and point toward possibilities for transformation. Inspired by Max Horkheimer’s vision of critical theory as empirically informed reflection on the sources of social suffering with emancipatory intent, The Return of Work in Critical Theory is a lucid diagnosis of the malaise and pathologies of contemporary work that proposes powerful remedies.

The End Of Progress

Autor: Amy Allen
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231540639
File Size: 32,96 MB
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While post- and decolonial theorists have thoroughly debunked the idea of historical progress as a Eurocentric, imperialist, and neocolonialist fallacy, many of the most prominent contemporary thinkers associated with the Frankfurt School—Jürgen Habermas, Axel Honneth, and Rainer Forst—have persistently defended ideas of progress, development, and modernity and have even made such ideas central to their normative claims. Can the Frankfurt School’s goal of radical social change survive this critique? And what would a decolonized critical theory look like? Amy Allen fractures critical theory from within by dispensing with its progressive reading of history while retaining its notion of progress as a social imperative, so eloquently defended by Adorno and Foucault. Critical theory, according to Allen, is the best resouce we have for achieving emancipatory social goals. In reimagining a decolonized critical theory after the end of progress, she rescues it from oblivion and gives it a future.

The Highway Of Despair

Autor: Robyn Marasco
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231538898
File Size: 61,51 MB
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G. W. F. Hegel's "highway of despair," introduced in his Phenomenology of Spirit, refers to the tortured path traveled by "natural consciousness" on its way to freedom. Despair is the passionate residue of Hegelian critique. Through an eclectic cast of thinkers, Robyn Marasco considers the dynamism of despair as a critical passion, reckoning with the forms of historical life forged along Hegel's highway. Despair, for Marasco, also indicates fugitive opportunities for freedom and preserves the principle of hope against all hope. The Highway of Despair follows Theodor Adorno, Georges Bataille, and Frantz Fanon as they each read, resist, and reconfigure a strand of thought in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. Confronting the twentieth-century collapse of a certain revolutionary dialectic, these thinkers struggled to revalue critical philosophy and recast Left Hegelianism within the contexts of genocidal racism, world war, and colonial domination. Each intellectual also re-centered the role of passion in critique. Arguing against more recent trends in critical theory that promise an escape from despair, Marasco shows how passion frustrates the resolutions of reason and faith. Embracing the extremism of what Marx, in the spirit of Hegel, called the "ruthless critique of everything existing," she affirms the contemporary purchase of radical critical theory, resulting in a militant and passionate approach to political thought.

Democracy In What State

Autor: Giorgio Agamben
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023152708X
File Size: 12,17 MB
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"Is it meaningful, as far as you are concerned, to call oneself a democrat? And if so, how do you interpret the word?" In responding to this question, eight iconoclastic thinkers prove the rich potential of democracy and its critical weaknesses. They also reconceive the practice to accommodate new political and cultural realities. Giorgio Agamben traces the tense history of constitutions and their coexistence with various governments. Alain Badiou contrasts current democratic practice with democratic communism. Daniel Bensaid ponders the institutionalization of democracy, while Wendy Brown discusses the democratization of society under neoliberalism. Jean-Luc Nancy measures the difference between democracy as a form of rule and as a human end, while Jacques Rancière highlights its egalitarian nature. Kristin Ross identifies hierarchical relationships within democratic practice, and Slavoj ?i?ek complicates the distinction between those who desire to own the state and those who hope to do without it.

The Disclosure Of Politics

Autor: Maria Pia Lara
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023153504X
File Size: 38,12 MB
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María Pía Lara explores the ambiguity of secularization and the theoretical potential of a structural break between politics and religion. For Lara, secularization means the translation of religious semantics into politics; a transformation of religious notions into political ideas; and the reoccupation of a space left void by changing political actors, one that gives rise to new conceptions of political interaction. Conceptual innovation redefines politics as a horizontal relationship between governments and the governed, better enabling societies (and political actors) to articulate meaning through action.

Radical Cosmopolitics

Autor: James D. Ingram
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231536410
File Size: 77,25 MB
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While supporting the cosmopolitan pursuit of a world that respects all rights and interests, James D. Ingram believes political theorists have, in their approach to this project, compromised its egalitarian and emancipatory principles. Focusing on recent debates without losing sight of cosmopolitanism's ancient and Enlightenment roots, Ingram confronts the philosophical difficulties of defending universal ideals and the implications for ethics and political theory. In morality as in politics, theorists have generally focused first on discovering universal values and second on their implementation. Ingram argues that only by prioritizing the development and articulation of universal values through political action in the fight for freedom and equality can theorists do justice to these efforts and cosmopolitanism's universal vocation. Only by proceeding from the local to the global, from the bottom up rather than from the top down, on the basis of political practice rather than moral ideals, can we salvage moral and political universalism. Ingram provides the clearest, most systematic account yet of this schematic reversal and its radical possibilities.

Social Acceleration

Autor: Hartmut Rosa
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231519885
File Size: 29,57 MB
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Hartmut Rosa advances an account of the temporal structure of society from the perspective of critical theory. He identifies three categories of change in the tempo of modern social life: technological acceleration, evident in transportation, communication, and production; the acceleration of social change, reflected in cultural knowledge, social institutions, and personal relationships; and acceleration in the pace of life, which happens despite the expectation that technological change should increase an individual’s free time. According to Rosa, both the structural and cultural aspects of our institutions and practices are marked by the “shrinking of the present,” a decreasing time period during which expectations based on past experience reliably match the future. When this phenomenon combines with technological acceleration and the increasing pace of life, time seems to flow ever faster, making our relationships to each other and the world fluid and problematic. It is as if we are standing on “slipping slopes,” a steep social terrain that is itself in motion and in turn demands faster lives and technology. As Rosa deftly shows, this self-reinforcing feedback loop fundamentally determines the character of modern life.