Back to citizenship, an agonistic conception
This chapter revisits Mouﬀe’s writings from the early 1990s and argues that, in her work, we ﬁnd a novel conception of citizenship that could add to and reinvigorate citizenship discourse by addressing some of the challenges confronting it today. Of course, Mouﬀe in the early 1990s was speaking not of an agonistic but of a radical democratic citizenship. While the agonistic conception of citizenship, which we here bring forward, could certainly be interpreted in radical democratic terms, it is a theoretical and not a political conception – by contrast, the term ‘radical democratic’ signiﬁes one particular and politicised interpretation of citizenship in tune with the political project of a radical and plural democracy. This diﬀerence between the two conceptions explains further that, by rereading Mouﬀe’s conception as agonistic, our intervention aims neither to problematise nor revise it; rather, the aim is, in the ﬁrst instance, to establish a link between her early work on citizenship and her latest, theoretical, work on agonistic politics, and second, to show that this theoretical conception of citizenship, which has gone largely unnoticed in the literature, could prove particularly relevant today.