The Contribution of Radical Democracy
DOI link for The Contribution of Radical Democracy
The Contribution of Radical Democracy book
This chapter introduces Ernesto Laclau’s theory of hegemony, with a special focus on subjectivity and collectivity. It argues that a theory of hegemony offers an affective version of political identity construction, as opposed to both deliberative democracy, as well as most of social movement theory. Laclau readily admits that there is fluidity in his system, and neither radical investment nor hegemony is static. The radical investment, the search for the Real in the Symbolic, is what drives social relations, what makes the social possible, but what makes society impossible. Radical investment becomes key for understanding his idea of the subject, and is, in other words, ‘making an object the embodiment of a mythical fullness’. The chapter concludes that Jacques Ranciere’s radical democratic theory does not delve deeper into the actual composition of democratic claims, and the role of emotions and affect in the creation of political subjectivity.