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Agonistic Democracy
Constituent Power in the Era of Globalisation

$38.99 (C)

  • Date Published: December 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316505380

$ 38.99 (C)
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About the Authors
  • This pioneering book delivers a systematic account of agonistic democracy, and a much-needed analysis of the core components of agonism: pluralism, tragedy, and the value of conflict. It also traces the history of these ideas, identifying the connections with republicanism and with Greek antiquity. Mark Wenman presents a critical appraisal of the leading contemporary proponents of agonism and, in a series of well-crafted and comprehensive discussions, brings these thinkers into debate with one another, as well as with the post-structuralist and continental theorists who influence them. Wenman draws extensively on Hannah Arendt, and stresses the creative power of human action as augmentation and revolution. He also reworks Arendt's discussion of reflective judgement to present an alternative style of agonism, one where the democratic contest is linked to the emergence of a militant form of cosmopolitanism, and to prospects for historical change in the context of neoliberal globalisation.

    • The first comprehensive study of the agonistic approach in contemporary democratic theory, including a much-needed analysis of the core components of agonism - pluralism, tragedy, and the value of conflict
    • Contrasts the agonistic model to other approaches in contemporary political theory, including liberalism, and aggregative, deliberative and cosmopolitan democracy
    • Connects agonistic theory to contemporary discussions about the movements against globalisation, and to prospects for historical change and for cosmopolitan forms of democracy
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "The first comprehensive and critical survey of the whole field of agonistic democracy. It is an excellent introduction to this new field and makes an original contribution to it." - James Tully, Distinguished Professor, University of Victoria

    "Mark Wenman wonderfully illustrates the analytical power of the concept of agonistic democracy at the same time as he subjects it to revision by bringing it to bear on the most serious challenges to liberal democratic society since the end of the Cold War. In the course of his discussion we come to deeply appreciate the value of agonism and the creative work of contemporary political theorists who have thought most deeply about agonistic politics, among whom Wenman must now be included."
    Morton Schoolman, State University of New York, Albany

    "… [this] book offers new insights … thoughtful, systematic, and important …"
    Robert W. Glover, European Political Science

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316505380
    • length: 354 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.47kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I: Introduction: agonism and the constituent power
    1. Agonism: pluralism, tragedy, and the value of conflict
    2. Democracy: the constituent power as augmentation and/or revolution
    Part II:
    3. An ethos of agonistic respect: William E. Connolly
    4. Agonistic struggles for independence: James Tully
    5. Agonism and the problem of antagonism: Chantal Mouffe
    6. Agonism and the paradoxes of (re)foundation: Bonnie Honig
    Part III:
    7. Agonism and militant cosmopolitanism
    Conclusion: agonism after the end of history.

  • Author

    Mark Wenman, University of Nottingham
    Mark Wenman is Lecturer in Politics at the University of Nottingham, where he teaches contemporary political theory and the history of political thought. He has published articles on agonistic democracy and post-structuralism in leading academic journals, including Contemporary Political Theory, Philosophy and Social Criticism and Political Studies. Mark is a founding member of CONCEPT: The Nottingham Centre for Normative Political Theory.

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