Ernesto Laclau


Another nice tribute to Laclau, by Jon Beasley-Murray

Originally posted on Posthegemony:

Ernesto Laclau

I have spent almost the entirety of my academic career reading, and responding to, Ernesto Laclau, who has died at the age of 78. Ernesto was one of the great systematic thinkers of the past fifty years, possibly the most influential Latin American theorist of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and one of the most significant influences on Anglo-American cultural and political theory as a whole. We all write to some extent in his shadow and in his debt, myself perhaps more than anyone.

“Hegemony” was Laclau’s signature concept. He was not the first theorist of hegemony, but he made the term his own and spent decades elaborating a theoretical structure around the basic recognition of the contingency of political allegiances. This insight first came to him as an activist in 1960s and 1970s Argentina, faced with Peronism’s extraordinary capacity to mobilize people of all classes and every political inclination…

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The Marking Boycott And Its Aftermath


A good analysis of the latest developments in the UK higher education pay dispute.

Originally posted on The Disorder Of Things:

Justice League Super Hero Strike

In the face of a UK higher education marking boycott due to start in 11 days time, universities have come forth with a new pay offer. Having unilaterally imposed a 1% rise (read: real terms cut) for 2013/14, they are now proposing 2% for 2014/15, with a small bonus for those on the lowest band to bring them up to a living wage level (at Sussex, that’s an increase on the existing annual pay of £13,621). A consultative ballot is open to union members, and the boycott is delayed. It seems likely that there will be appetite for the deal, given the general tone of despondency and how drained staff are by repeated small scale actions and by mounting work pressures. There had, after all, been doubts that a boycott could compete with aggressive tactics from management (including threats to deduct full pay from anyone who participated in the boycott).

We might…

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Giorgio Agamben – The Homo Sacer series structure in visual form


Some minor errors fixed. Thanks to Lorenzo Vianelli for spotting this, and Nicholas for amending the image.

Originally posted on Progressive Geographies:

Thanks to Nicholas Dahmann for updating this image. According to some reports, II, 4 will not be published and the designation of Opus Dei  as II, 5 may have been an error.  The Use of Bodies is the last planned volume. HomoSacer800

It is available to download in various size jpgs – 800×1035; 1280×16561600×2071; 2550×3000 - and pdf.

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Ernesto Laclau (1935–2014)


Another tribute to Ernesto Laclau, from Adrià Porta Caballé

Originally posted on :


The renowned socialist political theorist Ernesto Laclau died of a heart attack in Seville earlier this week. He was 78. Adrià Porta Caballé looks back at his life and pays tribute.

Ernesto Laclau was born in Argentina in 1935, studying history and graduating from the National University of Buenos Aires in 1964. He was active in the student movement of the time and was a leading member of Abelardo Ramos’s Socialist Party of the National Left (PSIN).

“I was never dogmatic,” he later recalled. “I always tried, even in those early days, to mix Marxism and something else.” In particular Laclau was interested in the Argentine populist movement led by military officer and president Juan Perón. His work on the historical approaches to social marginality caught the attention of Eric Hobsbawm, who offered Laclau a scholarship to Oxford. Laclau ended up doing his PhD Essex in 1977. A sudden coup…

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Ernesto Laclau RIP


A few thoughts on Ernesto Laclau and a link to an interview with him and Chantal Mouffe.

Originally posted on occasional links & commentary:


Ernest0 Laclau was, by all accounts, a decent, gentle man and a path-breaking scholar on the Left.

I first became aware of Laclau in terms of his participation in the famous “modes of production” debate in the 1970s (I was working on my senior thesis at the time, on modes of production in Peruvian history). Later, of course, Laclau shifted his attention to the theory of hegemony, radical democracy, and new social movements (in work with his wife Chantal Mouffe) and then finally to populism.

I met Laclau only a couple of times, most recently at the Rethinking Marxism 2006 conference, where he spoke in a plenary session (along with Ella Shohat and Antonio Callari) on “Imperialism and the Fantasies of Democracy.” He was a member of the international Advisory Board for Rethinking Marxism from its inception.

This is from an interview conducted in 1998:

Ernesto, what were your first…

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Elisabeth Roudinesco on Judith Butler at the Verso blog and in Le Monde

Judith Butler, the Iconoclast: Elisabeth Roudinesco on Judith Butler - English here; French here.

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Peter Sloterdijk, ‘The Domestication of Being’ – discussed at Aphelis

At his Aphelis blog, Philippe Theophanidis discusses versions and translations of Peter Sloterdijk’s essay “Die Domestikation des Seins. Für eine Verdeutlichung der Lichtung”.

The excerpt quoted [here] comes from a translation of the fourth and final chapter of the essay. For a while this English translation was hosted both at the Goethe Institute website and at Peter Sloterdijk official website. Those links no longer work, but the text can be access using the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine here and here. The same text is available as a PDF on Scribd. There are slight differences between the French and English translations (in the English version, a part of a sentence is missing, a quote by Heidegger is shorten). At the time of writing, a complete English translation of the whole essay still doesn’t exist. [more discussion here]

See also my recent guide to reading Sloterdijk here.

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