This book provides a comprehensive and accessible account of the new theories of discourse developed by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, while in particular drawing on central insights provided by Slavoj Zizek. The book accounts for intellectual development of the discourse theory of Laclau and Mouffe from a Gramsci-inspired critique of structural Marxism over a neo-Gramscian theory of discourse to a new type of postmodern theorizing of great relevance for social, cultural and political theory.
The central concepts of discourse, hegemony and social antagonism are carefully explained and discussed and the theoretical framework is applied both on a variety of theoretical problems and in a sample of empirical studies. The book concludes with a discussion of the implications of discourse theory for our political understanding of democracy, citizenship and ethics.
New Theories of Discourse is written out of the basic conviction that postmodernity provides a great challenge to social, cultural and political theory and makes thinkable a whole range of new political projects of which the development of a radical plural democracy is one of the most promising and exciting.