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Market and ThoughtMeditations on the Political and Biopolitical$
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Brett Levinson

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780823223848

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823223848.001.0001

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Laclau and Mouffe

Laclau and Mouffe

The Closure of an Open Politics, or, Undecidability on the Left

(p.144) 7. Laclau and Mouffe
Market and Thought

Brett Levinson

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines a work that was of great influence in the 1980s and 1990s: Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe's Hegemony and Socialist Strategy. Hegemony outlines the possibilities for new political movements, yet from within a state context. The discussion reveals how the Laclau-Mouffe model, predicated on the theoretical notion that radical politics today turns on a given project's exposure to a “constitutive outside”—to an exteriority that is foundational to the interior of the endeavor—permits one to rethink the global. This chapter stresses that undecidability between political action of the Left and of the Right indexes the possible limit on choice itself, and thereby the contingency not of the state but of the market. Yet it argues that because this limit is always already indexed by a signifier, it adds to the field of choices and continues the very market development that it interrupts.

Keywords:   Laclau, Mouffe, Hegemony, undecidability, constitutive outside, Left, Right, signifier

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