In perhaps the last piece completed before his sudden death in April 2014 ErnestoLaclau returned to the concept of antagonism (Laclau, 2015, pp. 101–125). Itsconceptual origins lie in his immanent critique of, and break with, Marxism in the1970s. Laclau concluded that antagonism points to the limits of social objectivity andlinked this to an original political ontology (see Hansen, 2016 and Marchart, 2016).The development of this concept is, in effect, the story of Laclau’s theoreticaljourney. In tracking this conceptual history I demonstrate its continued pertinence tocontemporary political theory and link it to the rethinking of representation, toidealisation in political theory, and to the understanding of anti-austerity politics.
Bibliographical noteThis is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Contemporary Political Theory. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Devenney, M., Howarth, D., Norval, A. et al. Contemp Polit Theory (2016) 15: 304. https://doi.org/10.1057/cpt.2016.8 is available online at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057%2Fcpt.2016.8
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- School of Humanities and Social Science - Professor of Critical Theory
- Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics - Co-Director