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R.C. Smith

R.C. Smith

THE RHETORICAL FOUNDATIONS OF SOCIETY

By ERNESTO LACLAU

NEW IN PAPERBACK

Co-author of Hegemony and Socialist Strategy shows how rhetoric constitutes the social order: http://www.versobooks.com/books/1652-the-rhetorical-foundations-of-society

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The essays collected in this volume develop the theoretical perspective initiated in Laclau and Mouffe’s classic Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, taking it in three principal directions. First, this book explores the specificity of social antagonisms and answers the question “What is an antagonistic relation?”—an issue which has become increasingly crucial in our globalized world, where the proliferation of conflicts and points of rupture is eroding their links to the social subjects postulated by classical social analysis. This leads Laclau to a second line of questioning: What is the ontological terrain that allows us to understand the nature of social relations in our heterogeneous world?” This is a task he addresses with theoretical instruments drawn from analytical philosophy and from the phenomenological and structuralist traditions. Finally, central to the argument of the book is the basic role attributed to rhetorical tropes—metaphor, metonymy, catachresis—in shaping the “non-foundational” grounds of society.

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ERNESTO LACLAU was Professor of Political Theory in the Department of Government, University of Essex, and Distinguished Professor for Humanities and Rhetorical Studies at Northwestern University. He authored, amongst other works, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (with Chantal Mouffe), New Reflections of the Revolution of Our Time, The Populist Reason, Contingency, Hegemony, Universality (with Judith Butler and Slavoj Zizek), and Emancipation(s).

Sadly, ERNESTO LACLAU died in April 2014. Read Robin Blackburn’s obituary here: http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/1556-ernesto-laclau-1935-2014

ERNESTO LACLAU’s last interview with La Nacion: http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/1575-ernesto-laclau-s-last-interview-with-la-nacion

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“What needs to be politically articulated at the present time is the possibility of a leftist populism. This is what makes Laclau’s long-awaited book so important. Arguably, populism has always been the governing concept in Laclau’s work and in On Populist Reason, he lays out his position with great power and analytical clarity.” – Simon Critchley, Praise for On Populist Reason

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Paperback, 256 pages / ISBN: 9781781681701 / May 2014 / US $26.95 / £16.99 / $32.00 (Canada)

Hardback, 256 pages / ISBN: 9781781681718 / May 2014 / US $95 / £60.00 / $108 (Canada)

ALSO AVAILABLE AS AN E-BOOK

THE RHETORICAL FOUNDATIONS OF SOCIETY is available at a 40% discount (paperback) on our website. Purchasing details here: http://www.versobooks.com/books/1652-the-rhetorical-foundations-of-society

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Visit Verso’s website for information on our upcoming events, new reviews and publications and special offers: http://www.versobooks.com

 

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