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Polemics is a book series with two central aims:
(i)  Drawing on radical, critical and political theory/philosophy to address directly the various crises which have plagued global society and capitalism in the past decade;

(ii)  To present radical critiques of and alternatives to the existing way of doing things, in a polemical but academically rigorous form.

The series will appeal to authors writing from within the tradition of radical and critical theory and political philosophy. As editor I take a broad view of what comprises critical theory, including Frankfurt school scholars, and their heirs; post-structuralist and post Marxist theorists, post operatist theorists and the many others committed to a critique of existing dominant arguments and orders. What distinguishes the series is its commitment to the publication of polemical interventions in current political and economic conditions.

Texts would be no longer than 150 pages (between 30000 and 50000 words) and appeal to an audience wider than the normal academic community, while maintaining rigorous academic standards. The model for such a form of writing is perhaps best encapsulated by Adorno’s essay “The Essay as Form.’ He describes the essay form: as a refusal to treat the given as the true; as the expression of non-identity through its form; and as an enactment of intellectual freedom without first principles. Each text should be considered as an extended essay, improper in respect of disciplinary and academic convention, but deadly serious in seeking to give voice to the unspoken, against the platitudes and certainties which delimit particular forms of order.

Many academics work with radical and/or critical theories. However there is a relative dearth of texts which uses this philosophical work polemically to address the crises confronted by contemporary societies. Authors are encouraged to make polemical interventions which lay out alternative visions, and radical critiques of the existing order. These critiques should establish their arguments from within the range of positions available to contemporary critical and radical theory, while seeking to go beyond established debates. This would entail a similar, although by no means prescriptive, model for each text: first, a violation of the normal proprieties which structure a field of vision or order; second the rearticulation of what has been challenged in different terms. This means taking a topic, an object or a field of thought, teasing out the presuppositions which configure this field, and then reconfiguring them a manner that renders the apparently obvious problematic.


Series editor information

Dr Mark Devenney; 10-11 Pavilion Parade, School of Humanities, University of Brighton, BN29ZF.


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