On Mouffe's Agonism

Why It Is Not a Refutation of Consensus

in Democratic Theory
View More View Less
  • 1 La Trobe University g.vasilev@latrobe.edu.au
Restricted access

Chantal Mouffe's conceptualization of a deliberatively forged consensus as a hegemony and her assertion that adversarial politics best nurtures the conditions of freedom have had a profound influence on contemporary democratic thought. This article takes a critical view of this trend, arguing that a norm of consensus is a very precondition, rather than impediment, for the kind of pluralistic democracy Mouffe and other agonists wish to promote. It is asserted that Mouffe's dehistoricized refutation of consensus lacks causal or explanatory relevance to how concrete actors embedded in empirical situations relate to one another and that the very preparedness to find something acceptable about another is at the heart of what it means to treat others justly.

Democratic Theory

An Interdisciplinary Journal

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 80 80 2
Full Text Views 8 8 0
PDF Downloads 13 13 0