Ernesto Laclau is one of the most interesting figures in contemporary left thought.
It was his book Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, written together with Chantal Mouffe
which opened a new horizon for critical account of post-modern societies. I his works
Laclau puts forward the idea of new, non-essentialist and non-foundationalist ground
of social objectivity discovered in what he calls ‘discourse’ –
a number of practices fixing particular type of social identities. Standing of a
clear constructivist platform, Laclau nevertheless argues that the post-modern discrimination
of social essence should not lead us to a radical denial of any form of social systematicity.
He believes that in the world where there is no divine will, means and forces of
production and other universal rules defining particular social arrangements the
other logic of social objectivity operate. And the name for this logic is hegemony,
understood as a particular articulation of differences and equivalences traversing
our social universe. How the universal and the particular of the social agency could
be reconciled on a single political articulation, and why we should do so –
is the main question of the essay presented in this volume.