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Spectres of Post-marxism? Reassessing Key Post-Marxist Texts

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The emergence of a movement of post-Marxist thought from the 1970s onwards brought to attention a series of texts all offering a highly critical reading of the Marxist tradition, broadly speaking from the perspective of poststructuralist and postmodernist theory. JeanFran├žois Lyotard's Libidinal economy, Jean Baudrillard's The mirror of production, Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe's Hegemony and socialist strategy, and Jacques Derrida's Spectres of Marx constituted a sustained critique of Marxism and its cultural legacy, ranging in approach from outright rejection to calls for substantial revision of its main concepts. The effect was to generate considerable controversy across the left. But what has been the legacy of each text: a dead end, or a signpost to the future of left-wing thought? This article reassesses these four key works to consider the extent to which they still resonate meaningfully today, either theoretically or politically, given the many social changes that have occurred in the interim.
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Keywords: LACLAU AND MOUFFE; POST-MARXISM; RADICAL DEMOCRACY; RELATIVISM

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 2019

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  • Global Discourse is an interdisciplinary, problem-oriented journal of applied contemporary thought operating at the intersection of politics, international relations, sociology and social policy. The Journal's scope is broad, encouraging interrogation of current affairs with regard to core questions of distributive justice, wellbeing, cultural diversity, autonomy, sovereignty, security and recognition. All issues are themed and aimed at addressing pressing issues as they emerge. Rejecting the notion that publication is the final stage in the research process, Global Discourse seeks to foster discussion and debate between often artificially isolated disciplines and paradigms, with responses to articles encouraged and conversations continued across issues.

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    All research articles in this journal have undergone rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and double-blind peer review. All submissions must be in response to a specific call for papers.

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