What is at stake in what I call the ‘agonistic’ struggle,[4] which I see as the core of a vibrant democracy, is the very configuration of power relations around which. The Belgian political theorist Chantal Mouffe, on the other hand, arrived at Mouffe called this kind of respectful conflict “agonistic pluralism” in contrast to both. Agonistic. Pluralism? / BY CHANTAL MOUFFE l’s testified by the increasing success of the extreme right in sev- eral countries, western societies are witnessing.

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It is in this sense that one has to differentiate the social from the political. Things could always have been otherwise and every order is predicated on the exclusion of other possibilities.

It is a struggle between opposing hegemonic projects which can never be reconciled rationally. This does not mean of course that such a relation agomistic by necessity an antagonistic one.

Things could always have been different and every order is established through the exclusion of other possibilities.

Agonism | philosophy |

Connolly is influenced by Nietzsche rather than Arendt, and he has endeavoured to render his Nietzschian conception of the Agon compatible with democratic politics. For Adorno, agonism is also about the ” theodicy of conflict” where opponents “want to annihilate one another What is the best way to envisage democratic politics?

However, such a role can only be fulfilled through the availability of an agonistic confrontation. The second moment, involving the construction of new hegemonic articulations, is fundamental in politics.

According to the agonistic approach, public spaces are always plural and the agonistic confrontation takes place in a multiplicity of discursive surfaces. Sign in Create an account. Properly political questions always involve decisions which require us to make a choice between conflicting alternatives.

Once we accept that identities are never pre-given but that they are always the result of processes of identification, that they are discursively constructed, the question that arises is the type of identity that critical artistic practices should aim at fostering.


Liberals typically believe that government is necessary to protect individuals from being harmed by others, but they also recognize that government itself can pose moufe threat to liberty. When democratic politics has lost its capacity to shape the discussion about how we should organize our common life, and when it is limited to securing the necessary conditions for the smooth working of the market, the conditions are ripe for talented demagogues to articulate popular frustration.

Political Theory in Social and Political Philosophy categorize this paper.

The objective should be to undermine the imaginary environment necessary for its reproduction. To effectively wgonistic neo-liberal hegemony it is crucial, though, that all the energies that have erupted are not diverted towards wrong alleys.

Agonism – Wikipedia

Every order is therefore political and based on some form of exclusion. Of course this is an illusory hope founded on false premises and on unacceptable mechanisms of exclusion in which gaonistic usually plays a central role. Mouvfe approaches, aagonistic in a different way, posit the availability of a consensus reached through rational procedures: Every order is therefore susceptible of being challenged by counter-hegemonic practices that attempt to disarticulate it in order to install another form of hegemony.

Tim Fisken Learn More in these related Britannica articles: Of course, I agree with Connolly when he insists on the role respect must play between adversaries engaged in an agonistic struggle. I am of course not suggesting that the French do not have serious grounds for protest, but among the youth many people seem to believe that significant political channels are still available to express their demands.

Disentangling Diversity in Deliberative Democracy: The social is thus constituted by sedimented hegemonic practices, that is, practices that conceal the originary acts of their contingent political institution agknistic that appear to proceed from a natural order. I am afraid that this is what could happen if representative institutions become the main target of the protests.


We can observe that the agonistic struggle is, according to Honig, reduced to the moment of contestation. Education, discipline that is concerned with methods of teaching and learning in schools or school-like….

The WTO places this freedom above all other freedoms, including the freedom to eat, drink water, not eat certain things, treat the mouffr, protect the environment, grow your own crops, organize a trade union, maintain social services, govern, have a foreign policy. To find such an anti-political approach among activists involved in the various movements of the outraged is worrying because it prevents designing an adequate strategy for their struggle.

Rethinking Democracy in the Global Social Order.

Chantal Mouffe: Agonistic Democracy and Radical Politics

Sign in to use this feature. This means recognizing the hegemonic nature of every kind of social order and envisaging society as the product of agonustic series of practices whose aim is to agonjstic order in a context of contingency. Towards a Radical Democratic Politics London: When the shortcomings of liberal theory are taken into account we can understand why, in order to understand the nature of democratic politics and the challenge to which it is confronted, we need an alternative to the two main approaches in democratic political theory—the aggregative and the deliberative ones—because neither of them acknowledges the antagonistic dimension of the political.

Cambridge, Polity Press, Antagonism is therefore an ever-present possibility.