The Misguided Search for the Political: Social Weightlessness in Radical Democratic Theory

2015.05.07 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Lois McNay, The Misguided Search for the Political: Social Weightlessness in Radical Democratic Theory, Polity, 2014, 250pp.,
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2015.05.07 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Lois McNay, The Misguided Search for the Political: Social Weightlessness in Radical Democratic Theory, Polity, 2014, 250pp., $24.95 (pbk), ISBN 9780745662633. Reviewed by Max Pensky, Binghamton University Lois McNay's book is a broadside against the ontological turn in recent political theory. This is the current of political thought based on the assertion of an ontologically significant hiatus between the realm of "the political" (as distinct from politics) and that of mundane social existence, and the corresponding view that the realm of political agency is, or at least ought to be, one of radical indeterminacy, agonism, plurality, or contingency (or abundance, or flux, or difference, or generosity, or becoming, or one of another several dozen more or less cognate terms). By contrast, the social is, variously, the realm of convention, inauthenticity, mere existence as opposed to agency, the "blob," in. . .

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