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Contemporary Political Movements and the Thought of Jacques Rancière

Equality in Action

Todd May

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In this book, Todd May shows how democratic progressive politics can happen and how it is happening in very different arenas. He takes an intensive look at a range of contemporary political movements and shows how, to one degree or another, they exemplify the political thought of Jacques Rancière. May's easy, clear writing style means that no philosophical background is required.

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1. Thinking Politics With Jacques Rancière
2. Equality Among the Refugees: Montréal's Sans-Status Algerian Movement
3. Subjectification in the First Palestinian Intifada
4. The Zapatistas: From Identity to Equality
5. Institutions of Equality
6. Democratic Politics Now

About the Author

Todd May is Class of 1941 Memorial Professor of the Humanities at Clemson University. Among his most recent publications are Gilles Deleuze: An Introduction (2005) and The Philosophy of Foucault (2006). He has also been active in various political movements of equality, including anti-racism work and the struggle for Palestinian rights.


This is a timely, accessible and inspiring study of democracy in action. As a critic and as an activist Todd May has always insisted on the unity of theory and practice, but with this pathbreaking new book he has taken a crucial and unprecedented step both in the interpretation of Rancière's philosophy and in the analysis of contemporary egalitarian projects.
- Peter Hallward, Kingston University

This very welcome book will be useful for those with an interest in Rancière’s work as well as those with a practical or theoretical interest in radical politics. It is very well written and makes Rancière and his otherwise idiosyncratic terminology accessible to a larger audience.

- Lasse Thomassen, Queen Mary, University of London, Political Studies Review