Recommend to your Librarian

Gillian Rose

A Good Enough Justice

Kate Schick

eBook (PDF) i

Makes the case for the rediscovery of British philosopher Gillian Rose’s unique but neglected voice

In this book, Kate Schick presents the core themes of Rose’s work and locates her ideas within central debates in contemporary social theory (trauma and memory, exclusion and difference, tragedy and messianic utopia), engaging with the works of Benjamin, Honig, Žižek and Butler. She shows how Rose’s speculative perspective brings a different gaze to bear on debates, eschewing well-worn liberal, critical theoretic and post-structural positions.

Gillian Rose draws on idiosyncratic readings of thinkers such as Hegel, Adorno and Kierkegaard to underpin her philosophy, negotiating the ‘broken middle’ between the particular and the universal. While of the left, she is sharply critical of much left-wing thought, insisting that it shirks the work of coming to know and of taking political risk in pursuit of a ‘good enough justice’.


Part One: Speculative philosophy
1: Speculative dialectics
2: The broken middle
Part Two: Speculative politics
3: Trauma, memory, and the political
4: Cosmopolitanism, difference, and aporetic universalism
5: Between tragedy and utopia

About the Author

Kate Schick is Lecturer in International Relations at Victoria University of Wellington. She is co-editor of 'The Vulnerable Subject: Beyond Rationalism in International Relations' (2012).


Schick’s account is an engaging presentation of Rose’s thought addressed to readers new to her work ... Gillian Rose: A Good Enough Justice provides evidence of the singular power of attraction of Rose’s thought in its capacity to think through the dualisms conditioning social-political actuality and to afford resources for ethical action.

- Radical Philosophy

What Schick achieves in 130 pages is impressive. She offers an exposition of Rose’s thought, grounds it in its formative philosophical influences and sets it in conversation with problems in contemporary political philosophy. And she does this cogently, without significantly sacrificing breadth or depth ... Schick’s work is a compelling invitation to read more Gillian Rose.

- LSE Review of Books

For a multifaceted engagement with Rose’s ideas which goes beyond the concept of impiety... Schick’s Gillian Rose is the book to turn to. Rose’s demanding oeuvre has suffered from an undue neglect which Schick’s refined book will hopefully go some way to remedying. Gillian Rose provides a clear and persuasive argument for Rose’s continuing relevance in relation to debates about trauma and how to respond to it.

- Nicholas Chare, University of Melbourne, The Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory

This book makes an original and distinctive contribution to political thought.

- Alison Stone, Lancaster University

In this book Kate Schick brings off the seemingly impossible: she renders Gillian Rose's thought clear without losing sight of its subtle profundity and obstinate difficulty. In doing so she makes it apparent just why we might now be more receptive to this thought and what it still has to teach us: that against the already actualised dystopic utopia of the right, and an increased left oscillation between impossible utopia and entire resignation to evil, Rose offers us the abstract contours of a hopeful realism or a realistic hope. Schick rightly edges that vision a little further away from aporia and a little further towards practical realisation. Thereby she has crafted a real contribution not just to scholarship and political theory, but to the future of political practice in the UK and beyond.

- John Milbank, The University of Nottingham

Also in this series