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Politics and Post-Structuralism

An Introduction

Edited by Alan Finlayson, Jeremy Valentine

Paperback (Printed to Order)

Post-structuralism is recognised as a major force within literary and cultural studies. This book is the first to apply the theory to politics and to show the ways in which it can illuminate political theory and analysis. As such it is likely to become a key text in the development of this area, providing a stimulating introduction to the subject. Authors explore the two-way relationship, showing not only that post-structuralism can enhance the study of politics, but also that advocates of post-structuralism can benefit from being open to the lessons political studies can teach. The book aims to (i) clarify the relationship of contemporary theory to politics; (ii) open up a new intellectual interface; (iii) create a space for exchange between disciplines; (iv) provide a statement of the role of post-structuralist theory in politics

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Introduction: Post-structuralism and Politics, Alan Finlayson and Jeremy Valentine
Part 1: Politics and the Subject
1. The Subject and Subjectivity, Caroline Williams
2. The State and Sovereign Subjectivity, James Martin
3. After The Subject of International Security, Jenny Edkins
Part 2: Doing Political Analysis
4. Ideology and Social Movements: The case of the FN, Steve Bastow
5. The Work of Ideas and Interests in Public Policy, Stephen Griggs and David Howarth
6. Economic Subjectivity and Globalization, Glyn Daly
7. Political Science and Complexity, Paul Haynes
Part 3. Critique and Political Thought
8. The Horizon of Community, Alan Finlayson
9. Public Reason Without a Public, Jeremy Valentine
10. Critical Theory and Democracy, Mark Devenney
11. The Singularity of the Political, Robert Porter
12. Genres, Technologies and Spaces of Being-In-Common, Michael J. Shapiro

About the Author

Alan Finlayson is professor of Political and Social Theory at the University of East Anglia. He is co-editor (with Jeremy Valentine) of Politics and Post-Structuralism: An Introduction (EUP, 2002) and co-author of Contemporary Social and Political Thought: An Introduction (1999)

Jeremy Valentine is Lecturer in Media Studies at Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh.


These wide-ranging contributions are suggestive of the scope and possibilities opened up by a post-structuralist approach to political theorizing and the analysis of contemporary politics.
- Aletta J. Norval
An extremely admirable publication … a great achievment by the editors. This is not least because Politics and Post-Structuralism will go a long way to redressing the misconstrual and general misrepresentation of post-structuralism, showing it (or them) to be both politically and intellectually vital and valuable.
- The Year's work in Critical and Cultural Theory
An intelligent, thought-provoking and lively collection which offers an insight into the ways in which post-structuralism might move us beyond the framework of mainstream political theory and political science.
- Contemporary Political Theory
Excellent ... I think it will serve a good function, become a state of the art kind of book appreciated by students and teachers alike ... I think the editors are correct in their appraisal that the impact of post-structuralism on theorizing and conceptualizing politics has not yet really begun and that now is a good time to carry this task out.
- Professor Keith Ansell-Pearson, University of Warwick
Few volumes are as well put together, framing the key issues in ways accessible to both readers of post-structuralism and political studies alike. In rereading the questions of critique, community, subjectivity, the public and the state, and the policy process, the volume covers many of the most important contemporary issues of political studies in both the UK and the US and will make a useful introduction and companion to a reading of both post-structuralist thought and political practice.
- Professor Ian R. Douglas, The American University in Cairo