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The Politics of Postanarchism

Saul Newman

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What is the relevance of anarchist thought for politics and political theory today? While many have dismissed anarchism in the past, Saul Newman contends that anarchism's heretical critique of authority, and its insistence on full equality and liberty, places it at the forefront of the radical political imagination today. With the unprecedented expansion of state power in the name of security, the current 'crisis of capitalism' and the terminal decline of Marxist and social democratic projects, it is time to reconsider anarchism as a form of politics. This book seeks to renew anarchist thought through the concept of postanarchism.


1: The Euthanasia of Government: classical anarchism reconsidered
2: Crowned Anarchy: towards a postanarchist ontology
3: An Infantile Disorder: Anarchism and Marxism
4: The Horizon of Anarchy: radical politics in the wake of Marx
5: Debating Postanarchism: ontology, ethics and utopia
6: Conclusion: Postanarchism and Radical Politics Today

About the Author

Saul Newman is Professor in Political Theory at Goldsmiths, University of London. His research is in continental and poststructuralist political and social theory, and contemporary radical politics. He is the author of: From Bakunin to Lacan (2001); Power and Politics in Poststructuralist Thought (2005); Unstable Universalities (2007); Politics Most Unusual (2008); The Politics of Postanarchism (2010); and Max Stirner (2011).


The most significant development in anarchist theory in recent years has rested upon, in a sense, a rejection of anarchism’s past … Newman’s attempt to salvage the ‘ultimate horizon for radical politics’ offered by anarchism, from its reliance on dubious ‘immutable natural laws and processes, whose truth would be revealed through science’, leads to a significant commentary on the historical tradition … [His] interrogation of anarchism’s past raises important questions, and casts probing light on the giants of the tradition: Bakunin and Kropotkin in particular.