The present article aims to examine critically Laclau’s claim that the trend toward social heterogenization revokes the Dialectic, or, more specifically, the clear and strict line of demarcation between what falls within the Dialectic and what falls outside of it. Polemicizing with the assumption of this reading, I argue that the appearance of a radical heterogeneity rather exposes the undecidability of relations between the Dialectic and what is a heterogeneity. To undergo the experience of this relation means not only to confront something that dislocates the Dialectic, but also what makes it what it is. The concrete determination of this limit relation is precisely what is at stake in the populist construction of the people, the political articulation of a popular identity. Against this backdrop, I argue that it is not so much Laclau as Agamben who opens the possibility to think about a heterogeneity non-dialectically.
Giorgio A. (1998) Homo sacer: sovereign power and bare life. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Biglieri P. and G. Perelló (2011) “The names of the real in Laclau’s theory: antagonism, dislocation and heterogeneity”. Filozofski vestnik 32, 2, 47–64.
Hegel, G. W. F. (1986) Vorlesung über die Philosophie der Geschichte. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.
Kitus, A. (2019) “The theory of hegemony: Laclau’s path not taken”. Philosophy & Social Criticism November, 1–19.
Laclau, E. and C. Mouffe (1985) Hegemony and socialist strategy: towards a radical democratic politics. London: Verso.
Laclau, E. (1990) New reflections on the revolution of our time. London: Verso.
Laclau, E. (1996) Emancipation(s). London: Verso.
Laclau, E. and L. Zac (1994) “Minding the gap: the subject of politics”. In: E. Laclau, ed. The making of political identities, 11–39. London: Verso.
Laclau, E. (2005) On populist reason. London: Verso.
Laclau, E. (2014) The rhetorical foundations of society. London: Verso.
Lipping, J. (2016) “The hedgehog from the pampas: Ernesto Laclau and the impossibility of society”. European Political Science 15, 271–276.
Marchart, O. (2005) “In the name of the people: populist reason and the subject of the political”. Diacritics 35, 3, 3–19.
Mehlman, J. (1977) Revolution and repetition: Marx/Hugo/Balzac. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Mihkelsaar, J. (2015) “Towards a rethinking of Laclau and Mouffe’s conception of social antagonisms: Agamben’s critique of relation”. Philosophy Today 59, 3, 409–427.
Nancy, J.-L. (2002) Hegel: the restlessness of the negative. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Norval, A. (2004) “Hegemony after deconstruction: the consequences of undecidability”. Journal of Political Ideologies 9, 2, 139–157.
Selg, P. and A. Ventsel (2020) Introducing relational political analysis: political semiotics as a theory and method. London: Palgrave.
Stallybrass, P. (1990) “Marx and heterogeneity: thinking the lumpenproletariat”. Representations 31, 69–95.
Thomassen, L. (2005) “Antagonism, hegemony and ideology after heterogeneity”. Journal of Political Ideologies 10, 3, 289–309.
Žižek, S. (1990) “Beyond discourse-analysis”. In E. Laclau New reflections on the revolution of our time, 249–260. London: Verso.