Radical Identity Politics: Beyond Right and Left

Bidragets oversatte titel: radikal identitetspolitik: hinsides højre og venstre

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportBogForskningpeer review


This book outlines significant traits of radical leftist identity politics. In this type of discourse, arguments are organized around global friend/enemy schemes in ways that are at odds with the right/left matrix of democracy. This is shown by combining discourse analysis of how leftist critics argue in public debates centred on their reactions to the Charlie Hebdo massacre in 2015 and theoretical discussions on leftist identity politics orbiting around Schmitt, Marcuse and Mouffe. It is argued that the friend/enemy approach sacrifices the egalitarian and libertarian core values of the Left, leading it to adopt positions used to brand the reactionary Right. It also holds that leftist identity politics undermines democracy by moralizing enmity and stigmatizing dissent, and by promoting an elitist and relativist agenda.

Against this background, the book looks at the nature of the right/left distinction and its political functions in modern democracy. This is further elaborated in relation to the works of Foucault and Rawls’s analyses of parrhesia (free speech) and public reason, which provide a more fruitful approach to right/left and democracy than those based on enmity. For Foucault and Rawls, a vibrant pluralist democracy relies on the autonomy of politics, which secures a space in which citizens are free and equal, which is crucial for free speech and assembly. They focus on issues related to the autonomy of politics and the freestanding nature of public reason; right/left as lateral political orientation coupled with fairness as political justification and the links between regime form and political community as decisive for democracy.
Bidragets oversatte titelradikal identitetspolitik: hinsides højre og venstre
ForlagCambridge Scholars Publishing
Antal sider288
ISBN (Trykt)1-5275-5056-7, 978-1-5275-5056-8
StatusUdgivet - 2020


  • identitetspolitik, højre/venstre, ytringsfrihed, Charlie Hebdo, Foucault, Rawls, Marcuse, Schmitt, Mouffe, public reason

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