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Poststructuralism and radical politics
Author: Saul Newman

How do we think about radical politics today, in the wake of the collapse of Marxist-Leninism and the triumph of neo-liberal capitalism? How should radical political theory respond to new challenges posed by globalisation, postmodernity, the ‘war on terror’ and the rise of religious fundamentalism? How are we to take account of the new social movements and political struggles appearing on the global horizon? In addressing these questions, this book explores the theme of universality and its place in radical political theory. It argues that both Marxist politics of class struggle and the postmodern politics of difference have reached their historical and political limits, and that what is needed is a new approach to universality, a new way of thinking about collective politics. By exploring various themes and ideas within poststructuralist and post-Marxist theory, the book develops a new approach to universality — one that has implications for politics today, particularly on questions of power, subjectivity, ethics and democracy. In so doing, it engages in debates with thinkers such as Laclau, Žižek, Badiou and Rancière over the future of radical politics. The book also applies theoretical insights to contemporary events such as the emergence of the anti-globalisation movement, the ‘war on terrorism’, the rise of anti-immigrant racism and the nihilistic violence that lurks at the margins of the political.

Editor’s Introduction
Juliano Fiori

everything in the economic sphere and its disintegration of tradition in the social sphere. Globalisation has uprooted people symbolically as well as materially. A growing ‘impulse’ for social protection has received little response from the receding welfare state. 3 In the absence of an economic resolution, the assertion of cultural sovereignty has become a fuite en arrière – a retreat, to nostalgic fantasies of grandeur, fascistic tropes of national belonging and religious fundamentalisms. 4 Ressentiment has given rise to diverse anti

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A dialogue with Islam as a pattern of conflict resolution and a security approach vis-à-vis Islamism
Bassam Tibi

Arab world. In this chapter Islamism is viewed as a variety of religious fundamentalism. In the effort to redefine security the challenge of religions fundamentalism, not of Islam itself ( Tibi, 1998a ), is of concern. The groups representing political Islam 1 do in fact pose a threat to security at domestic, regional and international levels. It follows that the inquiry needs to focus on the politicization of religion, because

in Redefining security in the Middle East
Peter Barry

, the spread of religious fundamentalism, and the relentless progress of environmental deterioration. A sense of a world situation which is increasingly desperate, and in the shadow of which cultural critique itself comes to seem a foolish luxury, lies behind much of the post-millennial work of Terry Eagleton (see Sweet Violence , Wiley-Blackwell, 2003, After Theory , Allen Lane, 2003, and Holy Terror , Oxford University Press, 2005). Eagleton provides a cultural critique increasingly preoccupied with violence, terror, and evil, a form of writing which might be

in Beginning theory (fourth edition)
Abstract only
India’s tryst with terrorism
Harsh V. Pant

1990s; Mumbai witnessed multiple terror strikes in 1993, and then in November 2008, jihadists, aided and abetted by Pakistan’s military-intelligence complex, openly confronted the might of the Indian state in full glare of the global media. Internally, the Indian state is witnessing a gradual collapse of its authority. From left-wing extremism to right-wing religious fundamentalism, it is facing multiple challenges that threaten to derail the story of a rising India. India remains  – in the words of Fareed Zakaria  – a strong society with a weak state, unable to

in Indian foreign policy
Open Access (free)
Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

–Palestinian struggle, the conflict between India and Pakistan, religion plays a crucial part as an irritant. The term ‘religious fundamentalist’ conjures up the image of the religious bigot, but we shall argue that this is often an unjust verdict. The nature of religious fundamentalism ‘Fundamentalism’ was a term originally applied to an approach to religion in which it was assumed that the original purity of the faith

in Understanding political ideas and movements
Scott Wilson

presidential candidacy, declaring that she will try to bring him Harlem and mobilize the voters on his behalf ” (•i•ek, 2000: 65). This is the same Pat Buchanan who said that the 11 September 2001 attack was divine retribution for the sins of homosexuality, promiscuity and abortion tolerated by liberal America, New York in particular. In the same essay, •i•ek argues that ‘the only “serious” political force today’ that addresses people with an anti-capitalist rhetoric is that which speaks in the name of extreme nationalism, racism and religious fundamentalism (•i•ek, 2000: 64

in Great Satan’s rage
Avner Offer

their countries’ elites. Their sources of their authority were local, not universal: the secular nationalist development dictatorship of a Saddam Hussein, Assad, Mubarak or Mugabe; the nationalism of Pushtun warlords in Afghanistan; the religious fundamentalism and Arab nationalism of Bin Laden; the divine authority of Ayatollahs, Mullahs, and Taliban. However powerful on the spot, these local elites could not compete in the dollar game. But they had a measure of immunity as well. No one has claimed the reward for Bin Laden yet. They were bound to be beaten in the

in ‘War on terror’
Saul Newman

can even rise to reactionary forms of politics. Even though postmodernism resists totalising narratives and political institutions, and emphasises instead heterogeneity, difference and flux, it also spawns new forms of authoritarianism and violence that emerge as a reaction to it, and yet, paradoxically, draw upon its implications. Today we are seeing the preponderance of violent, intolerant (neo)conservative forces and religious fundamentalisms – resembling a kind of [ 25 ] Unstable universalities ‘return of the repressed’. With the collapse of the Communist

in Unstable universalities
Abstract only
Laura Schwartz

organisation from within the country, condemned both religious fundamentalism and US military interventions. They also continue to call for a ‘secular’ society. 14 The global imperialist context has also cast a long shadow over the last decade of debate on women’s rights within Europe. The UK-based Southall Black Sisters, 15 believing the rise of religious fundamentalism poses a threat to women in Britain, has reasserted the idea of

in Infidel feminism