State University of New York Press

SUNY series in Political Theory: Contemporary Issues

John G. Gunnell

Published by: State University of New York Press

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SUNY series in Political Theory: Contemporary Issues

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Democracy Growing Up

Authority, Autonomy, and Passion in Tocqueville's Democracy in America

Tocqueville’s Democracy in America continues to be widely read, but for all this familiarity, the vivid imagery with which he conveys his ideas has been overlooked, left to act with unexamined force upon readers’ imaginations. In this first sustained feminist reading of Democracy in America Laura Janara assesses the dramatic feminine, masculine, and infantile metaphorical figures that represent the historical political drama that is Tocqueville’s primary topic. These tropes are analyzed as both historical artifacts and symbols for psychoanalytic interpretation, deepening and complicating the standing interpretations of Tocqueville’s work. Democracy Growing Up comments critically upon the peculiar gendered and familial foundations of modern Western democracy and upon the notion of democratic maturity that Tocqueville offers us.

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Disenchanted Realists, Second Edition

Political Science and the American Crisis

Raymond Seidelman

New edition of the provocative history of the tenuous relationship between the scientific study of politics and the real world of American democracy.

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Hannah Arendt

Critical Essays

This work presents both the range of Arendt’s political thought and the patterns of controversy it has elicited. The essays are arranged in six parts around important themes in Arendt’s work: totalitarianism and evil; narrative and history; the public world and personal identity; action and power; justice, equality, and democracy; and thinking and judging. Despite such thematic diversity, virtually all the contributors have made an effort to build bridges between interest-driven politics and Arendt’s Hellenic/existential politics. Although some are quite critical of the way Arendt develops her theory, most sympathize with her project of rescuing politics from both the foreshortening glance of the philosopher and its assimilation to social and biological processes. This volume treats Arendt’s work as an imperfect, somewhat time-bound but still invaluable resource for challenging some of our most tenacious prejudices about what politics is and how to study it. The following eminent Arendt scholars have contributed chapters to this book: Ronald Beiner, Margaret Canovan, Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, Seyla Benhabib, Jürgen Habermas, Hanna Pitkin, and Sheldon Wolin.

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Performing Marx

Contemporary Negotiations of a Living Tradition

Performing Marx looks at what it means to be a Marxist dealing with contemporary political and theoretical developments in the twenty-first century. Drawing upon Marx’s work, Western Marxism, and poststructuralist theory, Bradley J. Macdonald explores how a living tradition of Marx’s ideas can constructively engage a politics of desire and pleasure, ecological sustainability, a politics of everyday life that takes seriously popular culture, and the nature of globalization and of the radical forces being arrayed against the logics of global capitalism. By engaging such crucial issues, Macdonald also provides important clarifications of the work of William Morris, Guy Debord and the situationists, Michel Foucault, Antonio Negri, Ernesto Laclau, and Chantal Mouffe, as they relate to Marx.

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Political Theory and Partisan Politics

Renowned theorists address the interconnections between those who engage in political struggle and those who study it. 'Political theorists typically define political action in terms of rational potential rather than conflict, and for this reason neglect the partisan nature of political experience. This volume redresses this neglect, focusing on the interrelated questions of whether the task of political theory is to find some means of containing partisan politics and whether political theory is itself separate from partisan politics. Each section of the book corresponds to one of three ways of conceiving the optimal or necessary relationship between political theory and partisan political struggle. The first section considers the extent to which partisan politics requires constitutional consensus and the degree to which such a consensus requires correct theoretical underpinnings. The second focuses on the compatibility of theoretical deliberation with partisan politics, and the third on the possibility that political theory is itself necessarily a form or means of partisan engagement. The end result is a theoretically diverse but focused debate on this important but neglected subject.

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