The Political Agent and Radical Democracy

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Liberal democracy suffers from an internal contradiction stemming from its ideological roots and rending it from within. On the one hand its goal is to generate a system of laws and rules that maximize individual rights and liberties; on the other hand, some of its fundamental assumptions pertaining to the Subject restrict the political and social agent's existential experience to a limited threshold of speech and action. The central assumption of this article is that the main meeting point of the critics of modernity, Apel and Habermas primarily, and the post-structuralists, Foucault and Deleuze, in regard to the Subject, rehabilitates liberal discourse and creates an opening for a political theory that maximizes the freedom of the individual as a structured, anti-essentialist Subject. I will show that the expansion of the concept of the self in the two streams sheds new light on the concepts of political control and liberty, and in this way extends the normative discussion of all aspects of the political agent's status in a modern democracy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837–850
JournalEuropean Legacy
StatePublished - 2008


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