Economic Necessity, Political Contingency and the Limits of Post-Marxism
Routledge – 2014 – 256 pages
Series: New Political Economy
Post-Marxism emerged in the 1970s and 80s as a way to retain certain insights from Marxism while disposing of its indefensible and destructive elements, especially the tendency to reduce all social change to the economic base. This book offers a new and critical reading of post-Marxism, arguing that whilst it convincinly deconstructs the prevalent economism in Marxism as the necessary logic of social reproduction, it nonetheless still retains an ontology of a closed capitalist economy, inhabited by a set of necessary logics.
Through a careful symptomatic reading of the works of influential post-Marxian thinkers, Ernesto Laclau and Étienne Balibar, the book argues that while post-Marxian positions have constructed a theory of social contingency, it has failed in different ways to dislodge the constitution of class and capitalist reproduction from essentialist narratives.
1. Introduction: The Uneven Theoretical Development of Post-Althusserian Theory 2. The Tension of the Althusserian Mode of Production Problematic 3. The Tension Between Structure and Conjuncture: Étienne Balibar’s Rethinking of the Mode of Production Problematic 4. From Mode of Production of Politics of Hegemonic Articulation: Breaks and Continuities in the Works of Ernesto Laclau 5. Marxism Without Essentialist Closures: The Overdetermioned Class Analytics of Steve Resnick, Richard Wolfe and AESA 6. Conclusion: Probematizing the Political vs. Economic Divide in the Post- Althusserian Field
Ceren Özselçuk is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University.