Contingency, Hegemony, Universality
Žižek, S., Butler, J. and Laclau, E. (2000) Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Dialogues on the Left, London and New Y ork: Verso. This vigorous, pithy and hugely enjoyable work brings Žižek together with his two most assiduous intellectual sparring partners - Judith Butler and Ernesto Laclau - in a kind of written dialogue. This dialogue takes the form of a series of questions set by each of them for the others, followed by three essayed responses apiece. The main point of contention between them is the status and meaning of the subject. While, for a Žižekian, Butler's consistent misreading of Lacan can sometimes be exasperating, it does at least force Žižek to articulate his understanding of the subject as clearly as possible. As such, this makes the book a useful introduction to Žižek's thought, as well as being a valuable insight to the issues currently vexing the political left.