Ernesto Laclau

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Ernesto Laclau is a political theorist often described as post-marxist. He is a professor at the University of Essex where he holds a chair in Political Theory and was for many years director of the doctoral program in Ideology and Discourse Analysis. He has lectured extensively in many universities in North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Australia and South Africa.

Laclau's most important book is Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, which he co-authored with Chantal Mouffe. Their thought is usually described as post-Marxist as they were both politically active in the social and student movements of the 1960s and thus tried to join working class and new social movements. They rejected Marxist economic determinism and the notion of class struggle being the crucial antagonism in society. Instead they urged for radical democracy of agonistic pluralism where all antagonisms could be expressed. In their opinion "...there is no possibility of society without antagonism", that is why they claimed that "society does not exist."


  • Politics and Ideology in Marxist Theory (London 1977)
  • Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (with Chantal Mouffe) (London 1985)
  • New Reflections on the Revolution of our Time (London, 1990)
  • The Making of Political Identities (editor) (London l994)
  • Emancipation(s) (London, 1996)
  • On Populist Reason (London, 2005)

See also

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