From Modern to Postmodern Politics? The ‘Autonomous Turn’
This chapter proposes to reflect upon the impact of postmodern thought on contemporary debates concerning the nature and purpose of politics. Within the context of this study, the in-depth analysis of the differences between modern and postmodern conceptions of politics is crucial in one respect: it illustrates the normative implications of the paradigmatic shifts shaped by current controversies regarding key issues in epistemology, methodology, sociology, and historiography. Without a critical engagement with, and an idiosyncratic understanding of, politics, postmodern thought would be tantamount to a free-floating and self-referential language game based on rhetorical speculation. For there is not much point in theorizing for the sake of theorizing. From an intellectual point of view, little — if anything — can be gained from creating interpretive or explanatory frameworks without considering the substantive challenges arising from the conscious coordination of human actions and from the meaningful organization of social life.
KeywordsLife Form Social Movement Public Sphere Cultural Politics Political Ideology
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