Unstable universalities

Poststructuralism and radical politics

By Saul Newman

Unstable universalities


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7129-4
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £19.99
  • Published Date: March 2012
  • BIC Category: Society & social sciences / Political science & theory, Society & social sciences / Political ideologies, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / General, Political science & theory, Political ideologies, Politics
  • Series: Reappraising the Political


Unstable universalities, available for the first time in paperback, examines the theme of universality and its place in radical political theory. Saul Newman argues that both Marxist politics of class struggle and the postmodern politics of difference have reached their historical and political limits, and that what is needed is a new approach to universality, a new way of thinking about collective politics.

By exploring various themes and ideas within poststructuralist and post-Marxist theory, the book develops a new and original approach to universality - one that has important implications for politics today, particularly on questions of power, subjectivity, ethics and democracy. In so doing, it engages in debates with thinkers such as Laclau, Zizek, Badiou and Rancière over the future of radical politics. It also applies important theoretical insights to contemporary events such as the emergence of the anti-globalisation movement, the 'war on terrorism', the rise of anti-immigrant racism, and the nihilistic violence which lurks at the margins of the political.


'In this original and very well-researched book, Dr Newman tries to re-think the anarchist tradition within a wide intellectual background centered in the general movement from foundational to post-foundational political thought. He proposes the category of ´post-anarchism´, which he links with comparable approaches such as post-structuralism and even post-Marxism. This book will be extremely useful in re-awakening the interest in a current of political thought which has lost its centrality over the past century.'
Ernesto Laclau


1. The politics of postmodernity
2. Power
3. Subjectivity
4. Ethics
5. Democracy
6. Radical politics today


Saul Newman is Senior Lecturer in Political Theory at Goldsmiths, University of London

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