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Revista mexicana de ciencias políticas y sociales

Print version ISSN 0185-1918


BIGLIERI, Paula. Populism and Emancipations. Radical Politics Today. Approaching (with Variations) Ernesto Laclau’s Thought. Rev. mex. cienc. polít. soc [online]. 2017, vol.62, n.229, pp.243-262. ISSN 0185-1918.

This article presents a review of Ernesto Laclau’s work aimed at relating two aspects that are considered distinctive of his political approach: on the one hand, his notion of radical politics as “the end of emancipation” to be replaced by the prospect of emancipations –in plural– and, on the other hand, the notion of populism. In this sense, the text raises the question whether these two elements are possible within the same theoretical framework. The answer comes through a reconsideration of the category of “demand”, which should not be only distinguished as popular or democratic demand, but also as radical (or not radical). A radical demand would be one which involves an egalitarian claim. Therefore, radical populisms would be those that articulate different emancipatory demands unleashing an anti statu quo movement in an egalitarian sense. Throughout the text we develop, first, a brief biographical review of Laclau in relation to his political militancy; next, the overall arguments that led Laclau and Mouffe to radicalize the views of Antonio Gramsci and Louis Althusser –which led to the post-Marxist rupture– and, thirdly, a theoretical elaboration of Laclau’s view of populism in terms of the notion of emancipations. Concerning the latter, some variations are developed as to the category of “demand.”

Keywords : populism; emancipations; radical politics; demand; equality; Ernesto Laclau.

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