or Agonistic Pluralism?
An Alternative to
Social objectivity is constituted
through acts of power( Mouffe)
This implies that any social objectivity is ultimately political and that it has to show the traces of exclusion that governs its constitution.
For Habermas, the more democratic a society is, the less power
would be constitutive of social relations.(Habermas). However,
power relation exists, we need to constitute forms of power that are
compatible with democratic values. (Mouffe)
de-universalization of political subjects
by putting an exclusive emphasis on heterogeneity and incommensurability, a view of universalization would impede recognition how certain differences are constructed as relations of subordination and should therefore be challenged by radical democratic politics.
Benhabib (1996): attaining legitimacy and rationality；collective
decisions making；free and equal individuals
1. participants have the same chance to initiate
speech, to question and to open debate
2. all have the right to question the
assigned topics of conversation
3. all have the right to initiate reflexive arguments about the
rules of discourse and the way in which they are applied or carried out.
Habermas admits that there is obstacle to realization of the idea
democracy, however he believes that : 1. these obstacles are only
empirical problems; 2. political questions can be decided rationally
Critique of deliberative
Agreement on language(agreement in
forms of life)
For Wittgenstein, to have agreement in opinions there must first be agreement on the language used and this, as he points out, implies agreement in forms of life.
" we have got on the slippery ice where there is no friction and so in a certain sense the conditions are ideal, but also,just because of that, we are unable to walk: so wee need friction, back to the rough ground."
discourse are authoritarian
the free-floating dispersion of signifiers: it is only through the intervention of a master signifier that a consistant field of meaning can emerge.
主能指是一种象征性的authority, 只有主能指的参与，意义的生产过程才能完整。而这种与权力机制关联的属性，又使得哈贝马斯所期望的free of constraints , equal平等交流无法实现。因此，lacan 的理论从根本上undermine了哈贝马斯的deliberative democracy
An Agonistic Model of Democracy
1. distinguish " the political" and "politics"
By "the political", Mouffe refers to the dimension of antagonism that is inherent in all human society, antagonism that can take many different forms and can emerge in diverse social relations.
"Politics", on the other hand, refers to the ensemble of practices, discourses and institutions that seek to establish a certain order and to organize human coexistence in conditions that are always potentially conflictual because they are affected by the dimension of " the political"
2. in the realm of politics, the "other" is no longer seen as
an enemy to be destroyed, but as an "adversary"
two type of political relations: one of antagonism between enemies 敌人之间的敌对 and one of agonism between adversaries.对手之间的“激动” passion
The aim of democratic politics is to transform an "antagonism" into an "agonism"
3. the "conflict consensus"----the recognition
and legitimation of conflict
a pluralist democracy needs to make room for dissent and for the institutions through which it can be manifested. Its survival depends on collective identities forming around clearly differentiated positions, as well as on the possibility of choosing between real alternatives.
SUMMARY : Mouffe argues that deliberative democracy (rational
and justified consensus--Habermasian tradition) as the
centerpiece of democratic process is unrealistic. She presents
"agonistic pluralism" (conflictual plurality and non-exclusive
public) as more acutely realistic approach to democratic politics.