Set against the collapse of social theory into a theory of ideological discourse, Geoff Boucher sets to work a rigorous mapping of the contemporary field, targeting the relativist implications of this new form of philosophical idealism. Offering a detailed and immanent critique Boucher concentrates his critical attention on the ‘postmarxism’ of Laclau and Mouffe, Butler and Žižek. Combining close reading and careful exposition with polemical intent, Boucher links the relativism exemplified in these contemporary theoretical trends to unresolved philosophical problems of modernity. In conclusion Boucher points to ‘intersubjectivity’ as an exit from postmarxist theory’s charmed circle of ideology.
1. Introduction: The Postmarxian Field
2. New Times: The Emergence of Postmarxism
3. Crop Circles in the Postmarxian Field: Laclau and Mouffe
4. The Antinomies of Slavoj Žižek
5. The Politics of Performativity
6. Conclusion: The Charmed Circle of Ideology