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Title: Rancière's Account of Identity Politics
Subtitle: Philosophical Techniques of Extinguishing Political Subjectivity
Author(s): MAKKI, Majid
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 21    Issue: 3   Date: 2014   
Pages: 401-428
DOI: 10.2143/EP.21.3.3044851

Abstract :
This article is an attempt to shed light on the core of Jacques Rancière’s thought by highlighting a somewhat overlooked link between his critique of political philosophy and of the concrete circumstances of the last few decades in politics, namely identity politics. We will see how, in Rancière’s view, a number of undesirable characteristics of identity politics are due to the absence of a universal political subject. In addition, we will see how political philosophy, as it is narrated by Rancière, has been actively involved in the concrete processes whose main goal is to make sure that such a universal political subject is absent. After clarifying the causal relation between political philosophy and identity politics, we will touch on the main characteristic of what can be called Rancière’s solution: a new philosophical discourse on politics that encourages, rather than suppresses, the advent of a new universal political subject. While the present contribution does not level any criticism against Rancière, it can be read as having a critical perspective in reading his works, bearing in mind that any good criticism must begin with a substantial grasp of the core of its target. Without this, such critique can be either marginal or even irrelevant.

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