Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe are two of the most important figures in philosophy and political theory today. Their work helped establish key themes such as 'hegemony' in contemporary debate and continues to have great influence on discussions of the formation of power and identity in contemporary philosophy and political theory. Laclau and Mouffe is the first introduction to the work of these two key thinkers. Anna Marie Smith brings out the main themes of their work, showing how they have used the perspectives of Gramsci and poststructuralist theory to challenge traditional political theory. She also provides a useful starting point to examining some of the weaknesses in Laclau and Mouffe's work and how some of their ideas have been anticipated by critiques in feminist theory, race theory, lesbian and gay studies and multiculturalism.
"A bracing overview of Laclau and Mouffe's arguments. Anna Marie Smith not only illuminates their achievements; she also opens up new avenues for exploration. This book is a significant achievement and deserves to be a new signpost in the development of radical and pluralist democracy."
-Jeffrey Weeks, South Bank University
"Anna Marie Smith would have provided a useful service to the field had she only undertaken a summary of the work of Laclau and Mouffe. But she does more than this. She frames the work in a sophisticated intellectual history of Post-Marxist radical theory, shedding light not only on how Laclau and Mouffe matter, but why."
-Thomas L.Dumm, Amherst College