Hvordan skabes et alternativ? Om det radikale demokratis mulighedsbetingelser

Jannick Schou


How can an alternative to liberal democracy and neoliberalism be developed? This question has occupied a number of political theorists from the Left, including Chantal Mouffe. This paper provides a discussion of Mouffe’s notion of radical democracy by drawing on concepts from Ernesto Laclau’s discourse theory. The paper starts out by providing a detailed description of Mouffe’s model with a focus on its underlying conditions of possibility. Here, two factors are highlighted: an allegiance to ‘liberty’ and ‘equality’ and a common trust in democratic institutions. By reading these conditions through the work of Laclau, the paper argues for an increased attentiveness towards the ways in which discourses become sedimented and neutralized over time. The paper argues that Mouffe tends to downplay the role of normativity and institutions in favor of democratic practices. Highlighting these areas, this article argues, is a call for a further radicalization of radical democracy going forward.

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