3    Performativity and politics

From Habermas to Laclau

Three versions of performativity

What does language do: Austin and performativity?

The development of a theory of communicative rationality, as an attempt to orient politics in a post-metaphysical world, responds in part to the failure of the traditional left to offer an adequate account of the potential embedded in the public sphere of liberal democratic societies. As such it draws impetus from the radical democratic idea of society as a self-regulating democratic polis of equal citizens, but ties this to the deepening of democratic tendencies in contemporary liberal democracies.1 Both the projects of modernity and of democratic transformation receive justification and orientation from ...

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