Since September 11, we frequently hear that the struggle is between good and evil and that politics is at an end. Should we welcome or fear a 'Third Way' beyond left and right? In this timely and thought provoking book, Chantal Mouffe argues that third way thinking ignores fundamental, conflictual aspects of human nature and that far from expanding democracy, globalization is undermining the combative and radical heart of democratic life. Going back first to Aristotle, she identifies the historical origins of the political. She also reflects on the Enlightenment and the social contract, arguing that in spite of its good intentions, it fatally suppressed the radical core of political life. She uses many contemporary examples, including the Iraq war, racism and the rise of the far right, to argue that far from ending dangerous extremism, the political void created by the search for consensus inflames it.
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