Chantal Mouffe  

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"To what extent has it become necessary to modify the notion of class struggle, in order to be able to deal with the new political subjects — women, national, racial and sexual minorities, anti-nuclear and anti-institutional movements etc — of a clearly anti-capitalist character, but whose identity is not constructed around specific 'class interests'? "-- "Socialist Strategy: Where Next?" (Marxism Today, January 1981) by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe

"Een burgeroorlog voorkomen, daar gaat politiek over." (English: "Preventing civil war, that's wat politics is about") --De Morgen 9/2/2019

"Bij populistisch links horen migranten bij 'ons' en zijn 'zij' de transnationale bedrijven. Dat herken ik bij [...] Podemos en bij [...] Jeremy Corbyn."--De Morgen 9/2/2019

"It is well known how 'necessity' was understood by the Second International: as a natural necessity, founded on a combination of Marxism and Darwinism." --Hegemony and Socialist Strategy

Related e



Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Chantal Mouffe (born 17 June 1943) is a Belgian political theorist, formerly teaching at University of Westminster.

She is best known for her contribution to the development—jointly with Ernesto Laclau, with whom she co-authored Hegemony and Socialist Strategy—of the so-called Essex School of discourse analysis, a type of post-Marxist political inquiry drawing on Gramsci, post-structuralism and theories of identity, and redefining Leftist politics in terms of radical democracy. Her highest cited publication is Hegemony and socialist strategy: Towards a radical democratic politics. She is also the author of influential works on agonistic political theory, including Agonistics: Thinking the World Politically and The Democratic Paradox.



Chantal Mouffe studied at the Universities of Louvain, Paris and Essex and has worked in many universities throughout the world (in Europe, North America and Latin America). She has also held visiting positions at Harvard, Cornell, Princeton and the CNRS (Paris). During the 1989–1995 period she served as Programme Director at the Collège international de philosophie in Paris. She currently holds a professorship at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster in the United Kingdom, where she directs the Centre for the Study of Democracy.


A prominent critic of deliberative democracy (especially in its Rawlsian and Habermasian versions), she is also known for her critical use of the work of Carl Schmitt, mainly the concept of "the political", in proposing a radicalization of modern democracy—what she calls "agonistic pluralism". She has developed an interest in highlighting the radical potential of artistic practices. Mouffe's Agonistics: Thinking the World Politically (2013) has been criticised by Timothy Laurie for its strong focus on State institutions, noting that Mouffe's "professed enthusiasm for (some) non-Western Islamist movements is solely conditional upon their assumption of State instruments".


  • (ed.) Gramsci and Marxist Theory. London – Boston: Routledge / Kegan Paul, 1979.
  • (with Ernesto Laclau) Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics. London – New York: Verso, 1985.
  • (ed.) Dimensions of Radical Democracy: Pluralism, Citizenship, Community. London – New York: Verso, 1992.
  • The Return of the Political. London – New York: Verso, 1993.
  • Le politique et ses enjeux. Pour une démocratie plurielle. Paris: La Découverte/MAUSS, 1994.
  • (ed.) Deconstruction and Pragmatism. London – New York: Routledge, 1996.
  • (ed.) The Challenge of Carl Schmitt. London – New York: Verso, 1999.
  • The Democratic Paradox. London – New York: Verso, 2000.
  • (ed.) Feministische Perspektiven. Wien: Turia + Kant, 2001.
  • (ed.) The legacy of Wittgenstein: Pragmatism or Deconstruction. Frankfurt am Main – New York: Peter Lang, 2001.
  • On the Political. Abingdon – New York: Routledge, 2005.
  • Hegemony, Radical Democracy, and the Political, edited by James Martin, London: Routledge, 2013.
  • Agonistics: Thinking The World Politically. London – New York: Verso, 2013.
  • Mouffe C, 1995 ‘Post-marxism: democracy and identity’, Environment and Planning D vol.13 pp. 259–266 ML: P305 E30.
  • (in conversation with Íñigo Errejón) Podemos: In the Name of the People (trans. Sirio Canos), London: Lawrence & Wishart, 2016.
  • For a Left Populism. London – New York: Verso, 2018.

See also

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