The New Pluralism

William Connolly and the Contemporary Global Condition

The New Pluralism

Book Pages: 376 Illustrations: Published: May 2008

Politics > Political Science, Political Theory, Sociology > Social Theory

William Connolly, one of the best-known and most important political theorists writing today, is a principal architect of the “new pluralism.” In this volume, leading thinkers in contemporary political theory and international relations provide a comprehensive investigation of the new pluralism, Connolly’s contributions to it, and its influence on the fields of political theory and international relations. Together they trace the evolution of Connolly’s ideas, illuminating his challenges to the “old,” conventional pluralist theory that dominated American and British political science and sociology in the second half of the twentieth century.

The contributors show how Connolly has continually revised his ideas about pluralism to take into account radical changes in global politics, incorporate new theories of cognition, and reflect on the centrality of religion in political conflict. They engage his arguments for an agonistic democracy in which all fundamentalisms become the objects of politicization, so that differences are not just tolerated but are productive of debate and the creative source of a politics of becoming. They also explore the implications of his work, often challenging his views to widen the reach of even his most recently developed theories. Connolly’s new pluralism will provoke all citizens who refuse to subordinate their thinking to the regimes in which they reside, to religious authorities tied to the state, or to corporate interests tied to either. The New Pluralism concludes with an interview with Connolly in which he reflects on the evolution of his ideas and expands on his current work.

Contributors: Roland Bleiker, Wendy Brown, David Campbell, William Connolly, James Der Derian, Thomas L. Dumm, Kathy E. Ferguson, Bonnie Honig, George Kateb, Morton Schoolman
Michael J. Shapiro, Stephen K. White


The New Pluralism. . .offers an unparalleled overview of this influential thinker.” — James Proctor, Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory

“The 11 essays demonstrate great appreciation for Connolly’s work, as well as the mode in which he reflected on contemporary politics. . . . Recommended.” — M. Coulter, Choice

“This is an engaging collection of essays that provides an accessible introduction to William Connolly’s oeuvre, but its strength lies in the varied approaches the authors explore in responding to and problematizing aspects of his thought. It is highly recommended for graduate students and those academics interested in exploring Connolly’s ideas for the first time or critically reengaging them.” — Rosemary E. Shinko, International Studies Review

“A most welcome book. Due to his impressive and highly innovative string of writings, William Connolly has emerged as a leading, perhaps the leading, political theorist in the United States today. In our globalizing and multicultural world where cultures, ethnicities, and creeds are increasingly pushed together, his defense of a new and deep pluralism acquires an urgent timeliness. The contributors to the volume ably reveal both the wide range and the intense subtlety of Connolly’s work.” — Fred Dallmayr, Packey J. Dee Professor of Political Science and Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

David Campbell is Professor of Cultural and Political Geography at Durham University. He is the author of National Deconstruction: Violence, Identity, and Justice in Bosnia and Writing Security: United States Foreign Policy and the Politics of Identity.

Morton Schoolman is Professor of Political Science at the State University of New York, Albany. He is the author of Reason and Horror: Critical Theory, Democracy, and Aesthetic Individuality and the editor of the series Modernity and Political Thought.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Introduction: Pluralism "Old" and "New" / Morton Schoolman and David Campbell 1

A Pluralist Mind: Agonistic Respect and the Problem of Violence Toward Difference / Morton Schoolman 17

Connolly's Voice / Thomas L. Dumm 62

The Time of Rights: Emergency Thoughts in an Emergency Setting / Bonnie Honig 85

Visualizing Post-National Democracy / Roland Bleiker 121

Uncertain Constellations: Dignity, Equality, Respect, and . . . ? / Stephen K. White 143

Prohibition and Transgression / George Kateb 167

Radicalizing Democratic Theory: Social Space in Connolly, Deleuze, and Rancière / Michael J. Shapiro 197

Theorizing Dyslexia with Connolly and Haraway / Kathy E. Ferguson 221

Sovereignty and the Return of the Repressed / Wendy Brown 250

Becoming Connolly: Critique, Crossing Over, and Concepts / James Der Derian 273

Identity, Difference, and the Global: William Connolly's International Theory / David Campbell 289

An Interview with William Connolly / Morton Schoolman and David Campbell 305

Bibliography 337

About the Contributors 349

Index 353
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-4270-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-4246-5
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