Since its original publication fifteen years ago, this hugely influential book has been at the centre of much debate. The arguments and controversies it has been aroused are, furthermore, far from abating: the disintegration of the Soviet bloc, the emergence of new social and political identities linked to the transformation of late capitalism, and the crisis of a left-wing project whose essentialist underpinnings have increasingly come under fire have, if anything, made more relevant than ever the theoretical perspective that the book proposes. Moreover the political project of 'radical and plural democracy' that it advocates provides a much-needed antidote to the attempts to formulate a Third Way capable of overcoming the classical opposition between Left and Right. Updated with a new preface, this is a fundamental text for understanding the workings of hegemony and grasping the nature of contemporary social struggle and their significance for democratic theory.
Ernesto Laclau is Professor of Political Theory at the University of Essex. He is the author of, amongst other books, Politics and Ideology in Marxist Theory, New Reflections of the Revolution of Our Time, Emancipation(s), The Making of Political Identities and, with Judith Butler and Slavoj Zizek, Contingency, Hegemony, Universality. Chantal Mouffe is a Professor of Political Theory at the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster. She is the author of, among other works, The Return of the Political, The Dimensions of Radical Democracy, The Challenge of Carl Schmitt and The Democratic Paradox.