The end of Cold War and the subsequent critique of Communism as a viable political alternative to liberal democracies has led to an often uncritical acceptance of an emerging global capitalist order. In this book, Mark Devenney seeks an alternative perspective drawn from a synthesis of critical theory and post-Marxist theory while avoiding the reactionary fundamentalism that rejects altogether the possibility of building an enlightened, secular, social order.
In addressing the political and theoretical debates between critical and post-Marxist theorists, this book discusses the politics of communication and rationality, subjectivity, sovereignty, ethics and deliberative democracy, considering questions such as:
*Does the theory of communicative action justify deliberative democracy?
*Is a theory of hegemony compatible with an account which relies upon an ideal of communicative success?
*Is autonomy a good which should be fostered?
*Can the ideal of democracy extend beyond the nation state?
*Does post-Marxism have anything interesting to say about ethics?
Analysing the work of Ernesto Laclau and Jürgen Habermas - as representatives of different choices made in regard to theory, politics and morality - Ethics and Politics in Contemporary Theory develops a critical response to the contrasting conclusions of these approaches.