Skip to main content
Cover for The Rhetorical Foundations Of Society

The Rhetorical Foundations Of Society

Ernesto Laclau


List Price: 26.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (7/22/2014)


The essays collected in this volume develop the theoretical perspective initiated in Laclau and Chantal Mouffe’s classic Hegemony and Socialist Strategy. 

Central to the argument of The Rhetorical Foundations of Society is the establishment of rhetorical tropes—such as metaphor, metonymy and catachresis—as the ‘non-foundational’ grounds of society. From this basis, Laclau explores the state of social relations in today’s heterogeneous society. Employing analytical philosophy from both phenomenological and structuralist traditions, he seeks to locate an ontological terrain for interpersonal relationships. Further, he investigates the definition of social antagonism in an increasingly globalized world, where the proliferation of conflicts and points of rupture erodes crucial links between the social subjects postulated by classical social analysis.

Praise For The Rhetorical Foundations Of Society

Praise for On Populist Reason:

"What needs to be politically articulated at the present time is the possibility of a leftist populism. This is what makes Laclau's long-awaited book so important. Arguably, populism has always been the governing concept in Laclau's work and in On Populist Reason, he lays out his position with great power and analytical clarity."—Simon Critchley

Verso, 9781781681701, 256pp.

Publication Date: May 20, 2014

About the Author

Ernesto Laclau is Professor of Political Theory in the Department of Government, University of Essex, and Distinguished Professor for Humanities and Rhetorical Studies at Northwestern University. He is the author of, amongst other works, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (with Chantal Mouffe); New Reflections on the Revolution of Our Time; The Populist Reason; Contingency, Hegemony, Universality (with Judith Butler and Slavoj Žižek); and Emancipation(s).