What is poststructuralism?

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Abstract

In this essay, I discuss the vitality and the limits of the poststructural archive. I argue against the temptation to essentialise poststructuralism or define its ‘ontology’, instead I present some of the avenues that can be taken to further its theoretical practice. With Trump and the rise of ‘post-truth’ politics, poststructural political thought has recently come back to the centre of political debate. By using Pierre Macherey and François Châtelet’s perspective on Marxism, I turn to contemporary problems and studies to imagine how to renew the poststructuralist experience of thought. Following Boris Groys, I suggest that by producing theory as form, artists had a more immediate recourse to theoretical practice, by using all sorts of media to perform knowledge. Finally, by mainly referring to the work of Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault, I present some elements of a poststructural critique of political economy. I do this not by forcing the application of poststructural theories or concepts onto a supposedly external reality, but by immanently integrating more and more social and political problems into the schemes of thought. A poststructural theoretical practice means integrating into thought problems and events, in order to compose with them, and not simply study discursive strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-527
JournalPolitical Studies Review
Volume15
Issue number4
Early online date14 Sep 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

Keywords

  • poststructuralism
  • theoretical practice
  • ideology
  • Foucault
  • Deleuze

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