Discourse, Culture and Organization

This edited volume brings together leading international researchers from across the social sciences to examine the theoretical premises, methodological options and critical potentials of the Essex School of discourse analysis, founded on the work of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. In doing so, it presents a clear picture of a poststructuralist and post-foundational research program to postdisciplinary discourse research. Divided into three parts, it begins by elaborating the ontological, theoretical and methodological foundations of the Essex School’s approach to discourse analysis. The second part provides empirical case studies showing how the Essex School research program informs and instructs empirical discourse research. In the concluding third part authors explain how and with what possible consequences this strand of discourse research contributes to social practices of critique. It offers a crucial contribution to the further methodologization and operationalization of the Essex School’s approach so as to make it a viable alternative to discourse-analytical approaches that take dominant positions in today’s ‘field of discourse studies’. The book's transdisciplinary focus will attract readers who use discourse analysis in all areas of the social sciences and humanities, particularly applied linguistics, cultural anthropology, sociology, philosophy and history.

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POSTDISCIPLINARY STUDIES IN DISCOURSE

Discourse, Culture and Organization Inquiries into Relational Structures of Power Edited by Tomas Marttila

Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse

Series Editor Johannes Angermuller University of Warwick Coventry, UK

Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse engages in the exchange between discourse theory and analysis while putting emphasis on the intellectual challenges in discourse research. Moving beyond disciplinary divisions in today’s social sciences, the contributions deal with critical issues at the intersections between language and society. More information about this series at http://www.palgrave.com/gp/series/14534

Tomas Marttila Editor

Discourse, Culture and Organization Inquiries into Relational Structures of Power

Editor Tomas Marttila Department of Sociology Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich Munich, Germany

Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse ISBN 978-3-319-94122-6    ISBN 978-3-319-94123-3 (eBook) https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94123-3 Library of Congress Control Number: 2018956053 © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are solely and exclusively licensed by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, express or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. Cover illustration: © MickeyCZ / Getty Images This Palgrave Macmillan imprint is published by the registered company Springer Nature Switzerland AG The registered company address is: Gewerbestrasse 11, 6330 Cham, Switzerland

Praise for Discourse, Culture and Organization “Discourse, Culture and Organization is a highly original contribution to the field of discourse analysis and an important milestone for the presentation and systematization of the Essex School with contributions from an outstanding range of scholars from different countries and disciplines.” —Daniel Wrana, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany “This essential collection makes the insights of the Essex School of ideology and discourse analysis available to researchers across the social sciences. The range of expert and timely contributions reminds us of  – and extends  – the School’s remarkable theoretical achievements, as well as sites of contestation. But crucially we are shown how the theory translates into a toolkit for empirical, critically oriented work in specific settings. The result both complements and challenges more ‘mainstream’ approaches to the study of discourse.” —Will Leggett, University of Birmingham, UK

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Contents

1 Introduction to the Volume   1 Tomas Marttila

Part I Foundations

  15

2 Post-foundational Discourse Analysis: Theoretical Premises and Methodological Options  17 Tomas Marttila 3 Discourse and Heterogeneity  43 Lasse Thomassen 4 Hegemony Analysis: Theory, Methodology and Research Practice  63 Martin Nonhoff 5 The Retroductive Cycle: The Research Process in Poststructuralist Discourse Analysis 105 Jason Glynos and David Howarth vii

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Part II Case Studies: Culture, Politics, Populism

 127

6 Eating Power: Food, Culture, and Politics 129 Fabio Parasecoli 7 About Dislocations and Invitations: Deepening the Conceptualization of the Discursive-Material Knot 155 Nico Carpentier 8 Rhetorical-Performative Analysis of the Urban Symbolic Landscape: Populism in Action 179 Emilia Palonen 9 Solidarity in Europe and the Role of Immigration Policies: A Discourse Theoretical Perspective 199 Efharis Mascha 10 ‘The People’ and Its Antagonistic Other: The Populist Right-Wing Movement Pegida in Germany 223 Ronald Hartz 11 ‘Culture’ in German Media Discourses on Refugees: A Political Geography Perspective 245 Annika Mattissek and Tobias Schopper 12 Populism Versus Anti-populism in the Greek Press: Post-Structuralist Discourse Theory Meets Corpus Linguistics 267 Nikos Nikisianis, Thomas Siomos, Yannis Stavrakakis, Titika Dimitroulia, and Grigoris Markou

 Contents    

Part III Possibilities of Critique

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 297

13 Tensions in the Post-Althusserian Project: Descriptive Indeterminacy and Normative Uncertainty 299 Geoff Boucher 14 Post-foundationalism and the Possibility of Critique: Comparing Laclau and Mouffe 323 Marius Hildebrand and Astrid Séville 15 Post-foundationalism, Systems Theory and the Impossibility of Critique 343 Niels Åkerstrøm Andersen, Erik Højbjerg, and Anders la Cour References 367 Index 399

Notes on Contributors

Niels Åkerstrøm Andersen  is a professor at the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy at Copenhagen Business School. His field is public administration and welfare management. He is author of Public Management in Transition: The Orchestration of Potentiality (2016, with Justine Pors), Managing Intensity and Play at Work (2013) and Power at Play (Palgrave, 2009). Geoff  Boucher  researches at Deakin University. He is the author of several critical engagements in the post-Marxian field of discourse theory and ideology critique, including Zizek and Politics (2010, with Matt Sharpe), Traversing the Fantasy (2008, with Jason Glynos and Matt Sharpe) and The Charmed Circle of Ideology (2008). Nico  Carpentier  is Professor of Media and Communication Studies at the Department of Informatics and Media of Uppsala University. In addition, he holds two part-time positions, those of Associate Professor at the Communication Studies Department of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB—Free University of Brussels) and Docent at Charles University in Prague. His latest books are The Discursive-Material Knot: Cyprus in Conflict and Community Media Participation (2017); Cyprus and its Conflicts: Representations, Materialities, and Cultures (2018, co-edited); and Critical Perspectives on Media, Power and Change (2018, co-edited). Titika Dimitroulia  is Associate Professor of Translation Studies and Director of the Digital Humanities Laboratory at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Her research deals with literary translation, translation technologies and digital xi

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Notes on Contributors

literary studies. Her recent publications are Literary Translation, Theory and Practice (in Greek, with Yorgos Kentrotis, 2015) and Digital Literary Studies (in Greek, with Katerina Tiktopoulou, 2015). Jason Glynos  teaches political theory in the Department of Government at the University of Essex. He has published in the areas of poststructuralist political theory and Lacanian psychoanalysis, focusing on themes central to ideology, democracy, freedom, political economy, and the philosophy and methodology of social science. Ronald Hartz  is Lecturer in Organisation Studies at the University of Leicester. He is interested in participation in organizations, alternative forms of work and organization, critical management studies, organizational esthetics and discourse analysis. He is the co-editor of a number of books and his work was published, among others, in Organization and Culture & Organization. Marius  Hildebrand is a postdoctoral sociologist at Goethe University Frankfurt. His research focuses on discourse theory, governmentality studies and constitutional politics. He is the author of Rechtspopulismus und Hegemonie: Der Aufstieg der SVP und die diskursive Transformation der politischen Schweiz (transcript, 2017). Erik  Højbjerg  is an associate professor at the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy at Copenhagen Business School and academic director of its MSc in social sciences programs. His research interest covers corporate political communication, and his most recent publication is “The Limits of Ignorance: Financial Literacy and the Corporate Responsibilization to the Business of Life” (in Soziale Systeme, 2016). David Howarth  teaches on the Ideology and Discourse Analysis program in the Department of Government at the University of Essex. Recent publications include Ernesto Laclau (2014), Poststructuralism and After (Palgrave, 2013) and The Politics of Airport Expansion in the UK (2013). Anders la Cour  is an associate professor at the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy at Copenhagen Business School. His field of research is welfare management and voluntary organizations. His latest publications are “Polyphonic Supervision: Meta-governance in Denmark” (System Research and Behavioral Science, 2017, with Holger Hoejlund), “In Search of the Relevant Other: Collaborative Governance in Denmark” (Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration, 2016), “Metagovernance as Strategic Supervision” (Public

  Notes on Contributors    

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Performance and Management Review, 2016, with Niels Åkerstrøm Andersen), “A Vanishing Act: The Magical Technology of Invisibility” (Ephemera, 2016, with Janus Hecht and Maria Stilling). Grigoris  Markou is PhD Candidate in Political Sciences at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. His PhD research is financially supported by the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT) and the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (HFRI) (Scholarship Code: 391). His research interests include Argentinian politics, Greek politics, populism, democracy and radical left parties. He has published articles in international academic journals and global media platforms about populism and democracy. Tomas  Marttila  is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. His research examines processes of economization, hegemonization of the neoliberal culture of enterprise as well as transnational convergence of education policy-making. He is the author of “Neoliberalism, Knowledge-based Economy and Metaphorization of the Entrepreneur to the Subject of Creativity” (in Cahill et al. (eds), SAGE Handbook of Neoliberalism, 2018), Post-Foundational Discourse Analysis (Palgrave, 2015) and The Culture of Enterprise in Neoliberalism (2013). Efharis Mascha  has been an adjourned lecturer at the Hellenic Open University since 2010. She has also been working in Greece for the Asylum Service since 2013. Her work consists of an array of articles in international and Greek journals and books on sociology, discourse analysis and cultural studies. Annika  Mattissek is Professor of Economic Geography and Sustainable Development at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg. Her research interests include theoretical and methodical aspects of discourse studies, political geography and society-nature relations. Her latest publications are “Discourse Analysis in German-language Human Geography: Integrating Theory and Method” (in Social and Cultural Geography, 2016, with Georg Glasze) and “How to Make Them Walk the Talk: Governing the Implementation of Energy and Climate Policies into Local Practices” (in Geographica Helvetica, 2017, with Cindy Sturm). Nikos  Nikisianis has a natural sciences background, and his PhD thesis involved a discursive analysis of the ideological dimensions of biodiversity in scientific ecology. He was a POPULISMUS postdoctoral researcher and has published on the politics of ecology, populist discourse and the media.

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Notes on Contributors

Martin Nonhoff  is Professor of Political Theory at the University of Bremen. His research is dedicated to the theory and methodology of discourse analysis, to radical democratic theory and to theories of power and hegemony. His publications include Politischer Diskurs und Hegemonie (transcript, 2006) and Diskursforschung: Ein interdisziplinäres Handbuch (transcript, 2014, co-edited). Emilia Palonen  (MA and PhD Essex) is Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Helsinki, where she teaches ideology and discourse analysis since 2006 and researches at the Academy of Finland funded consortium on Mainstreaming Populism (2017–2021). She has published on Hungary, Finland and European cultural policy. Fabio  Parasecoli  is Professor of Food Studies at New  York University. His research focus is on the intersections of food, media and design, as well as on the dynamics of cultural politics around food. His recent books include Feasting Our Eyes: Food Films and Cultural Identity in the United States (2016, with Laura Lindenfeld) and Knowing Where it Comes From: Labeling Traditional Foods to Compete in a Global Market (2017). Tobias  Schopper is PhD Candidate in Human Geography at the Albert-­ Ludwigs-­University of Freiburg. His research focuses on extreme right movements and their discursive strategies in the digital sphere as well as on the development of corpus-linguistic methods. He is the author of Korpuslinguistische Analysen mit CQPweb: Eine Einführung für SozialwissenschaftlerInnen (2017, with Thilo Wiertz). Astrid  Séville is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Her research focuses on political theory, discourse and populism. She is the author of “From One Best Way to One Ruinous Way?” (in European Political Science Review, 2017) and Der Sound der Macht: Kritik der dissonanten Herrschaft (C.H. Beck, 2018). Thomas  Siomos  is Doctoral Candidate in Political Sciences at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He has been Developing Manager of the POPULISMUS Observatory of Populist Discourse and Democracy (­http:// observatory.populismus.gr) and remains its web administrator. His research interests comprise discourse theory, new and traditional media, mediatization, post-democracy, political communication, cybernetics, systems’ theory, posthumanism and so on.

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Yannis Stavrakakis  is Professor of Political Discourse Analysis at the School of Political Sciences of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. His research interests include contemporary political theory, populism, post-democracy and artistic practices. He is currently editor of the Routledge Handbook of Psychoanalytic Political Theory and director of the POPULISMUS Observatory (www.populismus.gr). Lasse  Thomassen is a reader in the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary, University of London. His current research focuses on the category of representation and new forms of radical politics. His most recent book is British Multiculturalism and the Politics of Representation (2017).

List of Figures

Fig. 4.1 Fig. 10.1 Fig. 11.1 Fig. 11.2 Fig. 11.3 Fig. 12.1 Fig. 12.2 Fig. 15.1 Fig. 15.2 Fig. 15.3 Fig. 15.4 Fig. 15.5

Reconstructing strategemes no. I and II in Alfred MüllerArmack’s Wirtschaftslenkung und Marktwirtschaft90 Nodal point and chains of equivalence 237 Collocators (±4) of the terms ‘culture’ and ‘cultural area’ 256 Selected collocators (−2, +4) of the term ‘cultural’ 256 Discursive network, mutual collocations in the environment of the lemma ‘culture’ 257 Graphic representation of pro-populist corpus keywords 284 Graphic representation of anti-populist corpus keywords 285 Diagnostics of the present 353 The making of an ‘outside’ from within 354 Epistemological interests 355 The making of outside 358 Accumulation of impractical rights 362

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List of Tables

Table 4.1 Strategemes of the offensive hegemony strategy 80 Table 10.1 Selection of the 200 most used words in the German migration discourse 230 Table 11.1 Comparison of attributions to people from other cultures and to people from Germany in the print media corpus 259 Table 12.1 Selection of material on pro- and anti-populist discourse 271 Table 12.2 Pro-populist and anti-populist blocks in Greek press 274 Table 12.3 Frequency of ‘people’ and ‘populism’ in six Greek newspapers276 Table 12.4 Most frequent collocates of the word ‘the people’ 277 Table 12.5 Most frequent collocates of the word ‘populism’ 278 Table 12.6 Connectivity index of the ten most important keywords in the pro-populist corpus 282 Table 12.7 Connectivity index of the ten most important keywords in the anti-populist corpus 283

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1 Introduction to the Volume Tomas Marttila

Introduction The ‘discursive turn’ has enriched social research and cultural studies with new ways of understanding and analyzing the social world as a discursively constructed reality. While many discourse analysts refer to the rise of a semiautonomous ‘field of discourse studies’ (e.g., Zienkowski 2017), Angermuller et al. (2014: 3) remind us that different discourse analytical approaches have always been ‘indebted to … more disciplinary traditions, which provide many productive tools and concepts to assist in meeting both the theoretical and methodological challenges involved in Discourse Studies’. The Essex School’s approach to discourse analysis elaborated in this book is no exception in that regard. The initial works of its originators—Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe (e.g., Laclau 1977, 1980; Mouffe 1979)—already provide evidence of the intellectual inspiration drawn from scientific traditions, which include T. Marttila (*) Department of Sociology, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Munich, Germany e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2019 T. Marttila (ed.), Discourse, Culture and Organization, Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94123-3_1

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s­ tructuralist theories of culture, discourse and language (e.g., Benveniste, Foucault Jakobson, Saussure), post-Marxist political theories (e.g., Althusser, Balibar, Gramsci), deconstruction (e.g., Derrida), post-­ phenomenological (or rather post-foundational) philosophy (e.g., Heidegger, Rancière) and post-Freudian psychoanalysis (e.g., Lacan). Without any doubt, these intellectual references located at the heart of the Essex School’s approach have a productive impact on discourse research because they allow us to cognize and—in a consistent manner— think about the all-embracing logic of social reality’s discursive structuration. However, this overwhelming intellectual indebtedness also has a potentially restrictive impact because it runs the risk of postponing or even completely impeding the possibility to take the step from theorizing about discourses to analyzing discourses. I am keen on arguing that no other discourse analytical approach, perhaps apart from some theoretically and methodologically sophisticated approaches to Foucaultian discourse analysis (Diaz-Bone 2006, 2010; Schmidt-Wellenburg 2009, 2014), embraces such a wide span of profound philosophical, theoretical and methodological ideas related to the discursive structuration of social reality. At the same time, however, earlier contributions to the Essex School’s approach to discourse analysis witness a gap between theoretical and methodical takes on discourses. This implies that discourse scholars have been either occupied with philosophical and theoretical debates about discourses and their ontological premises or—to a much lesser extent—have carried out empirical discourse research. In my view, the systematic discussion of the discourse-theoretical perspective characteristic of the Essex School and the scientific methods aligned with this theoretical perspective is a relatively recent phenomenon that set in only around 10–12 years ago (e.g., Howarth 2005, 2006; Nonhoff 2006; also in this volume). Some recent publications by Glasze (2007a, b), Glynos and Howarth (2007, 2008), Marttila (2015a, b, 2018) and Zienkowski (2012) have gone a decisive methodical step further by starting to systematically discuss how the discursive structuration of reality manifests itself in empirical terms and what methods of empirical social research make it possible to locate and study these manifestations of discursivity in empirical material. It is apparent that the above described gap between discourse theory and empirical discourse analysis

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has not just begun to wither away, but the center of gravity has also moved toward empirical research. Based on my own experience gained from teaching the Essex School’s approach in postgraduate research and method courses, the philosophical and theoretical background of this particular strand of discourse analysis has often an intimidating impact on students. Many of them seem to fear that they have to invest a vast amount of time in theory work before they get even close to planning and carrying out empirical analysis. Indeed, in contrast to many more pragmatic and less theoretically elaborate language-centered approaches to discourse analysis (e.g., interpretative discourse analysis, conversation analysis, corpus linguistics), the Essex School’s approach to discourse analysis departs from a particular theoretical understanding of discourses and logics of discursive structuration of the reality. Hence, the methodologization and methodical operationalization of the Essex School’s approach must take place against the background of its characteristic discourse-theoretical framework. Torfing (2005: 24) cautions that we should not fall prey to a ‘discourse theory light’ and ‘merely pick up a few concepts and argument’ from the Essex School’s discourse theory but instead become aware of the ‘methodological choices’ it opens up for an ‘analysis of specific discursive formations’ in a more thoroughly and reflected manner (ibid., p. 25). In other words, it would be worthwhile thinking about and utilizing the Essex School’s approach in terms of ‘heuristic theory’ that provides ‘a body of propositions’ that on their part can ‘serve to map out the problem area and thus prepare the ground for its empirical investigation by appropriate methods’ (Nadel 1962: 1). There is growing awareness about the theoretically informed logic of discourse research (see Nonhoff and Glynos and Howarth in this volume). For example, Glynos and Howarth (2007) make the case for a ‘retroductive’ logic which basically denotes that empirical discourse analysis must be conducted in the form of a dialogue between theoretical premises and the methodical options they provide. This volume’s primary aim is to make a crucial contribution to the further methodologization and operationalization of the Essex School’s approach so as to make it a viable alternative to discourse analytical approaches that take dominant positions in today’s ‘field of discourse studies’. Reflecting the nature of the task ahead, this edited volume includes contributions that tackle and

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­ iscuss theoretical, methodological and research pragmatic issues related d to the Essex School’s approach. This is the first English edited volume, which follows Howarth et  al.’s (2000) Discourse Theory and Political Analysis, Critchley and Marchart’s (2004) Laclau: A Critical Reader and Howarth and Torfing’s (2005) Discourse Theory in European Politics, and gathers international discourse scholars to discuss the premises, possibilities, limitations and (ethico-moral) objectives of discourse research carried out along the lines of the Essex School’s approach. The contributions included in this volume are presented and made accessible to an international public for the first time. Being rooted in various scientific disciplines (cultural studies, economics, geography, language studies, political science, sociology, etc.), and being active within different research fields and areas, the authors will take their own research experience as a starting point and discuss the following matters in their contributions: 1. how they relate themselves to, conceive of and make use of the Essex School’s approach in their research 2. what they consider the particular strengths and weaknesses linked with this research tradition 3. where they locate particular shortcomings, contradictions and challenges to be solved in the near future 4. what they regard as the most suitable methodical means to implement the Essex School’s approach in empirical research 5. what kind of contribution the Essex School in general, and post-­ foundational social, political and discourse theories in more particular, can make to practices of social critique

Structure of the Book Those of you, who have already attended workshops and conferences focussing on discourse theory and discourse analysis may have noticed that the concept of ‘discourse’ remains a notoriously elusive concept. Attending a venue on discourse analysis means that one learns a lot, though not necessarily what a discourse actually is, what it consists of and how one can observe discourses out there in the real world. This c­ onceptual

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vagueness has many possible reasons. One such reason is that qualitative (discourse) research is particularly interested in methodical questions, but not so much in methodological issues. Indeed, the rift between theoretical debate and empirical analysis is a characteristic feature of modern social sciences and humanities in general. Another obvious reason is the postmodern (or rather ‘post-methodological’) turn that has eliminated earlier academic discussion about the connection between social ontology and research methodology. The post-methodological turn characteristic of postmodern science in general, and actor-network theory inspired research in particular, has made it trendy to postulate the death of methodology and plead for an ‘anything goes’ kind of scientific research in which everything is possible and allowed and nothing is wrong, inappropriate or invalid. Yet another reason for the lacking conceptualization of the concept of discourse is related with the rise of the post-disciplinary ‘field of discourse studies’. The abovementioned ‘discursive turn’ has been paralleled with the emergence of several internally heterogeneous and mutually overlapping approaches, which include ‘critical discourse analysis’ (e.g., Wodak and Meyer 2009), ‘pragmatic discourse analysis’ (e.g., Angermuller 2011), ‘Foucaultian discourse analysis’ (e.g., Diaz-Bone 2006, 2007, 2010), ‘sociology of knowledge approach to discourse analysis’ (Keller 2011), ‘governmentality studies’ (Bröckling et al. 2011; Nadesan 2008; Schmidt-Wellenburg 2009), to mention but a few. There are only some attempts at distinguishing and differentiating discourse analytical approaches systematically and explicating their specific methodical options and limitations (e.g., Angermuller et al. 2014; Glynos et al. 2009; Keller 2013). In order to develop the Essex School’s approach further, I consider it indispensable to begin with the identification of its ‘hard core’ of ideas, concepts and premises that constitute its ‘research program’. Contributions included in Part I (Marttila, Thomassen, Nonhoff, Glynos and Howarth) elaborate the ontological, theoretical and methodological foundations of the Essex School’s approach to discourse analysis. In his contribution, Marttila follows the suit of some previous positive appraisals of Lakatos’s notion of ‘research program’ (e.g., Glynos and Howarth 2007, 2008, also in this volume; Glynos et  al. 2009; Howarth 2005,

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2006; Marttila 2015a, b) and elaborates altogether four ontological and theoretical premises that he regards as characteristic features of the Essex School’s approach. In accordance with Howarth (2004: 245), these premises provide a ‘grammar of concepts’ that informs discourse analysts about the phenomenal characteristics of discourses and logics of discursive structuration of the reality and, in this capacity, these concepts provide valuable information about relevant research questions, appropriate methodological standpoints and practically useful scientific methods and analytical strategies. Indeed, the awareness of this research program and its methodological limitations open up the possibility to reflect on the relevant research objects, objectives and interests of the Essex School’s approach to discourse analysis. For instance, in contrast to different types of linguistic discourse analysis reducing discourse to language and linguistic interactions, the Essex School’s approach offers a firmly topological and relational reading of discourse, according to which discourse refers to any set of significations generating social relations that entangle linguistic and nonlinguistic elements. Thomassen provides important insights into the general topological organization of discourses in his contribution. Instead of elevating ‘antagonism’ and ‘antagonistic relations’ to necessary features of any discourse, Thomassen pleads for a relativization of Laclau’s concept of antagonism, elevates heterogeneity to the central category of hegemony and discourse analysis and discusses the usefulness and implications of the concept of heterogeneity in empirical research. In their contribution, Glynos and Howarth carry on their previous efforts to methodologize the Essex School’s approach to empirical discourse analysis. The authors argue that the frequently asserted methodological deficit of the Essex School’s approach must be solved against the background of its typical logic of scientific reasoning. This chapter advocates a ‘retroductive reasoning’ characterized by a specific way of relating the key elements of the Essex School’s approach to a congruent ‘post-positivist’ way of thinking about research strategies and methodological options. Basically, the ‘retroductive logic’ presented by Glynos and Howarth underlines the necessity to start from an explicitly reflected understanding of discourses and logics of discursive structuration of the reality and then, against the background of this theoretically informed pre-understanding, decide on how discourses

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can or cannot be studied. For example, this pre-understanding implicates in the Essex School’s approach that discourse cannot be reduced to conceptual contents of significations. Nonhoff’s contribution shows that discourses in general, and hegemonic discourses producing hegemonic ‘strategemes’ in particular, must be conceived of and analyzed in topological terms as recurrent patterns of signifying relations. Nonhoff’s distinction between discourse qua ‘form’ and discourse qua ‘conceptual content’ also underlines the necessity to distinguish the Essex School from various types of phenomenological discourse analysis (e.g., ‘interpretative discourse analysis’, ‘cognitive discourse analysis’, ‘sociology of knowledge approach to discourse analysis’) interested primarily in social subjects’ conscious self-conceptions and interpretations (Glynos et al. 2009; Keller 2013). Nonhoff indicates that hegemony analysis inspired by the Essex School must—akin to the Foucaultian discourse analysis—achieve an epistemological break with collectively shared and socially taken-for-granted bodies of knowledge and search for their contingent origins in hegemonic ‘strategemes’. In other words, discourse analysts must know what discourses are like, where they are located, by whom they are articulated and how they manifest themselves in empirical material, before they can begin with empirical discourse analysis. The entanglement of discourse theory and empirical discourse research presented in Part I implicates that questions related to the practical planning and conduct of discourse analysis cannot be reduced to technical matters. In accordance with Diaz-Bone (2007: 35), discourse analysis needs to be conceived of and conducted in a ‘holistic manner’ as a ‘theory-­ driven construction of “phenomena”’ (own translation). This theoretical, or rather ‘methodological’, holism has nothing to do with theoretical determinism, because a theoretical pre-understanding of the studied social phenomena does not determine our possible empirical observations and interpretations of these phenomena: it merely informs us about how we should make sense of these phenomena. In accordance with its ‘heuristic’ function, discourse theory teaches us how the discursive structuration of the reality ‘manifests itself and how it can or cannot be investigated’ (Diaz-Bone 2006: 5; own translation). This constructivist methodological standpoint implicates that discourse analysts operating

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in the Essex School’s tradition do not analyze their research objects as they appear to us beyond our research context, but rather as we conceive of them when looking at them through the ‘Essex School lens’. Obviously then, an essential feature of the Essex School’s approach is that it impedes the possibility of a ‘strong separation of theoretical discourse and empirical objects’ (Howarth 2005: 329). This dissolution of the distinction between theoretical pre-understanding and empirical discovery of the world implicates that the usefulness of different discourse analytical methods and strategies cannot be estimated by their correspondence to objects’ immanent properties but that it must be assessed against the background of our pre-understanding of these objects as objects formed in a discourse. Part II of this book provides empirical cases studies that show how the research program elaborated in Part I informs about and inspires empirical discourse research. Contributions by Parasecoli and Carpentier underline the topological and material logic of a discursive structuration of social reality. Both authors underline the possibility to move beyond the realm of language and instead refer the concept of discourse to all kinds of significations producing and reproducing signifying relations. While Parasecoli emphasizes the methodological and methodical similarities between social semiotics and discourse analysis inspired by the Essex School, Carpentier advocates a productive and constructive dialogue between discourse analysis and research carried out in the context of ‘new materialism’. Both contributions offer innovative pathways for future discourse analysis by not only showing that discourse is far more than just language but also by pointing out how discourses qua relational entanglements of symbolic and material elements and practices can be studied in empirical material. The ‘materiality’ of discourse is one of the key premises of the Essex School’s approach to discourse analysis. In particular the notion of ‘sedimentation’, which Laclau (1990) elaborated in accordance with Husserl’s original coinage of the term, implicates that discourses qua significations producing and reproducing relations cannot be reduced to social subjects’ conscious self-conceptions articulated and communicated in written and spoken linguistic interactions. Among other things, the ‘materiality’ of discourse teaches us that discourse analysis should not focus on the meanings that social subjects are aware of assigning ­themselves and the world surrounding them. Instead, discourse analysts

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should try to discover ways to observe and reconstruct discourses by looking at relatively regular ‘patterns’ of relations that social subjects actualize in both linguistic and nonlinguistic practices. Palonen’s contribution also makes the case for a systematic analysis of discourses as assemblages of symbolic and material objects and practices. This chapter presents a case study on the political construction of the urban symbolic landscape of Budapest and shows how the so-called city-text constitutes street names, statues and architecture and is entangled with and embedded in hegemonic political and cultural ideologies. This chapter also demonstrates how the social practices participating in the construction of the ‘city-text’ and the material reality that structures them and is structured by them can be studied using the discourse analytical framework of the Essex School. By doing so, this chapter contributes to the methodological development of this approach through a rhetoric performative approach to discourse analysis. In her analysis of the political management of the European refugee crises, Mascha shows how ‘dislocation’—a key concept of the Essex School’s approach—can be used as a heuristic tool that facilitates the empirical observation of the disruption of previously hegemonic political ideologies in general, and the European Union’s ideological and political formation in particular. Also, Hartz displays how the theoretical concepts and methodical instruments provided by the Essex School’s approach (here: post-foundational discourse analysis) can be used to analyze the ‘discursive fabrication’ of political protest movements in general and the right-wing populist Pegida (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) movement in Germany in particular. The contributions by Mattissek and Schopper and Nikosianis et  al. also offer unprecedented methodological ideas and methodical insights for the future operationalization of the Essex School’s approach. While discourse analysts affiliated with the Essex School’s approach usually apply qualitative methods, these contributions make the case for a methodological cross-fertilization between interpretative methods of analysis inspired by the Essex School and quantitative computer-assisted text analysis. These contributions do not only underline the possibility to apply the Essex School’s approach to media analysis, but they also show how the particular conception of a discourse as a recurrent pattern of signifying relations opens up the chance to locate hegemonic and counter-hegemonic media discourses.

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Part III comprises of contributions by Boucher, Hildebrand and Séville and Åkerstrøm Andersen et  al. that show how, by what right, by what means and with what possible consequences social and political theories associated with the Essex School’s approach can contribute to social practices of critique. While Latour (2004) has clarified that critique has ‘run out of steam’ and Critchley (2004) argues that the Essex School’s tradition suffers from a ‘normative deficit’, contributions included in this part provide more nuanced and reflected conceptions of the possibilities and limitations of critique. In his contribution, Boucher lends more visibility to some contradictions inherent in Laclau and Mouffe’s normatively charged project to radical democracy. Boucher claims that Laclau and Mouffe’s conflation of a normative political strategy with a descriptive theory of ideology has led to a persistent normative deficit in their radical democratic strategy. According to Boucher, the revival of the Althusserian foundations of the Essex School’s approach combined with the conceptual retrieval of elements of the Althusserian program can increase the inherent consistency and critical potential of Laclau and Mouffe’s radical democratic strategy. Radical democracy is also discussed in the ensuing chapter by Hildebrand and Séville. The authors argue that Laclau and Mouffe’s more recent writings point out mutually distinctive routes of post-foundationalist thought that result in two distinctive conceptions of the critical stance located in post-foundational political and social theories. The authors conclude that even though Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse-­theoretical premises serve as a prerequisite for democratic ethics, they cannot provide us with any objective normative standard or authority to judge social conditions and, hence, advance a particular politico-ideological project. In the concluding chapter of this volume, Åkerstrøm Andersen et al. take a more comprehensive look at the theoretical and philosophical strand of ‘post-foundational’ thought and discuss if and how social and political theories affiliated with post-foundationalism can revive the discussion of critique. The authors argue that critique produced against the background of post-foundationalism must acknowledge two inherent premises: firstly, that there is no place outside society from where it can be criticized and, secondly, that critics cannot claim epistemological authority underlining and legitimizing their right to judge right from wrong.

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References A Angermuller, J.  (2011). From the Many Voices to Subject Positions in Anti-­ Globalization Discourse: Enunciative Pragmatics and the Polyphonic Organization of Subjectivity. Journal of Pragmatics, 43, 2992–3000. Angermuller, J., Maingueneau, D., & Wodak, R. (Eds.). (2014). The Discourse Studies Reader: Main Currents in Theory and Analysis. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

B Bröckling, U., Krassmann, S., & Lemke, T. (Eds.). (2011). Governmentality: Current Issues and Future Challenges. New York: Routledge.

C Critchley, S. (2004). Is There a Normative Deficit in the Theory of Hegemony? In S. Critchley & O. Marchart (Eds.), Laclau: A Critical Reader (pp. 113–122). London: Routledge. Critchley, S., & Marchart, O. (Eds.). (2004). Laclau: A Critical Reader. London: Routledge.

D Diaz-Bone, R. (2006). Zur Methodologisierung der Foucaultschen Diskursanalyse. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 7(1), Art. 6. http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs060168. Accessed 3 Mar 2010. Diaz-Bone, R. (2007). Die französische Epistemologie und ihre Revisionen: Zur Rekonstruktion des methodologischen Standortes der Foucaultschen Diskursanalyse. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 8(2), Art. 6. http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0702241. Accessed 3 Mar 2010.

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Diaz-Bone, R. (2010). Kulturwelt, Diskurs und Lebensstil: Eine Diskurstheoretische Erweiterung der Bourdieuschen Distinktionstheorie (2nd ed.). Wiesbaden: VS Verlag.

G Glasze, G. (2007a). The Discursive Constitution of a World-Spanning Region and the Role of Empty Signifiers: The Case of Francophonia. Geopolitics, 12, 656–679. Glasze, G. (2007b). Vorschläge zur Operationalisierung der Diskustheorie von Laclau und Mouffe in einer Triangulation von lexikometrischen und interpretativen Methoden. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 8(2), Art. 14. http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114fqs0702143. Accessed 17 Apr 2008. Glynos, J., & Howarth, D. (2007). Logics of Critical Explanation in Social and Political Theory. Abingdon: Routledge. Glynos, J., & Howarth, D. (2008). Critical Explanation in Social Science: A Logics Approach. Swiss Journal of Sociology, 54(1), 5–35. Glynos, J., Howarth, D., Norval, A., & Speed, E. (2009). Discourse Analysis: Varieties and Methods (Review Paper NCRM/014, Unpublished Discussion Paper). ESRC National Centre for Research Methods.

H Howarth, D. (2004). Towards a Heideggerian Social Science: Heidegger, Kisiel and Weiner on the Limits of the Anthropological Discourse. Anthropological Theory, 4(2), 229–247. Howarth, D. (2005). Applying Discourse Theory: The Method of Articulation. In D.  Howarth & J.  Torfing (Eds.), Discourse Theory in European Politics: Identity, Policy and Governance (pp.  316–349). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Howarth, D. (2006). The Method of Articulation. In M. van den Brink & T. Metze (Eds.), Words Matter in Policy and Planning: Discourse Theory and Method in Social Science (pp. 23–42). Utrecht: Labor Grafimedia. Howarth, D., & Torfing, J. (Eds.). (2005). Discourse Theory in European Politics: Identity, Policy and Governance. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

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Howarth, D., Norval, A., & Stavrakakis, Y. (Eds.). (2000). Discourse Theory and Political Analysis: Identities, Hegemonies and Social Change. Manchester/New York: Manchester University Press.

K Keller, R. (2011). Wissenssoziologische Diskursanalyse: Grundlegung eines Forschungsprogramms (3rd ed.). Wiesbaden: Springer VS. Keller, R. (2013). Doing Discourse Analysis: An Introduction for Social Scientists. London: Sage.

L Laclau, E. (1977). Politics and Ideology in Marxist Theory. London: New Left Books. Laclau, E. (1980). Populist Rupture and Discourse. Screen Education, 34, 87–93. Laclau, E. (1990). New Reflections on the Revolution of Our Time. In E. Laclau (Ed.), New Reflections on the Revolution of Our Time (pp.  3–85). London: Verso. Latour, B. (2004). Why Has Critique Run Out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern. Critical Inquiry, 30(2), 225–248.

M Marttila, T. (2015a). Post-Foundational Discourse Analysis: From Political Difference to Empirical Research. London: Palgrave. Marttila, T. (2015b). Post-Foundational Discourse Analysis: A Suggestion for a Research Program. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 16(3), Art. 1. http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114fqs150319. Accessed 28 Feb 2018. Marttila, T. (2018). Neoliberalism, the Knowledge-Based Economy and Entrepreneur as Metaphor. In D.  Cahill, M.  Cooper, M.  Konings, & D. Primrose (Eds.), Sage Handbook of Neoliberalism (pp. 565–579). Thousand Oaks: Sage. Mouffe, C. (1979). Hegemony and Ideology in Gramsci. In C. Mouffe (Ed.), Gramsci and Marxist Theory (pp. 168–205). London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

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N Nadel, S. F. (1962). The Theory of Social Structure (2nd ed.). London: Cohen & West Ltd. Nadesan, M. (2008). Governmentality, Biopower and Everyday Life. New York: Routledge. Nonhoff, M. (2006). Politischer Diskurs und Hegemonie: Das Projekt ‘Soziale Marktwirtschaft’. Bielefeld: transcript.

S Schmidt-Wellenburg, C. (2009). Die neoliberale Gouvernementalität des Unternehmens: Management und Managementberatung zu Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts. Zeitschrift für Soziologie, 38(4), 320–341. Schmidt-Wellenburg, C. (2014). Die Regierung des Unternehmens: Managementberatung im neoliberalen Kapitalismus. Konstanz: UVK.

T Torfing, J. (2005). Discourse Theory: Achievements, Arguments and Challenges. In D.  Howarth & J.  Torfing (Eds.), Discourse Theory in European Politics: Identity, Policy and Governance (pp. 1–32). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

W Wodak, R., & Meyer, M. (Eds.). (2009). Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Sage.

Z Zienkowski, J.  (2012). Overcoming the Post-Structuralist Methodological Deficit: Metapragmatic Markers and Interpretative Logics in a Critique of the Bologna Process. Pragmatics, 22(3), 501–534. Zienkowski, J.  (2017). Reflexivity in the Transdisciplinary Field of Critical Discourse Studies. Palgrave Communications. Published Online: https:// www.nature.com/articles/palcomms20177. Accessed 1 Mar 2018.

Part I Foundations

2 Post-foundational Discourse Analysis: Theoretical Premises and Methodological Options Tomas Marttila

Introduction The Essex School’s approach to discourse analysis, which originates from Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe (e.g., 2001) and has, among others, been elaborated by Jason Glynos, David Howarth, Oliver Marchart, Martin Nonhoff, Yannis Stavrakakis and Jacob Torfing, enables us to understand and analyze the discursive structuration of the social life. Some recent works (e.g., Cederström and Spicer 2014; Marttila 2015a, b, 2018) have advanced the Essex School’s approach further toward a ‘post-­ foundational discourse analysis’ (PDA). The primary aim of this chapter is to elucidate the ‘ontological’ and ‘epistemological’ premises of PDA and, by doing so, show what theoretical perspectives and methodical options PDA opens for empirical analysis. The ‘premises’ presented in this chapter do not only constitute the foundations of the PDA ‘research program’, but they also apply to the Essex School’s approach in general. T. Marttila (*) Department of Sociology, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Munich, Germany e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2019 T. Marttila (ed.), Discourse, Culture and Organization, Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94123-3_2

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Contrary to Feyerabend’s (1975) and Koch’s (2005) critique of research programs as disciplinary regimes that control science, social scientists and philosophers of science associated with the French epistemological tradition (e.g., Bachelard, Bourdieu, Canguilhem, Koyré) emphasize that it is only against the background of clearly formulated theoretical concepts that scientists become capable of knowing the world they study and estimating the usefulness and validity of different methodical options. By the same token, Lakatos (1969, 1970) understands research programs as sources of ‘heuristic power’ (1970: 137) because they provide sets of ‘methodological rules’ that ‘tell us what paths of research to avoid (negative heuristic), and others what paths to pursue (positive heuristic)’ (1969: 167). In other words, research programs are not only restrictive because they instruct us about inappropriate research questions, objects and methods but also productive because they inform us about meaningful research objects, how we can approach these and what methodical options are commensurate with our a priori understanding of the phenomena we study. In their attempts to methodologize the Essex School’s approach for empirical social research, Glynos and Howarth emphasize the research program’s productive side. Glynos and Howarth (2008: 15) underline that the knowledge about the social phenomena that are out there in the world and about more specific definitions of the characteristic features of these phenomena make it possible for researchers to transgress commonsensical conceptions of the world and become ‘attentive to possibilities disclosed by the research itself ’ (Howarth 2004a: 245). Instead of denoting the Essex School as a heap of heterogeneous ideas about discourses, it also provides a more coherent and consistent way to understand how discursive construction takes place. The conception of discourse analysis as a theoretically informed scientific practice has several consequences for empirical research. It implies among other things that questions about scientific methods cannot be reduced to technical matters, because ‘these questions are always understood within a wider set of ontological and epistemological postulates’ (Howarth 2006: 24). Howarth’s observation of the close relationship between theory and scientific methods is characteristic of the methodological position of ‘reflexive methodology’ according to which the a priori knowledge ‘about the nature of reality being studied’ should also influence ‘the ways by which one

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can study that reality’ (Alasuutari 1996: 373). Empirical analysis of discourses takes place against the a priori knowledge about the discursive structuration of the social world. This means that discourses analysis is always contingent on its particular ontological premises (i.e. there are but discourses out there). This makes the positivist dichotomy of ‘empirical discovery’ and ‘theoretical explanation’ obsolete (Glynos and Howarth 2007: 41, also in this volume). Seen in this way and in accordance with Gaukroger (1976), methods of discourse analysis function as theoretically informed and induced ‘phenomenotechnics’. ‘Phenomenotechnic’—a term Gaukroger borrows from Gaston Bachelard—epitomizes the idea that scientific methods always also produce the objects they study. Gaukroger (1976: 202) specifies that while ‘phenomenology’, ‘the first half’ of phenomenotechnic’s ‘root … can only describe phenomenon, phenomenotechnic produces phenomena’. By elucidating the premises constituting the PDA research program, this chapter displays how PDA can understand, conceptualize and, in the end, also analyze the discursive construction of the social. The following sections will elaborate four premises that form the ‘hard core’ of PDA’s research program. These premises are ‘relational epistemology’, ‘omnipresence of power’, ‘the decentered subject’ and ‘disclosing critique’.

Relational Epistemology In this chapter I am going to use the concept of ‘post-foundational’ in place of the more frequently applied term ‘poststructural’. Broadly speaking, the concept ‘post-foundational’ epitomizes two ontological ideas constitutive of the Essex School’s approach. Firstly, objects can only become socially meaningful by being articulated in a discourse. Secondly, these discourses, which are indispensable for the socially meaningful reality, lack any extra-discursive and objective ‘foundations’ and ‘determinations’. Therefore, particular discourses and the social reality they produce and signify are objectively ‘groundless’. For Tønder and Thomassen (2005: 8), this situation described by Marchart (2007: 9) as ‘post-foundational condition’ implicates that ‘society will always be in search of an ultimate ground, while the maximum that can be achieved will be a floating and contingent grounding … a plurality of partial grounds’. As a

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consequence, society is always formed and transformed in a ‘ceaseless play between an ontologically retreating ground and an imperfect ontic attempt at groundings’ (Marchart 2011: 972; emphasis added). Considering that the post-phenomenological philosophy (e.g., Jacques Derrida, Martin Heidegger, Jacques Lacan) and the ‘post-foundational condition’ it observes constitute the historical origin of the Essex School’s approach to discourse analysis, I am keen on arguing that the ‘post-­ foundational discourse analysis’ grasps the differentia specifica of discourse research carried out in alignment with the Essex School (cf. Marttila 2015a, b). More recently, intensive debates have taken place about the to-be-or-­ not-to-be of poststructuralism (e.g., Angermuller 2015; Dillet 2017; MacKenzie and Porter 2017). While Angermuller (2015) and Frank (1984) have questioned the possibility to distinguish between ‘structuralism’ and ‘poststructuralism’, Howarth (2013) relates ‘poststructuralism’ to a scientific episteme that contests and revises structuralist social and political theories. Howarth (p. 6) refers poststructuralism to ‘a particular way of approaching questions pertaining to the relationship between social structure, human subjectivity, and power’. Moreover, for Howarth (p. 3) the poststructuralist episteme is also coherent enough to be regarded as ‘a particular tradition of thinking in social and political theory’ that ‘competes with rival traditions like critical realism, structuration theory, Marxism, critical theory, rational choice’. The concept of ‘poststructural discourse analysis’ runs the risk of distracting us from noticing that the Essex School’s approach is based on a ‘relational epistemological perspective’ characteristic of structuralist social and political theories. For Vandenberghe (1999: 44) both ‘structuralist’ and ‘poststructuralist’ social and political theories operate with a ‘relational model’ of the reality. In accordance with this relational epistemology, scholars conceive ‘the social world … [to be] made up of constellations of things each of which is [not] defined by its particular (and essential substances)’ (Kirchner and Mohr 2010: 556). The concept of ‘post-foundational’ is aimed at grasping this relational model of reality and emphasizing that, in the absence of any objective foundation, socially meaningful objects can be signified only as a result of ‘the relationship between various elements which produces meaning’ (Cederström and Spicer 2014: 187).

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In Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (2001[1985]), which is often conceived as the origin of the Essex School, Laclau and Mouffe articulated and defined the concept of discourse in alignment with Saussure’s (1959) structuralist theory of language and Foucault’s structuralist theory of discourse as a system of relations. The characteristic feature of these two theories is that they refer language and discourse to relational sets of meaning-conveying elements that are produced and reproduced in social practices (i.e., parole, statement). Laclau and Mouffe’s conception of discourse as a system of meanings generating relations is the natural consequence of the ‘post-foundational condition’. In contrast to the ‘referential theory of meaning’, which has already been dismissed by Saussure and Foucault and which presupposes objects to contain meanings of their own, Laclau and Mouffe (1990: 109) argued that objects’ meanings are contingent on their articulation within a discourse-specific ‘system of differences’. This relational logic of signification becomes possible only in the absence of any essential, objectively and externally determined meanings. As Saussure (1959: 117) neatly put it, the relational logic of signification implies that ‘[c]oncepts are purely differential and defined not by their positive content but negatively by their relations with the other terms of the system.’ For some commentators (e.g., Deleuze 2004; Frank 1984; Ricoeur 1979) the relational logic of signification constitutes the single most important precept of structuralist theories. In ‘How Do We Recognize Structuralism?’ (2004), Deleuze explained that ‘[t]he scientific ambition of structuralism is not quantitative, but topological and relational’ (p. 174; emphasis added). Deleuze (p. 175) located the differentia specifica of structuralism to the assumption that ‘symbolic elements have no extrinsic designation nor intrinsic signification, but only a positional sense’ and therefore the ‘sense always results from the combination of elements which are not themselves signifying’. While Saussure’s focus was restricted to the static analysis of languages as systems of relations (cf. Jakobson 1990), later structuralists—among these Barthes (1988) and Ricoeur (1979)—took more interest in the reciprocal relationship between individual acts of language use and systems of language which they themselves structure and by which they are structured. Diaz-Bone (2010) and Frank (1984) have rightly pointed out that the instability and

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indeterminacy of meaning, which many associate with poststructuralism, have already been realized in preceding structuralist theories. PDA does not break with the structuralist episteme but radicalizes it in two regards. Firstly, following the example of Derrida (1982: 280), PDA underlines that the absence of any external extra-discursive logic or objective authority necessarily excludes ‘the impossibility of closing any context’ that produces meanings (Laclau 1999: 146). In other words, discourses are not static structures, but they are produced and reproduced, sustained and transformed in articulations conducted on behalf of some discourse. Secondly, while many structuralist theories constrain signifying relations producing and reproducing meanings to the realm of language, PDA follows the example of Laclau and Mouffe (1990: 109) claiming that the ‘purely relational or differential character’ of signification cannot be reduced to the realm of language but it ‘holds for all signifying structures – that is to say, for all social structures’. As Howarth (2004b: 265) specifies, ‘the concept of discourse’ must be ‘creatively misappl[ied]’ because it ‘encompass[es] all dimensions of social reality and not just the usual practices of speaking, writing and communicating’. The extension of the relational logic of signification from the realm of language to all parts of society has already been undertaken in structuralist theories of language and culture, and most notably in structuralist semiotics (Sewell 1999: 8). Geertz (1980: 135) observed a topological analogy between the relational structure of text and the relational structure of culture, and, hence, he postulated that ‘[a]rguments, melodies, formulas, maps, and pictures’ are organized in structural analogy to texts, but ‘so are rituals, palaces, technologies, and social formations’. Also Barthes’ structuralist semiotic analysis of culture, and in particular his analysis of wrestling, fashion and photography, suggested that the same kinds of semiotic relations and structures could be located in all parts of society. Among other things, Barthes suggested that semiotic relations were also present in fashion and clothing because ‘to wear a sweater and a leather jacket is to create, between these two garments, a temporary but signifying association, analogous to the one uniting the words of a sentence’ (Barthes 1982: 212). These examples show that the dissolution of the distinction between idealism and materialism—the signifying and

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the signified—which is characteristic of Laclau and Mouffe’s (e.g., 1990: 110) discourse theory, has already been introduced in structuralism and, in particular, in structuralist semiotics. An instructive piece in this regard is Kristeva’s (e.g., 1971) observation that the possibility to locate objects generating significations also to areas beyond language depending on the assumption that all kinds of objects—and not only linguistic ones— could perform the role of ‘signs’. According to Wilden (1987: 140), objects function as ‘signs’ as soon as they serve as ‘markers of information’ and, in this capacity, ‘trigger action or other response’. Obviously, Laclau’s (1980: 87) observation that discourse does not ‘refer[s] to “text” narrowly defined, but to the ensemble of the phenomena in and through which the social production of meaning takes place’, witnesses of the influence from structuralist semiotics. At first sight, the outlined relational epistemology appears too general to be of any particular relevance for empirical discourse analysis. Nothing could be more wrong. While some previous works in Essex School tradition have deciphered discourses to consist of specific types of discursive ‘relations’ (e.g., equivalence, difference, antagonism, heterogeneity), only few efforts have been made to systematically conceptualize and operationalize relations constituting discourses and make practical use of these set of relations as heuristic tools, such as ‘theoretical codes’, that capacitate to assess whether individual articulations are parts of the same discourse (e.g., Mattissek and Glasze 2016; Glasze 2007; Marttila 2015a, 2018; Nonhoff 2006, also in this volume). In this volume, Nikisianis et al. and Mattissek and Schopper show that methods of corpus linguistics conferring with the relational topology of discourse offer excellent means to assess individual articulations’ mutual relational homologies and hence establish whether they belong to the same discourse or to different mutually dissonant or even conflicting discourses. In view of the above-described dissolution of idealism and materialism, discourses are not constrained to the realm of language. In this regard, Boucher (2008) and Townshend (2004), among others, have criticized that the Essex School’s approach mostly focusses on linguistically articulated hegemonic discourses detected in linguistic material. This linguistic bias disregards ‘the importance of institutional and socio-­ economic factors’ in discursive structuration of the social reality

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(Townshend 2004: 133). Some recent contributions by Carpentier (2017; in this volume), Marttila (2015a, b), Pantzerhielm (2018), Parasecoli (in this volume) and Raaphorst (2018) have tried to vindicate the methodological deficit caused by this linguistic bias by extending their analysis to embracing also non-linguistic elements and practices. Also Glynos and Howarth’s (2007, 2008) ‘logics approach’ escapes the confines of linguistic discourse analysis and takes into account the impact that ‘sedimented’—materialized and institutionalized—discourses exert upon social subjects’ articulations. Carpentier (2017; also in this volume) and Marttila (2015a), among other, have considered it worthwhile to consult the ‘material turn’ (Lemke 2015) for further instructions on the operationalization of the mutual entanglement between linguistic and non-linguistic practices, objects and resources.

Omnipresence of Power The aforementioned ‘post-foundational condition’ implicates first of all that discourses are required for the presence of any socially meaningful entity, and, secondly, that discourses—and hence also the entire socially meaningful world—lack any ‘last ultimate fundament’ of determination (Marchart 2007: 12). Accordingly, an element possesses an identity only when it is ‘constituted as an object of discourse’ because ‘no object is given outside’ its ‘discursive condition of emergence’ (Laclau and Mouffe 2001: 107). In other words, the very sociality is the outcome of a double contingency. Firstly, lacking any objective and external determination, every particular conception of the social order is built upon an ‘abyss’ (Derrida 1997: 158) accessible ‘for any possible discursive “filling”’ that can ‘occupy this place’ (Laclau and Zac 1994: 36). Secondly, reflecting the relational logic of signification—namely, which identities are subsequent to meaning-conveying relations—conceptual contents of a particular social order (e.g., democracy, knowledge-based economy, welfare state) are contingent on articulations filling that order with particular meanings (Howarth 2013: 13). This double contingency impedes objects from ever obtaining any ‘fixed’ and objective essence (Laclau and Mouffe 1990: 110). Cooper (2005: 1691) concludes that the relational logic of

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s­ignification cannot give rise to fixed meanings because in case ‘everything is relative to everything else’, as the relational epistemology indicates, there can never be anything that ‘is complete in itself ’. Instead, meanings are produced in never-ending ‘movement and interaction between things’ (ibid.). Discourses do not simply exist, but they are brought into being and transformed in articulations. As a consequence, relatively consistent, coherent and collectively shared discourses come into being and are reproduced as a result of an asymmetrical distribution of power between subjects performing articulations. In accordance with Bourdieu’s (1992: 151) concept of power as ‘symbolic authority’, the existence of any collectively shared and taken-for-granted discourse depends on the presence of a group of ‘hegemonic’ actors equipped with the capacity, credibility and legitimate right ‘to sustain and implement the validity of particular discourses’ (Marttila 2015b: 13). However, the hegemonic power is not preceding and external to the discourse propagated by the hegemonic agents. Just as a quick reminder, the post-foundational condition impedes the possibility to ‘presuppos[e] the existence of a substantial subject outside the disc[ourse]’ (Torfing 1999: 89). As a consequence, hegemonic power cannot be exerted by hegemonic subjects equipped with some extra- and exo-discursive capacity to impose hegemonic discourses upon other subjects. As the following part explicates, it is not only subjects qua hegemonic agents who are subjected by discourses but also those imposing such discourses that are ‘decentered’ subjects. Instead of conceiving of ‘symbolic authority’ as reflecting subjects’ immanent ‘authorhood’, the decentered notion of subjectivity implicates that all social practices are conducted in accordance with the logic of ‘co-­ authorship’ because ‘one’s action is rarely one’s own and rarely for one’s own sake only, for it is pulled, pushed, harmonized, agitated, coaxed, pleaded by multiple bonds. In this sense, one could say it is always already co-authored’ (Burkitt 2016: 336). Moreover, Laclau’s (1996: 43) concept of ‘unevenness of the social’ reflects that not only does symbolic authority depend on the presence of social roles and identities equipped with asymmetric authority but also is the access to these powerful positions unequally distributed in society. In addition to already prevailing categories, distinctions, classifications, and also material resources, credibility

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and qualifications figure among the factors that can give rise to sustain and legitimize the asymmetric distribution of symbolic authority (cf. Marttila 2015a, b). Torfing (1999: 153) underlines that these contextual circumstances—whether symbolic, institutional or material ones—must be taken into account if we are to explain ‘the advancement’ of a particular hegemonic discourse and the symbolic authority of this discourse propagating group of hegemonic agents. This reciprocal relationship between discourse and power implies that power cannot be studied independently of discourses constituting and legitimizing asymmetric symbolic authority. Foucault (1984: 61) reminds us that power cannot be reduced to a restrictive force because it also ‘traverses and produces things, it induces pleasure, forms of knowledge, produces discourse. It needs to be considered as a productive network which runs through the whole social body.’ This productive notion of power indicates that neither hegemonic agents nor hegemonic discourses can be observed independently of their presence witnessing articulations. The other way round, the dissolution of previously sedimented symbolic authority is manifested by the proliferation of mutually heterogeneous and even conflicting articulations (Laclau 1990: 33). In this volume, the contributions by Mascha and Carpentier instruct how Gramsci’s (1971: 176ff.) ‘organic crises’ resembling ‘dislocation’ of power can be detected in empirical material by locating dissonances and discontinuities between discourses that inhabit the same sociocultural context at various times. Even though the post-foundational condition implicates that discourses are inevitably ‘infinite, uneven and incomplete’ (Howarth 2013: 10), it is still reasonable to suggest that the presence of a hegemonic discourse is manifested by the presence of mutually relatively homogeneous articulations, while the contrary situation of discursive ‘dislocation’ is witnessed by the emergence of increasingly heteronomous articulations. In this regard, methods developed in social semiotics (e.g., Marttila 2015a; Parasecoli in this volume; Selg and Ventsel 2010), qualitative network analysis (e.g., White 1992) and narrative analysis (e.g., Somers 1994) offer analytical tools to detect and assess the extent to which individual articulations are fragments of the same discourse, or of whether they bear witness to ‘radical disappearance of power’ that is characteristic of ‘dislocations’.

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Decentered Subject As mentioned before, the notion of the ‘decentered subject’ constitutes another key premise of PDA. The post-foundational conception of the subject instructs us that ‘there is no scope for presupposing the existence of a substantial subject outside the disc[ourse]’ (Torfing 1999: 89). However, the Essex School’s approach is not content with the deconstruction of the subject as a rationally and intentionally behaving social agent. Instead, the post-foundational ontology of the subject serves as the source of general assumptions about the reciprocal relationship between social subjects’ articulations and the discourses constituting subjectivities. Obviously, this is not the right place to delve further into differences between various theories on the subject. However, it is still necessary to elucidate the notion of ‘decentered subject’ a bit further and also elucidate some of its methodological implications. Basically, the notion of ‘decentered subject’ denotes that the capacity to act and think does not necessarily already reside ‘in our heads’, but it originates from our interactions and associations with the social context surrounding us (Crossley 2011: 3). This parallel decentering and contextualization of social agency stands in stark contrast to essentialist conceptions of subjectivity that presuppose subjects to possess ‘authentic’ and ‘immanent’ interests, needs, passions and the like, which in the end determine subjects’ conceptions of meaningful ways of thinking and acting (Koch 1993). A typical example of this kind of essentialization of the subject was the postulate presented by Marx and Engels (1976) in German Ideology claiming that there is an immanent essence to ‘man’ and that this essence is to different extents contradicted by his/her social and above all economic circumstances. Marx and Engels (1976: 25f.) claimed to ‘set out from real, active men’, and it was against the backdrop of these ‘real premises’ of ‘men’ that they could detect an ineluctable contradiction between the immanent nature of man and his/her subjugation by the capitalist system of production (ibid.). Essentialization of the subject is also tangible in the ‘interpretive turn’ in general and hermeneutics in more particular. Crowell (1990: 511) and Erikson (2014: 3) have, among others, observed research affiliated with

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the ‘interpretative turn’ to equip social subjects with immanent capacities in order to make sense of themselves and the world around them. Rabinow and Sullivan (1979: 5), leading protagonists of the ‘interpretive turn’, argue that it makes little sense to reduce subjects’ interpretations of the world to secondary outcomes of ‘prior speech acts, dyadic relations, or any predefined elements’ because individual interpretations and acts of meaning-making are anchored in subjects’ conscious self-interpretations. Also, from the hermeneutic point of view, social subjects possess immanent ‘agential potentials’ that enable them to participate in an active and reflected manner in ‘production, stabilization and transformation of social phenomena’ (Keller 2009: 7). According to this phenomenological notion of subject marked by Husserl, only the ‘contents of human consciousness’ can constitute the relevant ‘object of philosophical analysis’ (Gumbrecht 2004: 60). The hermeneutic notion of the subject as a social agent with ‘transcendental’ capacities to think and act has considerable methodological consequences for our conceptions of the factors that influence articulations observed by us (cf. Gadamer 1975: 226). Howarth (2004a: 231) notices that a phenomenological perspective typical of hermeneutics inevitably implicates that empirical analysis is focused to a ‘description of things as one experiences them, or one’s experience of things’. While research inspired by a phenomenological perspective tries to unveil the meanings that social subjects were ‘aware of putting in’ their actions, discourse analysis departing from the contrasting post-foundational perspective tries to extract factors from subjects’ actions and self-interpretations that are located on a deeper structural level and have influenced subjects without their ‘explicit knowledge’ (Culler 1982: 8). This social existence described by Gadamer (1975: 235ff.) as ‘factical’ ‘mode of being’ figures as the ‘fore-structure of understanding’ because it constrains subjects’ cognitions without being a contentual part of these cognitions. Gadamer (p. 232) therefore concludes that ‘neither the knower nor the known are present-at-hand’ independent of their very presence enabling a sociohistorically particular ‘mode of being’. PDA refers this level of the subjectively non-cognized ‘mode of being’ to the general logic of discursive construction of the socially meaningful reality.

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The post-foundational condition implies that PDA follows Gadamer’s (1975: 227) rejection of the very notion of ‘transcendental subjectivity’ as being absolutely ‘groundless’. From the post-foundational perspective’s viewpoint, subjects can neither have a natural essence, nor is there any particular essence, such as identity or interest, which can in an authentic manner reflect the immanent being of the subject (Glynos et al. 2009: 7). Instead, the subject qua a thinking and acting social agent is, in accordance with Heidegger (1967: 167ff.), ‘gleichursprünglich’ (equi-­ primordial) with the subjects’ identification with particular images of their beingness, which they obtain from their identifications with a discourse. However, since none of these particular images can grasp the authentic essence of the subject, every particular subjective identity remains equally inauthentic with subjects’ immanent beingness. If identities obtained from a discourse remain inauthentic to an equal extent, then identifications must be triggered by something other than already prevailing conceptual images of desirable and appropriate ways to think of oneself, which reflect the subjects’ immanent interests and preferences. Even though identities always ‘alienate[s] the subject from its self-­ identity’—that is, their lack of any positive identity—these identities are still experienced as valid and appropriate in ‘retrospection’ (Marchart 2011: 378; cf. Heidegger 1967: 437; own translation). The Essex School tradition draws on Lacan’s psychoanalytic theory to explain why inauthentic and initially unfamiliar identities are experienced by subjects as being satisfying and reflecting their authentic beingness. Following Lacan, Stavrakakis (2007: 168) argues that the symbolic bond between a subject and his/her symbolic other—from which he/she obtains a positive image of him-/herself—is always preceded by a pre-­ symbolic bond based on the subjects’ ‘mobilization and structuration of affect[s]’ toward this symbolic other. Therefore, Stavrakakis (p. 181) continues to explain that ‘what sustains the social bond is not symbolic power but also affective investment’. These affective attachments to identities providing discourses explain why the extra- and exo-discursive constitution of the subject qua ‘substanceless subjectivity’ can be replaced at least temporarily by particular identities that subjects obtain from their identifications with a discourse (Žižek 1991: 147; Lacan 1977: 218).

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The Essex School’s approach has drawn increasing attention to the role played by affects and affective attachments in constituting subjective identities (e.g., Glynos 2008; Howarth 2015: 11ff; Stavrakakis 2007). At the same time, some critics have accused discourse analysts of having become guilty of psychological essentialism resulting from their elevation of affective attachment to the ‘primeval political force’ that explains ‘identity formation’ (Leggett 2013: 312). According to Marttila (2015a: 88), affective attachments cannot explain any particular social outcome, such as the presence of a particular set of positive identities. Therefore, ‘the question is not what particular identities are caused by affects, but how the general process of identification is supported by social subjects’ affective attachment to discursively provided identities’ (ibid.). With regard to the general analytical relevance of affects in empirical discourse analysis, Laclau (2004: 303) has postulated that affects can be observed only indirectly in the form of identities, practices and significations they bring into being and which materialize them. The notion of ‘decentered subject’ has several methodological implications for empirical discourse analysis. Firstly, noticing that there is no immanent authentic essence to subjects, the primary aim of PDA cannot be to sustain or reinstall the subjects’ authentic beingness reflecting social order. Irrespective of their conceived ethical and moral credentials, every particular conception of the subject violates the subject’s ontological status as a subject without any immanent and authentic essence (Heidegger 1967: 167ff., 2008: 146). As Foucault (1980: 161) neatly puts it, the aim of empirical inquiry cannot be ‘to discover the roots of our identity but to commit itself to its dissipation’. The following part of this chapter will elucidate the obvious consequences that the notion of ‘decentered subject’ has for our capacity to conduct critique. Secondly, the above-­ presented critique of the phenomenological tradition does not only reject the existence of ‘transcendental subjectivity’, according to which social agency is based upon the conscious ‘self-knowledge of the subject’ (Tiles 1984: 36), but it also denotes that factors structuring the subjects’ behavior cannot be directly derived from their self-interpretations. While the phenomenological perspective focusses on the explicitly articulated and reflected ‘meanings that the originators of texts and acts’ associate with these (Alvesson and Sköldberg 2000: 52), PDA assumes that social

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­ eanings and significations generating discourses are only partially presm ent in subjectively perceived meanings. In other words, discourses cannot be reduced to meanings that social subjects attribute to themselves, their practices and the world surrounding them. As Gumbrecht (2004: 8) neatly puts it, we must assume that there are ‘conditions that contribute to the production of meaning, without being meaning themselves’. This post-hermeneutic epistemological perspective implicates that PDA must go beyond ‘first-order’ hermeneutics that study the conceptual contents of social subjects’ ‘self-interpretations’ and instead conduct ‘second-order’ interpretation of subjects’ interpretations and, therein, detect traces of discourses existing as ‘supra-subjective … beyond social subjects’ conscious conceptions of reality’ but at the same time being entangled with subjects’ self-interpretations (Marttila 2015b: 14; see Glynos and Howarth and Åkerstrøm Andersen et  al. in this volume). ‘Second-order hermeneutics’ conceive of social subjects’ interpretations and articulations as reflecting contextual conditions that are not explicitly articulated parts of articulations which are not immediately accessible for research. Discourse analysts need a priori conceptions of these contextual conditions if they are to retrace them in empirical material. For instance, the ‘social logic’, which Glynos and Howarth (2007, 2008) utilize in their ‘logics approach’, exceeds the studied subjects’ own cognitive horizons. Glynos and Howarth (2007: 140) conceptualize ‘social logics’ as ‘patterning of social practices, where such practices are understood … as a function of the contextualized self-interpretations’. Similarly, some discourse analysts affiliated with the Essex School tradition use of the concept of (discursive) ‘regime’ to conceptualize contextual factors that influence social subjects’ possibilities to think and act in a meaningful manner (e.g., Marttila 2015a, b; Torfing 1999). There is also an emerging strand of discourse research linking the Essex School tradition with ‘new materialism’ (Lemke, 2015) and ‘social semiotics’ (e.g., Carpentier (2017; also in this volume; Pantzerhielm 2018; Parasecoli, in this volume; Raaphorst 2018; Selg and Ventsel 2010) to operationalize material factors more closely that influence discourses producing and reproducing articulations. These ‘material’ and ‘semiotic’ turns in discourse analysis take a particular interest in how social subjects’ self-interpretations and actions restricting ‘sedimented’ discourses (e.g., material infrastructure,

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habitual dispositions, artefacts) are entangled with social subjects’ non-­ linguistic practices. This new strand of discourse analysis paves the way to a methodical cross-fertilization between the Essex School’s approach and different approaches to relational social inquiry (e.g., social semiotics, social network analysis, situational analysis, narrative analysis).

Disclosing Critique Without any doubt, the Essex School tradition ranges among those critical theories that provide methodological instructions and means to conduct critical inquiries of social life. However, Marttila and Gengnagel (2015: 54) notice that ‘there is no consensus with regard to the closer definition of the practice of critique motivated’ by the Essex School tradition. Critchley (2004) even argues that the Essex School tradition suffers from a ‘normative deficit’ that restricts its capacity to critique (see also Hartz, Boucher, Hildebrand and Séville, Åkerstrøm Andersen et al. in this volume). Hence, it must be discussed more closely ‘by what right’ and ‘in what way’ PDA can conduct the practice of critique (Butler 2009: 777). In order to discuss these questions, it is reasonable to start from the observation that PDA conceives of all objects and practices as deriving their social meaningfulness from ‘discursive articulations’ (Laclau and Mouffe 1990: 103). To recall: discursive construction of the social is not restricted to the usual suspects of political ideologies, economic rationalities and religious dogma. Instead, it embraces all socially meaningful objects and practices, including the practice of critique. Our awareness of the radically ‘hyperdiscursive’ character of the entire socially meaningful reality instructs PDA to conceptualize the practice of critique in adjacency to an Althusserian ‘critique of ideology’ as a practice disclosing discursive origins of socially taken-for-granted rationalities, institutions, relations and identities and bringing this discursive contingency back to the subjects’ awareness. In our quality as discourse analysts, our knowledge about the post-foundational condition provides us with the heuristic power to not take social subjects’ own self-conceptions at face value but instead ­disclose these as contingent outcomes of their identifications with ‘discourses that, over time, have come to pass for a “truth” about the world’ (Saukko 2003: 20).

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The practice of critique qua disclosure begins with the achievement of ‘an epistemological break with social subjects’ conscious self-conceptions of the world (x)’ and its aim is to ‘interpret and reveal them as being symptoms of subjectively unacknowledged supra-subjective structures (y), such as … discourses or discursive regimes’ (Marttila and Gengnagel 2015: 63). However, the omnipresent post-foundational condition also implies that the practice of critique cannot be uttered from a nondiscursive and epistemologically ‘privileged standpoint’ (Cooke 2006: 8). After all, not only discourses lack ‘an ultimate ground’ but also the ‘practice of critique’. Despite this epistemological restriction, PDA can still disclose sedimented, socially taken-for-granted discourses constraining social subjects’ possible actions and criticize these for their lacking objective necessity. This practice of critique labelled as ‘meta-critique’ by Boltanski (2010) and as ‘onto-ethical critique’ by Glynos and Howarth (2007) does not criticize a particular social phenomenon because of its deviation from a state of social beingness considered by some parties as objectively ‘ideal’ or ‘superior’. Instead, the impetus to critique originates from the discourse-­theoretical insight of subjects’ general fallacy to reflect and grasp how their identities-constituting discourse ‘grips its subjects despite its non-necessary character’ (Glynos and Howarth 2007: 155). In this regard, PDA can enhance social subjects’ capacities to reflect upon their actual lives and social circumstances more often and more intensively, without yet being capable of defining how these subjects should lead their lives instead. However, the disclosure of contingent and concealed discourses already qualifies as a practice of critique because it intervenes proactively into the present mode of social beingness and may also change its trajectory (Marttila and Gengnagel 2015). In accordance with Kompridis’ (1994: 30) definition disclosing critique can produce: meanings, perspectives, interpretive and evaluative vocabularies, modes of perception, and action possibilities, which stand in a strikingly dissonant relation to already available meanings, to already existing ways of speaking, hearing, seeing, interpreting, and acting.

Those looking for the opportunity to see more concrete interventions into the social world on behalf of a particular political project, cultural

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script or ideological edifice might share Critchley’s (2004) and Latour’s (2004) estimation that post-foundational social theories in general, and the Essex School tradition in particular, have lost the capacity to critique. Even though I am highly sympathetic to the dissolution of the Weberian juxtaposition of science qua practice of value-free empirical analysis and politics qua value-charged intervention into the social life, the post-­ foundational condition imposes epistemological limitations on our possibility to bring the practice of critique beyond the above-described disclosing critique. For Lakatos (1999), critique motivated by normative values and ideals necessitates the access to irrefutable distinctions ‘between the goodies and the baddies’ (p.  27). Lacking any ‘privileged vantage point’ (see above), it must be questioned whether discourse scholars affiliated with the Essex School’s approach can consider any particular model of society to be ‘more right than any other’ (p. 25). The question as to what critique can mean in the context of the Essex School tradition is a pressing issue that requires further debate. In this volume, the contributions by Glynos and Howarth, Hartz, Boucher, Hildebrand and Séville and Åkerstrøm Andersen et al. offer insightful ideas about the possibilities and impossibilities of post-foundational critique.

Conclusion and Outlook The principal aim of this chapter has been to elaborate the key premises of the PDA research program to empirical discourse research. The preceding sections articulated ‘relational epistemology’, ‘omnipresence of power’, ‘the decentered subject’ and ‘disclosing critique’ to constitute the ontological and epistemological coordinates of empirical discourses inspired and informed by PDA. These premises are not only of relevance for all those interested in theoretical matters. The outlined premises also establish a heuristic framework that instructs us about the logics of discursive structuration of social life and how these logics can be approached and observed in empirical discourse analysis. In Lakatos’ (1969: 171) terms, these premises constitute the ‘[t]he positive heuristics’ which in accordance with Diaz-Bone (2006: 5) instructs us ‘how … reality manifests itself and how it can be investigated, and how not’. Despite their

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heuristic function, Keller (2013: 31) cautions that this sample of abstract premises certainly provides sufficient instructions for the planning and implementation of empirical discourse analysis. Instead, the presented premises of the PDA research program must be operationalized and specified further by complementing them with analytically applicable ‘concepts, categories, problem constellations’ and the like (ibid.). Accordingly, the main virtue of the presented premises is not their hands-on instructive capacity to guide empirical discourse analysis, but their functioning as a communicative basis for future discussions dealing with the development of the Essex School tradition to an extensively used approach to discourse research. The case studies included in this edited volume offer in many ways path-breaking and innovative instructions about methodical options available for discourse research informed by the Essex School approach (see Part II).

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M MacKenzie, I., & Porter, R. (2017). Drama Out of a Crisis? Poststructuralism and the Politics of Everyday Life. Political Studies Review, 15(4), 528–538. Marchart, O. (2007). Post-Foundational Political Thought: Political Difference in Nancy, Lefort, Badiou and Laclau. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Marchart, O. (2011). Democracy and Minimal Politics: The Political Difference and Its Consequences. The South Atlantic Quarterly, 110(4), 965–973. Marttila, T. (2015a). Post-Foundational Discourse Analysis: From Political Difference to Empirical Research. London: Palgrave. Marttila, T. (2015b). Post-Foundational Discourse Analysis: A Suggestion for a Research Program. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 16(3), Art. 1. http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114fqs150319. Accessed 28 Feb 2018. Marttila, T. (2018). Neoliberalism, the Knowledge-Based Economy and Entrepreneur as Metaphor. In D.  Cahill, M.  Cooper, M.  Konings, & D. Primrose (Eds.), Sage Handbook of Neoliberalism (pp. 565–579). Thousand Oaks: Sage. Marttila, T., & Gengnagel, V. (2015). Post-Foundational Discourse Analysis and the Impasses of Critical Inquiry. Journal for Discourse Studies, 3(1), 50–69. Marx, K., & Engels, F. (1976). The German Ideology: Part 1. New  York: International Publishers. Mattissek, A., & Glasze, G. (2016). Discourse Analysis in German-Language Human Geography: Integrating Theory and Method. Social and Cultural Geography, 17(1), 39–51.

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N Nonhoff, M. (2006). Politischer Diskurs und Hegemonie: Das Projekt ‘Soziale Marktwirtschaft’. Bielefeld: transcript.

P Pantzerhielm, L. (2018). Contingent Materialities as Sedimented Articulations: Anti-Essentialist Discourse Analysis and Materialism at the Nexus of IR and Political Theory. In J.  Beetz & V.  Schwab (Eds.), Material Discourse  – Materialist Discourse Analysis (pp. 95–112). Lanham: Lexington Books.

R Raaphorst, K. (2018). Knowing Your Audience: The Contingency of Landscape Design Interpretations. Journal of Urban Design. Published Online: https:// doi.org/10.1080/13574809.2018.1426986. Accessed 27 Feb 2018. Rabinow, P., & Sullivan, W. M. (1979). Introduction: The Interpretive Turn: Emergence of an Approach. In P.  Rabinow & W.  M. Sullivan (Eds.), Interpretive Social Science: A Reader (pp.  1–24). Berkeley: University of California Press. Ricoeur, P. (1979). The Rule of Metaphor: Multi-Disciplinary Studies of the Creation of Meaning in Language. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

S Saukko, P. (2003). Doing Research in Cultural Studies: An Introduction to Classical and New Methodological Approaches. London: Sage. Saussure, F. (1959). Course in General Linguistics. London: Peter Owen. Selg, P., & Ventsel, A. (2010). An Outline for a Semiotic Theory of Hegemony. Semiotica, 182(1), 443–474. Sewell, W. H. (1999). The Concept(s) of Culture. In V. E. Bonnell & L. Hunt (Eds.), Beyond the Cultural Turn: New Directions in the Study of Society and Culture (pp. 35–61). Berkeley: University of California Press. Somers, M. S. (1994). The Narrative Constitution of Identity: A Relational and Network Approach. Theory & Society, 23(5), 605–649.

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Stavrakakis, Y. (2007). The Lacanian Left: Psychoanalysis, Theory, Politics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

T Tiles, M. (1984). Bachelard: Science and Objectivity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Tønder, L., & Thomassen, L. (2005). Introduction: Rethinking Radical Democracy Between Abundance and Lack. In L. Tønder & L. Thomassen (Eds.), Radical Democracy: Politics Between Abundance and Lack (pp. 1–13). Manchester: Manchester University Press. Torfing, J. (1999). New Theories of Discourse: Laclau, Mouffe and Žižek. Oxford: Blackwell. Townshend, J. (2004). Laclau & Mouffe’s Hegemonic Project: The Story So Far. Political Studies, 52, 269–288.

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3 Discourse and Heterogeneity Lasse Thomassen

Introduction1 In the discourse theory of Ernesto Laclau and the ‘Essex School’, the central concepts are discourse, hegemony and antagonism. Over the last decade, there has also been an increased focus on populism as a political phenomenon and as a concept. In this chapter, I will show that the concept of heterogeneity should also be central to discourse theory. This is a concept that Laclau introduced in his later work to refer to an excess escaping the attempt to discursively objectify the boundaries of identities. One example of heterogeneity is the Lumpenproletariat, which, in Marx’s work, is a discursive excess escaping the antagonistic frontier between bourgeoisie and proletariat (Laclau 1998: 154, 156, 2002a, b: 381,  This chapter draws and builds upon Thomassen (2005a).

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L. Thomassen (*) School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2019 T. Marttila (ed.), Discourse, Culture and Organization, Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94123-3_3

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2005a: 139–53, 2006: 657–72; Pessoa et al. 2001: 9–10).2 The introduction of the notion of heterogeneity necessitates a reconsideration of the concept of antagonism, and I will argue that it is possible to see antagonism as an ideological type of discourse because it is one way of attempting to achieve discursive closure, even if it is always thwarted by heterogeneity. The introduction of the concept of heterogeneity helps highlight the ways in which discourse and hegemony do not always take antagonistic and populist forms.

The Limits of Antagonism In Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (HSS),Laclau and Mouffe (1985: 125) introduce antagonism as the limit of objectivity and as a threat to any identity: ‘[I]n the case of antagonism … the presence of the “Other” prevents me from being totally myself. The relation arises not from full totalities, but from the impossibility of their constitution … Insofar as there is antagonism, I cannot be a full presence for myself ’. Antagonism, then, is not an objective relation that constitutes, for instance, the worker as a worker vis-à-vis the capitalist. Laclau and Mouffe argue that ‘[a] ntagonism as the negation of a given order is, quite simply, the limit of that order, and not the moment of a broader totality in relation to which the two poles of the antagonism would constitute differential – that is, objective – partial instances’ (Laclau and Mouffe 1985: 126). Antagonism is conceived as the limit of objectivity because it refers to the subversion of the discursive constitution of meaning and objectivity. Meaning and identity are constituted through relations of difference, and antagonism refers to the moment when the system of differences is constituted into a chain of equivalence opposing an external threat. The equivalence is established through what Laclau later referred to as an empty signifier signifying a set of differences as a totality. Note that it is because Laclau and Mouffe start from a post-Saussurean conception of meaning as difference that antagonism—the zero point of  See also Biglieri and Perello (2011). For uses of Laclau’s concept of heterogeneity, see Thomassen (2005b, c, 2007) and Bloom and Dallyn (2011: 53–7). 2

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difference—is the limit of meaning and discursive objectivity. Antagonism is a limit because it is not just another difference, and this is Laclau and Mouffe’s answer to the challenge that post-structuralists such as Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Derrida have grappled with: how to think the limit of representation when representation itself is thought in terms of difference thus excluding the possibility of thinking the limit of representation in terms of (yet another) difference. Or, in other words, how to think beyond identity and difference in a way that neither simply imposes identity on heterogeneity nor refers to yet another difference. Laclau and Mouffe make a Derridean move, but, unlike Derrida, they connect it to the construction of collective identities, which are both constituted through and subverted by antagonism. Antagonism both makes meaning possible (because it provides the condition of possibility for the differences to coalesce into a totality) and impossible (because it denotes a point where the relations of difference, which are constitutive of meaning, are subverted by equivalence). On closer inspection, however, the antagonistic relation does not actually threaten the identity established through the chain of equivalence. Instead, antagonism is the flipside of, equivalence: it is constituted by and constitutes equivalence, because the equivalent signifiers are equivalent insofar as they are all opposed in the same way to the antagonistic Other. Hence, the antagonistic relation and the emptiness of the empty signifier go hand in hand: the emptiness of the empty signifier signifies the fullness of an identity (for instance, of a communal identity by fixing the meaning of its differential elements in relation to that fullness), and the antagonistic Other is supposed to threaten this fullness. However, although this type of antagonistic relation is indeed not a positive, differential relation, as Laclau and Mouffe rightly argue, this is not what precludes the possibility of its representation and, so, its objectivity. ‘Antagonism’ precisely refers to and presupposes ‘a broader totality in relation to which the two poles of the antagonism would constitute’, if not differential, then at least objective, ‘partial instances’. Since antagonism presupposes the fullness of the community with a clear division between inside and outside, antagonism presupposes the space of signification within which both the community and its antagonistic other are constituted. With an antagonistic frontier, you have a clear inside and a clear outside.

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Hence, Laclau and Mouffe are both right and wrong when, in HSS, they write that the ‘“experience” of the limit of all objectivity [has] a form of precise discursive presence, and this is antagonism’ (Laclau and Mouffe 1985: 122, cf. p. 146). Antagonism has a ‘precise discursive presence’: it is a discursive representation, but, as such, it is not the limit of objectivity or signification. Similarly, the empty signifier may be the limit of signification insofar as the latter is constituted through relations of difference. Yet, the empty signifier makes the signification of a space of fullness with clear boundaries possible. Both pure equivalence (corresponding to the pure emptiness of the empty signifier) and pure difference would constitute a set of fixed relations. The limit of objectivity, I suggest, should instead be found in the mutual contamination of equivalence and difference, the very impossibility of either of the two to establish themselves in their pure forms. Slavoj Žižek (1990: 251–4) argued that antagonism is a way to externalize the ineliminable split (or lack) in the subject and, in this way, to discursively master the always-already dislocated character of any identity. A good example is the xenophobia of both elite and layman Brexit discourse: if only we could get rid of EU foreigners and EU bureaucracy, then unemployment would disappear, and we would be free and sovereign again and so on. If the identity of the community is constituted through a hegemonic articulation, and if hegemony is essentially a relation of representation, then the identity of the community will be marked by an inherent split (or lack), which it can only erase by projecting it onto something represented as external to and negating the identity. We do not start with a pure inside; the inside is always-already dislocated, and it is only the ‘negation’ of this dislocation—its externalization—that creates the purity of the inside. In other words, the discursive construction of antagonism is the negation of—and imposition of identity upon—this more constitutive dislocatory character of all identity. As a consequence, Žižek argues, we should distinguish between dislocation and any discursive response to it, including antagonism. From New Reflections on the Revolution of Our Time (NRT) onwards, Laclau thought of identity and discourse in this Lacanian sense, as ­constituted around a lack and, as such, inherently dislocated, with antagonism being one way of discursively mastering dislocation, even if this

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always eventually fails (Laclau 1990a: 39–41, 44–5, 65, 1996b: 203ff; Laclau in Worsham and Olson 1998: 137; Pessoa et al. 2000: 15).3 As Nathan Widder (2000: 133) has rightly argued, ‘the turn to dislocation would be redundant if it necessarily manifests itself in antagonistic relations’. But, if that is the case, then the link between dislocation and antagonism must be contingent; or, put differently, collective identities are not necessarily constituted around antagonism.4 Laclau (2004: 318–19) concludes: In Hegemony and Socialist Strategy the notion of limit is more or less synonymous with antagonistic frontier. Objectivity is only constituted through a radical exclusion. Later on I came to realize that this assimilation presented two flaws. The first, that antagonism is already a form of discursive inscription  – i.e. of mastery  – of something more primary which, from New Reflections on the Revolution of our Time onwards, I started calling ‘dislocation’. Not all dislocation needs to be constructed in an antagonistic way. The second flaw is that antagonism is not equivalent to radical exclusion. What it does is to dichotomize the social space, but both sides of the antagonistic relation are necessary in order to create a single space of representation.

Glenn Bowman’s (1994) study of Palestinian nationalism provides a good example of this point. He shows how the Palestinian nation is defined through its antagonistic relationship with the state of Israel. At the same time, he argues, Palestinian identity is internally divided and only the result of contingent articulations (Bowman 1994: 156). Whatever alternative antagonisms there may be within the Palestinian community, they occur within and are subsumed to the antagonistic  At times, Laclau and his commentators continued to treat antagonism as the limit of objectivity (e.g., Laclau 2000a, b, c: 72, 77). Dislocation may also be said to be a discursive construction because it depends on the discursive construction of what is dislocated and of what dislocates (cf. Dyrberg 1997: 146–8; Laclau 2004: 319). In NRT, Laclau (1990a: 17f., 172f.) introduced the deconstructive notion of ‘constitutive outside’ from Henry Staten (1984: 16–18, 24), which could be another name for dislocation and heterogeneity. On Staten’s and Laclau’s uses of this notion, see Thomassen (2005b). 4  For the argument that we need to distinguish dislocation and antagonism and understand the latter as merely one form of identity construction among others, see also Norval (1997) and Stäheli (2004: 234–9). 3

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frontier vis-à-vis the state of Israel. These ‘secondary’ antagonisms do not put the defining antagonism with Israel into question (ibid., pp.  143, 155). However, the antagonistic frontier vis-à-vis Israel and the resultant fullness of the lost Palestinian identity masks, not an essence, but the essential lack of an essence—that is, it masks the inherently dislocated character of Palestinian identity. Antagonism can be seen as ideological insofar as it conceals the dislocatory character of identity by externalizing the dislocation onto an external antagonistic force. It is the task of discourse analysis to examine whether antagonism is the response to dislocation and how the construction of one antagonism may rely on the suppression of alternative antagonisms. The point can be made with reference to another aspect of Laclau’s theory of discourse: the empty signifier is always only tendentially empty. The signifiers in the chain of equivalence are equivalent and not identical, that is, they retain some of their mutual differences. Like the other signifiers, the empty signifier is split between its equivalential (or universal) content and its differential (or particular) content, thus making it only tendentially empty. Laclau speaks here of a differential remainder (Laclau 1997: 262) or ‘a remainder of particularity’ (Laclau 2000c: 305, cf. 1996b: 219, 2004: 281). The tendentially empty signifier is not a transparent medium; rather, the signifier has an ineliminable materiality (Laclau 2000a: 70). The tendentially empty signifier simultaneously represents the whole chain and is one part of it among others. As a result, the tendentially empty signifier is unable to represent the whole as a whole. If the empty signifier did not have any particular differential content, it would be able to represent the totality of the relations of differences without being merely one more difference in an infinite field of differences. However, insofar as it is only tendentially empty, the empty signifier is not able to fully fulfil this role. It never ceases to be also one particular signifier among others; that is, it is never just any signifier, but always also this or that signifier. Similarly, the equivalence never completely dissolves the relations of difference: ‘just as the logic of difference never manages to constitute a fully sutured space, neither does the logic of equivalence ever achieve this’ (Laclau and Mouffe 1985: 129). Since Laclau conceives of meaning and identity in post-Saussurean terms as constituted through relations of dif-

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ference, equivalence supposedly halts or subverts the play of difference. Again, insofar as the equivalence is only equivalence—and, so, tendential—this subversion is only tendential, and the potential divisions within the chain cannot be dissolved in the antagonistic frontier (think of Bowman’s example of Palestinian identity). Consequently, the signifiers of the chain of equivalence are partly floating signifiers. Their interiority or exteriority to the chain cannot be clearly and unambiguously established, and so they can be dis- and rearticulated. This is an essential part of hegemonic struggles; if there were no floating signifiers, it would be the end of any future hegemonic struggle. The upshot is that a pure empty signifier, and a pure antagonism, would be the end to hegemony. It matters which particular signifier is cited, that is, which signifier takes up the task of representing the whole. While this is ultimately contingent, it is not arbitrary. The particular signifiers are not equally able or likely to take up this task because it takes place in an already partly sedimented terrain permeated by relations of power. Hence, the particular signifier taking up the task of signifying the totality must not only be available but must also compete with other particular signifiers. This takes place, not on a level playing field, but in a terrain that is itself the result of prior hegemonic articulation (Laclau 1996a: 41–3, 2000b: 208). Moreover, since the empty signifier is only tendentially empty, it matters which particular signifier takes up this role. The emptying of the signifier opens up a space within which other signifiers can be included and represented, but this opening up is only possible via a simultaneous closing off, because it is the relative emptying of a particular signifier. It is one of the tasks of discourse analysis to examine why some signifiers come to represent the whole and why others do not. In sum, antagonism is relativized in two ways. First, because it is only one possible discursive response to dislocation among several others; and, second, because there are only tendential antagonisms since the empty signifier is always only tendentially empty. This has implications for how one analyses discourses. Discourse analysis can neither assume antagonism to be always in existence nor can it consist only in looking for antagonisms to emerge. A discourse analysis must examine whether and why an antagonism was constructed, and it must examine how the antagonism is never fully constituted and may subsequently be transformed.

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That is, discourse analysis must take a dynamic perspective that takes antagonism as one possible outcome among others and not as the teleological aim of any identity formation. That, in turn, has implications for the status of populism, which is connected to antagonism, equivalence and empty signifiers by Laclau. While populism thus understood may be an aspect of any discourse, it cannot be a general model for all discourse. In HSS, Laclau and Mouffe introduce equivalence and difference as two basic logics of any discourse, and already there equivalence is associated with populist discourses and difference with ‘democratic’ discourses (Laclau and Mouffe 1985: 131). This is accentuated in Laclau’s later work where equivalence is associated, via populism, with the political as such, whereas difference is associated with an institutionalist discourse. What is more, Laclau associates difference with homogeneity, and so heterogeneity ends up on the side of equivalence and populism (Laclau 2005a: 154). However, by introducing heterogeneity into discourse theory and by relativizing antagonism, the picture changes: now hegemony is no longer tied to antagonism, and so the unstable relationship between equivalence and difference takes centre stage (Norval 1997; Thomassen 2005b).

 eterogeneity, Antagonism and Discourse H Analysis In his later work, Laclau introduced the notion of heterogeneity to refer to a discursive excess escaping categorization and conceptual mastery; in short, heterogeneity is a way to think the limits of representation. Heterogeneity stands ‘in an undecidable tension between internality and externality’ vis-à-vis the boundaries of the discourse (Laclau 1998: 156, also 154, 1999: 103, 2001: 5).5 As examples of heterogeneity, Laclau gives the Lumpenproletariat in Marx’s work, the peoples without history in Hegel, and the subaltern (Laclau 2002a, b: 381–2, 2005a: 139–53; Pessoa et  al. 2001: 9–10). Drawing on the work of Peter Stallybrass (1991), Laclau argues that the figure of the Lumpenproletariat in Marx’s discourse is an example of discursive heterogeneity. The Lumpenproletariat  For an ambiguous characterization of heterogeneity, see Laclau (2002a, b: 382).

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is a discursive excess escaping the conceptual categories of Marx’s analysis of capitalism, in particular the determination of the antagonistic relation between the proletariat and the capitalist class. As Stallybrass has argued, the Lumpenproletariat not only shows the limit of the objectification of the relation between proletariat and bourgeoisie. The exclusion of the Lumpenproletariat from the other categories—it belongs neither to the proletariat nor to the bourgeoisie—makes it possible to theorize the relation between proletariat and bourgeoisie as an antagonistic relation. The Lumpenproletariat is precisely the ‘irreducible remainder’—Laclau’s (2002a, b: 381) characterization of heterogeneity—from the constitution of the identity of the proletariat, which is constituted through the antagonistic relation vis-à-vis the bourgeoisie. In terms of Laclau’s notion of the chain of equivalence, the exclusion of heterogeneity from the chain supports the unity of the chain and of the identity in question. However, this heterogeneity is not excluded in an antagonistic fashion as opposed to the identity. Heterogeneity is excessive and undecidable; in the case of Marx’s Lumpenproletariat, it escapes the attempt to conceptualize social relations in antagonistic terms. Yet, the exclusion, or suppression, of the heterogeneous from the antagonistic relationship also makes that antagonistic relationship possible. In Laclauian terms, the condition of possibility of antagonism is the exclusion of the heterogeneous differential remainder. The heterogeneous is not excluded from the discourse, for instance, from Marx’s texts. It is not something simply external to the discourse, which would presuppose a closed discourse with clearly demarcated limits. That is why we can refer to it as discursive heterogeneity, and why it also undermines the antagonism. The heterogeneous does not simply disappear from the discourse. The existence of these heterogeneous elements shows the ultimate contingency of the constitution of an identity or a discourse, including antagonistic identities and discourses. Heterogeneity, therefore, provides a privileged point of entry for discourse analysis. Stallybrass’s analysis of Marx’s texts is exemplary in this regard. The Lumpenproletariat provides a point of entry for the analysis of Marx’s texts, thus tracing the Lumpenproletariat as an effect of Marx’s discursive decisions and examining how Marx deals with the resulting heterogeneous excess. One must

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locate the heterogeneous elements in a discourse and then examine how the discursive heterogeneity is related to other parts of the discourse. This does not mean that, normatively speaking, there is anything inherently progressive about heterogeneity. For example, although Marx finds some revolutionary potential in the spontaneity of the Lumpenproletariat, he also identifies the Lumpenproletariat as a regressive force and as the foundation for the conservative discourse of Bonapartism. Georges Bataille’s analysis of ‘The Psychological Structure of Fascism’ is also telling in this regard (Laclau 2005a: 155–6). Bataille refers to homogeneity as ‘the commensurability of elements and the awareness of this commensurability’. ‘Production’, according to Bataille (1997: 122), ‘is the basis of social homogeneity’,6 and money is the equivalent through which each person exists: As agents of production, the workers fall within the framework of the social organization, but the homogeneous reduction as a rule only affects their wage-earning activity; they are integrated into the psychological homogeneity in terms of their behavior on the job, but not generally as men. Outside of the factory, and even beyond its technical operations, a laborer is, with regard to a homogeneous person (boss, bureaucrat, etc.), a stranger, a man of another nature, of a non-reduced, non-subjugated nature. (Bataille 1997: 123)

Science can only take homogeneity as its object of knowledge, thus excluding the possibility of a science of heterogeneity. Hence ‘it is necessary to posit the limits of science’s inherent tendencies, and to constitute a knowledge of the nonexplainable difference, which supposes the immediate access of the intellect to a body of material, prior to any intellectual reduction. Tentatively, it is enough to present the facts according to their nature’ (Bataille 1997: 126, cf. pp.  125, 146). Heterogeneity does not lend itself to ‘any intellectual reduction’ within a coherent and closed scientific system. This suggests that the study of the heterogeneous can only proceed through categories and examples—including the category of heterogeneity and the example of the Lumpenproletariat—that ges It is ‘tendential homogeneity’, though. For Laclau’s use of Bataille, see Laclau (2005a, b: 155–6).

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ture towards, but can never appropriate, the heterogeneous. Echoing Marx’s description of the Lumpenproletariat, Bataille (1997: 126) gives the following examples of heterogeneous ‘waste’ and ‘unproductive expenditure’: ‘the numerous elements or social forms that homogeneous society is powerless to assimilate: mobs, the warrior, aristocratic and impoverished classes, different types of violent individual or at least those who refuse the rule (madmen, leaders, poets, etc.)’.7 By pointing to these examples of heterogeneity, Bataille is able to talk about heterogeneity as a positive experience. Doing so he does not have to fall back upon the homogeneous in order to understand the heterogeneous, and he does not have to view heterogeneity merely as the failure or negation of homogeneity (Bataille 1997: 126–7). Here one must avoid two opposite pitfalls. On the one hand, as pointed out by Bataille, heterogeneity is not simply the negation of homogeneity, and one should avoid thinking of heterogeneity and homogeneity in a dualistic fashion. Heterogeneity is, rather, the simultaneous condition of possibility and impossibility of homogeneity. On the other hand, one must also avoid Bataille’s more or less implicit references to an immediate and vitalistic access to the world of heterogeneity. Instead, heterogeneity is inherently linked to representation as its limit. Related to this is the question of the relationship between the category of heterogeneity and the examples of it. One must avoid the temptation to reduce heterogeneity to Stallybrass’s, Bataille’s or Laclau’s examples or to any other example. Likewise, we must not think that these examples express an underlying essence. The notion of heterogeneity, as I have used it here, is what Jacques Derrida (1982: 12, 25–6) calls a ‘non-­synonymous substitute’ to name discursive aporia, which could also be referred to in Laclauian terms as, for instance, the differential remainder or the tension between equivalence and difference. ‘Heterogeneity’ is rearticulated each time it is applied in concrete analyses. Although we can talk about heterogeneity beyond particular uses of the term or concept, there is no heterogeneity beyond those uses of the term or concept. The explanatory force of the category of heterogeneity can, of course, only be shown through its use in concrete analyses; however, it can at least be used to  In addition to these things, Bataille (1997: 126–8) refers to the unconscious, the sacred and affect.

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pose a set of questions about the ideological nature of particular discourses (Glynos and Howarth 2007). According to Bataille, social homogeneity may become dislocated by economic contradictions, causing elements to split off from the homogeneous sectors of society. These elements may then be articulated with already heterogeneous elements and form a new social formation. This is how Bataille (1997: 125, 140, 142) accounts for the emergence of Fascism in the 1920s and 1930s. Laclau (2005a: 139–40) also talks of social heterogeneity, which he links to the emergence of populism. Despite Bataille’s tendency to reduce things to the economy in the last instance, from the perspective of the theory of hegemony, it is interesting to note that the existence of heterogeneity is the condition of possibility of hegemonic (re)articulation. What orthodox Marxism cannot explain, namely, the emergence of the non-class ideology of Fascism, can be accounted for in this way. Fascism thrives upon the heterogeneity that cannot be accommodated within the relation between worker and capitalist. Likewise, in the case of Louis Bonaparte’s successful articulation of the Lumpenproletariat, the phenomenon of Louis Bonaparte is not reducible to the relation between the proletariat and the capitalist class (Stallybrass 1991: 79ff). In both cases, the heterogeneous elements are articulated into an anti-system antagonism, even if that articulation is never completely successful. Significantly, the heterogeneous is not something wholly other as the example of the Lumpenproletariat in Marx’s discourse might suggest. It is discursive heterogeneity, part of the discourse, which can, then, be rearticulated. Bataille’s and Stallybrass’s uses of heterogeneity are connected to Laclau’s work on populism: for Laclau, populism was the example of a discourse that articulates heterogeneous elements into a collective identity. To sum up, I suggest that the notion of heterogeneity is a non-­ synonymous substitute for different discursive aporia and for different ways in which we can refer to the limit of discursive objectivity. It stands in for other terms, yet it does not refer to some underlying principle or essence, which the other terms merely reflect. One can use heterogeneity to refer to the differential remainder, to the inherent split in the signifier and to the undecidable relationship between equivalence and difference. In these cases, we are dealing with the limit of objectivity and representa-

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tion. What is thus the limit to hegemonic articulation is simultaneously the condition of possibility of hegemonic articulation. Without the unstable relationship between equivalence and difference, for instance, no hegemonic articulation would be possible. In the terms of HSS, heterogeneity not only appears in the undecidable relationship between equivalence and difference but also in the fact that ‘[t]he transition from the “elements” [i.e. ‘any difference that is not discursively articulated’] to the “moments” [i.e. ‘differential positions … articulated within a discourse’] is never entirely fulfilled’ (Laclau and Mouffe 1985: 105, 110). We are dealing here with something that is both the condition of possibility and limit of hegemonic articulation. Laclau and Mouffe (1985: 111) use the term ‘field of discursivity’ to refer to the inherent inability of any discourse to close itself as a totality: a [discursive] system only exists as a partial limitation of a ‘surplus of meaning’ which subverts it. Being inherent in any discursive formation, this ‘surplus’ is the necessary terrain for the constitution of every social practice. We will call it the field of discursivity … it determines at the same time the necessarily discursive character of any object, and the impossibility of any given discourse to implement a final suture.

The field of discursivity refers to the discursive constitution of objects and to the ultimate unfixity of moments within a discourse. Like heterogeneity, the field of discursivity is not something external to discourse in the sense of a region lying beyond the borders of a discourse. If the subversive character of the field of discursivity was due to its location in a region beyond the limits of the discourse, it would presuppose what it was supposed to subvert, namely, the discourse as an inside with an outside. Rather, the field of discursivity is an inherent characteristic of any discourse, an internal limit to discourse. The field of discursivity is closely linked with what Laclau and Mouffe (1985: 111, 146) refers to as the ‘discursive exterior’ which ‘is constituted by other discourses’. The field of discursivity refers to the ultimate unfixity of the moments within the discourse, whereas the discursive exterior refers to the competing ­discourses potentially able to rearticulate the discursive moments. The field of discursivity and the discursive exterior are, thus, two sides of the

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same coin: without one, the other would hardly matter. In both cases we are dealing with a heterogeneity that cannot be discursively mastered. It is the heterogeneity that, in Bataille’s analysis, makes the fascist articulation of the workers possible; and it is the heterogeneity that, in Laclau’s analysis, makes populism possible. Indeed, we are dealing here with something undermining the very possibility of establishing a discursive inside with clearly demarcated boundaries. Discourse analysis then involves not only the identification of emerging and persisting discourses but also—as a way of examining the historical character of these discourses—the identification of the field of discursivity and the discursive outside. As with the Lumpenproletariat in Marx’s texts, heterogeneity does not disappear from a more or less stable and hegemonic discourse. Heterogeneity persists.

 onclusion: Discourse Theory C After Heterogeneity Just as there are only tendentially empty signifiers, so there are only tendentially antagonistic frontiers. Pure antagonism is impossible, and we should rather speak of different degrees of antagonism. As a consequence, discourse analysis can neither take antagonism as the necessary outcome of ideology and identity formation, nor, should it be the case, as the end of the process. Discourse analysis must examine if and how discursive heterogeneity is articulated into antagonism but also the heterogeneity created through the articulation of antagonism. This suggests that hegemony is not necessarily linked to antagonism, even in its tendential forms. It may well be the case that (relative) antagonism is restricted to particular ideologies, such as populism, which, in Laclau’s work, is associated with antagonism, chains of equivalence and empty signifiers. However, the theory of hegemony may be able to cover nonantagonistic cases by also focusing on relations of difference as a way of constructing hegemonic discourses (Norval 1997; Thomassen 2005b). If discursive closure is ultimately impossible, if there is always something heterogeneous, then the misrecognition of this and the attempt to

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conceal it can be said to be ideological. Here, in the words of Laclau (1990b: 92, cf. 1996b: 203–7), ‘[t]he ideological would not consist of the misrecognition of a positive essence, but exactly the opposite: it would consist of the non-recognition … of the impossibility of ultimate closure’. In this context, heterogeneity provides a point of entry for the analysis of the ideological character of particular discourses. If ideology is identified as the attempt to conceal or exclude the heterogeneous, then ideology analysis taking this perspective should seek to identify the heterogeneous elements that resist attempts at closure as well as the various ways which agents deal with these elements. Above I have given some examples of what this sort of discourse analysis might look like: Bowman on Palestinian nationalism, Stallybrass on the Lumpenproletariat in Marx and Bataille on social heterogeneity and Fascism. The notion of antagonism remains central for discourse theory, although in a different way than originally conceived by Laclau and Mouffe. Antagonism can be seen as one way of suppressing and externalizing heterogeneity. It can be seen as a way of establishing coherence and closure. As such, antagonism is ideological: it is a strategy to achieve closure and to suppress its ultimate impossibility. This is especially so when the antagonistic frontier and enemies are naturalized. Here antagonism is part of a naturalization of what are properly speaking contingent phenomena, a naturalization that makes these phenomena appear to be beyond politics and hegemonic articulation. The argument put forward here raises two sets of further questions. The first set of questions concerns some of the more technical aspects of Laclau’s theory of discourse and the way it has developed. For instance, one might ask of what significance is the shift from nodal points (in HSS) to empty signifiers (in Emancipation(s)). Likewise, there has been a shift in Laclau’s work from collective identities to the (impossible) fullness of the community to universality to populism. Again the question is whether these terms can simply be mapped onto one another or whether there is a significant shift in the conceptualization of discourse and hegemony. And, finally, there is the question of the status of populism as an exemplary form of discourse to the extent that, at times populism equals ­hegemony equals politics. In each of these cases, the use of specific terms

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also has implications for antagonism and heterogeneity and the relationship between the two. A second set of questions concern the concept of heterogeneity as the limit of objectivity or representation. There are times when Laclau (2005a: Chap. 5, 2006) writes of ‘social heterogeneity’ rather than just ‘heterogeneity’, and when the former term seems to take on a quasi-­ sociological sense of referring to individuals and groups marginalized from dominant discourses in society. If we were to accept this, it would be necessary to distinguish between social heterogeneity and heterogeneity ‘as such’ and to insist that only the latter refers to the limit of objectivity or representation. That does mean that heterogeneity captures the limit of objectivity and representation as such, as if that were possible; as argued above, heterogeneity is a non-synonymous substitute for something that cannot be appropriated or substituted. In this context, one may also ask how heterogeneity distinguishes Laclau’s approach from other approaches. I have argued that heterogeneity allows us to interpret Laclau’s work in more deconstructivist terms; he himself also connected his theory of hegemony to a particular interpretation of Lacan, lack and ‘the real’. Whatever the case, heterogeneity is distinct from, for instance, ‘abundance’ as proposed by William Connolly, because heterogeneity is inherently connected representation and to the limit of representation (Thomassen 2005b).

References B Bataille, G. (1997). The Psychological Structure of Fascism. In F.  Botting & S. Wilson (Eds.), The Bataille Reader (pp. 122–146). Oxford: Blackwell. Bech Dyrberg, T. (1997). The Circular Structure of Power: Politics, Identity, Community. London: Verso. Biglieri, P., & Perello, G. (2011). The Names of the Real in Laclau’s Theory: Antagonism, Dislocation, and Heterogeneity. Filozofski Vestnik, 32(2), 47–64.

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Bloom, P., & Dallyn, S. (2011). The Paradox of Order: Reimagining Ideological Domination. Journal of Political Ideologies, 16(1), 53–78. Bowman, G. (1994). “A Country of Words”: Conceiving the Palestinian Nation from the Position of Exile. In E. Laclau (Ed.), The Making of Political Identities (pp. 138–170). London: Verso.

D Derrida, J. (1982). Margins of Philosophy. Brighton: Harvester Press.

G Glynos, J., & Howarth, D. (2007). Logics of Critical Explanation in Social and Political Theory. Abingdon: Routledge.

L Laclau, E. (1990a). New Reflections on the Revolution of Our Time. In E. Laclau (Ed.), New Reflections on the Revolution of Our Time (pp. 3–85). London: Verso. Laclau, E. (1990b). The Impossibility of Society. In E.  Laclau (Ed.), New Reflections on the Revolution of Our Time (pp. 89–92). London: Verso. Laclau, E. (1996a). Emancipation(s). London: Verso. Laclau, E. (1996b). The Death and Resurrection of the Theory of Ideology. Journal of Political Ideologies, 1(3), 201–220. Laclau, E. (1997). On the Names of God. In S.  Golding (Ed.), The Eight Technologies of Otherness (pp. 253–264). Abingdon: Routledge. Laclau, E. (1998). Paul de Man and the Politics of Rhetoric. Pretexts, 7(2), 153–170. Laclau, E. (1999a). Politics, Polemics and Academics: An Interview by Paul Bowman. Parallax, 5(2), 93–107. Laclau, E. (2000a). Identity and Hegemony: The Role of Universality in the Constitution of Political Logics. In J. Butler, E. Laclau, & S. Žižek (Eds.), Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Dialogues on the Left (pp. 44–89). London/New York: Verso.

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Laclau, E. (2000b). Structure, History and the Political. In J. Butler, E. Laclau, & S. Žižek (Eds.), Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Dialogues on the Left (pp. 182–212). London/New York: Verso. Laclau, E. (2000c). Constructing Universality. In J.  Butler, E.  Laclau, & S. Žižek (Eds.), Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Dialogues on the Left (pp. 281–307). London: Verso. Laclau, E. (2001). Can Immanence Explain Social Struggles? Diacritics, 31(4), 3–10. Laclau, E. (2002a). Ethics, Politics and Radical Democracy: A Reply to Simon Critchley. Culture Machine, 4, 1–5. Laclau, E. (2002b). Democracy Between Autonomy and Heteronomy. In O.  Enwezor et  al. (Eds.), Democracy Unrealized: Documenta11_Platform1 (pp. 377–386). Ostfieldern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz. Laclau, E. (2004). Glimpsing the Future. In S. Critchley & O. Marchart (Eds.), Laclau: A Critical Reader (pp. 279–328). London: Routledge. Laclau, E. (2005a). On Populist Reason. London: Verso. Laclau, E. (2005b). Populism: What’s in a Name? In F. Panizza (Ed.), Populism and the Mirror of Democracy (pp. 32–49). London: Verso. Laclau, E. (2006). Why Constructing of People Is the Main Task of Radical Politics. Critical Inquiry, 32(4), 646–680. Laclau, E., & Mouffe, C. (1985). Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics (1st ed.). London/ New York: Verso.

N Norval, A. J. (1997). Frontiers in Question. Filozofski Vestnik, 18(2), 51–75.

P Pessoa, C., et al. (2001). Theory, Democracy, and the Left: An Interview with Ernesto Laclau. In Umbr(a): Polemos (pp. 7–27).

S Stäheli, U. (2004). Competing Figures of the Limit: Dispersion, Transgression, Antagonism, and Indifference. In S. Critchley & O. Marchart (Eds.), Laclau: A Critical Reader (pp. 226–240). London: Routledge.

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Stallybrass, P. (1991). Marx and Heterogeneity: Thinking the Lumpenproletariat. Representations, 31(Summer), 69–95. Staten, H. (1984). Wittgenstein and Derrida. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

T Thomassen, L. (2005a). Discourse Analytical Strategies: Antagonism, Hegemony and Ideology After Heterogeneity. Journal of Political Ideologies, 10(3), 289–309. Thomassen, L. (2005b). In/Exclusions: Towards a Radical Democratic Approach to Exclusion. In L.  Thomassen & L.  Tønder (Eds.), Radical Democracy: Politics Between Abundance and Lack (pp. 103–119). Manchester: Manchester University Press. Thomassen, L. (2005c). Heterogeneity, Inclusion and Exclusion: Displacements of Life, Liberty, and Refugees in Angelopoulos’ Eternity and a Day. Contemporary Justice Review, 8(4), 381–395. Thomassen, L. (2007). Towards a Cosmopolitics of Heterogeneity: Borders, Communities and Refugees in Angelopoulos’s Balkan Trilogy. In D. Morgan & G.  Banham (Eds.), Cosmopolitics and the Emergence of a Future (pp. 191–210). Basingstoke: Palgrave.

W Widder, N. (2000). What’s Lacking in the Lack: A Comment on the Virtual. Angelaki, 5(3), 117–138. Worsham, L., & Olson, G. A. (1998). Hegemony and the Future of Democracy: Ernesto Laclau’s Political Philosophy. In L. Worsham & G. A. Olson (Eds.), Race, Rhetoric and the Postcolonial (pp. 129–164). Albany: SUNY Press.

Z Žižek, S. (1990). Beyond Discourse-Analysis. In E. Laclau (Ed.), New Reflections of the Revolution of Our Time (pp. 249–260). London: Verso.

4 Hegemony Analysis: Theory, Methodology and Research Practice Martin Nonhoff

Introduction1 Many discourse analyses, in particular political discourse analyses, explicitly or implicitly deal with the question how a specific world description turns into a valid and/or dominant world description. The importance of this question is increased by the fact that usually world descriptions are discursively linked with normative valuations or prescriptions. Examples for this could be far-reaching political developments like the spreading of the idea of the nation or happenings at a smaller scale like the naturalization of a certain school of economic thinking. In all those and many other cases, world descriptions are con This is the  slightly shortened version of  an  article that was  originally published in  German (Nonhoff 2010). 1

M. Nonhoff (*) Institut für Interkulturelle und Internationale Studien, Universität Bremen, Bremen, Germany e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2019 T. Marttila (ed.), Discourse, Culture and Organization, Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94123-3_4

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nected to specific ideas about human self-understanding and about welcome behavior, for example, to the idea of a national identity that makes it appropriate for citizens to die for the nation in wars or to cheer for a sports team that is framed as a ‘national team’. Thus, world descriptions regularly entail processes of subjectivation. While there will exist, more often than not, dominant world descriptions and prevailing patterns of subjectivation, these will nonetheless be contested. The seemingly obvious truth or integrity of any widespread world description can be and will often be challenged by alternative accounts. These latter accounts in turn will be combatted by the dominant position, for example, by relegating them to the realm of the factually false, the non-useful or the morally detestable. It can thus be quite easily recognized that there exists a constant discursive struggle about the true, the right and the good. To conceive of discourse analysis as hegemony analysis, that is, as an analysis of discursive predominance, means to scrutinize this very struggle. Hegemony analysis builds on the theory of discourse and hegemony as it was first sketched out by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe (1985) and then further developed particularly by Ernesto Laclau (1996, 2000, 2005). At the same time, it goes beyond those theoretical reference points as it seeks to close Laclau’s and Mouffe’s ‘methodology gap’ which has often been remarked. In other words, the hegemony analysis approach aims to turn the theory of hegemony into a more suitable instrument for empirical discourse analysis. I will start this text with a few methodological remarks in order to clarify the difference between hegemony analysis and other forms of discourse analysis: While most other discourse analyses are mainly interested in a specific discursive materiality, hegemony analysis focuses on a specific discursive function (the hegemony function). Next, I will lay out the tools of hegemony analysis. In a third step, I will show how these tools can be applied in discourse analytical practice. To this end, I will resort to examples from a larger study on the hegemony of the idea of a ‘social market economy’ in (West) Germany in mid-twentieth century (Nonhoff 2006). Eventually, this chapter will conclude with a short outlook on further research potentials.

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 reliminary Methodological Considerations: P Hegemony as a Function of Discourse Before I can begin to introduce the standard tools of hegemony analysis and then go on to describe hegemony-analytic discourse analysis step by step, one basic methodological remark is required. Even though I just mentioned that the exemplary analysis which is to be presented here does of course deal with a specific topic—the foundational economic discourse in West Germany about ‘social market economy’—this information might be misleading. For the main difference between hegemony analysis and many other forms of discourse analysis is that it is for the most part not interested in the genealogy and meaning of a given knowledge formation. Hegemony analysts do not focus on the ‘what?’ question when analyzing discourse. The goal is neither to better understand (a) which meaning is attributed to the term ‘social market economy’ nor (b) under which conditions a concrete knowledge formation like the one around social market economy could develop in the first place. Without a doubt, these two research perspectives belong to the core of discourse analysis, the respective research questions being at the fore of (a) more hermeneutically oriented or (b) Foucaultian kinds of analysis. And in the course of hegemony analysis, too, these questions will play a role, at least to a certain extent; but they will neither be the guiding nor the crucial questions. Rather, the main question of a hegemony analysis is how hegemonic processes function. In other words, as hegemony analysts we will be interested not primarily in the contents of discourse but in discursive functions or, to be more precise, in the hegemony function of political discourses. This function, so the starting supposition, will regularly become manifest in similar form and with similar effects in political discourse. That is to say that we may assume a certain generalizability of hegemonic processes and of their crystallization in hegemonic discourse structures. As I will explain in more detail below, in order to demonstrate the workings of this hegemony function, it will be necessary to reconstruct the successful employment of a hegemony strategy. In order to search complex discursive material for traces of such an employment, a useful starting point will be the construction of an ideal type of a ‘hegemonic strategy’. This ideal type construction can draw on theoretical resources, most of all on the theory of hegemony

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by Laclau and Mouffe. Theory of ­hegemony provides useful instructions for the conceptualization of various ideal typical hegemonic strategies. And yet, hegemony analysis must go beyond theory and examine the validity of the theoretical considerations by working reconstructively through empirical material, with the result of possibly amending or revising the ideal type of hegemonic strategy. In short, a hegemony analysis is an analysis of a discourse function which reconstructs hegemonic processes in empirical material, starting from a theoretically established ideal type of ‘hegemonic strategy’. By implication, it will essentially proceed in a deductive manner, that is, coming from discourse theory, passing through discursive empirics and then returning to a possibly adjusted discourse theory. This marks a difference to many Foucaultian discourse analyses, as the latter often proceed inductively.

The Tools of Hegemony Analysis In this section, I will introduce the tools that are needed for such an analysis. The selection of these tools is guided by the research object ‘discursive hegemony’. Obviously, we will need to get a better conceptualization of what we mean when we talk about ‘discourse’ and about ‘hegemony’. Further, we need to bear in mind that any discursive articulation will encompass two processes. On the one hand, discursive elements will be (re-)arranged; on the other hand, the articulating subject will position itself in discourse. Both aspects are of importance because we can speak of hegemony in the sense of discursive predominance only if discursive arrangements are produced which are able to address different societal actors and if these actors are indeed ‘recruited’ by the discourse with the consequence that they performatively support the respective discursive formation. In order to analyze discursive arrangements, we need to come up with a typology of discursive linkages, and the ideal type just mentioned must be developed. In order to comprehend what is going on when discursive arrangements are performatively supported, we will also need an understanding of discursive subjectivation and of discourse coalitions. The tools just mentioned will now be introduced and discussed in the following order: the concept of discourse, discursive demands and

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their linkages, the concept of hegemony, discursive subjectivation and discourse coalitions, and finally the ideal type of hegemonic strategy.

Discourse In the field of contributions that subscribe to the self-description ‘discourse analysis’, we can roughly discern two different notions of ­discourse. On the one hand, ‘discourse’ will refer to the expressed— mostly spoken—communications in a concrete situational context; in this understanding, discourse analysis is not too far from conversation analysis (cf. Coulthard 1977; Renkema 1992). On the other hand, many discourse analysts, in particular from the social sciences, refer to large-scale societal meaning formations (and their processes of change) when they talk about ‘discourse’. Notably, many discourse analyses in the wake of Foucault’s discourse theory (Foucault 1972) belong to this field. Hegemony analysis, too, belongs to this second variety of discourse analysis. Therefore, the notion of discourse is related to the space of large-­scale societal meaning. In this context, ‘meaning’ refers to the formal concept familiar from structural linguistics (Saussure 1959) and also used by Laclau and Mouffe (1985): meaning as an effect of differentiation and difference. Meaning is thus understood to be produced when two elements are put into a relation with one another, implying that they are at the same time constituted as distinct and different elements. Starting from this basic idea, we can give at least three answers to the question about ‘discourse’ as a research object. They are not completely distinct, but rather highlight different aspects. Firstly, discourse can be understood as a multiplicity of individual acts of meaning production, that is, acts which simultaneously differentiate and relate elements (the latter becoming discursive elements through these very acts). Laclau and Mouffe call these individual acts articulations, explaining further: ‘The structured totality resulting from this articulatory practice, we will call discourse’ (Laclau and Mouffe 1985: 105). This definition, however, needs to be specified because ‘structured totality’ can be interpreted in two ways: temporally or spatially. Accordingly, the second aspect of discourse

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follows from the fact that it exists in the process of continuously producing and connecting articulations. Seen from this perspective, discourse analytics will scrutinize the temporal sequence/sequencing of articulations and the respective regularities. They will look at the ongoing forming of meaning formations and will, for example, analyze the linearity or circularity of articulation sequences. But also temporal patterns like regularities in adapting to contingent events will come into view. Thirdly, we can also speak of discourse as an ever fragile structure resulting from the process of articulations: a repeated linkage of a number of articulations and hence an arrangement of discursive elements. This structural aspect appears to be most evidently implied by the term ‘structured totality’. In the context of the larger edifice of hegemony theory, however, this term must not be reduced to a completely fixed totality. Rather, the theory of hegemony builds on the idea of a constitutive lack, and thus the continuous mobility and unfixity of any totality. Therefore, the process and the structure, the forming and the formation, the arranging and the arrangement of discourses are inextricably linked. One additional question needs to be discussed: the question of the range of discursivity. Many approaches to discourse analysis equate the discursive with the linguistic (including oral as well as written language). But if we take seriously the understanding of meaning and articulation that was just explicated, to limit discourse to language will make no sense. Acts of differentiation, that is, articulations and thus ascriptions of meaning, may encompass not only linguistic but also nonlinguistic acts. Not only words or other linguistic elements but also objects, subjects, states of affairs and so on are continuously related to one another (as well as to spoken or written texts); as a consequence of this process, they all acquire a specific meaning. For example, a book whose pages are being used to light a fire will have a meaning different from a book on which an oath is sworn, and again these two will have other meanings than the book that lies on a nightstand ready to be read for a few minutes before the reader falls asleep. So, hegemony analysis—in contrast particularly to Foucaultian kinds of discourse analysis—does not distinguish between discursive and nondiscursive practices; rather, any human action is understood as meaning constituting action and therefore as discursive action (cf. Laclau 1993).

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As a consequence, the research objects of discourse analysis are nearly inexhaustible. However, for the exemplary analysis to be presented here (on German social market economy) this will have no immediate effect because its corpus was assembled as a classical text corpus and a­ ccordingly the analysis will for the most part focus on linguistic articulations. As the reader can infer from this, I agree with many other discourse analytics that in the sense of a concrete research object, I take a carefully selected compilation of texts to be a proxy for a discourse. Nonetheless, this textual corpus will here and there be complemented by including practical meaning production in the course of political interaction, for example, the act of passing a law. One other important consequence of not distinguishing between the discursive and the nondiscursive is that elements of the context to which texts relate are themselves understood as discursive elements, having no fixed meaning. Likewise, the meaning of any ‘subject’ is not simply given but will be open to reconstitution through acts of differentiation and positioning.

Demands and Their Linkages The three dimensions of discourse just mentioned—the multiplicity of individual articulations, the process of arranging these articulations, the (always preliminary) result of a structure of discursive elements—can be easily distinguished only from an analytical perspective. Yet, when analyzing discourse, the analytic will not always be able to neatly separate processes of formation from the formed structures of discourse. In particular, she will need to access any concrete discourse through the many individual articulations by which it is constituted. Hence, any analysis of political discourse will, on the level of operationalization, need to give answers to two questions. (a) Of which kind are the elements that are articulated in political discourse? In his later writings, Ernesto Laclau has started to call these elements ‘demands’ (Laclau 2005: 72–77). This wording is not uncontroversial because it holds the danger of an essentialism of the smallest discursive element (Angermuller 2007)—at least if it is understood as the natural demand of a self-identical subject (which is not Laclau’s under-

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standing). The other side of the coin, however, is the potential of a language of demands to highlight the materiality of political discourse which might get out of sight in a purely linguistic analysis (cf. Demirovic 2007). In any case, from a methodological point of view discursive elements can easily be conceptualized as demands (cf. Nonhoff 2006: 261) because political discourses are for the most part organized as an exchange about how communal, shared life should be organized in the future; and for such an exchange the mode of raising demands does play a crucial role. Of course, it can be shown that not only future-oriented demands are of importance in political discourse but that references to the past are also often crucial. This is the reason why, for example, articulations which mention previous successes can also often be fruitfully analyzed (cf. Nonhoff 2006: 309ff., 2012: 270). Still, very often the latter will be combined with future-oriented demands, for example, in formulations like ‘We must stay on our successful course!’ (b) A second obvious question arises: What are we actually looking for when we look for articulations? Due to the complexity and mutability of discursive structures, it does not seem promising to look for specific linkages of between two or more specific elements. The sheer vastness of discursive reference systems will usually rule out any endeavor to reconstruct the many—often blurry and multifaceted—details of discursive meaning production. Hence it makes sense to choose as one of our ‘tools’ a typology of those discursive relations which are functional for analyzing hegemonies. Because even though the number of discursive elements is endless, we may—following, for example, Foucault’s analysis of the rarity of enunciations (1972: 118–121)—assume the existence of only a limited number of types of discursive relations. In the wake of Laclau and Mouffe’s theory of hegemony, a fitting typology can be conceived in at least two ways. For on the one hand, Laclau repeatedly stated (prominently in Laclau 2005: 68; cf. 2006: 106) that there are only two basic options to relate discursive elements: substitution and combination. Substitution can become relevant for those cases in which an empty signifier represents a universal; the notion of empty signifiers will be fleshed out in more detail in the next section. It can be shown, however, that representation in this unmediated sense of a substi-

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tution is often not convincing. More commonly it evolves as an indirect effect of discursive combinations (see below). The standard understanding of a combination in the theory of hegemony is a relation of equivalence between two discursive elements. On the other hand, some ontological assumptions of the theory of hegemony also point to types of discursive relations. The first of those assumptions is that all politics is ruled by the logics of difference and equivalence. Secondly, the theory of hegemony assumes that the social cannot be constituted without antagonism (cf. Laclau 2014: 101–126). The first assumption allows for the conclusion that combination does not only refer to the relation of equivalence but also to the relation of difference. This cannot really be a surprising discovery once we take into account that all discursive elements, in order to acquire any meaning at all, must be articulated as different to one another and hence combined in a relation of difference. Difference is, in other words, the basic relation between all elements that show up in discourse as distinct elements. Equivalence in this sense can only be pasted onto difference, that is, all equivalent elements must also be different elements. The second assumption does have much more complicated effects for discourses because, as Laclau repeatedly shows (e.g., Laclau 2006), antagonism is not an objective relation that could be simply produced on the surface of discourse by relating two elements that belong to the same symbolic space. In other words, simply saying that two elements are antagonistic to one another is not enough for convincingly constituting antagonism. Nevertheless, we will of course find some traces, precursors or components of antagonism on the surface of articulated discourse— because without articulation no antagonism. But how can we conceive of this? The answer is as obvious as it is easy: antagonisms2 form between different blocks of demands. These blocks are called chains of equivalence by Laclau and Mouffe. These chains come into existence not because their elements have something positive in common. Rather, what they share is their opposition to a common opponent or, even more likely, to  It should be noted that what I talk about here is antagonisms in the plural, that is, concrete societal sense. I do not talk about antagonism’s ontological dimension (cf. Laclau 2014: 101ff.). 2

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a more complex formation of opponents which can also be articulated as a chain of equivalence. As a result, we see two confronting and mutually exclusive camps represented by chains of equivalence. I would like to propose that the relation of a single demand to whatever it is that it seeks to overcome can be viewed as the nucleus of antagonism. It is this nucleus that can be analyzed on the discursive surface. To distinguish it from full-­ fledged antagonism, these single relations can be called ‘contrarieties’ (cf. Nonhoff 2006: 88).3 Relations of contrariety, too, should be understood to be pasted onto relations of difference. Now we have reconstructed the different types of relations that we need in order to analyze the vicissitudes of hegemony within any specific discursive arena. But we are facing one more difficulty: In most cases, particularly when looking at pluralistic liberal democracies, discourse will take place in a great number of discursive arenas which exist in parallel (cf. Laclau and Mouffe 1985: 131ff.). These different arenas will sometimes overlap or penetrate into one another, but often times they will remain distinct in a rather stable manner. Different discourses and their arenas can, for example, differ in having different aspects of the universal as their nodal points (security, welfare, civil rights, etc.). Sometimes, however, the boundaries of discursive arenas can start to become blurred. In these moments we should expect a type of articulation that tries to mend the broken boundary by drawing a clear line between what belongs to a specific arena and what does not. These acts of mending discursive boundaries differ from the constitution of an antagonism. We could say that they serve to constitute what Laclau (2005: 139ff.) calls heterogeneity by marking discursive areas that ‘are not relevant’ or ‘do not play a role here’. Since such articulations make explicit a kind of intensified difference, I coin this type of discursive relation ‘superdifference’. Super-­difference, too, is a kind of combinatory articulation, and like equivalence and contrariety it is pasted onto difference. We can conclude: When we resort to Laclau’s and Mouffe’s theory of hegemony as the theoretical foundation of empirical hegemony analysis, and add the additional considerations just delineated, we can distinguish  Just like antagonisms, relations of contrariety resemble neither real opposition nor contradiction (cf. Laclau and Mouffe 1985: 109ff.). They are discursively traceable components of antagonisms. 3

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five types of discursive relations. They are crucial components of our toolbox for discourse analysis4: 1. The first typical relation is representation: ‘x stands for y’. This type belongs to the register of substitution. Within the theory of hegemony, it is particularly relevant for the (impossible) representation of a universal by an empty signifier (cf. Laclau 1996: 36–46). As we will see below, this effect of representation does not entirely depend on the discursive relation of representation; it can also come about indirectly by employing the other types of discursive relations. 2. Except for representation all other types of discursive relations belong to the register of combination. The typical relation of difference—‘x is different from y’—should be considered as the basic relation of anything that is recognizable as a discursive element. The three following types—equivalence, contrariety, super-difference—need to be understood as being pasted onto difference. Relations of difference can also exist on their own, but without the other three types discursive space would be a flat and even space of simple difference, without interruptions or specific markings. 3. Equivalence equates one element with another one, not in every regard (the two elements do not become identical), but in both elements’ relation to a third element ‘a’. The general formula for equivalence that also takes into account the difference between equivalent elements would thus read: ‘x is different from y, but in relation to a both go hand in hand’. 4. For contrariety, too, the relation to a third element does play an important role. Two contrary elements are not opposites in every regard, but one element blocks another one in regard to ‘a’: ‘x is different from y, and in relation to a it is blocked by y’. It should also be noted that relations of equivalence and contrariety can interact: ‘x and z are (different but) equivalent as both elements are blocked by y’. 5. Relations of super-difference are used for the separation of discursive arenas: ‘x is different from y, and it has nothing at all to do with y’.  This typology improves my earlier typology and does also take into account changes made after the publication of the original German article the translation of which you read here. The difference between this latest version of the typology and the earliest one (cf. Nonhoff 2006: 85ff., 227f. [Fn. 10]) is the addition of the typical relation of ‘representation’ and a reformulation of the wording of contrariety. The latter was introduced only in Nonhoff (2017: 93). 4

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On the Concept of Hegemony In order to approach the concept of hegemony it will be useful to get a grasp of some of the fundamental attributes of politico-social space because it is here that struggles for hegemony take place. As I have elaborated elsewhere (Nonhoff 2006: ch.3), any political discourse will sooner or later have to refer to some idea of the common good (or a similar concept). But the common good as such can never be discursively present; it needs to be symbolized by one of the concrete discursive elements. This will resemble an impossible articulation, a kind of discursive short circuit between a universal that cannot be represented and a particular discursive element that wants to do just that. But because a short circuit like this is never a necessary one, there will always be more than one candidate to represent the universal. Consequently, political discourses will involve conflict. Hegemonies will assemble around some specific discursive element that tries to represent the universal. As is well known, in Laclau’s theory, such elements are called ‘empty signifiers’ (Laclau 1996: 36–46). It is the symbolic embodiment of an imaginary universal which can never in fact be realized. Following Claude Lefort (1988), we can read the space of the imaginary universal as a space of lack, an empty space that, due its emptiness, continuously invites new attempts at symbolically filling it. In modern pluralist democracies, lack and universal will often not be all-encompassing lack and universal—like the lacking common good per se—but will rather show in sectoral specifications like a lack of security, of social justice or of economic prosperity. Against this background, we can now discuss what hegemonic predominance means. Two questions are particularly relevant: (a) What does become predominant? (b) Which degrees or intensities of predomination can we distinguish? (a) When talking about hegemony, we often times mean one of two different phenomena. On the one hand, we can refer to the predominance of a specific person or group. In the German state of Bavaria, for example, since 1949 a single party (the Christian Social Union, CSU) has been the ruling party for 66 out of 69  years, and of these 66  years, it needed a coalition partner for only eight years. As of today (2018), the

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CSU is still ruling the state of Bavaria on the basis of an absolute majority of parliamentary seats. Hence, analysts will often speak of CSU hegemony in Bavaria (Mintzel 1998). On the other hand, we also speak of the predominance of a certain way of thinking, of a paradigm or of a discursive formation. It is, for example, common to analyze the hegemony of neoliberalism or of conservatism. Both perspectives on predominance— of actors or of ways of thinking—are convincing, each in its own way. Therefore, we should try to take both of them into account. One good option to do so is to work with the notion of demand as political discourse’s smallest element, as has already been proposed above. Demands can be raised for the leadership of a person or a group but also for the need to follow a certain ideology or to establish government according to a certain paradigm. Hence, hegemony analysts will examine the predominance of demands. But this insight can only be a first step because on any day political actors will utter a plethora of demands; and it is as of yet unclear how we can sort these demands in a helpful way, so that only the relevant demands enter the text corpus of an analysis. In this regard, it will be useful to take into account the notion of political discourse. Following up on what has been said above, those demands will be relevant that have been raised in respect to the universal or, to be more precise, those demands which aim at alleviating or completely overcoming the lacking universal. We can differentiate three types of such demands. The first type of demands articulates a necessary condition for remedying the lacking universal. Such demands express that the universal cannot be realized as long as this or that goal has not been accomplished or this or that obstacle has not been removed. Such a kind of demands will specify one partial aspect of the universal. Because they can in principle be complemented by further demands oriented toward the common good, demands of this type will be called cumulative demands. A second type of demands also formulates a necessary condition for remedying the lacking universal but at the same time entails the assumption that its fulfilment is a sufficient condition for the fulfilment of other demands that are oriented toward the common good. We can term this type of demand a subsuming demand since it brackets together a number of demands under its own name. Lastly, a third type of demands articulates a sufficient condition for overcoming the lack of the universal. It

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implies, in other words, that, once it is met, all other demands in regard to the universal will also be met. Accordingly, this type resembles the maximization of a subsuming demand; it will thus be called encompassing demand. All three types of demands are of interest for the analysis. It can be expected that encompassing demands will form the core of hegemonic formations because only they aim to fully represent a specific universal. Nevertheless, cumulative and subsuming demands are also of great importance: On the one hand, they are the material from which chains of equivalence are constructed; on the other hand, they can develop into encompassing demands in the course of hegemonic struggles. (b) There are three key attributes of any encompassing demand. Firstly, it represents a specific universal completely (and not only partially). One such demand could, for example, read like this: ‘As long as we realize social market economy as our economic order, the general and encompassing economic well-being to which our entire people aspires will be guaranteed.’ Secondly, however, even an encompassing demand will always remain a particular demand, that is, a specific demand that is different from other demands, notably from other encompassing demands. This highlights, thirdly, that an encompassing demand will always claim to be encompassing but will have to assert this precarious claim in the course of hegemonic practice (i.e. it is never objectively encompassing). In order to achieve more analytical clarity and leverage, I further propose to differentiate between three levels of success of any hegemonic practice (cf. Nonhoff 2006: 138ff.). The specificity of a hegemonic articulation is connected to its invasion of the terrain of the Other. Articulated by a distinct speaker, it asserts to represent other demands that are raised in regard to the universal by other speakers. Hence every articulation of a subsuming or an encompassing demand can be viewed as a hegemonic articulation. In contrast to these single hegemonic articulations, the other two levels of hegemonic practice produce hegemonic formations. At the center of these formations, we will always find an encompassing demand connected to an explicit or implicit claim to predomination. Any such formation can be understood as a hegemonic project. Against this, hegemony will only come into existence if the claim to predominance anchored in an encompassing demand can be established successfully. In other words, an encompassing demand must be able to represent the (overcom-

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ing of the lack of a) universal among a larger audience and over a longer period of time. If this is the case, we could call this encompassing demand also a hegemonic demand. The levels of hegemonic predominance can thus be described as: single hegemonic articulations, hegemonic project, hegemony.

Discursive Subjectivation and Discourse Coalitions We can recognize discursive projects because they develop distinct discursive structures. For a discursive project to develop into a full-fledged hegemony, it is also necessary to discursively entrench a specific hegemonic structuration. When in the last section I referred to the hegemonic need to reach a larger audience, this statement will need to be rephrased. In fact, the goal of hegemonic practice is not simply a passive audience in agreement, but rather the active widespread adoption of a given encompassing demand by a great number of subjects. In other words, the more and the longer an encompassing demand which seeks to represent the universal finds de facto acceptance as the common will of politico-­societal forces, the more we can speak of hegemony (cf. Nonhoff 2006: 148). In this, by using the term ‘common will’ we recognize that successful hegemonies will always imply the performative appropriation of a discursive formation by individuals and groups. Put differently, hegemony means widespread subjectivation by and through a discursive formation. But subjectivation as widespread and quantitatively significant as possible is not all that matters. Eventually, the goal of hegemonic practice is the discursive perceptibility of a discursive formation. It is not simply numbers that matter. Therefore I speak of the common will of ­politico-­societal forces in order to identify those subjects who—due to diverse reasons—contribute to discursive perceptibility. Beside the sheer number such perceptibility can, for example, be grounded on scientific competence or on having access to the spaces of political decision-making. Particularly groups and coalitions are well suited to fulfill one or several of the many conditions of perceptibility. Maarten Hajer’s (1995: 65) concept of discourse coalitions proves to be useful in this context. However, whereas Hajer uses the term ‘discourse coalition’ in order to

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refer to specific constellations of story lines and the actors uttering the story lines, I will speak of a discourse coalition only in the sense of a— flexible and not necessarily planned—grouping of those individual and collective subjects who contribute to the spreading of a discursive formation and who, at the same time, adopt this very formation as their own. To reconstruct the discourse coalitions which underpin a given discursive formation is one of the two core tasks of every hegemony analysis.

Hegemonic Strategy: An Ideal Type The second core task of any hegemony analysis is reconstructive, too: the reconstruction of the specific shape of the hegemonic strategy in the discourse under scrutiny. The typology of discursive relations elaborated above gave us a first idea about what it is that we look for in discourse corpora. This typology is best suited for the smallest steps of a hegemony analysis, namely, the examination of individual articulations, the linkages of single discursive elements. In hegemonic practice, however, these initial linkages often become the object of further, more complex linkages. In other words, articulations mesh in a way that lets the hegemony function of a political discourse come into effect. Any hegemonic strategy will aim at exactly this: at an arrangement of articulations that makes the hegemony effect possible. To better understand hegemonic strategy and to elucidate its empirical workings is the goal of hegemony analysis. Every (offensive) hegemonic strategy’s goal is to turn a hegemonic project into a successful hegemony. This involves a specific arrangement of discursive elements and of the articulations responsible for arranging elements. But contrary to what the notion of ‘strategy’ might suggest, this arrangement must not be conceived as one that has been planned or deliberately brought about. Since any discourse will always connect a great number and also an unforeseeable multiplicity of discourse participants, we cannot—at least not in a free society—assume that a single speaker or a small group of aligned speakers can simply execute a plan for discursive hegemony. Therefore, the strategic arrangement, the process of linking discursive elements across time, cannot be ascribed to a ‘hegemon’ in the classic sense. The arrangement will rather evolve in the course

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of the contingent interplay of multiple strategic plans and intentions. For this reason, it is appropriate to not speak of a strategy of discourse participants, but rather of discursive strategy. Ex post facto and across a number of different discourse contributions, this discursive hegemonic strategy can be reconstructed by discourse analysts. I propose that a good instrument for such a reconstruction is an ideal-typical understanding of discursive strategy to which I will turn now. In general, there can be two kinds of hegemonic strategies. On the one hand, one can articulate from the (self-ascribed, not objective) position the hegemon; on the other hand from the (self-ascribed, not objective) position of those who consider themselves to be in opposition to a hegemon. In the first case we can speak of a defensive-hegemonic strategy because the goal is to defend one’s hegemonic position. In the second case, we would be dealing with an offensive-hegemonic strategy the goal of which is to overcome a perceived hegemony. In this article, I will scrutinize only the latter because my empirical analysis aims at understanding how the hegemony of social market economy could be established in post-war (West) Germany, that is, it looks at the case of a successful offensive-hegemonic strategy.5 Because discursive strategies often involve complex arrangements of discursive elements, it is analytically useful to conceptually subdivide them. I call the different parts of a strategy ‘strategemes’. An ideal-typical offensivehegemonic strategy encompasses a set of nine strategemes (see Table 4.1). Before I expand on some of these strategemes, three general remarks on this set are necessary. Firstly, in part those strategemes have been established deductively, that is, been deduced from Laclau’s and Mouffe’s theory of hegemony (this particularly applies to the core strategemes); others have been garnered inductively during the analysis of the discourse on social market economy (hence they are presented here ‘in advance’). Secondly, precisely because part of it has been produced inductively the set must be read as an open set that can be expanded by and for other cases. Consequently, the ideal type must be conceived as open to change. Thirdly, the strategemes are of different scope and come up with varying frequency. Whereas the three core strategemes charac For more on the defensive-hegemonic strategy, and also on the question whether there can be an anti-hegemonic strategy, see Nonhoff (2006: 238ff.). 5

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Table 4.1  Strategemes of the offensive hegemony strategy A. Core strategemes of the offensive-hegemonic strategy   (I) Articulation of equivalences between different demands made with regard to the universal   (II) Antagonistic division of the discursive space   (III) Representation B. Basic strategeme   (IV) Super-differential demarcation of a specific discourse’s limits C. Supplementary hegemonic strategemes   (V) Gradual constitution of greater leeway for interpreting the symbolic equivalent of the universal   (VI) (Re-)Articulation of subject positions for politico-societal forces   (VII) Occasional but deliberate breach of the antagonistic line of division D. Secondary hegemonic strategemes   (VIII) Strategeme of true championship   (IX) Strategeme of true meaning

terize almost every hegemonic practice (now and again conditioned by the basic strategeme of super-differential demarcation) and almost always combine with one another, the supplementary and the secondary strategemes cannot always be found. Supplementary strategemes are used to raise the outreach and/or impact of a hegemonic formation. Secondary strategemes can be found when a hegemonic formation is already quite well established, and when, as a consequence, it becomes controversial what it is that ‘in fact’ defines this formation.6 Due to the limited space available for this contribution, I will now only elaborate on the three core strategemes and the supplementary strategemes no. V and no. VII.7 The three core strategemes can be understood as a discourse analytical reformulation of key considerations of Laclau’s and Mouffe’s theory of hegemony.8 Their effect is to establish an encompassing demand (that has been raised in regard to the universal) as a hegemonic demand. This means that such a demand will convincingly promise that once it itself is fulfilled, all other demands raised in regard to the universal will also be met. The function of the first strategeme is directly related to this goal. For a political demand to become hegemonic, it needs to become part of  I have described such a situation as a second-order struggle for hegemony; see Nonhoff (2006: 204f., 234ff.). 7  A detailed description of all strategemes can be found in Nonhoff (2006: ch.5). 8  See, for example, Laclau and Mouffe (1985: ch.3) or Laclau (2005: ch.4). 6

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a chain of demands that are perceived as equivalent demands, as demands that go hand in hand with each other. Following Laclau and Mouffe, we usually speak of chains of equivalence. But how is this possible? How can a multiplicity of demands that are obviously different be rearticulated as equivalent? This question leads us to strategeme no. II. As has already been argued above, equivalence does never exist per se; it does always exist in relation to some ‘a’. In the context of hegemonic strategy, the ‘a’ is nothing but a negative relation of contrariety in which all equivalent demands stand to the lack of a specific universal. In other words: The demands are articulated as equivalent because they share a common opponent (and the opponent or oppositional formation must itself be constructed through articulating as equivalent different elements). This overlap of equivalence and contrariety leads to a formation of two confronting chains of equivalence (we can call them P and Q). Between them, the antagonistic divide is constituted. In this way, every hegemonic project aims at splitting the entire discursive space in two. Eventually, all elements of lack, lethargy and blockage are to be assembled on one side of the antagonistic divide (chain of equivalence Q), while on the other side (in the chain of equivalence P) we will find all the demands aimed at overcoming the negative forces. Now, let us look at strategeme no. III, the strategeme of representation. We know now that for a hegemonic formation to be successful different demands need to form a chain of equivalence (P) aimed at overcoming the elements of lack (chain of equivalence Q). But in order to mobilize hegemonic leverage, this chain P also needs a focal point that can function as a representative demand. So, why is element x able to represent the chain, but not element z? Occasionally, one can find articulations which attempt to articulate representation immediately (i.e. articulations of representation between what the demand demands and the universal itself ). But successful articulation will normally not be the consequence of such ‘positive’ articulations because a simple short circuit between a particular representative and a universal which in the end cannot be represented by any particular is able to muster only limited persuasive power. As I will show in my exemplary analysis, representation is rather the consequence of the fact that the hegemonic-to-be demand can be articulated in a relation of contrariety to each and every element of

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lack, whereas the other demands of chain of equivalence P stand in contrariety to only one or some elements of lack. Let us now throw a glance at two supplementary hegemonic strategemes. Supplementary strategemes need not be present in order to classify a discursive practice as a hegemonic practice. Neither are they part of the bundle of core strategemes whose joint presence warrants as convincing evidence for the existence of a hegemonic practice. Nevertheless, supplementary strategemes can have a crucial impact on the success or failure of hegemonic projects because this success will always be relative and not absolute. Both of the strategemes to be discussed now aim at increasing the ‘operating range’ of a hegemonic formation. They can be found when the perceptibility of an articulated common will and hence the subjectivation effect of a hegemonic formation is to be enhanced. In other words, the goal of these strategemes is to organize hegemonic projects in such a way that they can form a discourse coalition as encompassing as possible. They each focus on different aspects. At the center of each hegemonic project, there is an encompassing demand which seeks to be a particular symbolic equivalent of an imaginary universal. In principle, such a core demand can be articulated from a single fixed position as equivalent with other demands and as their representative. In such a case, the demand will not be very open to interpretation. A strictly dogmatic hegemonic project can quite plainly define its core demand and leave hardly any ambiguities. But for an encompassing demand to in fact develop into the nodal point of an emerging hegemony, it must achieve a subjectivation effect; that is, other demands that are uttered from different positions must be able to inscribe themselves into a hegemonic-to-be demand. In other words, the core demand must be able to integrate other demands (cf. Brodocz 2003: 228–238). But when this happens, that is, when an encompassing demand starts to be accepted by different positions as the symbolic equivalent of a specific universal, then this will usually also mean increasing room for interpretation. Strategeme no. V—the gradual constitution of greater leeway for interpreting the symbolic equivalent of the universal—grasps this kind of development. Interpretational leeway must hence be understood as an emergent attribute, not as an ontologically existing constant (as against

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an ‘essentially contested concept’, cf. Gallie 1956). If we can reconstruct strategeme no. V in a discourse corpus, this would be an indication for the formation of a discourse coalition: Numerous speakers adopt an encompassing demand but interpret this demand in different ways.9 Strategeme no. VII, the occasional but deliberate breach of the antagonistic line of division, is evidence for the fact that no discourse and no hegemonic practice can exist without ruptures and internal contradictions, particularly because some contradictoriness can mean greater success. The status of the antagonistic divide is a particularly good example for the difficulty to avoid contradiction in hegemonic discourse. For on the one hand, in order to have a mobilizing quality for the politico-­ societal forces whose demands are to be bound together, this divide must be articulated in a very strict manner, as the insurmountable divide between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ or between ‘pro-common-good’ and ‘contra-­ common-­good’. At the same time, it sometimes appears as a permeable and mobile boundary because it can be useful or even necessary for a hegemonic project’s range and success to include subject positions and demands from across the divide. Relocations across the divide are possible in both directions, occasionally at the same time. One example for this could be the so-called Röhm crisis in national socialist Germany in 1934. During this crisis, the power of the SA was curtailed while the SS, the regular army (the Reichswehr) and the industrial elites gained influence, and dozens of opponents of the Nazi leadership, inside and outside the Nazi party, were murdered. One effect of this so-called night of the long knives was that the affluent bourgeoisie and the corporations they steered (particularly those needed for the arms buildup of the Reichswehr) became part of the hegemonic national socialist chain of equivalence, whereas the subject position of the ‘left’ or ‘socialist national socialist’ was banned from it. As we can see from this example, an antagonistic divide can be fixated and undermined at the same time. This is evidence for the fact that those discursive formations can never be completely fixated; rather, they are always permeated by contingency.  Whether there can develop a certain dominant reading of the encompassing demand, is a question that analyses of ‘second-order hegemonies’ would turn to. For the latter, the two secondary hegemonic strategemes (VIII and IX) are relevant (cf. Nonhoff 2006: 204f., 234ff.). 9

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Hegemony Analysis: The Research Practice We have now gotten to know the two main goals of discourse analysis in the sense of hegemony analysis: Firstly, we aim at reconstructing the concrete form that hegemonic strategy takes in a specific discourse corpus (being at the same time open to adapt our theoretical understanding of the hegemonic strategy due to empirical evidence). Secondly we want to find out what the discourse coalition supporting the specific hegemonic strategy looks like. In what follows, I will flesh out how we can pursue these goals in empirical research practice. I will resort to examples from a larger study that looked at the constitution of the hegemony of social market economy in West Germany between 1946 and 1959. For the time being, the full study is available in German only (Nonhoff 2006). The analytical procedure is presented in six steps: preparatory work, construction of the discourse corpus, structuration of the analysis, analysis of single texts, analysis beyond the single text/on the discourse level, final checks. In general, it should be stressed that the approach presented here is not to be understood as a rigid method that can be applied in this and only this way. Rather, what you will read is a general outline of an analytical strategy which surely will have to be adapted to each new research object and new research question.

Preparatory Work A crucial part of the preparatory work is already behind us: the diligent theoretical and methodological work that led in particular to a better understanding of the performativity of the hegemonic practice and the formation of discourse coalitions as well as to a draft of the ideal-typical hegemonic strategy. In addition, we will of course have to go through some preliminary studies in respect to the concrete object that we want to examine. This research object—the discourse that we are interested in— will usually have to be limited thematically, spatially and temporally. In the example I will use, I looked at the West-German (spatial) discourse on

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politico-economic order (theme) between 1946 and 1959 (temporal). But we can set those limits only after we have made ourselves familiar with the historical context. Starting from the observation of the contemporary ubiquity and normative power of references to ‘social market economy’ in German political discourse, I became interested in the research question how the hegemony clustered around this particular signifier did come into being in the first place in German discourses about economic policy. Thus, getting a better understanding of the initial phase of social market economy was necessary. This phase lasted for roughly 15 years after the Second World War. The discursive space of the study was eventually limited to contributions on the question of economic order which had been enunciated between 1946 and 1959 in the West-German occupation zones or (from 1949 onwards) in West Germany, respectively. The background for this decision were preliminary readings, particularly on the intellectual history of social market economy and of it close relative, ordoliberalism. Also, the economic and political history of the young Federal Republic of Germany was closely studied. Finally, it was important to acquire the knowledge about who were important participants in the relevant discussion at that time in order to develop an intuition for which contributions to the discourse had to be included in the concrete discourse corpus.

Construction of the Discourse Corpus Above, I already mentioned that the concrete discourse corpus of the analysis to be presented here is a classical text corpus. But like any other discourse analysis, a hegemony analysis, too, is confronted with the question which texts should be included in the corpus, that is, which concrete text material is to be selected from the virtual discourse corpus of all contributions to the discourse about questions of economic order in the period investigated.10 The selection will have to be strictly guided by the goal to scrutinize and better understand the discursive function of hegemony. As has already been argued, this hegemony function is embodied in the formation of a common will of discursively percepti The helpful distinction between virtual and concrete discourse corpus has been proposed by Busse and Teubert (2014). 10

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ble politico-­societal forces. In the wake of these considerations, discourse contributions should be included in the concrete corpus under two conditions: Firstly, the speaker, by making the contribution, becomes a subject of the discourse on ‘social market economy’. Secondly, the speaker was in the respective period also discursively perceptible outside of this particular discourse; s/he resembled, in other words, a politico-societal force. This second selection criterion is—despite the reference to the ‘respective period’—necessarily linked to the standpoint of the contemporary observer because analysts will normally include texts whose articulating subjects are counted among the most influential subjects of the social market economy discourse from the analyst’s perspective, that is, in hindsight. Any concrete delimitation of the corpus will hence build on preknowledge about the discourse under scrutiny (Diaz-Bone 1999: 130f.). Hence, thorough preliminary studies are of great importance. Which specific texts (from those that were contributed by the speakers that have been identified as important) the analyst selects can always only result from a decision taken in the context of preknowledge. This decision will usually take into consideration criteria like relevance and representativeness of a text (and in the end, the readers will decide whether those criteria were employed convincingly). The exemplary study on the hegemony of social market economy relied on a corpus of 19 texts of diverse genres, authored by academics, political parties, individual politicians and associations, as well as of an advertisement campaign for social market economy. This comparatively small corpus can be justified because it comprises enough material for researching the two main research goals (hegemonic strategy, discourse coalition), and hence it allows to get a clearer understanding of the hegemony function of discourse. Focusing on the function, and less on the materiality of discourse, is helpful for constructing a corpus that can still be handled well by a single researcher. As the analysis proceeded, I could convince myself that the corpus was large enough to achieve a saturation of the results.

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Structuration of the Analysis Next, the necessary research steps must be assigned to the appropriate levels of analysis. Like many other types of discourse analysis, hegemony analysis, too, works on two levels: firstly, on the level of a single discourse fragment—here: of a single text—and, secondly, on the level of correlation and interaction of a number of those fragments, the level of discourse in the narrower sense. Due to pragmatic reasons, it makes sense to start the analysis on the less complex level—the level of a text or even a text passage—and to then proceed to examining linkages between texts in order to understand what is going on the discourse level. This option exists for almost all of the strategemes. The sole exception is strategeme no. V, the gradual constitution of greater leeway for interpreting the symbolic equivalent of the universal. In this case, the analysis on the level of a single discourse fragment does not make sense because the increasingly flexible interpretation can only show across several or many discourse contributions. Obviously, also the reconstruction of a discourse coalition requires to study different texts in relation to one another. Like any research, hegemony analysis needs to progress step by step. Thus, it will have to start by analyzing a first text. From there, it can gradually unfold the structures and peculiarities of a discourse. For that reason, I will now begin by showing how hegemony analysts look at a single text.11 I will focus on the reconstruction of the three core strategemes and of strategeme no. VII.  Subsequently, I will summarize the overall analysis. This will allow us to study strategeme no. V as well as the emergence of a discourse coalition.

 ow to Analyze a Single Text: Alfred Müller-­Armack’s H Wirtschaftslenkung und Marktwirtschaft Detailed analyses of single texts are implemented in six steps. The first three of these steps are preparatory and serve to provide a better assess The original study (Nonhoff 2006) analyzed 5 (out of 19) texts diligently step by step, at the same time relating them to one another, before turning to a more generalized analysis on the discourse level. Such an elaborate approach is not possible in a chapter like this one. 11

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ment of the text as well as of the text analysis: (a) Description of the historical context—to place a text in its historical context is important for almost all discourse analyses; (b) reconstruction of the location of articulation, that is, the reconstruction of the subject position from which a speaker speaks; (c) short overview of the text contents. The ensuing three steps of the analysis are employed to reconstruct the (offensive-) hegemonic strategy, at least to the extent to which this is possible: (d) reconstruction of the hegemonic core strategemes; (e) reconstruction of other strategemes, insofar they can be found on the textual level; (f ) other interesting aspects. In this shortened version of the analysis, I combine steps (a) to (c), step (e) will be limited to strategeme no. VII and step (f ) will be passed over.12 (a–c) Since 1940, Alfred Müller-Armack was professor of national economy and cultural sociology at the University of Münster and could thus speak from the subject position of an esteemed academic with good connections to other academics as well as to politicians and entrepreneurs. His influential book Wirtschaftslenkung und Marktwirtschaft (Planned Economy and Market Economy) was published in December 1946, that is, at the time of an important conjuncture for (West) Germany’s economy: On the one hand, the economic situation was still dire and it was yet politically unclear which kind of economic ideas and institutions would be trusted to overcome those hardships, ranging from a completely planned economy to a full-fledged market economy. But on the other hand, there had been a slow institutional development in the American and British occupation zones that made it ever more likely that fundamental decisions in regard to the economic order would now be taken rather sooner than later. Thus, with Wirtschaftslenkung und Marktwirtschaft Müller-Armack stated his position at a point in time when the German economic order was widely perceived to be at a crossroads. In this situation, the author took a strong stand against planned economy and for market economy, but for a market economy in which the state would still play an important role: It would retain the right and sometimes the obligation to intervene in the economy in order to defend social and ethical goals, but the interventions were to be conducted in  The detailed analysis of the Müller-Armack text can be found in Nonhoff (2006: 254–293).

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such a way that the functioning of the market mechanism would not be at risk. For such a kind of consciously organized market economy, Müller-­ Armack coined the term ‘social market economy’. (d) Any text analysis will begin with a thorough perusal. This first reading usually serves to get a good overview of the text contents and to decide whether the text belongs to the corpus or not. The goal of a second and possibly further readings is then to employ the tool box introduced above. Using the typology of discursive linkages, the first step is usually to note down and bring in a systematic order the discursive relations of a text. This will resemble a kind of text coding procedure, only that it is the relations between discursive elements that are coded and not the contents of what is being written down. Articulations of equivalence and contrariety are of particular importance because their interplay constitutes the core of an offensive-hegemonic strategy.13 Subsequently it needs to be checked whether articulations can reasonably be interpreted in such a way that they align in the form of discursive strategemes. At the center of the argument in Wirtschaftslenkung und Marktwirtschaft, we can find a lacking universal—the lack of economic prosperity in ­post-­war Germany—that provokes a great number of demands that point to ends and means. Demands related to ends are, for example, the integrity of human dignity, liberty, the fulfillment of daily needs and so on. Examples for demands which concretize means that will serve these ends are, among others, free market prices or the redirection of income. Particularly noteworthy, however, is the repeated articulation of equivalence of the demands for ‘market economy’ and ‘active economic policy’ with the demand for ‘social market economy’.14 In one way or another, all these demands are aimed at overcoming the lack of the economic universal (in this sense they are equivalent) and are all articulated in a relation  It will not always be possible to make out equivalences and contrarieties verbatim. In Nonhoff (2006: 263ff.) I give a more detailed description of the textual interdependencies that can be read as equivalences and contrarieties. 14  Even though the exact signifier ‘active economic policy’ is not used here (while it is regularly used in the rest of the text), the perhaps best example of this articulation of equivalence is the following passage: ‘We speak of “Social Market Economy” in order to designate a third economic form. This means that we see market economy as the necessary bedrock for the coming economic order, yet not a liberal market economy left to itself, but a consciously governed market economy, governed particularly in a social sense’ (Müller-Armack 1966: 109, my translation). 13

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„servitude“

„satisfying mat. needs“ „freedom“

„planning agencies“

„low levels of income“

„market prices“

„market economy“

„planned economy“

„lack/deficiency sympt.“

„redirection of income“

„active econ. policy“

„social market econ.“

„liberalism“

„missing the whole“

„soc. (policy) setbacks“

„passivity“

chain of equival. Q equivalence contrariness continuation of the chain of equivalence

Fig. 4.1  Reconstructing strategemes no. I and II in Alfred Müller-Armack’s Wirtschaftslenkung und Marktwirtschaft

of contrariety to one or more elements of this lack. Eventually, the web of equivalences and contrarieties solidifies as an antagonistic structure. I do not repeat here the detailed reconstruction of relations of equivalence and contrariety in Müller-Armack’s text (see Nonhoff 2006: 259–288). Rather, I jump to the results right away, the chains of ­equivalence and the specific form of antagonism that shows in this example. Both are depicted in Fig. 4.1. The upper chain of equivalences (P) shows some of the most important demands, whereas the chain of equivalences at the bottom (Q) shows the most important elements of lack that are to be overcome. As the figure is already quite complex in the present form, not each and every relation between all elements is depicted. Two important insights can be drawn from the hegemonic arrangement of Wirtschaftslenkung und Marktwirtschaft. Firstly, we can see that the first two strategemes (articulation of equivalence and constitution of an antagonistic division) operate and interact as assumed in theory. A great number of demands are being articulated as going hand in hand with one another—being equivalent in their contrariety to the lack of the economic universal. At the same time, discursive space is split into two antagonistic halves. Secondly, this analysis makes it possible to take a further look at strategeme no. III, representation. As has already been

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explained above, direct relations of representation can rarely be found. Neither are they particularly promising in regard to a hegemonic project’s success. Rather, representation mostly operates indirectly. This can be elucidated in three steps: Initially, we should note that although every element in P stands in a relation of equivalence with all other elements in P, it will most of the times not be in a relation of contrariety to all, but only to some elements in Q. In our case, for example, it is conspicuous (but not really surprising) that articulations of contrariety between ‘market economy’ and ‘liberalism’ could not be found. Therefore, in the next step, we come to the conclusion that many relations of contrariety are indirect relations and that the chains of equivalence confront each other only as compounds. Finally, we can see that there is a sole exception to this rule, and that is the representative, the demand that expresses hegemonic aspirations: ‘social market economy’. Of all the discursive elements in P, it is only this single one which is articulated in a relation of contrariety to all elements in Q (including those for which the respective arrows are missing in the figure in order to achieve greater clarity). This means that only ‘social market economy’ carries the promise to overcome the lack of the economic universal in entirety. And for that reason, in Wirtschaftslenkung und Marktwirtschaft, ‘social market economy’ is able to represent all other elements in P and to become the hegemonic demand. The representation of the universal thus results from an encompassing contrariety to the anti-universal. (e) Strategeme no. VIII, too, can be shown on the level of a single text. In Müller-Armack’s text, one major goal is to rearticulate standard ­elements of the economic discourse at the time in order to gain hegemonic momentum. For this purpose, it proves to be useful to challenge established relations of contrariety. One example for this is MüllerArmack’s handling of ‘public economic activity’: In the economic debates of the last hundred years the alternative between favoring public enterprises or private companies appeared to be equivalent to advocating for or against a planned economy. But today it seems advisable to discuss the question of public enterprises without general ideological encumbrances … Therefore, it should be possible to reconcile a certain range of public economic activity with a market economy order … It is an

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utter misconception when representatives of private businesses view public economic activity per se as market economy’s antithesis … In order to secure the productivity of our economy it is crucial that proponents of partial nationalization, too, apprehend the option to combine public stewardship with the rules of market economy in order to secure the advantages of market economy rationality for public forms of enterprise (MüllerArmack 1966: 148f.; my translation).

So we can see a discursive relocation of ‘public economic activity’ from Q to P—becoming a part of the ‘social market economy’ order—even though this relocation is not unqualified, as ‘of course any full nationalization of the means of production clashes with the economic order demanded here’ (ibid., p. 150). In this and other text passages, it is hence evident that the equivalences on which every hegemonic undertaking depends can never completely suppress or replace the fundamental discursive condition of difference. Difference, complexity and gradualness will continuously resurface also in hegemonic orders characterized by equivalence and contrariety.

Analysis Beyond the Single Text Once we switch from the textual to the discourse level, at least two additional perspectives will open up: On the one hand, we can examine the respective hegemonic project beyond the single text; on the other hand, we can analyze the reactions to the hegemonic project that are put forward from those positions which are articulated as opponents by that very project. I will now first focus on the development of the hegemonic project itself, observing the continued operation of the three core strategemes and reconstructing strategeme no. V. Subsequently, I will show some of the reactions to the hegemonic project ‘social market economy’ (cf. Nonhoff 2006: 369–78); in this context, I will also look at the forming of a discourse coalition. One fragment of the discourse on social market economy that proved to be particularly influential in the long run are the so-called Düsseldorfer Leitsätze (Düsseldorf maxims) of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Germany’s overall most successful party in the last 70 years. The

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Düsseldorfer Leitsätze were published as the CDU’s election manifesto for the first federal parliamentary elections in West Germany in 1949, that is at a moment when also the economic course of the young Federal Republic was to be democratically decided upon. In the meantime, the director of economics in the (American-British) Bizone, Ludwig Erhard, had picked up the demand for social market economy and had pronounced the monetary reform of June 1948 as being one crucial aspect of this new economic order. In addition, Erhard had decided to become active for the CDU (despite not joining the party until the early 1960s). It is controversial how much influence Erhard had on the wording of the Düsseldorfer Leitsätze, but it is clear that he was in regular contact with the authors (Hentschel 1998: 103; Löffler 2002: 468). In the Leitsätze, the three core strategemes appear in an extraordinarily condensed form and thus vehemently continue the hegemonic project ‘social market economy’. In the text, ‘social market economy’ is integrated into a chain of equivalent demands in regard to economic and social policy. At the same time, being the lead concept of the manifesto, it is clearly positioned as the representative of the chain. For example, ‘this economic policy [of social market economy, MN] will ascertain that that the economy serves its final goal of the welfare and the provision of all daily needs for the entire people. Of course, this also requires that the needs of the destitute part of the population must be met’ (CDU 1963: 61). But the goal is more than the mere provision of needs. Rather, ‘“social market economy” aims to reach the highest living standards (in accordance with economic productivity) and the most favorable relation between wages and prices’ (ibid., p.  63). ‘Social market economy’ is positioned as an ‘economic order that leads to real freedom’ (ibid., p. 69) and is accompanied by social policies ‘based on social justice, liberty with communal obligations and real human dignity’ (ibid., p. 71). The demand for ‘social market economy’ also clearly structures the economic antagonism. Maybe coming as a surprise from today’s standard perspective, the manifesto articulates on the oppositional side an equivalence of ‘planned economy’ and ‘free economy’: We can read on the one hand that ‘“Social market economy” is the diametrically opposite of the system of planned economy’ (ibid., p. 60). But on the

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other hand, ‘“Social market economy” does also stand in opposition to the so-called “free economy” of a liberalistic understanding’ (ibid.). The programmatic promotion ‘social market economy’ in the Düsseldorfer Leitsätze was a crucial condition for the hegemonic project’s success because after the election of 1949 the CDU became the most influential political party in West Germany (and would stay in that position for roughly two decades). Due to the party’s success, the demand for “social market economy” gained an increasing public presence, thus raising the incentive for other speakers to link up to the project. The great compatibility of the hegemonic project became apparent in the very fact that it was obviously contradictory positions that chimed in. One example for this is the parallel existence of social-catholic and neoliberal readings of ‘social market economy’. While Oswald von Nell-Breuning, the most influential post-war thinker of Social Catholicism, articulated social market economy’s equivalence to economic planning and its contrariety to neoliberalism (Nell-Breuning 1956: 54f.), Wilhelm Röpke, author of the ‘Action Program of the Action Group for Social Market Economy’, aligns the demand for ‘social market economy’ with the one for a neoliberal order and rejects state intervention in the economy as well as ­interventions into the markets by means of social policy (Röpke 1958). Thus, we can see the discursive functioning of strategeme no. V.  The expansion of the hegemonic project ‘social market economy’ coincides with an increased variety of interpretations of its core demand. The antagonistic structuration of the discourse of ‘social market economy’ is perhaps best visible in the context of relations that are articulated between this and alternative economic orders. The array of economic orders in opposition to ‘social market economy’ encompasses national socialist planned economy, so-called old liberalism or free economy (referring to Manchester-style capitalism) as well as various forms of socialism. Particularly conspicuous is the attempt of conservative or liberal discourse participants to articulate the West-German Social Democrats’ demand for ‘democratic socialism’ and the demands of trade unions for more influence in the economy as equivalent with Soviet or East-German ‘Bolshevism’ and ‘communism’. For example, in a 1953 mission statement, the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (Bundesvereinigung der Arbeitgeber, BDA) rejects any form of state inter-

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vention in the economy, arguing that this will lead to ‘the exercise of brute force and eventually to a totalitarian state … At the end of this process there will be concentration camps’ (BDA 1953: 7). Beside the development of the hegemonic project ‘social market economy’ as it can be reconstructed in the text corpus, there are articulations qua practical politics that significantly influenced ‘social market economy’ and should not be overlooked. Let me mention only three of those: Firstly, in the course of the Korea crisis (an economic crisis brought about due to the Korea war), Ludwig Erhard, now Federal Minister of the Economy, was forced by the American occupation authorities to mitigate his strictly market economic policies. Although he was able to avoid introducing elements of direct state planning, he could do so only because business associations agreed to voluntarily develop ‘procedures of privately steering the economy’ (Abelshauser 1983: 80, my translation). Secondly, in 1951/52 the first administration of Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer introduced elements of worker participation in corporate management—much to the dismay and against strong resistance of the business associations. Thirdly, in the course of the 1950s, various social policies were introduced or reformed to make them more generous. The most important social policy reform, the pension reform of January 1957, was highly popular in the electorate. All these changes in and of economic life were promoted by a government that had adopted ‘social market economy’ as its economic lead demand. German historian Werner Abelshauser comes to the conclusion: ‘By the public, but also by its own adherents, social market economy was soon described as a symbiosis of market economy and classic social policies’ (Abelshauser 2001: 133f., my translation). Therefore, once more, just as in the texts analyzed above, we can witness the gradua inclusionl of additional elements into ‘social market economy’, to a particular type of a hegemonic strategy that supports and legitimizes the core demand of the hegemonic formation (strategeme no. V). Let us now take a look at the discursive space that was articulated as ‘outside’ or ‘Other’ from positions within the hegemonic project, that is, in particular at West-German socialism or West-German social democracy. Here, we can witness two reactions to the hegemonic offensive. Firstly, the left develops what could be called a specific anti-hegemonic

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strategy, that is, a strategy that is set up to specifically counter a certain hegemonic project (Nonhoff 2006: 239f.). At the heart of such a strategy is the highlighting of differences whenever the offensive-hegemonic strategy articulates equivalences or contrarieties. The following segment from the 1949 basic program of the German Trade Union Confederation (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, DGB) is well suited to illustrate this: The … formation of an economic will and of leadership in the economy calls for central economic planning so that private egoism does not triumph over the exigencies of the national economy. Economic planning does not have anything in common with the command economy of the past years [i.e. national socialist planning, MN] … Today, market economy is neither free nor social. Today it prevents free growth; it exacerbates the already surging antagonisms between the rich and the poor. It is unsocial and, due to its lack of planning, incapable to do justice to the difficult tasks of Germany’s reconstruction. Economic planning can very well be reconciled with basic rights and human freedom. The one freedom which is most important for the majority of human beings, the freedom from hardship and from the fear of hardship, can be achieved only through planning. Economic planning and freedom of consumption, the right to switch jobs and free choice of employment are not in opposition. Framed by public supervision, there will still be great leeway for private initiative and competition between enterprises. (DGB 1949: section A, my translation)

This quote shows, firstly, that ‘economic planning’ and ‘command economy of the past years’ which are usually articulated as equivalents within the hegemonic project of ‘social market economy’ are separated here: ‘Economic planning does not have anything in common with the command economy of the past years.’ Secondly, some of the core equivalences of the chain of equivalence P of the ‘social market economy’ project are being replaced by differences when the DGB states that ‘market economy is neither free nor social’. Finally, we can also observe an articulatory dispersal of contrarieties between ‘economic planning’ and diverse discursive elements that the hegemonic project tries to recruit for its chains of equivalences P, for example, the contrariety to ‘basic rights and human freedom’, to ‘freedom of consumption’ or to ‘private initiative’.

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But this type of reaction is not the only one on the left. The more the success of ‘social market economy’ as a hegemonic project becomes obvious, the more we find a gradual rapprochement toward it. The development of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) is exemplary in that respect. Already in their election manifesto of 1953, the Social Democrats advocated for an economic order that would make possible ‘a combination of planning and competition’ (SPD 1963a: 129f.; my translation). This does not really display a large distance to some passages of Müller-­ Armack’s Wirtschaftslenkung und Marktwirtschaft or to Nell-Breuning’s interpretation of social market economy. Differences do exist especially in respect of question of nationalization, of the extent of planning and of the specific methods for economic intervention. In regard to the last point, the proponents of the hegemonic project ‘social market economy’ always articulate an equivalence which resembles in one way or another the equivalence between ‘market economy’ and ‘market conformity of economic intervention measures’. By contrast, market conformity does initially not play a major role for the SPD. The difference is that adherents of the hegemonic project ‘social market economy’ give priority to the market mechanism whereas the latter can be passed over from the perspective of early 1950s ‘democratic socialism’. But the SPD eventually approaches the periphery of the hegemonic project ‘social market economy’ when it adopts its new basic program in 1959, the so-called Godesberger Programm. One crucial step on the way to becoming a subject of ‘social market economy’ is taken when, in this program, the SPD accepts that public intervention in the economy is to be essentially limited to ‘methods of indirect influencing’ (SPD 1963b: 215). A similarly important step consists of articulating job security in equivalence with ‘monetary stability’ (ibid., p.  214f.). Overall, the Godesberger Programm can be read as an articulation with which the SPD moves into a—still peripheral—subject position connected to the hegemonic project ‘social market economy’. In combination with other developments—like the pensions reform of 1957 that was just mentioned—the articulation of the Godesberger Programm hence allows for the conclusion that in the late 1950s the hegemonic project ‘social market economy’ is on the verge of full hegemony. To say that the SPD enters a peripheral subject position of the ‘social market economy’ formation is justified even

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though the Social Democrats eschew the term ‘social market economy’ itself because they articulate a great number of demands that we know from the chain of equivalences P sketched out above: not only the demands for ‘monetary stability’ and ‘methods of indirect influencing’ just mentioned but also for ‘competition’ and ‘the control of market domination’ (SPD 1963b: 216). The subject position stays in the periphery because other social democratic demands would still have to become part of a newly conceived conception of ‘social market economy’, for example, ‘national account systems’ (ibid., p. 215), ‘investment controls’ (ibid., p.  216) and ‘goal-oriented income and wealth policies’ (ibid., p.  217). All of these ‘new’ demands are connected much more to Keynesianism than to the ordo- or neoliberalism that defined ‘social market economy’ until the late 1950s. Insofar it can be said that the SPD’s peripheral subject position within the hegemonic project or within the emerging hegemony of ‘social market economy’ had to subsist until Keynesianism became a part of ‘social market economy’. At the latest, this happened in 1967 when the CDU-SPD government passed the Economic Stability and Growth Act (Stabilitäts- und Wachstumsgesetz). Eventually, the meaning of social market economy changed to the effect that the ‘social’ was no longer only understood as social policy but also referred to classic Keynesian measures like deficit spending. In the end, this renewed expansion of the meaning of ‘social market economy’ is accompanied by the subjectivation of the largest opposition party, the SPD, through the respective hegemonic project. Consequently, we can now also give a final impression of the discourse coalition as it formed through the years. Without complicating the matter too much, it should be mentioned that all the quoted discourse participants do not speak from unified or singular subject positions. They speak, for example, from ideological positions (like social-catholic, conservative, liberal, socialist) but also from professional positions (as entrepreneurs, academics, administrators, etc.) or as representatives of group actors (of political parties, associations or political institutions). In this sense, we can observe complex discourse coalitions on various levels. But if we simplify a bit and stay on the ideological level, then we can first make out a coalition between neoliberals, conservatives and social Catholics. As has been shown, the building of this coalition was only possible because the mean-

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ing of ‘social market economy’ was expanded. But the lack of a unified meaning was compensated by the fact that ‘social market economy’ held the promise to prevent all unwanted economic orders—national socialist planned economy, communism, socialism, ‘old’ liberalism—thus constituting a negative discourse coalition, a somewhat odd coalition of lack. At the end of the period studied, the Social Democrats, as just shown, chose a path that allowed them to slowly integrate into the hegemonic project ‘social market economy’. It would still take some time before they became part of the discourse coalition (it was not before the 1990s that the SPD adopted ‘social market economy’ as an integral part of their programmatic writings), but the Godesberger Programm of 1959 was a major milestone on the way there.

Checking the Validity of the Strategemes The reconstruction of a discourse coalition resembles the final step of any hegemony analysis. In addition, the strategemes that form the ideal type of the hegemonic strategy need to be checked for their validity and ­possible supplementation. The strategemes chosen here for more detailed analysis—strategemes no. I–III, V and VII—could all be reconstructed in the discourse corpus. But in the full analysis on which this article builds, strategeme no. IV (the basic strategeme: super-differential demarcation of a specific discourse’s limits) could be found only a few times. Remarkably, it could only be discerned when discursive boundaries were indeed in question. The ideal-typical assumptions were adjusted in order to account for this empirical uncommonness: Strategeme no. IV is taken to play a role only when discursive boundaries begin to crumble. This shows the basic rule for how to deal with the ideal type that I already hinted at when I mentioned that the strategemes were established in part deductively and in part inductively. The set of strategemes must not be understood as a fixed set of rules but as an analytical tool which should be adapted to the specific research object if appropriate. To conceptualize the set of strategemes as an open set does also imply that it can be augmented by new strategemes provided that the empirical material suggests doing so.

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 nalyzing Discursive Functions: Summary A and Future Desiderata The theory and methodology of hegemony analysis as it was presented now allow for a good comprehension of the phenomenon of discursive predomination or hegemony. Throughout the article, it has become clear that hegemony analysis differs from other kinds of discourse analysis insofar as its primary aim is neither the reconstruction of discourse contents nor of the conditions of possibility of these contents. Rather, the goal is to better understand hegemony as a function of discourse. The study presented here can only be a first step of this endeavor. The ideal type of hegemonic strategy needs to be continuously evaluated according to empirical insights and, if necessary, it also will have to be adjusted. At the same time, not every empirical coincidence should be included—that is why we understand it as an ideal type that also serves as a yardstick for assessing complex discursive realities. In other words: We can and should strive for a limited generalizability of our statements about discourse and hegemony. Nonetheless, more research is needed in order to check whether the now established elements of the ideal type still hold true for other empirical cases and whether they need to be complemented (and how exactly). In addition, we ventured into a somewhat uncharted territory of discourse analysis, namely, the analysis of discourse functions. Surely, hegemony is not the only function of relevance. In political discourse one could think of related but by no means identical functions like legitimacy (cf. Nonhoff 2012). Similarly, functions of aesthetics or of truth (the latter of course having been widely studied by Foucault) could be studied. What hegemony analysis tells us is that in all of these studies it may be worthwhile to turn from contents to structures, linkages and strategic arrangements.

References A Abelshauser, W. (1983). Wirtschaftsgeschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1945–1980. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.

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Abelshauser, W. (2001). Markt und Staat: Deutsche Wirtschaftspolitik im ‘langen 20. Jahrhundert’. In R. Spree (Ed.), Geschichte der deutschen Wirtschaft im 20. Jahrhundert (pp. 117–140). München: C.H. Beck. Angermuller, J.  (2007). Was fordert die Hegemonietheorie. In M.  Nonhoff (Ed.), Diskurs, radikale Demokratie, Hegemonie (pp.  170–184). Bielefeld: transcript.

B BDA. (1953). Gedanken zur sozialen Ordnung: Der Öffentlichkeit übergeben von der Bundesvereinigung der Deutschen Arbeitgeberverbände. Köln: ohne Verlag. Brodocz, A. (2003). Die symbolische Dimension der Verfassung. Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher Verlag. Busse, D., & Teubert, W. (2014). Using Corpora for Historical Semantics. In J. Angermuller, D. Maingueneau, & R. Wodak (Eds.), The Discourse Studies Reader: Main Currents in Discourse Analysis (pp.  340–349). Amsterdam/ Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

C CDU. (1963). Düsseldorfer Leitsätze vom 15. Juli 1949. In O. K. Flechtheim (Ed.), Dokumente zur parteipolitischen Entwicklung in Deutschland seit 1945. 2nd Volume (Programmatik deutscher Parteien), Part 1 (pp.  58–76). Berlin: Wendler & Co. Coulthard, M. (1977). An Introduction into Discourse Analysis. London: Longman.

D Demirovic, A. (2007). Hegemonie und die diskursive Konstruktion der Gesellschaft. In M. Nonhoff (Ed.), Diskurs, radikale Demokratie, Hegemonie (pp. 50–82). Bielefeld: transcript. DGB. (1949). Grundsatzprogramm des DGB. Published Online: www.dgb.de/ dgb/geschichte/dokumente/erstes_grundsatzprogramm.htm. Accessed 2 Nov 2004. Diaz-Bone, R. (1999). Probleme und Strategien der Operationalisierung des Diskursmodells im Anschluss an Michel Foucault. In H.  Bublitz & A.  D.

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Bührmann (Eds.), Das Wuchern der Diskurse: Perspektiven der Diskursanalyse Foucaults (pp. 119–135). Frankfurt am Main/New York: Campus.

F Foucault, M. (1972). Archaeology of Knowledge. New York: Pantheon.

G Gallie, W.  B. (1956). Essentially Contested Concepts. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, LVI, 167–198.

H Hajer, M.  A. (1995). The Politics of Environmental Discourse: Ecological Modernization and the Policy Process. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Hentschel, V. (1998). Ludwig Erhard: Ein Politikerleben. Berlin: Ullstein.

L Laclau, E. (1993). Discourse. In R. E. Goodin & P. Pettit (Eds.), A Companion to Contemporary Philosophy (pp.  431–437). Oxford/Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers. Laclau, E. (1996). Emancipation(s). London: Verso. Laclau, E. (2000). Identity and Hegemony: The Role of Universality in the Constitution of Political Logics. In J. Butler, E. Laclau, & S. Žižek (Eds.), Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Dialogues on the Left (pp. 44–89). London/New York: Verso. Laclau, E. (2005). On Populist Reason. London: Verso. Laclau, E. (2006). Why Constructing of People Is the Main Task of Radical Politics. Critical Inquiry, 32(4), 646–680. Laclau, E. (2014). The Rhetorical Foundations of Society. London: Verso. Laclau, E., & Mouffe, C. (1985). Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics (1st ed.). London/ New York: Verso.

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Lefort, C. (1988). The Question of Democracy. In C. Lefort (Ed.), Democracy and Political Theory (pp. 9–20). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Löffler, B. (2002). Soziale Marktwirtschaft und administrative Praxis: Das Bundeswirtschaftsministerium unter Ludwig Erhard. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.

M Mintzel, A. (1998). Die CSU-Hegemonie in Bayern: Strategie und Erfolg, Gewinner und Verlierer. Passau: Rothe. Müller-Armack, A. (1966). Wirtschaftslenkung und Marktwirtschaft. In Wirtschaftsordnung und Wirtschaftspolitik: Studien und Konzepte zur Sozialen Marktwirtschaft und zur Europäischen Integration (pp. 19–170). Freiburg im Breisgau: Verlag Rombach.

N Nell-Breuning, O. v. (1956). Thesen zu einer Grundsatzdebatte. In O.v. Nell-­ Breuning (Ed.), Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. Part 1: Grundfragen (pp. 41–67). Freiburg: Verlag Herder. Nonhoff, M. (2006). Politischer Diskurs und Hegemonie: Das Projekt ‘Soziale Marktwirtschaft’. Bielefeld: transcript. Nonhoff, M. (2010). Hegemonieanalyse: Theorie, Methode und Forschungspraxis. In R. Keller, A. Hirseland, W. Schneider, & W. Viehöver (Eds.), Handbuch Sozialwissenschaftliche Diskursanalyse. Volume 2. Forschungspraxis (3rd ed., pp.  299–331). Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. Nonhoff, M. (2012). Soziale Marktwirtschaft für Europa und die ganze Welt! Zur Legitimation ökonomischer Hegemonie in den Reden Angela Merkels. In A. Geis, F. Nullmeier, & C. Daase (Eds.), Der Aufstieg der Legitimitätspolitik, Leviathan Sonderband 27 (pp. 262–282). Baden-Baden: Nomos. Nonhoff, M. (2017). Antagonismus und Antagonismen: Gegemonietheoretische Aufklärung. In O. Marchart (Ed.), Ordnungen des Politischen: Einsätze und Wirkungen der Hegemonietheorie Ernesto Laclaus (pp. 81–102). Wiesbaden: Springer VS.

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R Renkema, J. (1992). Discourse Analysis: An Introductory Textbook. Amsterdam/ Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Röpke, W. (1958). Aktionsprogramm der Aktionsgemeinschaft Soziale Marktwirtschaft. In W. Röpke (Ed.), Ein Jahrzehnt Sozialer Marktwirtschaft in Deutschland und seine Lehren, Schriftenreihe der Aktionsgemeinschaft Soziale Marktwirtschaft (Vol. 1, pp. 29–48). Köln: Verlag für Politik und Wirtschaft.

S Saussure, F. (1959). Course in General Linguistics. London: Peter Owen. SPD. (1963a). Das Wahlprogramm 1953. In O. K. Flechtheim (Ed.), Dokumente zur parteipolitischen Entwicklung in Deutschland seit 1945. Third Volume (Programmatik deutscher Parteien), Part 2 (pp. 123–134). Berlin: Wendler & Co. SPD. (1963b). Grundsatzprogramm von 1959 (Godesberger Programm). In O.  K. Flechtheim (Ed.), Dokumente zur parteipolitischen Entwicklung in Deutschland seit 1945. Third Volume (Programmatik deutscher Parteien), Part 2 (pp. 209–226). Berlin: Wendler & Co.

5 The Retroductive Cycle: The Research Process in Poststructuralist Discourse Analysis Jason Glynos and David Howarth

Introduction It is often claimed that poststructuralist or post-Marxist discourse theory suffers from a number of methodological deficits (e.g., Keller 2013; Marttila 2015a, b). These pertain mainly to its alleged incapacity to explain phenomena, where explanation is usually couched in causal terms, and to develop meaningful research strategies that can justify the accounts it puts forward. At best, poststructuralist discourse theory can redescribe phenomena with its own categories, or at worst it is concerned to develop ‘high theory’ which does not connect easily to the empirical world. In Logics of Critical Explanation (Glynos and Howarth 2007), we respond to these charges by arguing that retroduction offers us a distinctive form of explanation within the context of poststructuralist discourse analysis, while the articulation of logics provides the means to flesh out This essay draws on and develops key aspects of Chaps. 1 and 6 in Glynos and Howarth (2007).

J. Glynos (*) • D. Howarth Department of Government, University of Essex, Colchester, UK e-mail: [email protected]; [email protected] © The Author(s) 2019 T. Marttila (ed.), Discourse, Culture and Organization, Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94123-3_5

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the content of explanations made in its name. Here we focus on the form of explanation. We suggest that an appeal to retroductive reasoning as a form of explanation distinct from induction and deduction can help frame the strategic and methodological issues of any research that takes seriously an anti-essentialist ontology rooted in poststructuralist discourse theory. Anti-essentialism captures the view that societies and social agents— indeed, history itself—do not contain essences, invariable and fixed properties of an object, that can be rationally extracted and used to characterize social phenomena. At the same time, although prominent in debates over how best to understand the production of theories and hypotheses in the natural sciences, we also argue that the concept of retroduction is relevant to a set of debates in the philosophy of social science. More precisely, it offers theoretical resources to develop a post-positivist picture of the study of social and political phenomena, thus furnishing important elements of a feasible and critical research strategy. We draw on arguments associated with a poststructuralist discourse-­theoretical approach to social and political research (Glynos and Howarth 2007) to justify adopting the idea of a retroductive ‘cycle’. A retroductive understanding of the relationship between key elements of the social science research process offers us a useful way to think about research strategy and methodology from the point of view of post-­ positivism, including approaches informed by poststructuralist discourse theory.

 he Positivist Hegemony: Contexts T of Discovery and Justification Many affirm a dualistic picture of natural scientific practice, whether they are philosophers of science or practitioners engaged in day-to-day scientific activities (Popper 1961; Reichenbach 1938). In this view, first there is a process of scientific discovery, which entails the production of a hypothesis or theory (the so-called context of discovery). This is then followed by careful empirical testing, whose aim is to justify the acceptance

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or rejection of a hypothesis or theory (the so-called context of justification). Philosophers of science can and often do disagree about the character of ‘proper’ science. For example, Hans Reichenbach—usually identified as the first person to formalize the distinction between contexts of discovery and justification—suggested that establishing an inductive relation between empirical data and a discovered theory was the mark of a properly scientific mode of reasoning. A more common view, now rather dominant in the academy, suggests that the essence of scientific practice lies on the side of justification, not discovery. The idea here is that a process is to be understood as properly scientific only if a hypothesis has been subjected to rigorous and vigorous attempts to verify and/or falsify it. Only insofar as it has survived such tests can it be accepted as ‘scientific’, however provisionally, and thus deployed legitimately to explain or predict phenomena through deduction. This idea is neatly and paradigmatically expressed by Karl Popper (1961: 135): [I]t is irrelevant from the point of view of science whether we have obtained our theories by jumping to unwarranted conclusions or merely by stumbling over them (that is, by ‘intuition’), or else by some inductive procedure. The question, ‘How did you first find your theory?’ relates, as it were, to an entirely private matter, as opposed to the question, ‘How did you test your theory?’ which alone is scientifically relevant.

This picture of natural scientific practice can be readily deployed to generate a positivist picture of social scientific practice, at least insofar as positivism is understood to subscribe to the ideal of ‘unity of method’. For purposes of this text, then, we take positivism to be a doctrine comprising the following three components: 1. It affirms a two-part picture of natural scientific practice, comprising contexts of discovery and justification. 2. It dismisses the process of discovery as irrelevant from the point of view of natural scientific practice, while affirming as decisive the justificatory process of empirical testing (whether in the mode of confirmation or falsification). 3. It adopts this justification-based, two-part image of natural scientific practice as a model for social scientific practice.

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Although there are clear tensions in his work on this point (e.g., Gray 1989: Chap. 2), Popper (1961: 135) appears to subscribe to just such a positivist image and ideal, explicitly declaring that his aforementioned view on the nature of scientific practice ‘is not only true for the natural but also for the social sciences.’ It has been important to establish the general parameters of this understanding of natural scientific practice and its (positivist) relation to social science, because our affirmation of retroductive reasoning contests this positivist perspective. We develop a post-positivist picture of social science practice which is capacious enough to accommodate poststructuralist, hermeneutic and other non-positivist and anti-positivist approaches to research. Of course, positivism has for a long time been criticized by advocates of hermeneutics, critical realism, and other perspectives as well. At the same time, some approaches, most notably critical realism, have explicitly employed the category of retroduction to develop a conception of explanation that rivals the inductive and hypothetico-deductive-­nomological conceptions associated with positivism (Bhaskar 1998; Harré 1961; Blaikie 1993, 2000; Sayer 1983: 116–7). Given that retroduction is a term originally countenanced in the domain of natural science, and given that critical realism assumes a degree of deep ontological continuity running from the natural to the social world, the deployment of the term by critical realists in the social science domain is relatively unproblematic. In contrast, our own argument builds on existing work that affirms a shift in ontology from the natural to the social world, and this demands a more careful consideration of the conditions for deploying the category of retroduction in understanding social science practice. Once accomplished, this will open up a space within which to think about a post-positivist understanding of research strategy and methodology, relevant not just from the point of view of critical realism but from the point of view of critical social scientific research more generally, inclusive of hermeneutics and poststructuralism. But in order to understand why and how retroduction can be made relevant to critical social scientific research, we should begin by ­understanding the meaning and significance attributed to retroduction in the philosophy of natural science. Although Aristotle has been credited

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with its original identification, retroduction has been insightfully described, developed, and applied in the philosophy of natural science by Charles Sanders Peirce and Norwood Hanson. It is to these discussions and debates that we now turn.

Retroduction in Natural Science One way to get at an initial approximation of the concept of retroduction is to contrast it with two competing modes of reasoning—deduction and induction—and to consider how the introduction of retroduction thereby raises some important issues about the nature and philosophy of science. Charles Sanders Peirce (1960) offers definitions of these three modes of reasoning. He begins with deduction, which: is that mode of reasoning which examines the state of things asserted in the premises, forms a diagram, of that state of things, perceives in the parts of that diagram relations not explicitly mentioned in the premises, satisfies itself by mental experiments upon the diagram that these relations would always subsist, or at least would do so in a certain proportion of cases, and concludes their necessary, or probable, truth. (Peirce 1960: 28)

Consider a two-dimensional figure, a triangle, for example. This can be understood diagrammatically to comprise three nonidentical, nonparallel, straight lines, all joined at their extremities to form one unbroken boundary. A series of ‘mental experiments’ can then be made ‘upon the diagram’, which would show that, no matter the variation across different triangle diagrams, a particular ‘relation’ between these lines (say, the sum of all its angles) ‘would always subsist’ (as 180 degrees). By contrast, induction: is that mode of reasoning which adopts a conclusion as approximate, because it results from a method of inference which must generally lead to the truth in the long run. For example, a ship enters port laden with coffee. I go aboard and sample the coffee…. I conclude by induction that the whole cargo has approximately the same value per bean as the hundred beans of my sample. (Peirce 1960: 28)

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Finally, we can turn to retroduction, which Peirce (1960: 29) understands as ‘the provisional adoption of a hypothesis.’ Here it is interesting to note that Peirce often uses the term hypothesis interchangeably with retroduction. As he puts it, ‘[t]he great difference between induction and hypothesis is that the former infers the existence of phenomena such as we have observed in cases which are similar, while hypothesis supposes something of a different kind from what we have directly observed, and frequently something which it would be impossible for us to observe directly’ (Peirce 1960: 385).1 The fact that the hypothesis (H) introduces something ‘different in kind’ into the mix is important because it implies that this foreign element cannot in any way be induced from observational data, even though it is provoked by those observations (P). In other words, the hypothesis cannot be inferred until its content is already present in the explanation of P. The philosopher of science Norwood Hanson makes a similar point. He highlights the way retroduction contrasts not only with inductive accounts, which ‘expect H to emerge from repetitions of P’, but also with H-D [hypothetico-deductive] accounts, which ‘make P emerge from some unaccounted-for creation of H as a “higher-­ level hypothesis”’ (Hanson 1961: 86). In sum, while deductive reasoning proves what is the case, and inductive reasoning approximates what is the case, retroductive reasoning conjectures what is the case (Peirce in Hanson 1961: 85). Having fixed the concept of retroduction, we can now ask what exactly its role has been in discussions about the philosophy and sociology of natural science. The simple reply to this question is that the concept of retroduction has been invoked primarily as a way to better capture the process by which scientists produce hypotheses and construct theories. From the point of view of the dichotomous picture of natural scientific practice outlined earlier, the primary focus of this debate centers on the context of discovery. Given this context, advocates of retroduction ­contest two positions. The first position is embodied by those who claim that the discovery process is best captured by the logic of induction. In contrast to this, advocates of retroduction insist that the latter offers a more plausible account of the logic of discovery. ‘Physicists rarely find laws by  For a useful critical and clarificatory note on Peirce and retroduction, see Frankfurt (1958).

1

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e­numerating and summarizing observables’, argues Hanson. Although ‘they start from data’ scientists form hypotheses whose content exceeds those observations (Hanson 1961: 70). The second position, however, is embodied by those who claim that the discovery process has no logic at all or, to put it more modestly, has no necessary logic. As Popper (1980: 31) expresses it in one of his formulations: the act of conceiving or inventing a theory, seems to me neither to call for logical analysis nor to be susceptible of it. The question how it happens that a new idea occurs to a man … may be of great interest to empirical psychology; but it is irrelevant to the logical analysis of scientific knowledge. This latter is concerned not with questions of fact … but only with questions of justification or validity … Its questions are of the following kind. Can a statement be justified? And if so, how? Is it testable? Is it logically dependent on certain other statements? Or does it perhaps contradict them? … Accordingly I shall distinguish sharply between the process of conceiving a new idea, and the methods and results of examining it logically.

The question here is whether there is in fact a ‘logic’ to the process of theory construction, in which case this process cannot simply be dismissed as whimsical or irrelevant from a scientific point of view, as Popper appears to believe. The suggestion by philosophers of science like Norwood Hanson is that there is in fact a logic to the process of theory construction and the production of hypotheses, and that retroduction, as a mode of reasoning, best captures this logic. As Peirce puts it, retroduction is a ‘logical inference, asserting its conclusion only problematically, or conjecturally, it is true, but nevertheless having a perfectly definite logical form’ (Peirce in Hanson 1961: 86). Though more open-ended than deduction and induction, retroduction describes a non-trivial, distinctive mode of reasoning. Moreover, not only does an appeal to retroduction better describe the way scientists go about their business but it also supplies a corrective to the way scientific practices are understood by philosophers and sociologists of natural science. This completes our account of the role retroduction plays in discussions and debates in the philosophy and sociology of natural science. To

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understand what role retroduction can play in the philosophy and sociology of social sciences, it is important to highlight how, despite Popper’s and Reichenbach’s opposing views regarding the demarcation criterion of natural science (deduction versus induction), and despite Hanson’s and others’ opposing views regarding theory construction (the logic of retroduction versus the logic of induction versus no logic at all), all are united in maintaining the two-part picture of science introduced by Reichenbach, comprising the contexts of discovery and justification. At first sight, of course, this suggests that the usefulness of retroductive reasoning in helping us to generate a new model of explanation in social and political analysis is potentially limited due to its restriction to the process of theory construction and thus the context of discovery. In order to show that the value of retroduction in the social sciences is broader than this, we shall contest the sharp distinction that is drawn between the contexts of discovery and justification. This, then, is the task of the next section.

 etroduction in Social Studies: R From ‘Externality’ to ‘Internality’ The argument about how and why the maintenance of a stark separation between the contexts of discovery and justification is unsustainable in the social sciences rests on a premise shared by many who contest the use of the causal law paradigm in social science research. This premise can be cast in terms of a ‘minimal’ hermeneutical constraint imposed on any social science explanation. In this view, any explanation of a social phenomenon must ‘pass through’ (i.e., take into account in a non-trivial way) the self-interpretations of the actors engaged in affected practices, even if such explanations are not reducible to those self-interpretations (Glynos and Howarth 2008: 21). The idea that self-interpretations should be seen as both necessary for and constitutive of a social science explanation is embraced by a wide range of traditions, including hermeneutics, critical realism, and poststructuralism; but it also resonates strongly with a number of frequently expressed reasons to be skeptical about maintaining methodological continuity across the natural and social science, or to put

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it differently, about sustaining a strong separation between the contexts of discovery and justification. These reasons variously emphasize: 1 . the centrality of self-interpretations in the social world 2. the irreducibility and complexity of context in attributing sense and significance to ‘data’ against which hypotheses are tested 3. the contestability of the ontological presuppositions necessarily brought to bear when self-interpretations and data are subjected to interpretation In what follows, we offer one version of the argument that there is a ‘minimal hermeneutic’ constraint in the social and human sciences, which challenges the positivist image of science in which there is a clear separation of discovery and justification, and a prioritization of the latter. We suggest that this dualistic picture, and the causal paradigm that it sustains, relies on the (contestable) idea that the relationship between a process (whether social or natural) and its context is understood to be ‘external’. Instead, we argue that, unlike many cases in the natural science field, a social process and its context should be seen (presumptively) as co-constitutive and, in this sense, ‘internal’ (e.g., Marttila 2015a: ch. 5; Putnam 1987, 1988). We can elaborate upon this argument by examining first how the causal law model informs our understanding of processes in the natural world. The basic intuition can be stated simply: the way a causal sequence or process functions in the natural world is understood to be independent of the meaning of that process. The way the law of gravity operates, for example, is independent of what you or I think of it. The moment, however, the meaning of a process becomes a key part of how it functions, its status as a causal law is put into question. And this is precisely what happens when we move from the natural world to the social world. Using the law of gravity to explain why an apple falls to the ground implies that the law and the context have an ‘external’ relation to one another. That is to say, changes in the context do not change the way the law functions (i.e., the identity of the natural process). Changes in the context only change the outcomes or effects of the natural process qua causal law. I may hold the apple at a greater height, then at a lower height. This

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variation of contextual conditions can be used as a way of ‘testing’ the law treated as a hypothetical law, or the law—now detached from its context of discovery—can be used to explain the variation in outcomes as a function of the variation of context. The essential point here is that, in many natural science scenarios, the relation between natural process and context is treated as ‘external’. References to the causal law paradigm invariably seek to capture this aspect of the relationship between process and context. Of course, the relationship between natural processes and context may often be very complex and impossible to disentangle. Biologists, for example, are always at pains to emphasize a complexity that often makes it impossible to control for contextual factors sufficiently in our attempts to determine the identity of a causal law. The presumption of ‘externality’, however, remains intact. And it is this relation of ‘externality’ that is central to maintaining the distinction between context of discovery and context of justification. This is important from the point of view of a justification-centered, two-part image of social scientific practice, because it is only insofar as a posited hypothesis can be fully extracted (‘externalized’) from one context (the context of discovery) that it can then be properly and independently tested in another (the context of justification). In the social world, however, social processes do not have the status of causal laws because their relation to context is not external. More specifically, social processes and context are mediated by subjects and their meanings. Processes and context are understood to comprise relational features that overdetermine one another, rather than discrete atoms that have an external relation to one another. This ontological difference has capital consequences. It means, in particular, that the very identity and operation of a social process is context-dependent. It is not merely the outcome or effects of a social process that are contextdependent. The very identity and functioning of the social process is at stake here: the posited social process is dependent on the context of its operation, which includes the meanings attributed to it by the relevant subjects. But if the identity and operation of a hypothesized social process cannot be clearly severed from the contextual-signifying features of its discovery, these features will have some role to play in the

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context of justification (i.e., the posited social process cannot be simply detached or ‘externalized’ from the context of discovery). In the social world, therefore, the boundary between contexts of discovery and justification is blurred, and this points to the need to abandon the positivist image of social science practice. This suggests we should opt instead for a more capacious, post-positivist image of social science practice, in which meaning is acknowledged to have a constitutive role to play in the identity and operation of social processes. In this view, appealing to a social process to explain a phenomenon (e.g., why a particular state has a two-party system) is not the same as using the law of gravitation to explain why an apple falls to the ground. The difference between these two types of explanation resides in the role that subjectivity and meaning play in mediating the process at stake and the contextual features within which it is operative. Even where political scientists claim to have established laws or ‘strong probabilistic tendencies’—Duverger’s law or Roberto Michels’ ‘iron law of oligarchy’, for example—it is possible to show how they in fact offer often rather nuanced meaning-mediated and context-dependent analyses. In short, the covering-law model ‘reflectively misunderstands the logic of political explanations’ (Farr 1987: 61), while a post-positivist picture better captures the character of social processes, as well as the way many social science scholars think and talk and analyze social processes. Such a post-positivist image points to reasons why prediction—the holy grail of positivist social science practice—is so fraught with difficulties. From the point of view of the post-positivist perspective we are sketching out, the sources of these difficulties are not merely empirical, but also ontological. It is certainly true that predictions in the social world are dependent on the beliefs of subjects and that such predictions are therefore as fragile or as stable as those beliefs are; but this sort of fragility—or temporary stability—is something that can be readily accommodated by means of probabilistic-statistical forms of calculation and prediction. There is, however, a ‘second-order’ fragility that we can add to this, whose source is the subject’s capacity for second-order r­eflexivity frequently emphasized by those who take seriously a hermeneutical ­ontology (cf. Glynos and Howarth 2007: 220–1, note 21; Marttila 2015a: Ch. 5; Zienkowski 2017). Such second-order reflexivity generates

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paradoxical effects familiar to most social scientists aiming to deliver robust predictions: the so-called feedback effects (Jervis 1997) or looping effects (Hacking 1995). These paradoxical effects point to the contingency that is introduced into an object of investigation, as soon as its logic, predicted behavior, or character—however probabilistic in character or however reasonable its underlying rationale—is made public and thus accessible to the subjects being studied.2 Consider, for example, cases of so-called self-fulfilling and self-defeating prophecies. As an example of a ‘self-defeating’ prophecy imagine a dictum which states that queues in theme parks peak on bank holidays. This would exemplify the case of a self-defeating prophecy if the wide dissemination of the dictum served to provide a good number of people with a reason to avoid theme parks on bank holidays. Acting on such knowledge would thus produce a new and contrary dictum stating that queues in theme parks shrink on bank holidays. In other words, in the social sciences the contextual features—including the self-interpretations of the relevant social actors— serve as conditions of possibility of behavioral patterns that are strongly bound up with the content, and therefore the meaning and significance, of the hypotheses and explanations themselves. Of course, these second-order reflexivity effects can produce a desire to generate predictions that are ‘publicity-proof ’ or ‘publication-proof ’. But it can also produce a more questionable desire, namely, to keep such predictions from public view. As Connolly (1981: 20) observes, from this perspective: to render the predictions reliable the expert is encouraged to keep established correlations outside the sphere of public discourse. For given the reflexive capacities of the human objects of inquiry, widespread awareness of the antecedents of their own behavior might provoke them to revise  The openness and fragile character of the social world, however, does not entail abandoning the explanatory aims of social science. An emphasis on possibility, as opposed to probability, makes it possible to disarticulate prediction from explanation. For this reason, scholars such as Bhaskar affirm the aims of social science to ‘be explanatory and non-predictive. (Particularly important here will be the capacity of a theory (or research program) to be developed in a non-ad hoc way so as to situate, and preferably explain, without strain, a possibility once (and perhaps even before) it is realized, when it could never, given the openness of the social world, have predicted it.)’ (Bhaskar 1998: 46). 2

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future patterns of conduct. The awareness could diminish both the ability to test the law-like claim (since one of its preconditions has changed) and the ability to use the knowledge effectively in social policy.

What both first-order and second-order fragility have in common is the idea that subjects both can know their beliefs and have the capacity to adjust them in light of new information and in line with their ideals and objectives. At the very least, then, we could say that unlike the natural sciences, so-called laws and explanations in the social sciences are inextricably tied to the subjects they purport to cover, such that hypotheses comprise both explanatory elements and the conditions under which these explanations hold. In addition, however, we could say here that a poststructuralist perspective points to a more ‘radical’ contingency and thus a third-order fragility, beyond the second-order fragility that a hermeneutical perspective makes apparent, linked to the constitutively incomplete or open character of belief systems as such. This generates effects which are not necessarily easily distinguishable from the second-­ order effects we have described above, but it does seek to (quasi-­ transcendentally) account for such effects also  in terms of a negative, anti-essentialist ontology. An important objective of this section was to offer reasons to doubt the stark separation between the contexts of discovery and justification presupposed by positivist approaches to social science research, suggesting that a key source of these reasons lies in the distinctive ontologies underpinning the natural and social worlds.3 We are now in a position to ­discharge its other objective, namely, to draw out the implications of this exercise from the point of view of retroduction. As we saw earlier, within a positivist perspective retroduction is considered irrelevant for p ­ urposes of  As far as this essay is concerned, we are agnostic as to whether the stark separation between contexts of discovery and justification is sustainable even in the natural sciences. Our argument does not rely on this. Our argument takes as its target a particular image of doing natural science that is deployed rather rigidly to frame our understanding of social science practice, irrespective of whether this image stands up to scrutiny. We have adduced reasons about why this image is not appropriate when applied to the social sciences, but this does not preclude the possibility of adducing reasons that contest the suitability of this image even for characterizing natural science practice, particularly when one considers how heterogeneous and expansive this field is, extending well-beyond Newtonian physics as the stereotypical image of natural science. 3

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justification, which is understood to follow a different logic. Since, however, the autonomy of the two contexts of discovery and justification is not sustainable in social science practice, retroduction becomes relevant to both contexts and must therefore be understood to partake in the entire arc of social scientific practice. In contrast to the two-part picture of positivist social science, comprising a logic of scientific discovery followed by a logic of justification made up of exhaustive empirical testing, we suggest it is better to conceive of social science practice as entailing one overarching logic of investigation—what we call a ‘retroductive cycle’.4 Retroduction is understood as a cycle—a kind of restless ‘spiral’— because as we move from one ‘moment’ to the next, and back again, revising aspects of our account in light of adjustments made in other moments, we never return to the same spot.5 A post-positivist ‘one logic’ picture suggests that there is an essential relation of overdetermination— and to-and-fro movement—between each moment of the social science research process. This is in no small part because the persuasive aspect of justification extends to the task of convincing the relevant audience about the way a research problem was characterized (or re-characterized) in offering an explanatory account in the first place, pointing us back to the context of discovery. This contrasts with positivism’s two-part picture of social science research practice, which treats processes of discovery and  In our book, we conceptualize the cycle in terms of a meta-methodological logic comprising three overdetermined activities: problematizing empirical phenomena, accounting for these phenomena, and persuading—and/or intervening into—the relevant community and practices of scholars and practitioners. Thus, the practices of persuasion cannot—except heuristically—stand outside the retroductive cycle (cf. Glynos and Howarth 2007: Chap. 1). 5  The idea of ‘retroductive cycle’ differs from the notion of a ‘hermeneutic circle’ (cf. Shklar 2004[1986]) in a number of important respects. First, the term cycle, as opposed to circle, emphasizes how each moment of relative equilibrium reached in the to-and-fro movement of retroduction is always a ‘return’ to a different point, thus pointing to an inherent openness in the process. A ‘hermeneutical circle’, in contrast, can sometimes carry with it the connotation of a closed or asymptotically ‘final’ or ‘correct’ interpretive fit between text and context. Second, the qualifier ‘retroductive’, at least as we have adapted it to a social science context, explicitly links hypothesis to problematization and persuasion, foregrounding the role played by ontology and subjectivity, often underemphasized when thinking about interpretation predominantly in terms of the relation between text and context. Finally, the idea of a ‘retroductive cycle’ aspires to capture a process that is not exclusive to those found in the hermeneutical tradition, but whose scope of application is relevant also for other traditions of thought in social science that are critical of the causal law paradigm, including critical realist and poststructuralist traditions. 4

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justification as entirely autonomous and separate from one another, but where strict adherence to a logic of justification (usually in terms of a carefully defined ‘testing’ methodology) can deliver robust and stable judgments in a way that is not at all dependent on the process of discovery.

Implications for Research Strategy In drawing out the implications for research strategy it is important to point out at the outset that a rejection of the stark boundary between the contexts of discovery and justification does not entail rejecting the use of the terms discovery and justification, no more than it does entail rejecting other terms associated with the positivist framework. It only transforms their meanings and significance. Justification is still crucial, and robust social science research is still something that can and should be espoused, but the status and meaning of the elements of justification shift when viewed through a post-positivist lens. In this view, the basic elements of justification remain the same, but the choices we make in relation to those elements are no longer governed by the narrow epistemological-­cum-­ methodological imperative to produce and/or test falsifiable predictions. Elements of justification are thus interpreted in line with research purposes that can range far beyond these particular epistemological objectives, to include those that are ineliminably historical, ontological, political, and ethical. Such a shift in objectives will generate shifts in the meaning and status of terms such as ‘least likely’ or ‘most likely’ when justifying the selection of a suitable ‘test case’, for example. Likewise, the meaning and status of case selection qualifiers such as ‘extreme’, ‘deviant’, or ‘paradigmatic’, can and will vary enormously as a function of presupposed ontological commitments, as well as the uses to which they can be put, be they to generalize, elucidate, reveal, critique, or emancipate. And what we say here in relation to case selection can be said also in relation to any number of other elements of justification, including case ­organization, corpus selection, the reliability of data and choice of methodological techniques, the validity of inferences, and the style of presentation itself. Elements of justification are thus formulated and rearticulated in each ‘moment’ of the retroductive cycle in a way that demonstrates how they

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are overdetermined by aspects of the discovery process.6 While social scientists wedded to the causal law paradigm may disagree about whether findings verify or falsify predictions, post-positivist social scientists understand they are caught in an expansive retroductive cycle, where disagreement is about the very meaning and significance of findings, thus demanding critical engagement with the process of problematization itself, not to mention the ontological and normative commitments informing the way problematized phenomena should be characterized. A post-positivist image of social science practice thus paints a strikingly capacious conception of justification and testing.7 It is for this reason that we have argued that, from the point of view of a logic of retroduction operating in a social science context, ‘the single most important criterion for admitting a hypothesis, however tentatively,’ is simply that ‘it accounts for the phenomenon or problem at stake’ (Glynos and Howarth 2007: 26). In this view, an account is accepted as a valid explanation when its criteria can be publicly articulated and justified—criteria concerning evidence, consistency, exhaustiveness, and so on. The unsettling aspect of this post-positivist approach, of course, is that such criteria are themselves subject to interpretation and contestation, since they presuppose a set of commitments that cannot be resolved by appealing to ontologically and normatively neutral epistemological tests. Nothing outside the collective process of judgmentmaking—not even the most sophisticated methodological techniques— can guarantee the reliability and validity of the research process. Thus, the idea of a retroductive cycle foregrounds how justification does not emerge ‘naturally’ or ‘straightforwardly’ out of the methods and techniques we deploy in our research. Processes of justification themselves fold back into processes of re-problematizations, which reinform and overdetermine the purposes, strategies, and methods of our research, including our selection from, and use of, a sizeable and heterogeneous set  The concept of articulation is a crucial concept in poststructuralist discourse theory. Although it plays an important role in understanding the logic of the retroductive cycle, this has not been developed in detail in this chapter, largely due to space limitations. (See Glynos and Howarth 2007: Chap. 6 for a detailed treatment of this concept.) 7  A post-positivist understanding of testing can, of course, incorporate experimental, statistical, and other mathematical techniques normally associated with natural science practice. It simply does not assign these methodological techniques any presumptive epistemological privilege that somehow allows them to ‘escape’ the orbit of the retroductive cycle (cf. Topper 2005: 192–4). 6

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of techniques, comprising discourse analytic, rhetorical, ethnographic, participatory, psychosocial, perspectival, corpus-linguistic, statistical, experimental, and survey-based techniques, among others. From a poststructuralist point of view, the setting up of research strategies demand familiarity with a wide range of methods and techniques, but it also demands we engage in a sustained practice of reactivation, deconstruction, commensuration, and articulation. Without regularly and carefully disembedding reified ontological and normative deposits in various methods and techniques that we seek to appropriate, we can easily end up reproducing their biases unreflexively and uncritically. Generalization and comparison also comprise key elements of the justification process and for this reason do not escape the orbit of an expanded retroductive cycle. From our perspective, generalization and comparison are made possible through shared paradigms, theoretical concepts, and ontological presuppositions. Importantly, however, they cannot be divorced from the moment of problematization, which is intimately connected to the (contestable) purposes animating specific acts of generalization and comparison. Generalization and comparison take place on the basis of shared judgments about theoretical terms, about paradigms, and about what constitute cases that converge or diverge from paradigm cases. The way paradigms shed light is not straightforward because it requires that we articulate the networks of similarities and differences through a series of comparisons, justifying our claim to a generalized family resemblance in both theoretical and contextual terms. What makes possible the simultaneous singularity and generalizability of each case is the background theoretical framework and ontology informing the analysis, coupled with the practice of articulation. We explicitly couch explanatory accounts in theoretical terms, which find expression in different contexts, because they emerge out of our presupposed ontological horizon and common theoretical language. This means we can formulate more general questions and hypotheses that invite further comparative research. We might ask, for example, how the specific logic we have identified in our research, such as the logic of the supermarket, might function as a paradigm in articulating and characterizing market practices in the health care sector. One general implication of the post-positivist picture of the social science research process in terms of an overarching logic of retroduction is

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to highlight the fragile and rather volatile character of the ‘matter’ and ‘knowledge’ of the social world, related not only to the sheer complexity of social life but also to the peculiar role that human subjectivity plays in social science explanation, namely, that humans are simultaneously the objects and subjects of knowledge—something Foucault captured with the expression ‘empirico-transcendental doublet’ (Foucault 2004[1966]: 347). This complexity, co-constitutivity, and constitutive openness can be expressed more formally by appealing to the way some philosophers of social science draw a contrast between positivist and post-positivist forms of inference. To paraphrase Jon Elster, if a positivist covering-law explanation of an event, E, entails establishing the presence of conditions C1, C2 … Cn, then a post-positivist empirical claim would take the form ‘If C1, C2,… Cn obtain, then sometimes E’ (Elster 1999: 5; emphasis added). This ‘sometimes’ is crucial, playing havoc with anyone’s aspiration to discover in the social world a causal law akin to gravitation. It expresses in a formal way the constitutively fragile character of the social world, highlighting the prima facie centrality of case-based thick-­ descriptive attention to situational features, in part due to their internal relation to social processes, in part due to their essentially incomplete character. It implies that any social science account can only ever aspire to an equilibrium that is reflectively and constitutively temporary and unstable.

Conclusion The importance of retroduction to researchers drawing on an anti-­ essentialist ontology and sensibility is that it offers scholars a language with which to construct a counter-narrative to the way positivism’s ­suspect image of scientific practice has come to dominate many parts of the social science academy. Retroduction helps us to both relativize and question the assumption that our modes of reasoning in all forms of scientific practice are exhausted by induction and deduction. Equally, poststructuralist discourse theory and anti-essentialist approaches to social and political research more generally are not simply counterposed to positivist perspectives. Instead, they can also form a chain of equivalence

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with other post-positivist approaches. Indeed, what poststructuralist discourse theory can share with other strands of hermeneutics, critical realism, and even neo-positivism is a retroductive understanding of how social science is conducted—whether in practice, in theory, or both. The retroductive cycle thus offers a fruitful way of framing the research process, particularly as regards strategy and methodology.

References B Bhaskar, R. (1998). The Possibility of Naturalism (3rd ed.). London: Routledge. Blaikie, N. (1993). Approaches to Social Enquiry. Cambridge: Polity. Blaikie, N. (2000). Designing Social Research: The Logic of Anticipation. Cambridge: Polity.

C Connolly, W. (1981). Appearance and Reality in Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

E Elster, J.  (1999). Alchemies of the Mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

F Farr, J.  (1987). Resituating Explanation. In T.  Ball (Ed.), Idioms of Inquiry (pp. 51–52). Albany: SUNY. Foucault, M. (2004). The Order of Things. London: Routledge. Frankfurt, H. G. (1958). Peirce’s Notion of Abduction. The Journal of Philosophy, 55(14), 593–597.

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G Glynos, J., & Howarth, D. (2007). Logics of Critical Explanation in Social and Political Theory. Abingdon: Routledge. Glynos, J., & Howarth, D. (2008). Critical Explanation in Social Science: A Logics Approach. Swiss Journal of Sociology, 54(1), 5–35. Gray, J. (1989). Liberalisms. London: Routledge.

H Hacking, I. (1995). The Looping Effects of Human Kinds. In D.  Sperber, D.  Premack, & A.  N. Premack (Eds.), Causal Cognition (pp.  351–394). Oxford: Clarendon. Hanson, N. R. (1961). Patterns of Discovery. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Harré, R. (1961). Theories and Things. London: Sheed & Ward.

J Jervis, R. (1997). System Effects. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

K Keller, R. (2013). Doing Discourse Analysis: An Introduction for Social Scientists. London: Sage.

M Marttila, T. (2015a). Post-Foundational Discourse Analysis: From Political Difference to Empirical Research. London: Palgrave. Marttila, T. (2015b). Post-Foundational Discourse Analysis: A Suggestion for a Research Program. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 16(3), Art. 1. http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114fqs150319. Accessed 28 Feb 2018.

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P Peirce, C.  S. (1960). Collected Papers (Vols. 1 and 2). Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Popper, K. (1961). The Poverty of Historicism. London: Routledge. Popper, K. (1980). The Logic of Scientific Discovery. London: Routledge. Putnam, H. (1987). The Many Faces of Realism. LaSalle: Open Court Publishing Company. Putnam, H. (1988). Representation and Reality. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

R Reichenbach, H. (1938). Experience and Prediction. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

S Sayer, D. (1983). Marx’s Method. Brighton: Harvester. Shklar, J. N. (2004). Squaring the Hermeneutic Circle. Social Research, 71(3), 655–678.

T Topper, K. (2005). The Disorder of Political Inquiry. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Z Zienkowski, J.  (2017). Reflexivity in the Transdisciplinary Field of Critical Discourse Studies. Palgrave Communications. Published Online: https:// www.nature.com/articles/palcomms20177. Accessed 1 Mar 2018.

Part II Case Studies: Culture, Politics, Populism

6 Eating Power: Food, Culture, and Politics Fabio Parasecoli

Introduction At a time when strong anti-globalization movements have developed throughout the world, when there is growing concern for the widespread use of genetically modified food, and a more conscious approach to the environment seems to become a shared goal, the issue of food has taken on special relevance. In fact, food has become central in the political and cultural agendas of many opposition movements (Andree et  al. 2014; Claeys 2015). Although food is highly symbolic, and as such loaded with collective meanings that are constructed through representations, discourse, and social interactions, it also remains closely connected with the sphere of individuality through desire, pleasure, and the fulfillment of personal needs. The cultural aspects of food result inherently entangled with the body, in and of itself far from natural but rather experienced in deeply cultural manners. This chapter aims at showing how F. Parasecoli (*) Nutrition and Food Studies Department, New York University, New York, NY, USA e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2019 T. Marttila (ed.), Discourse, Culture and Organization, Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94123-3_6

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eating, although not a choice for human beings, is far from being ‘natural’ and ‘normal,’ almost to the point of becoming invisible. In fact, food is not only a crucial locus for the construction of cultural identities of individuals and communities but also an arena in which social structures, ideological systems, and power relations are constantly negotiated. Eating is crucial for survival. While we may choose to embrace a dietary model that can meet our nutritional needs and ensuring health, well-being, and, why not, fitness, food is often experienced as a mere expression of biological necessities. Because of its close connection to physiology and metabolism, food ends up being frequently interpreted as ordinary and apolitical, especially when considered from the points of view of nutrition and health (Biltekoff 2013; Scrinis 2015). However, even the most cursory consideration leads us to realize that food is actually profoundly entangled with power dynamics that assume immediate, tangible meanings. Food’s social, economic, and political relevance cannot be ignored. Ingestion and incorporation constitute a paramount component of our relationship with reality and the world outside our body. Food influences our lives as a relevant marker of dominance, cultural capital, class, ethnicity, and religion (Parasecoli 2008; Tompkins 2012). As it provides a relatively underutilized entryway to understanding human societies, it has become the object of a wide and ever-growing corpus of scholarly and popular studies: from marketing to history, from nutrition to anthropology. As a realm of complex social interactions, food not only offers stimulating opportunities for the application of critical theories—in particular semiotics, discourse analysis, and hegemony theory—but can also provide new insights on how these analytical perspectives can inform and inspire original, accessible research on media, communication, and popular culture. This contribution points to how the study of food as a system of meaning and communication, based on material objects, embodiment, practices, values, and representations, forces critical theories to question distinction between discursive and nondiscursive aspects of political processes in terms of power negotiations and hegemony. This approach embraces the perspectives offered by biopolitics and its attention on how power distribution, through discourse, institutions, cultural apparatus,

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and various forms of technology, exerts control on the body and life of entire populations (Foucault 1997). However, this chapter also lays emphasis on embodiment and its irreducibility to stable power relations as a constant, unstable, and messy source of creativity and resistance. Furthermore, the focus on ingestion questions any preconception of the body as separate entity, revealing its inherent relationality and dependency on other bodies, objects, and living organisms. Such interpretation of the body and ingestion has immediate political ramifications, as individuals and communities cannot eliminate the inevitable porosity of the boundaries that may be propped up to define them. Such critical perspective can provide tools to rethink the status quo and introduce cultural, economic, and political change and innovation in the food system.

Food as Practice and Signification A central insight for the application of critical and post-structuralist approaches to food is that ingredients, dishes, and the practices surrounding them are not mere reflections of the biological need for humans to nourish themselves, but they rather carry and, in turn, generate meaning (Parasecoli 2011). As such, they can be used to infer and convey information about the societies and the environments in which they appear. The cultural and contextual aspects of food become particularly apparent, for instance, when we travel to unfamiliar places, where we are not sure what to eat, what dishes consist of, what the proper ways to order and consume them are, if any of our behaviors can be construed as ridiculous or even offensive, if the ingredients and dishes we consume are considered by locals as comfort food, traditional fare, special occasion specialty, or slop for ignorant tourists. However, it is easy to realize that food also carries meaning in our everyday settings. We are quick to pass judgment about other people’s eating habits and preferences, which vary greatly depending on their cultural background, upbringing, education, perceptions, and social status, among other factors. ‘Sketti,’ the overcooked spaghetti recipe with butter and ketchup proudly assembled by one of the protagonists of the US reality TV show Here Comes Honey Boo

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Boo,1 has been routinely disparaged in the media and among food connoisseurs as an expression of low-class white ‘redneck’ culture (Dean 2012). Yet, it can also be appreciated as a symbol of unpretentiousness, comfort, and genuine simplicity in the context of more populist outlooks that tend to critique the positions of those perceived as members of the elites. Similarly, pasta alla Norma, al dente pasta with fresh tomato sauce, salted ricotta, and fried eggplants, is likely to be experienced outside of Italy as either unusual but authentic, conveying sophistication and cosmopolitanism, or weird and unappetizing, and everything in between. On the other hand, Italians may tend to consider it as a tasty but not particularly intriguing dish. These simple observations point to the fact that food’s meaning is not inherent as univocal, as a mere reflection of its physical qualities, but rather varies depending on the context and the actors involved. Food cannot be disentangled from larger networks of discourse and practice, as French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu (1984) observed in his analysis of upper- and working-class eating habits in Distinction. As a matter of fact, Bourdieu used food examples to conceptualize habitus, which he referred to ‘the capacity to produce classifiable practices and works, and the capacity to differentiate and appreciate these practices and products’ (Bourdieu 1984: 170). He suggested that in the upper classes good manners and refinement of dishes are more relevant than quantity, while among the working classes large portions, robust flavors, filling ingredients, and a certain degree of disrespect for table etiquette are considered as central both for satisfaction and for an appropriate performance of identity. Bourdieu’s analysis confirms that food routinely carries, generates, and is entangled with meaning, becoming an effective tool for intentional communication. As such, it is subject to highly context-sensitive interpretations by various actors. Such dynamics constantly generate shifting and evolving meanings that provide the base for the cultural and social uses of food. As signification becomes crucial in determining the role of food, including as an arena for power negotiations, semiotics offers effective analytical tools to examine the production, distribution, preparation, consumption, and even disposal of food as a network of interrelated ­processes,  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2288050/.

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objects, utterances, and gestures, with the body squarely positioned at its core. In fact, food provides stimulating material for different approaches in contemporary semiotics, such as sociosemiotics, biosemiotics, semiotics of culture, and the semiotics of place and space, each with their specific emphasis, theoretical frameworks, and methodologies. In fact, each of these approaches could bring valuable contributions to a deeper understanding of food as carrier and generator of meaning, which is in turn crucial for discourse analysis and political critique of the cultural system of food. The focus on visible behaviors reflects the interest of sociosemiotics, the subset of semiotics that focuses in particular on the interactions between ideological systems and connotations of signification-­carrying elements, the crucial role of social dynamics, conflicts and negotiations in the processes of semiosis, as well as their changes over time, space, and different contexts (Cobley and Randviir 2009; Hodge and Kress 1988). As food is closely connected with the body and the cultural experience of eating and ingestion, as well with animals, plants, and other elements of the physical world, perspectives developed within biosemiotics can also provide stimulating insights. As one of its most visible practitioners, Kalevi Kull (2001: 1) aptly states, ‘sign systems embrace all living systems, and the roots of semiotics lie in biology.’ Furthermore, as even the simplest organisms have developed forms of communication since their emergence, Kull (1998: 306) reminds us that ‘semiosis arose together with life, which means with the first cells; semiosis, symbiosis, and life processes are almost identical (or, isomorphic); life is mainly a semiotic phenomenon, the real elements of life are signs.’ While food’s rootedness in biological phenomena opens interesting paths of research for biosemiotics, other aspects seem ripe for analysis from the point of view of semiotics of culture. As we will discuss, culinary norms, values, and practices can be examined as heterogeneous semiotic systems constituting cultural ‘texts’ in which information is generated, structured, and preserved (Dobrovolskiı ̆ and Piirainen 2005: 254f.). As Thomas Sebeok (2001: 69) suggests, culture can be construed as ‘that realm of nature where the logosphere  – Bakhtin’s dialogic universe  – impinges in infant lives then comes to predominate in normal adult lives.’ The connections between eating and the physical environments in which it takes place evoke instead the themes developed in the semiotics

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of space and place (Low 2009). This approach can shed light on how always contextual performances and practices, often blurring global and local scales, contribute to generate relevant meaning systems in phenomena such as migrations, displacement, tourism, and other forms of human mobility. In emerging transnational spaces and in flows of globalization, food products, recipes, and customs—which all have sensory, material, and cognitive aspects—help humans to negotiate new environments and sociopolitical arrangements (Marte 2007). A semiotic examination of global flows of food-related objects, practices, and representations, together with their users, can actually generate important insights as to why certain foods, together with the norms and practices that surround them, are maintained, albeit undergoing processes of transformation of various nature, and become central points of reference in migrants’ worldviews, allowing them to cope with the inevitable disorientation and to create a sense of community. Why do some culinary elements disappear, some thrive, and some resurface after interludes of apparent irrelevance, often carrying different meaning? How are migrants’ dishes and practices interpreted by host societies? These reflections are particularly relevant to understand the role that cooking and other food-related practices play in defining migrants’ experiences in societies where lifestyles and consumption behaviors play a central role in defining the identities of individuals and communities.

Food as a Signifying Network The contemporary semiotic perspectives, which we examined above and which all contribute to a deeper understanding of food as a total social phenomenon, in varying measure build on the founding contributions developed at the beginning of the discipline by Roland Barthes. His essays ‘Wine and Milk,’ ‘Steak and Chips,’ and ‘Ornamental Cookery’ (Barthes 1972), among many others, revealed the cultural and social relevance of an apparently mundane aspect of everyday life. Barthes expanded such reflection on food in ‘Reading Brillat Savarin’ (Barthes 1986), where he took on gastronomy, the learned reflection on food and eating as a cultural field. Barthes reflected and expanded the interest of

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structural anthropologists for food. Claude Lévi-Strauss (1978: 471) famously stated that ‘cooking, it has never been sufficiently emphasized, is with language a truly universal form of human activity: if there is no society without a language, nor is there any which does not cook in some manner at least some of its food.’ Lévi-Strauss’s and Barthes’s early semiotic analysis drew attention to food as a complex system of signification, in which no element has any meaning in itself, but it is defined by what actually it is not, in relation to the other elements. What count are oppositions and differences. To assess these dynamics, food-related cultural phenomena can be treated as an expression of a single ‘code,’ in the sense introduced by Barthes in S/Z (Barthes 1974). Codes provide filters of intelligibility that allow users of a semiotic system to make sense of various acts of communication and, in a way, reality as a whole. As film theorist Kaja Silverman (1983: 239) observed in the early 1980s, ‘a code represents a sort of bridge between texts. Its presence within one text involves a simultaneous reference to all of the other texts in which it appears, as to the cultural reality which it helps to define—i.e. to a particular symbolic order.’ Barthes had already provocatively put forward the proposition that texts—in their traditional interpretation as individual ‘works’—are actually a cultural illusion. In his essay The Death of the Author (1988), often read as a precursor of postmodern theory and a founding text for cultural studies, Barthes (1986: 54) stated that: A text consists of multiple writings, proceeding from several cultures and entering into dialogue, into parody, into contestation; but there is a site where this multiplicity is collected, and this site is not the author, as has hitherto been claimed, but the reader: the reader is the very space in which all the quotations that make up a writing are inscribed, without any of them being lost, all the citations out of which a writing is made; the unity of a text is not in its origin but in its destination, but this destination can no longer be personal: the reader is a man without history, without biography, without psychology; he is only that someone who holds collected into one and the same field all of the traces from which writing is constituted.

In accordance with this general understanding of the text, rather than the author or the reader, as the central locus of signification, Barthes fur-

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ther argued that while the work ‘is a fragment of substance, it occupies a portion of the spaces of books (for example, in a library), the text is a methodological field’ (Barthes 1986: 57). It is evident that such approach can be applied also to the study of food. For Barthes, to understand texts, we have to give up the myth of origin and filiation; similarly, we need to accept cultural systems of food in their irreducible plurality in terms of materials, practices, and actors. This critique of the role of the author is particularly important to understand representations at a time when celebrities, star chefs, and other visible personalities—from producers to authors and journalists—seem to influence and even shape the field of food. Their media exposure—and one could say overexposure—may appear to be a determining factor in the ongoing negotiations around ideas, aspirations, and interpretations of our relationship to food. Although their role cannot be denied, it needs to be better put in context, while observing how resistance and opposition provide counter narratives—and often critiques—to mainstream positions. At the same time, everybody is able to post food pictures on Instagram, write restaurant critiques on Yelp, and start their culinary blog. Through social media and the Internet, stakeholders in the cultural systems of food can feel entitled to embrace their role as authors, as well as the uniqueness and originality of their contributions. By so doing, they often fail to understand the wider textual dynamics, structural frameworks, and cultural negotiations of which they are involuntary participants and in which their role is negligible. Activists, policy makers, governments, academics, scientists, businesses, and consumers all contribute to these debates not only in terms of representations and discourse but also of practices and material culture. Within such complex systems, processes of semiosis and meaning generation are far from streamlined and univocal. As stakeholders in the cultural system of food are at the same time ‘authors’ and ‘readers,’ to use Barthes’s terminology, there are huge margins for disruption in communication processes between the encoding mechanisms on the side of the production and the decoding processes on the side of the final users of messages, objects, and behaviors. In other words, producers often find that the meanings they aim to convey fail to get across to their target audiences, at times distorted or accepted quite selectively, depending on

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cultural, social, and political environments and negotiations (Hall 1980). Chocolate manufacturer Ferrero has constantly tried to promote Nutella, its famous spread, as a wholesome product, an expression of parental love and care, and as a family brand. When Nutella is consumed during rave parties or sex parties, users subvert the values that the producer had tried to convey, generating their own meanings as a form of ironical critique of mainstream consumerism. Through their interactions, subcultures may develop their own forms of cultural expressions around food to create spaces of resistance to the mainstream, market-controlled industries. However, by becoming the source of criticism and protest, such subcultures become so visible and acquire such popularity that they can be eventually broken down, subsumed, and used in mainstream pop culture, at least in some of their components. Dumpster diving, deeply rooted in its punk origin, has been diluted in a widely accepted awareness of the need to reduce waste and creatively find use for food that is not consumed. Biodynamic wine production, until a few decades ago at the margins of the wine industry, is now integrated in the market and natural wines are increasingly popular. Besides as a cluster of ingredients, dishes, objects, and customs, food can also be investigated in terms of the shared cultural background and the political environment in which products are conceived, the common social and economic structures of manufacture, distribution, and consumption, and also the widespread awareness and expectations among consumers in terms of preferences and trends. In this sense, food systems (in the semiotic sense) constitute an interesting example of what Michel Foucault (1972: 31–39) in his Archaeology of Knowledge described as a discursive formation, that is to say a regularity that appears in shape of order, development, correlations, positions and functioning among objects, concepts, modality of enunciation, and thematic choices that identify otherwise invisible patterns. These formations take place within a discursive field, that is to say the contexts in which meaning and discourse—and the power relations that underlie them—are generated through interactions among individuals, communities, institutions, and language; such contexts are in turn determined by systems of norms, economic and social dynamics, techniques, and ideas that constitute the preconditions of their very existence (Foucault 1972). From this point of

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view, food is also determined by regulations and laws, institutions ranging from national authorities to international bodies, trade networks, as well as bodies of knowledge such as nutrition, food science, medicine, biology, botany, each with its own structures and dynamics. Moreover, semiotic systems of food cannot but interact with the wider field of popular culture, including imagination, which has become a global field of social practice in themselves, as cultural theorist Arjun Appadurai (1996) surmised. Pop culture represents a major repository of visual and narrative elements, ideas, practices, and discourses that influence our relationship with the body (including the way we experience and feel it, in other words our ‘embodiment’), with food production and consumption, and, of course, with the whole social and political system allowing or hindering individuals from getting what they need on a daily basis. In fact, food offers many individuals and communities throughout the world new filters through which they can represent, interpret, and sometimes critically examine their daily lives. Outside of semiotics but echoing themes developed by Barthes, anthropologist Clifford Geertz (1973: 24) deciphered and understood food, just like any other cultural phenomenon, as ‘an ensemble of texts,’ underlying how ingredients, dishes, meal structures, norms, and behaviors that constitute and express a culinary culture are interconnected, and their totality generates meaning through its internal systemic arrangement. Furthermore, their meaning is not intrinsic and does not reveal some form of deep essence, but rather derives precisely from the relations and interactions of the various elements constituting the social and cultural habits that surround it, which at any rate are closely connected with it to form a complex set of practices and representations.

Food Negotiations Based on previous classifications elaborated in other disciplines by Goody (1982), Mennell et al. (1992), and Beardsworth and Keil (1997), in their volume on Food and Cultural Studies (2004) Bob Ashley and his colleagues at Nottingham Trent University categorize semiotic-based ­explorations of food such as Barthes’s as expressions of what they consider

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the structuralist approach. Such perspective also includes the work of anthropologist Mary Douglas, who in Deciphering a Meal (1975) analyzed the structure of the meal in terms of adherence to cultural categories, and Jean Soler’s The Semiotics of Food in The Bible (1973), where the dietary rules of the Scriptures are examined as expressions of their underlying cultural structures and their internal dynamics. These texts focused on the description of cultural systems of food in their synchronic structures and mechanisms, generating the inevitable critique that such systems are variable, contested, and incomplete, and as such evolve over time. For this reason, structuralist analytical frameworks have been at times criticized as insufficient to study food, especially in historical terms, because of their difficulty in conceptualizing change and its dynamics. Furthermore, structuralist approaches have tended to emphasize the dominance of systems of meanings rather than the autonomy and initiatives of individuals and communities that are born into them. The response to the inadequacies identified in the structuralist approaches to the study of food gave origin to what Ashley et al. (2004) define as a culturalist perspective, which focuses in place of stability and historical continuity on the preeminence of the agency and experience of individuals and communities, as well as their conflicts with various forms of power. In The Practice of Everyday Life (1984), Michel de Certeau argued that consumers’ tactics constitute an active form of resistance against the strategies developed by economic and political powers to preserve their supremacy. Such reflections, however, display a tendency to romanticize the role of cultural subjects in the creation and reproduction of systems of meaning, a trait that appears also in Cultural Studies, with their emphasis on the creativity and autonomy of subcultures. The necessity to take diachronic transformations—as well as the role of individual and social agency in it—into account led to what Mennell (1996) and Beardsworth and Keil (1997) have defined as the ‘developmental perspective’ on food. This ‘developmental perspective’ shares a central concern for time and change with the Gramscian approach to analysis of power relations, in which the concept of ‘cultural hegemony’ acquires central relevance (cf. Ashley et al. 2004). Cultural hegemony can be described as the manipulation of the value system by a social group to establish its cultural dominance and to impose its worldview as natural

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and beneficial to society as a whole. In the context of food, for instance, the concept can be applied to the attempts to impose a certain point of view on what constitutes a national cuisine, how ethnic foods should be considered, and what diets are better not only in terms of health but also of cultural acceptability. The concept of hegemony, advanced by the Italian political theorist Antonio Gramsci (2000) in the 1930s as an attempt to understand the grasp of fascism on Italians, also contributed to informing the early 1970s considerations on ideology developed by the French sociologist Louis Althusser. Althusser influenced the debate on gender, class, and other power structures by suggesting that social status, family, and, in the realm of food, customs, norms, and values can be examined as ideological formations which aim at reproducing the existing cultural and social order within institutions such as the state, the school, the workplace, and the food system as a whole, from production to disposal of waste (Althusser 1971: 211). For Althusser, due to the distortions they inevitably introduce, all ideologies represent not the actual relations of production (and the other relations that derive from them), but above all the imaginary relationship of individuals to the relations of production and the relations that derive from them. What is represented in ideology is therefore not the system of real relations which govern the existence of individuals—in this case their ability to produce, have access to, or consume food—but the imagined relation of those individuals to the structures and dynamics that shape their lives (Althusser 1971: 164 f.). For these apparatuses to work at their best, oppression and the ideology that sustains it must keep their mechanisms and modus operandi invisible, to the point of being perceived as natural and normal (ibid., pp. 127ff.). This also counts for the case for food, which is often presented as an apolitical and socially neutral reflection of biological processes, nutritional needs, and personal preferences, while concealing the power relations and the systemic issues underlying it. In order to reveal the imaginary aspects of belief systems, Barthes’s codes, which as we previously discussed function as filters of intelligibility in semiotic systems, can be examined as an incarnation of ideology that generates, conveys, and interprets meaning in order to obtain social ­control and political hegemony within both discourse and practice. To explain such mechanisms of oppression, Barthes (1972) proposed the

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concept of the ‘myth,’ a particular type of sign that, like any other sign, is composed of a signifier and a signified, but that in its entirety becomes the signifier for another, more complex, often metaphorical sign, thus generating a further layer of signification. Barthes famously analyzed a magazine cover representing a young black man in a French uniform saluting, with his eyes uplifted, the French flag. The picture constituted a sign whose basic signification, the content that all viewers more or less shared (its ‘denotation’), was just that: a black soldier saluting a flag. However, the picture could also be interpreted as a sign of a second order, where the image of the black soldier saluting the flag becomes the signifier for different meanings (or ‘connotations’); depending on the context it could represent nationalism, French pride, the attachment of the colonized to the colonizer, and so on (Barthes 1972: 109–59). When a few years back posters representing polenta, and carrying the slogan ‘yes to polenta, no to couscous’ appeared in northern Italy, the corn meal dish was activated not only as an expression of local identity but also in opposition to the penetration of foreign food. Political denotations were attached to it that changed its meaning within the code of the local cultural system of food. Pasta e fagioli, a traditional pasta and bean soup, was a mainstay in many areas of Italy at the time when large portions of its population lived in the countryside, and also urban dwellers maintained close ties with the surrounding areas. During a rapid process of economic development in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Italy saw massive internal migration from the South to the North, from the interior to the coasts, and from the countryside to cities. Pasta e fagioli acquired an ambivalent status of comfort food, expressing family ties and traditions, and as a sign of the past, often tainted by poverty and backwardness. Families routinely made the dish at home, but such simple fare was almost embarrassing outside the domestic environment or the most traditional, less refined establishments. Starting in the late 1980s, when most Italians were removed enough from their rural origins and the industrial economy began showing signs of crisis, traditional dishes acquired a different cultural relevance. Many Italians felt comfortable enough with their past to embrace expressions of local identities, traditions, and artisanal know-how once again. Pasta e fagioli reappeared on the menus of fine dining restaurants,

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where pedigreed chefs often offered contemporary reinterpretations that expressed renewed interest toward the quality and the uniqueness of the ingredients. As recipes for pasta e fagioli were featured in cookbooks, food magazines, and TV shows, people who were not too familiar with the dish also learned how to make it and to consider it as part of the canon of Italian popular food. Such shifts in meaning become particularly noticeable when the same element is used across different signifying networks, a phenomenon that is often referred to as transmediation. These dynamics are also recognizable in food. Until a few decades ago, a slice of ripe, rustic, artisanal cheese might have been considered with disdain in comparison to neatly packed, hygienically made, and ready-to-serve slices of industrially produced cheese. Instead, that same slice is now increasingly perceived as an embodiment of culture, tradition, know-how, prestige, gourmet expertise, and even political resistance. It may appear neatly packaged in a high-end gourmet store, or more modestly displayed in the booth of a producer in a farmers’ market. In each context, the cheese acquires meanings that go beyond the simple denotation of a dairy product, originating in milk fermentation and more or less salted and aged. In the gourmet store, it signifies shoppers’ connoisseurship, refinement, their preoccupation with authenticity, as well as their relatively comfortable financial means. In a farmers’ market, it may convey all that but also the desire for a direct contact between producers and consumers, which may point to the political relevance of local food systems and a vote-with-your-dollar form of resistance to mass production. That same slice of artisanal cheese may then be featured in magazine articles, in restaurant reviews, on the poster for a special food event, on the T-shirts of volunteers at the event, and, why not, on the cover of an album from a band that was intrigued by the political connotations acquired by that product. The cheese may also end up in a satirical YouTube video, or a cartoon, or an animated short a-la-South-Park to take a jab at the priorities and behaviors of foodies. In these various appearances across different media, the slice may be experienced within the specific perspective either to support it or to ­critique it—which Margot Finn (2017: 9) defines as ‘the ideology of the food revolution,’ which she argues is built around the four axes of sophis-

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tication, thinness, purity, and cosmopolitanism. In other words, favorite foods in this worldview tend to be ‘gourmet,’ relatively difficult to acquire and definitely different from mass-produced fare; healthy and conducive to avoidance of obesity; natural and free from any dangerous scientific manipulation, from pesticides and fertilizers to genetic engineering; and authentic, reflecting other cultures and practices that are at the same time appreciated for bringing new flavor to mainstream habits but also considered as available to various degrees of appropriation and exploitation, including ‘slumming.’ For Finn (2017: 20f.), what these four ideals share ‘is not any logical compatibility but instead their association with a particular demographic – the professional middle class, or even more narrowly, the left-leaning part of it sometimes referred to as the liberal elite.’ These ideals often reflect the not always overt but determinate attempt of the ‘food elites’ to impose their taste on the masses, promoting and at times trying to impose practices of discernment and self-restraint that not everybody may subscribe to. While it cannot be denied that at times the efforts to change the cultural systems of food have recognizable class undertones, we cannot ignore that part of the ‘masses’ may have chosen to work toward greater health, purity, and cultural diversity in what they eat out of their own concerns. Efforts to create community gardens, enhance food access, and improve children’s nutrition are not uniquely the reflection of the elite’s priorities but have been at the forefront of social and political action among groups that have suffered long-lasting disadvantages because of gender, race, and ethnicity. Acknowledging the diversity within the ‘masses’ may be as important as promoting self-­ awareness and critical reflections among the ‘elites.’ Finn (2017) seems to agree with Barthes’s (e.g., 1972) suggestion that denotations, far from being natural and straightforward, are actually expressions of authority, while at the same time making codes look neutral and innocent. However, in the case of food as in many other fields of social activity, it would be excessively simplistic to consider individuals and communities as defenseless dupes that accept whatever is imposed on them: actors in food-related signifying networks are rather participants in the production objects, norms, and behaviors through negotiations that endlessly shape the distribution of power in a society. As a consequence, hegemonic dynamics engender ever-changing configurations of domina-

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tion, subordination, and resistance to which critical theory and poststructuralism can apply the analysis of discourse, ideology, and frames, the theorization of contextual and multiple subjectivities, and the assessment of food consumption and other food-related behaviors as identity markers for class statues, education, race, ethnicity, age, and gender (Belasco 2006; Johnston and Bauman 2010; Lebesco and Naccarato 2008, 2012; Williams-Forson 2006).

Looking for Stable Meaning The practices, representations, and values that support our experience of food appear to be, like any other signifying system, ‘variable, contested, ever-changing, and incomplete’ (Sewell 1999: 57). They are continuously negotiated and altered, while maintaining a certain internal coherence. To explain changes and shifts within signifying systems, Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe turned not only to the Gramscian concept of hegemony but also to the theories of French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. Reflecting behaviors, dreams, and utterances of his patients, Lacan suggested that signifiers tend to be more stable than signifieds. According to Lacan, signs as material carriers of meanings may remain the same while their meanings shift, in ‘an incessant sliding of the signified under the signifier’ through the mechanisms of metaphor and metonymy, a phenomenon that Lacan called a ‘signifying chain.’ (Lacan 2002: 145). As we have already discussed, in the case of food this mechanism is quite obvious. The significance of a dish and its wider cultural value can change over time, even if its recipe and ingredients remain more or less constant. Foods, as well as the values, ideas, and practices surrounding them, function as ‘floating signifiers,’ to adopt Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe’s (1985: 113) terminology. This indicates that elements of a signifying network—such as that of a cultural system of food—are constantly submitted to an ongoing negotiation among various forces in the community (Laclau and Mouffe 1985: 93–148). Certain signifiers bounce around, reflected and distorted, acquiring different and even controversial meanings. However, their presence or omnipresence as signifi-

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ers, as elements of communication regardless of their actual sense or use, is reinforced. Their life might be shorter, but their temporary interaction within the food system is much more intense: the ripples travel faster and wider in the global meaning pond. Signifiers acquire different meanings when they are integrated in different cultural, economic, social, political, and even material contexts. Despite the ever-changing nature of signifying networks and meaning they carry and generate, Lacan (1993: 267–8) argued that subjects would risk experiencing psychosis if they did not have constant points of reference that become anchors for their mental universe, their worldview, and their relationship with others. Lacan called these stable elements ‘upholstery buttons’ or ‘quilting points’ (points de capiton), because just like upholstery buttons ensure that the stuffing of a chair does not move around and gives shape to the furniture; they provide structure and stability to the whole system of experience and communication of the subjects (Lee 1990: 61f.). Some signifiers, although always incomplete, open, and negotiable, nevertheless acquire a life of their own to become what historian Lydia Liu (2004: 13) has called ‘super signs.’ A super sign is a linguistic monstrosity that thrives on the excess of the presumed meanings by virtue of being exposed to, or thrown together with, foreign etymologies and foreign languages … not a word but a hetero-cultural signifying chain that crisscrosses the semantic fields of two or more languages simultaneously and makes an impact on the meaning of recognizable verbal units … The super-sign can thus be figured as a manner of metonymical thinking that induces, compels, and orders the migration and dispersion of prior signs across different languages and different semiotic media.

If we substitute ingredients, dishes, and food-related objects and practices for language, we can see that the definition actually works very well in the realm of ingestion. In any cultural system of food, we can identify as upholstery buttons—or super signs—those components of the system that provide apparent coherence to an otherwise always changing array of ingredients, flavors, dishes, and practices. Such components can be both material and discursive elements, whose relevance becomes particularly clear when they become the object of cultural, social, or political wars.

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For instance, French fries have come to occupy a central place in the mainstream ideas about what American food—and in particular comfort food—is. Whether served with meals in fast food or cut out of heirloom varieties in hipster eateries, they are omnipresent in US public eating spaces. However, their apparent familiarity has been contested in recent years for different reasons. On the one hand, during the war in Iraq some Americans took to calling them ‘liberty fries’ as a form of protest against the resistance of the French government to get involved in the conflict. On the other hand, they have somehow become one of the symbols of the bad eating habits of the many Americans that enjoy foods heavy on calories but poor in nutrients, with disastrous consequences on personal and public health. However, the very fact that the French fries solicit such strong emotional reactions point to their status as upholstery buttons in the US context. In Italy, as we discussed, the late 1980s saw the rediscovery of localism and traditions in the realm of food, after years when anything modern— from cans to frozen food—was embraced uncritically as symbols of advancement. Fashion rather than substance had dominated the culinary world, with an increased presence of until then foreign elements such as heavy cream, smoked salmon, or vodka. In the following years, pride in and appreciation for local culinary traditions became pervasive in Italian society, to the point that artisans and small manufacturers saw their sales increase. Furthermore, large food businesses started appropriating imagery and language that connected them to the past, with a substantial dose of nostalgia and cynicism. However, not all quarters in Italian societies turned to food, its local roots and its past, for the same reasons. At that time, shifts in ideological and cultural discourse had brought certain segments of the Italian Left—which provided the basis for the international Slow Food movement—to the forefront of appreciation for the culinary world. Fine food and wine were now considered not in terms of symbols of appropriation and exploitation (the fat bourgeois sucking vital energy from the workers’ labor). Eating—including high-quality products—was interpreted in ways that allowed collective enjoyment, sharing, and ­community to become the relevant values. In an evolution not without irony, localism and attachment to traditions also became the trademark for the federalist demands formulated by the North League party, which

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rather overtly considered the South unproductive and parasitic and new foreign immigrants troublemakers, job-stealers, and disrupters of community. As we already mentioned, polenta became the symbol of entrenched cultural identity and resistance to the penetration of negative external influences. Once again, the very centrality of upholstery buttons—in this case, tradition and localism, makes them the focus for intense political and cultural tensions. When Putin blocked imports of Polish apples following the EU embargo caused by his intervention in the Ukraine, a Facebook campaign to ‘eat apples to annoy Putin’ found a great following in Poland. Parallel to this, the local industrial sector rallied to find new uses for the fruit. Suddenly apples, a mainstay on the Polish table and a product often considered central to the local food system, had turned into an ideological flashpoint. The fruit acquired greater relevance as an upholstery button at a time when Poland’s electorate is divided between the supporters of the present government, which is striving to create a national identity that can resist globalization and its representatives— namely, the European Union—and those who instead considers themselves as European citizens, proud of their country but open to the world. In this context, interesting conversations are developing around the crucial question of what Polish cuisine is. The very fact that the debate is framed around the role of nation-state is revealing: reflecting what food is to be found in Poland, rather than trying to identify Polish food could have tackled the same issues. While the first approach would allow for more inclusiveness, reflecting the complex ethnic and religious history of the country, the second feels more exclusionary, as some essential quality is sought after. At a more international level, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have moved to the core of debates about globalization, the power of multinational agribusinesses, health, and the environment. Relevant discussions are developing about what can be considered natural, the dangers of messing with nature, and the centrality of nature for a healthy food business. Furthermore, the complex and often confrontational relations between farmers and agrobusinesses that own the seeds and the products necessary to grow them are indicated as proof of the toxicity of the whole system from a social and economic point of view. On the other hand, the

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supporters of the introduction of GMO crops point out that they could provide stronger varieties with better resistance against droughts and floods, as well as higher yields. In many quarters, GMO production is hailed as the scientific and rational response to the possible scarcity of food in the future. In both cases, GMOs provide anchorage for a whole array of meaning, and the very negotiation to appropriate and control the narrative about technology, science, and nature reveals the centrality of the topic and its nature as an upholstery button. This analytical approach becomes particularly effective if, as Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe (1985) suggest, we question the distinction between behavioral, representational, and material aspects of the social and the political, since they all are part of the ever-shifting mechanisms that produce meaning in any given society. For analytical purposes, we can interpret food as an all-embracing signifying network that includes elements as diverse as values, practices, ideas, and objects, whose meaning is determined not only by their reciprocal influence within the network as a whole but also by the various negotiations taking place among its users. These dynamics explain the emergence of dominant practices and discourses (usually referred to as ‘mainstream’) within a field of social activity, as well as the development of resistance and opposition to it. Various participants or alliances of participants in a cultural system compete to control how the majority of a community or a social group at any scale (from the neighborhood to the global, passing through regions and nations) interpret, experience, and act in regard of a specific issue. To do so, alternative meanings and practices need to be pushed to the margins, where they can disappear, linger, or acquire strength, at times even competing with the mainstream for control of the narrative. Food constitutes a material object with innumerable and diverse uses, a rhetoric tool in communication and all sorts of narratives, including cultural and media representations. As such, food can reflect, support, and reinforce values and practices that contribute to framing of whole categories of people as inferior and exploitable. Dishes, ingredients, and all sorts of food-related practices become the objects of ongoing ­negotiations within cultural systems of food among the communities that ­produce and consume them and the larger social formations of which those communities are part, including different classes and politi-

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cal clusters. Each of these formations have their own agendas, taking advantage of their different levels of access to or control over media to use discursive and representational elements in different ways according to their editorial priorities. The sense of who the various actors within the cultural system are, what they like (or are supposed to like), and what is relevant to them emerges through interactions taking place around language, ideas, representations, behaviors, objects, and spaces. This contribution has shown how food can be explored not only as a crucial component in identity work for individuals and communities but also as a field of objects, practices, discourses and values in which social structures, ideological systems, and power relations are constantly negotiated. This kind of analysis is far from being merely theoretical, but it has the potential to introduce change and innovation in the food system, considered both as a cultural expression and an economic and political phenomenon. For instance, gender, class, and race, among other identity issues underlying food-related behaviors, can acquire social and economic relevance in terms of accessibility, affordability, and labor relations and can have an impact in terms of oppression and injustice. Awareness of such dynamics, together with hegemonic analysis, can provide us with deeper understanding of such biopolitical dynamics, while contributing to finding solutions that can usher in fairer, healthier, and more sustainable solutions in terms of what and how we eat. Acknoweledgment  This chapter has been partly made possible thanks to the grant DEC-2017/27/B/HS2/01338, provided by the National Science Centre, Poland.

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7 About Dislocations and Invitations: Deepening the Conceptualization of the Discursive-Material Knot Nico Carpentier

Introduction In the past decades, discourse studies has known a spectacular development, with a field that is by now not only intellectually highly stimulating—for instance, by its internal diversity—but also characterized by an advanced level of institutionalization (cf. Angermuller et al. 2014).1 The same argument can be made about the field of new materialism, which is also well-developed and has produced many intellectual breakthroughs. But despite these developments, and the many shared ontological and epistemological starting points, there has not been much constructive dialogue between these two fields. Arguably, they both have constructed conceptual bridges to the ‘other’ side, for example, through the concept  This chapter uses texts from Carpentier (2017).

1

N. Carpentier (*) Department of Informatics and Media, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2019 T. Marttila (ed.), Discourse, Culture and Organization, Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94123-3_7

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of the entanglement, and it is now time to confidently cross these bridges in actual research practice. This more intensive dialogue between both fields allows strengthening each other’s conceptual toolboxes, deepening the ways discourse theory thinks about material realities and how new materialism theorizes discursive realities. This chapter aims to engage in this dialogue, firmly starting from a discourse-theoretical perspective—one of the many poststructuralist approaches—but then reaching out to the (new) materialist perspectives to enrich both. In order to achieve this objective, the chapter starts with a brief discussion about the basics of Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse theory and then moves on to deal with the relation between discourse theory and the material,2 which results in an outline of the discursive-material knot perspective, zooming in on two of its key concepts: the dislocation and the invitation. In order to illustrate this kind of discursive-material analysis, the last part of the chapter consists out of a case study that deploys both concepts—the dislocation and the invitation—to analyze a particular participatory-agonistic assemblage: the Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC) and its webradio MYCYradio. This case study illustrates the entanglement of the material and the discursive3 by showing (1) how the material components of the CCMC assemblage contribute to the dislocation of a particular discourse, namely, an antagonistic-nationalist discourse—still strongly present on Cyprus—that constructs the other as enemy, (2) how these material components invite for that support of a more agonist discourse but also (3) how they sometimes dislocate this more agonist discourse.  In this chapter, I consciously use the notion of ‘the material’—and not the notion of materiality—as the overarching notion. The choice for ‘the material’ is aligned with the ways that Laclau and Mouffe used ‘the political’ and ‘the social.’ But this choice (for the material) is also inspired by the desire to avoid focusing on ‘what makes things “thingly”.’ Here, I want to move away from an essentialist connotation of materiality, very much in line with Ingold’s (2007: 9) suggestion: ‘In urging that we take a step back, from the materiality of objects to the properties of materials, I propose that we lift the carpet, to reveal beneath its surface a tangled web of meandrine complexity, in which – among a myriad other things – oaken wasp galls get caught up with old iron, acacia sap, goose feathers and calf-skins, and the residue from heated limestone mixes with emissions from pigs, cattle, hens and bees.’ 3  Similar to the choice for the concept of ‘the material,’ the concept of ‘the discursive’ is used here, again in alignment with Laclau and Mouffe’s use of the concepts of ‘the political’ and ‘the social.’ The discursive is used to indicate ‘that all objects are objects of discourse, in that a condition of their meaning depends upon a socially constructed system of rules and significant differences’ (Howarth 2000: 8), while the notion of ‘discourse’ refers ‘to historically specific systems of meaning …’ (p. 9). 2

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The Discursive Discourse is a concept that is used in a wide variety of approaches, many of which are located in the field of discourse studies. As is often the case with academic concepts, their plurality of meanings is an interesting research topic in itself, but at the same time, when the discourse concept needs to be put to work, clarity and specification remain a necessity. This chapter uses the discourse concept framed by Laclau and Mouffe’s (1985) discourse theory, as elaborated in Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (HSS). They define discourse as ‘a structure in which meaning is constantly negotiated and constructed’ (Laclau 1988: 254). This definition is grounded in the theoretical starting point that all social phenomena and objects obtain their meaning(s) through discourse. To use Howarth’s (2000: 101) words: ‘The concept of discourse in Laclau and Mouffe’s theory captures the idea that all objects and actions are meaningful, and that their meaning is conferred by particular systems of significant differences.’ It is important to emphasize that in discourse theory, in contrast to many other approaches in discourse studies, discourse is different from language and not a delimited part of social reality. The discursive is a dimension of our social world that spans it in its entirety and that, through a diversity of frameworks of intelligibility, provides meaning to it. Moreover, the discursive is characterized by the dynamics between rigidity and fluidity. Discourses have to be partially fixed, since the abundance of meaning would otherwise make any meaning impossible: ‘a discourse incapable of generating any fixity of meaning is the discourse of the psychotic,’ as Laclau and Mouffe (1985: 112) wrote. But discursive fixations are not given; they are the result of political interventions that produce particular articulations of particular discourses. Articulations select signifying elements from the discursive reservoir that Laclau and Mouffe (1985: 111) called the field of discursivity and integrate them within a particular discourse, contributing to their particularity. By producing these particular fixations, discourses are ‘an attempt to dominate the field of discursivity, to arrest the flow of differences, to construct a centre’ (Laclau and Mouffe 1985: 112). These articulatory decisions, to

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use and fixate frameworks of intelligibility, in always particular ways, are political interventions that constitute social reality. But this fixity is only partial, and Laclau and Mouffe emphasized the contingency of discourses at several levels (see Carpentier and Van Brussel 2012). At the level of their discursive ontology, the notion of the field of discursivity (Laclau and Mouffe 1985: 112) plays an important role to think this contingency, as the field of discursivity contains an infinite number of elements that are not connected to a specific discourse at a given moment in time. Instability enters the equation through the idea that these unconnected elements can always become articulated within a specific discourse, sometimes replacing (or disarticulating) other elements, which affects the discourse’s meaning. Due to the infinitude of the field of discursivity and the inability of a discourse to permanently keep its meaning fixated and its elements stable, discourses are liable to disintegration and re-articulation. Another way that the overdetermination of discourses—and the impossibility to reach ‘a final closure’ (Howarth 1998: 273)—is made explicit is through the concept of the floating signifier. This concept is defined as a signifier that is ‘overflowed with meaning’ (Torfing 1999: 301). Floating signifiers will, in other words, assume different meanings in different contexts/discourses, again enhancing contingency. Thirdly, and later on (mainly), Laclau referred to the Lacanian concept of lack to theorize this structural openness. For Laclau (1996: 92), the contingency of structures originates from ‘the structure [not being] fully reconciled with itself …’ and ‘inhabited by an original lack, by a radical undecidability that needs to be constantly superseded by acts of decision.’ While the previous paragraphs refer to the social ontology of Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse theory—sometimes called its first level—the second level of Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse theory is the political level, where we can find more emphasis on political processes and discursive struggles, for whose analysis two key notions are mobilized in HSS: hegemony and antagonism. Contingency plays an equally important role at this second level. In other words, contingency is not only intra-discursive but also generated through inter-discursive political struggles. Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse theory, in its indebtedness to conflict theory, emphasizes the significance of the political and the ways that discourses enter

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into struggles in their attempts to attain hegemonic positions over other discourses and, thus, to stabilize, saturate and sediment meanings. Through these struggles and through the attempts to create discursive alliances, or chains of equivalence (Howarth 1998: 279; Howarth and Stavrakakis 2000: 14), discourses are altered, which in turn produces contingency. This also implies that sedimentations are always temporal. As Sayyid and Zac (1998: 262) formulated it, ‘Hegemony is always possible but can never be total.’ There is always the possibility of resistance, of the resurfacing of a discursive struggle and the re-politicization of sedimented discourses, combined with the permanent threat to every discourse of re-articulation. And, again, this generates contingency. As Mouffe (2008: 18) formulated it: ‘Every hegemonic order is susceptible of being challenged by counter-hegemonic practices, i.e. practices which will attempt to disarticulate the existing order so as to install other forms of hegemony.’

About Knots and Assemblages Laclau and Mouffe’s theoretical standpoint does not imply that the existence of the material is questioned, only that they deny that extra-­ discursive meaning exists, very much in line with Hall’s interpretation, which rejects ‘The idea that “discourse produces the objects of knowledge” and that nothing which is meaningful exists outside discourse’ (Hall 1997: 44; emphasis in original). In Hall’s statement, the presence of the words ‘nothing is meaningful’ is crucial, as he (similar to Laclau and Mouffe) did not want to argue that ‘nothing exists but discourse,’ which is a common misunderstanding when discussing discourse theory (and constructionism in general). Also, Butler (1993: 6) referred to this misunderstanding when she wrote: ‘Critics making that presumption can be heard to say, “If everything is discourse, what about the body?”’ Discourse theory acknowledges the existence of the material (including the body) as structurally different from the discursive, but it also rejects the ‘classical dichotomy between an objective field constituted outside of any discursive intervention, and a discourse consisting of the pure expression of

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thought’ (Laclau and Mouffe 1985: 108). Discourse is not the same as the material but still very necessary to make sense of it. Still, I would like to argue that there is a need for a more developed theorization of the material in its relationship to the discursive, without giving up on the discourse-theoretical starting point that all social phenomena and objects obtain their meaning(s) through discourse. It is equally important to avoid the trap of dichotomizing the discursive and the material (and the reduction to either an idealist or a materialist position). Different theoretical frameworks and traditions have identified the need of moving beyond this dichotomy, and this chapter is definitely not the first plea to study what Hardy and Thomas (2015: 692) have recently called ‘the material effects of discourse and the discursive effects of materiality.’ What makes the project captured in this chapter—with its focus on the discursive-material knot—different is that it takes, as the previous parts already suggest, Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse theory as the starting point, taking some of the critiques on discourse theory into consideration,4 oscillating between loyalty and disloyalty, in always respectful ways for their work. This rethinking is aimed at expanding discourse theory, infusing (or infecting) it more with the material—through a dialogue with new materialism—and using the mutation to feed further theorizations and empirical research. In addition, I would like to argue that it is important not to privilege the discursive over the material or the material over the discursive. The discursive-material knot is a nonhierarchical ontology that theorizes the knotted interactions of the discursive and the material as restless and contingent, sometimes incessantly changing shapes and sometimes deeply sedimented.5 But this relation of interdependence should never result in one component becoming more important than the other. In this sense, the metaphor of the knot is important to express this intense and inseparable entanglement, but we should also acknowledge the limits of this metaphor and keep in mind that the knot can never be unraveled or  Some of these critiques were discussed in Carpentier and Spinoy (2008).  We should remain realistic about what (academic) language allows us to do and the constraints it creates. Having to work with (academic) language sometimes causes the discursive and the material component to be discussed separately, in a particular order. In these cases, one component always has to come first, but this is done without ever implying that their relationship is hierarchical. 4 5

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disentangled. What we can do, as analysts of the discursive-material knot, is follow the rope, a bit like actor-network theory (ANT) researchers ‘follow the actor’ (cf. Law 1991; Ruming 2009). Equally important to keep in mind is that the ontology of the discursive-­material knot operates at all levels of the social. Here, Foucault’s (1977) ‘microphysics of power’ offers a good parallel to the multi-level nature of the discursive-material knot. Foucault argued in Discipline and Punish that the workings of power enter the micro-processes of the social, structuring all our social relations. A similar argument can be made for the discursive-material knot. The knotted interaction of the discursive and the material—in always particular and contingent ways—structures large-scale assemblages, such as state apparatuses, armies or markets, but it also enters into the micro-processes of the everyday without these different levels ever becoming disconnected. In order to capture the translation of the discursive-material knot into social practice, the concept of the assemblage is used, very much in line with Guattari’s work on the machine. In his chapter ‘Machinic Heterogenesis,’ Guattari (1993: 14) referred to the ‘first type of machine that comes to mind,’ which is that of ‘material assemblages … put together artificially by the human hand and by the intermediary of other machines, according to the diagrammatic schemas whose end is the production of effects, of products, or of particular services.’ In the next sentence, Guattari immediately pointed to the need to go beyond the ‘delimitation of machines in the strict sense to include the functional ensemble that associates them with humankind to multiple components.’ He then enumerates a variety of possible elements, which originate from both the material and discursive realms. Still, the notion of the assemblage is used in a slightly specific way here: While the discursive-material knot is located at the ontological level, the assemblage is positioned at the ontic level, in order to theorize how the flows that characterize the social, with their endless range of possibilities to become fixated and to fixate, are arrested and channeled into particular combinations of the discursive and the material. It is the assemblage that enables us to think of the social as a tapestry, characterized by assemblages with their increased densities, surrounded by ever-moving flows. This is very reminiscent of Laclau and Mouffe’s (1985: 112)

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description of how a discourse functions (which is explicitly inspired by Lacan) and can be expanded to the workings of the discursive-material assemblage: ‘Any discourse is constituted as an attempt to dominate the field of discursivity, to arrest the flow of differences, to construct a center.’ Two concepts that play a significant role in thinking through the entanglement of the discursive and the material are the dislocation and the invitation. Their significance originates from their capacity to theorize the agency of the material in two scenarios: the disruption of particular discourses by the material and the capacity of the material to privilege (the activation of ) particular discourses through the material itself. Both concepts operationalize the core new materialist idea of ‘agential matter’ (Barad 2007: 246) or ‘generative matter,’ which does not imply that dislocations annul the role of the discursive or that material invitations cannot be declined.6 They both remain firmly embedded in the ontology of the discursive-material knot, with its nonhierarchical nature and emphasis on contingency.

The Dislocation Although the dislocation concept is already featured in HSS, it received a more prominent role in New Reflections on the Revolution of Our Time (NRRT), where Laclau (1990) used it to further theorize the limits of discursive structures. In most cases, dislocation gains its meaning in relation to the discursive, for instance, when Laclau (1990: 39) claimed that ‘every identity is dislocated insofar as it depends on an outside which denies that identity and provides its condition of possibility at the same time.’ In this meaning, dislocation supports the notion of contingency, but is also seen as the ‘very form of possibility’ (ibid., 42), as dislocations show that the structure—before the dislocation—is only one of the possible articulatory ensembles (ibid., p. 43). It thus becomes ‘the very form of temporality, possibility and freedom’ (ibid., 41–43). At the same time, there is also a more material use of the dislocation, for instance, when  Dolphijn and van der Tuin (2012: 93) attributed this concept to DeLanda (1996).

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Laclau (1990: 39) talked about the ‘dislocatory effects of emerging capitalism on the lives of workers’: ‘They are well known: the destruction of traditional communities, the brutal and exhausting discipline of the factory, low wages and insecurity of work.’ This connection between the dislocation and material events, which is of high relevance here, becomes even clearer in Torfing’s (1999: 148; my emphasis) description of the dislocation, which, according to him, ‘refers to the emergence of an event, or a set of events, that cannot be represented, symbolized, or in other ways domesticated by the discursive structure – which is therefore disrupted.’ Also Marchart (2007: 139ff.; emphasis in original) referred to the dislocation as event when writing about the ‘constitutive outside of space’ as something which cannot be explained from the inner logic of the system itself, or which has never had any prescribed place in the topography. Yet it occurs within such topography as its dislocation, disturbance, or interruption: as event.

It is important to clarify that in this context the notion of the event refers to a material change that at least has the potential to dislocate a particular discourse, even though the temporal relationship is not necessary and immediate: gaps, delays, reiterations and continuations may occur.7 An event, in its materiality, dislocates a discourse because this discourse turns out to be unable to attribute meaning to the event, while the event simultaneously invites for its incorporation into this discourse. The emphasis on change (or on novelty) and the event’s dislocatory potential can be illustrated with Žižek’s (2014: 11) description of ‘The basic feature of an event’ as ‘the surprising emergence of something new which undermines every stable scheme.’ In Deleuze’s (1993: 77) reference to the event as ‘a vibration with an infinity of harmonics or submultiples,’ support for the more material emphasis can be found. He goes on to stress the movement and articulation of the event: ‘extensive series  This very open and materialist approach to the event is different from how the event is often used in media studies, where the notion of the media event refers to the ‘televisional ceremonies’ that are ‘the high holidays of mass communication’ (Dayan and Katz 2009: 1). Even if these media events have clear material dimensions, the conceptual focus on the televisional representations of material changes renders them more specific than the notion of the event that is used here. 7

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have intrinsic properties (for example, height, intensity, timbre of a sound, a tint, a value, a saturation of color), which enter on their own account in new infinite series …’ (Deleuze 1993: 77).

The Invitation The dislocation also has a positive version: the invitation. As repeatedly mentioned, discourse is needed to provide meaning to the material. Simultaneously, assemblages have a materiality that invites for particular meanings to be attributed to them, and that dissuades other particular meanings from becoming attributed to them. In its structure, this invitational logic is similar to the way that Buckingham (1987: 37), inspired by Iser’s (1978) work, talked about television programs (in particular, the British soap opera, EastEnders) and the invitation that these programs extend toward the viewers to identify with, for instance, particular characters. As Turner (2005: 127) wrote, ‘From this perspective, texts do not produce or determine meaning, they “invite” their readers to accept particular positions ….’ In the more material version of the invitation that I am advocating here, materials extend an invitation to be discursified, or to be integrated in discourses, in always particular ways. These invitations, originating from the material, do not fix or determine meanings, but their material characteristics still privilege and facilitate the attribution of particular meanings through the invitation. This does not imply that the logic of the invitation functions outside the discursive-material knot. Materials like objects and technologies consist of an endless and restless combination of the material and the discursive, where the material invites for particular discourses to become part of the assemblage, frustrating other discourses and assisting in other discourses (and materials) to be produced. But the material is also always invested with meaning. Hegemonic orders provide contextual frameworks of intelligibility that intervene in these assemblages. This also implies that discourses impact on the production of materials, not only to give meaning to them but also to co-determine their materiality. To use a deceivingly simple object, made famous by Heidegger (1996: 62ff.), as an example: A

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­ ammer is made to be a hammer, partially because of all sorts of material h characteristics that facilitate hammering and that give the hammer its handiness (to use one of Heidegger’s terms) but also because of a series of discourses related to construction work, manual labor and carpentry, efficiency, creation, and esthetics. There is, in other words, an interacting combination between materials and the cultural codes engrained in them and between the material invitation and the discursive investment.8 Still, these interactions do not undo the capacity of the material to align itself with particular discourses, through its own materiality. Furthermore, contingency remains present here as well. Contingency can originate from the interaction between both components of the discursive-­material knot or from changes over time. Again, the discursive-­ material knot functions without necessary hierarchy between its constituent components. The introduction of more agencies, also in relationship to technologies, proto-machines and other materials, shows a richer landscape of forces that can destabilize existing sedimentations and create more contingency. If we combine the logics of the assemblage and articulation, then the constitution of an assemblage can be altered through any re-articulation or disarticulation, whether this is working through the discursive or the material (or both). Earlier, discursive contingency was discussed, and here we can make the same argument about the material. For instance, Massey’s (2005: 94) words ‘about the truly productive characteristics of material spatiality’ show the contingency brought about by the material: its potential for the happenstance juxtaposition of previously unrelated trajectories, that business of walking round a corner and bumping into alterity, of having (somehow, and well or badly) to get on with neighbors who have got ‘here’ (this block of flats, this neighborhood, this country – this meeting-up) by different routes from you; your being here together is, in that sense, quite uncoordinated.

 To capture this engraining of meaning into the material, the concept of investment is used. The use of this concept here is inspired by how, for instance, Marres (2012: 113) used it, even if it is rather en passant, when she discussed the deployment of empirical devices in demonstrational homes and remarked: ‘it facilitates the investment of material entities with normative capacities.’ 8

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Moreover, the material, through its agency, can dislocate particular discursive orders (but also disrupt or destroy other materials). It can also form assemblages and—through its agencies and invitations—strengthen existing discursive orders. What it cannot do is escape from the discursive-­ material knot and permanently dominate the discursive (or be dominated by it). The invitation of the material is not compelling, but can be ignored by a particular discursive order, or an alternative interpretation may arise from that particular discursive order, even if the threat of dislocation always remains, which only provides further support for the presence of contingency.

The CCMC Case Study The Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC) is a community media organization that was established in 2009. It is located in the UN-guarded Buffer Zone in Nicosia. Initially it was not a broadcasting organization but centered on providing training, lending equipment to member organizations (that are part of the Cypriot civil society), creating productions for other organizations, staging public events and offering media advice to members. Only in 2013 did CCMC’s web radio station, MYCYradio, begin broadcasting, despite the fact that at present there is no explicit recognition of community media in either part of Cyprus. In its Foundation Charter, the mission of CCMC (2009) is pithily summarized as ‘Empowering a media literate and active society,’ which shows its emphasis on community participation and empowerment. But the organization also aims to contribute to conflict transformation. Especially in the description of CCMC’s ten core values, the link to conflict transformation is made explicit. The first core value in the list of ten is to ‘Unite people and communities through community media based on coexistence, dialogue, inclusion, reconciliation, and respect for diversity.’ In addition, the fifth core value emphasizes the inclusiveness of CCMC: ‘We value and respect the contributions of all people in society and aim to provide a forum for diversity, multiculturalism, and social inclusion through community media production based on creativity, dialogue, and innovation.’ The ninth core value refers to CCMC’s ­opposition

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toward ‘all forms of discrimination based on concepts of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, creed, and/or religious belief and views.’ Similar to CCMC’s charter, MYCYradio’s (2013) Foundation Charter also refers to inclusiveness, diversity and participation: ‘MYCYradio aims to engage with and serve all communities living in Cyprus, by providing a platform for a diversity of voices to be heard. It aims to highlight cultural and linguistic diversity, encourage social integration thus promote a culture of active citizenship and participatory democracy.’ Even though place is lacking to provide a proper overview of the political context in which CCMC functions—and in particular the Cyprus Problem—it remains important to point to the long history of violent conflict on Cyprus, before initiating the CCMC analysis. Nationalist discourses have been, and still are, a key driving force of what is called the Cyprus Problem. The Cyprus Problem can be defined and analyzed as a power struggle between two nationalisms on Cyprus, namely, the localized variations of Greek nationalism and Turkish nationalism (Baruh and Popescu 2008: 80; Nevzat 2005: 11), which articulate Cypriots as either Greeks or Turks. The outcome of this confrontation—apart from much bloodshed and suffering—is a divided island, with the southern part controlled by the Greek-Cypriot Republic of Cyprus (RoC) and the northern part controlled by the internationally not recognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), politically, militarily and economically supported by Turkey. Even though there are many communities on Cyprus, the two main communities, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, are now living in almost complete segregation, divided by the UN-controlled Buffer Zone, with only a few crossings. The hegemony of these antagonistic-nationalist discourses has weakened over time. Bryant (2004: 249) writes that ‘[s]ince the beginning of 2003, Cyprus has experienced tremendous change, much of it following upon the opening of the buffer zone and the opportunities for interchange that followed.’ This change occurred partially through everyday life interactions, but the failure of the Annan Plan, a large-scale attempt to reunite the island in the early 2000s, also triggered ‘a revolution that has marginalized their [the Turkish Cypriot] long-time leaders’ (ibid.), who in the past have provided significant support for the nationalist discourse, including its antagonistic version. Further support for this p ­ osition can be found in the quasi-absence

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of material violence in the past two decades, which also shows how the hegemony of antagonistic nationalism has weakened. Also, the continued pacifist and pro-unification activism, which only became ‘vaguely noticeable in the early 1990s’ (Anastasiou 2008: 15), has since then grown in strength. It has managed to produce a counter-hegemonic discourse that weakened antagonistic nationalism. Nevertheless, a large part of the Cypriot elites remains deeply committed to at least the language of antagonism, which arguably renders the current situation post-antagonistic.

Dislocations and Invitations As the abovementioned references to the CCMC and MYCYradio foundation charters already clarified, this organization’s objective is to resist the (post-) antagonist assemblage on Cyprus. In contrast, the organization is committed to the transformation of antagonism into agonism. Agonism—a concept integrated mainly by Mouffe (2005, 2013) in discourse theory—captures the idea that social relations, for example, between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, can be conflicteous, while the involved actors ‘nevertheless recognize the legitimacy of their opponents’ and agree to share ‘a common symbolic space within which the conflict takes place’ (Mouffe 2008: 20). Later, Mouffe (2013: 109) also pointed to their sharing of ethico-political principles: ‘What exists between adversaries is, so to speak, a conflictual consensus– they agree about the ethico-political principles which organize their political association but disagree about the interpretation of these principles.’ Of course, MYCYradio is a signifying machine that distributes agonistic discourses through its broadcasts (see Carpentier 2017), but in this analysis, I am mainly concerned how the material component of CCMC and MYCYradio also dislocates the (post-) antagonistic-nationalist discourse that constructs the other community as enemy.9  The analysis of this participatory-agonistic assemblage, as captured in this part of the chapter, is structured by what is called a discursive-material analysis. This type of analysis translates the ontology of the discursive-material knot into methodological procedures, combining the logics of qualitative research with the deployment of the theoretical repertoire of the discourse-material knot as so-called sensitizing concepts. See Carpentier (2017: 289ff.) for a more elaborate discussion on this 9

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A first dislocatory dimension of material agonism is the CCMC container building, which also provides a home for MYCYradio, located in a building next to the (former) Ledra Palace Hotel, which towers over it. The Ledra Palace Hotel used to be one of the most glamorous hotels in Cyprus. Nowadays, this ‘quintessential building in the Cypriot UN-controlled Buffer Zone’ (Demetriou 2015: 183) serves as the headquarters of the British UN Roulement Regiment, which is responsible for patrolling sector 2 of the Buffer Zone. Its history, as both a ‘neutral’ place where negotiators met and a militarized location (Demetriou 2015: 195), remains very much visible as the building is marked by bullet holes. As a military base, it is surrounded by barbed wire, walls and all sorts of other fortifications. The CCMC building is adjacent to the Ledra Palace Hotel, with a view from the former’s windows on the UN parking lot and behind it, one of the destroyed houses in the Buffer Zone. Both the back entry of the Ledra Palace Hotel and the main entry of the CCMC, with its ‘world famous black gate’ (interview CCMC staff member 2, January 2015) next to it, have to be accessed from the main road of the border crossing, connecting the part controlled by the Republic of Cyprus, in the south, and the part controlled by the TRNC, in the north. On both sides, there are guarded checkpoints, with a strong presence of national symbols and colors. Together with the abundance of flags, Greek and Republic of Cyprus flags in the south, Turkish and TRNC in the north, the southern entry is specific, as it is half-blocked by two 2-meter-high concrete slabs that force visitors to zigzag around them. They are painted in blue and white, the Greek colors, but, as one interviewee remarked: ‘these big concrete slabs were at one point painted in blue and white, [but they] have since faded quite a bit’ (interview CCMC staff member 2, January 2015). The material destruction, so visible in the Buffer Zone, can be interpreted as a reminder of the evilness of the enemy, who is to be blamed for the destruction, or as a reminder of the cost and senselessness of war and antagonistic nationalism. methodology. In practice, the analyzed data originated from a production and content analysis, a reception analysis and a one-year ethnography. See Carpentier (2017: 286ff.) for an overview of the data gathering and analysis. This chapter uses the interview data from the production and content analysis to illustrate the logics of dislocation and invitation.

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But slowly the Buffer Zone has been reclaimed by different NGOs, including CCMC, who have renovated some of the houses in the Buffer Zone. The contrast is considerable, as exemplified by one of the CCMC staff member’s description: To the left there is a building that looks like … what was the fairytale with that building made of candy? … Hansel and Gretel? … So the Goethe Institute to the left is so colorful and so neat and so … you always want to reach out and touch it and feel … I look at it and that’s the image that comes into my head when I see it, I don’t think I want to bite it [laughing]. (interview CCMC staff member 2, January 2015)

Its liveliness, with the terrace and bar of the Home for Cooperation and the NGO staff members and volunteers that work there, with the Cypriots and tourists passing by, contrasts strongly with the label of the Dead Zone that is sometimes given to the Buffer Zone, as Papadakis (2005: 46) explained. The reclaiming of this inaccessible material space— a Buffer Zone that could, for decades, hardly be entered by civilians—by entering it, can, in itself, dislocate  the antagonistic discourse, and the separation and irreconcilability it entails, as also one of the interviewees explained: That gets me thinking about how we describe that space. That it is inaccessible. To some. Or that it can be seen as inaccessible. Yes, it can. But part of the great thing about it …. Part of the great thing about the first time you gain access to it, is that it then no longer is as inaccessible as you thought it was. So actually getting there, achieving the goal of arriving at CCMC is … you have gone some way to breaking down some of the distance that one has. (interview CCMC staff member 2, January 2015)

Secondly, the CCMC as participatory-agonistic assemblage, with its many objects to support their remit, with the many bodies that are affiliated to the different communities on the island and with the material participatory-agonistic practices, also dislocates the (post-) antagonist discourse. All sorts of utilities (e.g., tables, office chairs, flipcharts, books, a fridge and water holder, air-conditioning, together with the electricity supply and internet connection) are combined with the proto-machines

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that are used for community media production. The latter are concentrated in one room, the studio. One of the MYCYradio producers described the studio’s technological arrangement in these terms: ‘It has a DIY approach in the way it was built. But it’s a professional studio. It’s ok’ (interview MYCYradio producer 4, June 2014). He also added that ‘it’s designed for people … that are not professional journalists’ (interview MYCYradio producer 4, June 2014). The material setup of the studio— knotted with discourses on agonism and participation (including nodal points as inclusivity, equality and respect for diversity)—invites for material and signifying practices that in turn provide further support for these discourses and counter the antagonistic discourses. Through the peaceful and non-violent material interactions (and participations) in the MYCYradio studio, the idea of the other-enemy who should not be trusted and can only be destroyed is undermined (and dislocated). In contrast, these material practices invite an agonistic discourse that articulates these others as other-adversaries (or other-allies or even other-friends) with whom collaboration is possible. Moreover, the sharing of the material space, working together within CCMC’s remit, and the shared entitlement to speak in, and about, Cyprus also counters the idea of the other-foreigner or the other-enemy who is denied this entitlement. This togetherness is partially linked to the bodies of producers and staff members being situated in the same space, working together on the production of radio programs (or other content), but also collaborating in the management of the radio station, even if this is limited. This interaction and participation, of people connected to different communities, are also mentioned in the interviews as a significant contribution to agonism: I think the physical presence is important, especially in our case. And I lean towards the understanding of community media being not only a … being on the airwaves or being on TV but also being a space where people come to co-produce or discuss about how to do productions. (interview CCMC staff member 2, January 2012)

As MYCYradio is a webradio station, this interaction and participation are also made visible (or better, audible) through the broadcasts, materi-

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ally crossing the divide. But even when there are broadcasts with representatives of ‘only’ one community, then these voices are still carried to the ‘other’ side, allowing members of one of the communities to hear the other’s voices. Of course, contingency also impacts CCMC’s ability to act as a participatory-­agonistic assemblage. CCMC depends on accessibility, as part of its remit, but the Buffer Zone still has its own agency, and entering it is not always straightforward. Moreover, finding the CCMC (with its small black gate) is not always that easy, as one of the CCMC staff members explained: If you consider it [CCMC’s location] within the context of the Buffer Zone, and not in the context of Nicosia or Cyprus in general, the location is completely and utterly disabling. As my first experience of trying to get there would demonstrate to me, because I had to call two or three times to find out where it is, and I had been on the receiving end of phone calls asking where it is, where to park, why is the police hustling me, why are you not in the Home for Cooperation …. (interview CCMC staff member 2, January 2015)

Given the many material-spatial restrictions, proper to the Buffer Zone, constructing the MYCYradio studio was not easy: ‘Because if you are facing the UN car park, it couldn’t go anywhere to the right because it would block the entry and exit of military vehicles’ (interview CCMC staff member 2, January 2015). Moreover, the entire container building housing both CCMC and MYCYradio looks very prefabricated and makeshift. Also the studio, even if it invites for participation and agonism, introduces material restrictions that dislocate MYCYradio capacity to function as a participatory-agonistic assemblage. One rather annoying and disruptive consequence of the way that the studio was constructed was only very briefly mentioned by one of the producers: ‘it’s getting too hot’ (interview MYCYradio producer 2, June 2014). The material form of the studio also has agency in privileging particular formats and genres and dis-privileging and disrupting others, as one of the producer’s words illustrate: ‘But at some point we had some students and it was very crowded, it was not working of course’ (interview MYCYradio producer 4, June

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2014). When asked about a less traditional setting, and the possibilities of a different spatial configuration that would involve the large CCMC meeting room next to the studio room, one of the CCMC staff members explained the choices that were made at the time when the radio studio was built, how mainstream media logics still intervened, but also his affecteous relationship with it: I think the fact that we trusted for the configuration [of the CCMC studio] on a company that builds studios for mainstream media probably eliminated that option right from the very start. But I do remember around the same time that the studio started being built, we had a visit from a community radio … activist in India, at Janakpur, and she described the radio production as happening on the floor. People sitting in a circle on the floor, on cushions and a mic being in the middle, and I remember thinking that would be cool but somehow it wouldn’t work in a Cypriot setting. But that’s something that would have been nice to experience in that space, for me, because I feel so comfortable in it. (interview CCMC staff member 2, January 2015)

Importantly, the architecture of the studio, with its own agency, structures the practices of the producers. As is often the case in community radio studios, in contrast with mainstream radio studios, there are no separate rooms for technicians and presenters, which implies that the producers take on these different tasks themselves, again inviting for more participatory practices. Still, the particularity of its (material) construction also dislocates this participatory capacity, for instance, through the size of the space allocated to community media production.

Conclusion This chapter’s CCMC case study shows the importance of the discursive-­ material knot as a theoretical perspective to drive analyses of social reality, doing justice to the entanglement that characterizes this kind of participatory-­agonistic assemblage. In particular, the case study shows the need to think through how the material impacts on the discursive and how the discursive impacts on the material. It is not uncommon for authors in the fields of discourse theory and new materialism to argue for

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cross-fertilizations and to express their interest in the role of the ‘other’ component of social reality. Both discourse theory and new materialism have developed sophisticated conceptual frameworks to theorize and analyze the discursive and the material, respectively, but there is still a strong need to further our understanding of the logics and mechanics of this knotting together of the discursive and the material and to expand the existing conceptual frameworks so that these logics and mechanics can be better described, analyzed and understood. Arguably, concepts such as the dislocation and the invitation can be part of this very necessary theoretical enrichment. Moreover, it is necessary to recognize the conceptual importance of contingency, which operates as the glue between discourse theory and new materialism, which are both non-essentialist approaches. In the case study, we can see contingency at work in two—almost opposite—ways: The counter-hegemonic project of CCMC demonstrates that the antagonistic-­nationalist discourses, which once were hegemonic and that still exercise a significant political influence in Cyprus, can be resisted and that this resistance consists out of discursive and material components, knotted together in a community media assemblage. In this sense, the discursive-material knot approach shows that we still can hope for social change, and more in particular, for the agonization of conflict. But the analysis of contingency also shows the limits of what CCMC can do and how the discursive and material components of the assemblage do not let themselves be harnessed and encapsulated that easily. Here, in particular, the analysis focused on how the material can also dislocate the participatory-­ agonistic assemblage and is not only benevolently ­cooperating to construct a better world, which leads me to argue that hope needs to be combined with modesty.

References A Anastasiou, H. (2008). The Broken Olive Branch: Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and the Quest for Peace in Cyprus. Volume 1: The Impasse of Ethnonationalism. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.

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8 Rhetorical-Performative Analysis of the Urban Symbolic Landscape: Populism in Action Emilia Palonen

Urban space expresses ideology through the transformation. Cultural geographers, in particular, have been accounting for capitalism and neoliberalism visible in the urban structures and symbolic landscapes (e.g., Berg 2011; Kolamo and Vuolteenaho 2013).1 Material surroundings in a city are in flux. They are often engrained with the dominant ideologies, shaped through politics, political economy and contestable ideals. But how to research the political established in the material? This chapter explores particularly the conscious efforts of transforming the cityscape focusing on nationalism and populist articulations in the cityscape. Exploring the citytext one can understand the workings of the hegemony in public space. Discourse theoretical approaches often focus on text and writing. Yet for much of my academic career as a discourse theorist, I have been  This chapter’s theme relates research since 1999, with the latest empirical findings discussed in Palonen (2017). This research has been conducted as part of Academy of Finland projects Populism as Movement and Rhetoric (Kovala 2012–2016), Asymmetries in European Intellectual Space (Jalava 2012–2016), and the consortium on Mainstreaming Populism in the 21st Century (Herkman 2017–2021).

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investigating the very material things such as the ‘city-text’: the street names, statues and architecture discussed in Budapest (e.g., Palonen 2008, 2013, 2015, 2017). Endorsing, preserving or protesting this urban symbolic landscape is a hegemonic activity. This chapter demonstrates how these practices and material reality can be studied with discourse analytical framework of the Essex School. It also contributes to the methodological development of the approach through a rhetorical-­ performative approach to discourse analysis. The Hungarian capital, Budapest, has been a concrete platform for making public political changes, debating and expressing the new era and ideologies through assessment of the past and generating a new symbolic landscape. In Budapest, alongside other capitals of Eastern Europe, revolutions and sweeping changes have manifested in street names, symbols and architecture. Different periods of political rule are made visible in the city-text until they were eventually contested and transformed to symbolize the current reading of the past, present and future. The early 1990s were important for contestation of the previous era and establishment of a new sense of nationhood and political community. Also political differences among powerholders were negotiated in reference to the quite material political symbols and everyday surroundings. After 2010, when the Fidesz government took office after a landslide and claims of revolution, they also changed the street names and memorials. The Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has made his fame as a populist leader advocating illiberal democracy. This chapter explores the nationalist and populist meaning-making through the transformation of the cityscape and the city-text in Budapest.

 hetorical-Performative Basis of Discourse R Analysis To explore populism in the cityscape, this chapter develops rhetorical-­ performative discourse analysis based on Ernesto Laclau’s poststructuralist discourse theory, applied as the Essex School of discourse analysis since the 1980s. Using rhetorical approach to material phenomena sounds perhaps counterintuitive. Rhetoric is often seen as persuasive

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speech or arguments (Martin 2013; Finlayson 2007). While philosophers have discussed rhetoric and ontology, conceptual historians have sought to tie rhetoric to the context (Skinner 2002). Developing the method Turnbull (2017) turned to rhetoric to emphasize situatedness. Rhetoric, as understood here, deals with moves on discursive field with articulation: logics. Logics here refer to the way in which not all meaning-making is fully conscious or actor derived. One meaning-making process may have consequences elsewhere, as the logics tell. It adds another research to the logics approach (Glynos and Howarth 2007) and the systematized postfoundational discourse analysis (Marttila 2015). Rhetoric features in Laclau’s work from early on (DeLuca 1999; Finlayson 2007). We applied in the study of populism in Finland the rhetorical-performative approach (Palonen and Saresma 2017). Laclau’s (2014) emphasis on rhetoric follows Paul de Man (1978) and focuses on tropology rather than persuasion. Nevertheless, political meaning-making is embedded with affective ties just as persuasive rhetoric. The emphasis on affects resonated with revolutions (Laclau 1990) more than genealogy of hegemony (Laclau and Mouffe 1985) and was explored through psychoanalytical thinking especially after encounters with Slavoj Žižek in the 1990s (Butler et al. 2000). Butler’s work resonates with the idea that meaning-making processes are not mere speech or writing, but their performative character makes them constitutive. Constituting difference, constituting the abstract ‘us’ in the space of heterogeneity, is the role of rhetoric. In his insistence that ‘there is only politics where there are frontiers’ (Laclau 1990) Laclau stresses affective investment in a dichotomy between ‘us’ and ‘them,’ as a crucial move in political meaning-making. From this perspective, rhetoric is not simply about persuasion: it is also about topology and social logics. This fits an active conception of politics that Laclau and Mouffe articulate in contrast to political systems or politics sphere (for this dichotomy, see politics-as-activity in Palonen 2006). In contrast to mainstream political science and its perspectives to liberal democracy, this approach sees politics as the articulation of points of identification and political demands rather than as representations of existing interests or identities. The theory of hegemony that Laclau and Mouffe (1985) as well as Stuart Hall (1986, 1993) in cultural studies and

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Doreen Massey (2005) in cultural geography developed is a theory of political meaning-making. Hegemony for Laclau was both about the sedimentation of particular meanings and about contestation of those. It was not a mere state of affairs. This dynamic view of politics, drawing on Gramsci, set it apart from the more traditional Marxists that looked at systems and economy as distinct from politics. Drawing from Althusser the theorists of hegemony focus on identification. Generation of points of identification is central part of discourse theory. Following poststructuralism, these are relational, gaining their meaning through their connections. These may appear as static positions in drawings (Laclau 2005), but actually they are dynamics. Articulation is a key concept for discourse theory and closely tied to rhetoric (DeLuca 1999) and ideology and discourse. ‘In a world without foundations, without a transcendental signified, without given meanings, the concept of articulation is a means to understanding the struggle to fix meaning and define reality temporarily,’ Kevin DeLuca (1999: 334) writes inspired by Laclau and Mouffe’s (1985) work, which for him ‘suggest a rhetorized ontology for a postmodern world and shows how such an orientation can be used to understand contemporary politics, particularly the new social movements.’ This is the basis for this study here, even though the focus is not on the traditional ‘new social movements’ but on the political parties and groups, whether enacting policy or calling for revolution, and other groups of people seeking to articulate their vision for the future through transforming their surroundings. For Laclau and Mouffe (1985), articulation is a practice, and hence it is not simply about speech or writing—but speech and writing also have a meaning-­conveying or transforming function. In this chapter exploring the transformations of the urban symbolic landscape I will demonstrate how these rhetorical-performative logics operate. Performativity is part of Doreen Massey’s (2005) argument the public (or people) and space being co-constitutive through antagonism. Marchart (2014: 279) has recently addressed this constructively a debate between the onetime neighbors from London, Massey and Laclau’s entangled theories (see Dikeç 2005; Howarth 1996) arguing: ‘Space is constantly “on the move”, every topography is constantly done and undone, just as Massey claims.’ For Marchart (2014) antagonism is the

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key for both theorists: space and time, social and political are not distinct, and analytical work is needed for untangling them. If discourse theory of space is taken seriously, any given topography starts to appear in a particular light, and one will have to study the contingent, historical and power-based moments of its original institution. What is more, our view will shift toward the dislocatory struggles that are taking place constantly around the shaping and reshaping of the social. In this sense, the category of antagonism—as it presents itself in the two modes of the social and the political [and space and time]—may prove to be as much of philosophical as of analytical value (Marchart 2014: 280).

 ey Terms of Rhetorical-Performative K Discourse Analysis The rhetorical moves have particular logics. The logics approach (Glynos and Howarth 2007) named three types of logics: social, political and fantasmatic. Yet, each category Laclau developed also entails logics with different characters. Two logics beyond all, the logics of equivalence and difference, are central to the theory of hegemony. The logics also appear as counterintuitive or paradoxical: while the logic of equivalence denotes the equal position in a signifying chain, they also highlight the distinctiveness of each item, group or demand. While the logic of difference highlights the distinction from the other that works as a constitutive outside, it also conceals variation among all the groups against or demands contrasted to this other. In short, while the logic of equivalence brings out variation among the ‘us,’ the logic of difference conceals this in the name of the greater distinction. The empty signifier’s logic is in the way in which a common denominator rhetorically or discursively produced emerges over the others, generating a precarious sense of unity among the heterogeneous items or groups associated with it. The floating signifier’s logic relies on the contestation taking place over the demand or concept when attached to competing discursive chains or forms of references. Moving on to rhetoric, central for Laclau is synecdoche: the trope referring to a part representing the whole. Sometimes the effects of this can

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also be covered with the trope of catachresis when whatever takes the place of unity also transforms itself radically so the constellation would be something new altogether, the meaning or the name transform. Catachresis implies for Laclau, ‘naming the unnameable’ and a rupture on a signifying field, an empty signifier, a new term emerging on the field. The unnameable or hitherto ‘unnamed’ could include the dislocatory consequences and affective ties implied by Laclau. For the floating signifier, there is no direct reference in Laclau’s tropological toolbox, but with the help of the intellectual historian Quentin Skinner’s (2002) readings of renaissance rhetoric, we can trace ‘paradiastole’: changing the normative (ideological) value, which refers to contestation between two signifying chains. Political frontiers are produced through paradiastolic moves (floating signifier) and meaning-making processes where the operation of logics of equivalence and difference takes place. In New Reflections on the Revolutions of Our Time, Laclau (1990) introduced two underdeveloped notions that feature in his work ‘myth’ and ‘imaginary’; these are central to meaning-making and hegemony. We are not together because we are the same but because we think we share something beyond single discourse ‘myths,’ and in this sharing we are equal (logic of difference). Imaginary is sedimented myth that generates the horizon of a social space. The key logics outlined here will be used in this chapter to explore the very material side of populist meaning-making in Hungary, where political discourses are heavily burdened on symbols and debates that generate dichotomies particularly. There political ‘us’ and ‘them’ easily turn cultural.

 opulism and Nationalism in Urban Symbolic P Landscape Even though nationalists endeavor to reify the nation and present it as natural, nationalism is a profoundly political construct. As Benedict Anderson (2006) argues, nations have to be articulated and imagined to exist. Anderson’s theory also follows the active process of identification that relies on myths as points of identification. Anthony D. Smith (1991)

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outlines typical points for nationalism. Contestation of everyday public symbols and commemorative sites (Azaryahu 1996) makes visible and tangible debates over national identity between the people and the current powerholders (Gillis 1994). Identification through symbols is crucial to that process, whether we identify ourselves with or in contrast to them. Rather than being primordial, a nation’s character is symbolized and made tangible in political articulation, particularly through commemorative sites. Nations as if pre-exist, but a connection is generated, following Anderson. It also needs to be maintained. Michael Billig (1995) has shown this in his writings about ‘flagging’ in ‘banal nationalism’ he theorized. Populism and nationalism differ in the way in which populism draws from disconnected demands and nationalism represents supposedly already existing characteristics. Rhetoric has a constitutive role (Laclau 2014): for both nationalism and populism. Populism is constitutive in a different way: it does not rely on the prior myths but generates us through a slogan or demand and an opposition to the other. Populism is a logic of articulation (Laclau 2005), an intervention in political space simplifying it through logics of equivalence and difference to two camps, the people and the elite. Nationalism does not generate a rupture: it has no such a catachrestical force unless it is used in the situation of crisis where something impedes the full articulation of the nation and the national identification is sought for anew. War or xenophobic nationalism may seek to reinstate this connection not as something novel but allegedly an eternal tie. For populist articulations anything could be the demand or slogan that would represent the people and signify the otherness. As Laclau (2005) wrote, naming processes generates affective ties, whereby finding common labels, names and categories is central to populism. Quite literally, for the populists, urban transformations provide a tool for generating affect but also drawing these discursive political frontiers and points of identification. Populism works as an explanatory logic as an emerging imaginary guiding the direction of these changes. Symbolic landscapes can be seen as tools for writing a common past. ‘There are few spaces as ordinary and mundane, yet politically charged as a city’s streets,’ Rose-Redwood et al. (2017: 1) argue. Many theorists of nationalism pay attention to these processes which they regard as central

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to nation-building. Symbolic landscape includes architecture and memorials but also street names. Transformations of urban infrastructure and street furniture, public buildings and their architectural forms convey meanings and constitute space. Equally commemorative elements such as statues and memorials add layers of meaning. Naming streets is a particularly (cost) effective tool for politics (Palonen 2008, 2014). Smith (1990, 1992) argues that we actively cultivate distinctive pasts in response to new crises and despite our multilevel identities. The symbolic landscape changes as we choose to celebrate particular national pasts or a set of heroes. This includes a political vision through the articulation of us and them.

Hungarian Politics and Performing Frontiers The reworking on the city-text in Hungary is a social logic, a sedimented practice: calls for revolution in Hungary have been a tradition rather than a real radical break (Glynos and Howarth 2007; Palonen 2011). Political differentiation has been strong tool in Hungarian politics. It is carried out particularly, through the use and rewriting of the national past (e.g., Nyyssönen 1999). Even policy-making related to built environment also is very much historically oriented (e.g., Palonen 2008). In Hungarian politics, commemoration of chosen pasts and visions for the future became tangible in the urban forms. It demonstrates the centrality of the urban political symbols and the city-text for the making of populist claims through the re-articulation of an officially celebrated vision of the nation. Hungary claims state traditions to year 1000: in the dominant narrative, it is a fortress of Christianity, and indeed wars against the Ottoman Empire were fought on Hungarian territory. While much of the country was occupied, the rest joined the Habsburg Empire, which in 1848–1849 Hungarians fought for their independence. They gained autonomy as Hungarian kingdom, which as the empire was dismantled after WWI lost two-thirds of its territory, as nation-states of Hungary, Austria, Czechoslovakia and others were formed. This many saw as grave injustice, and in the name of irredentism, these lost territories were sought

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back symbolically and through white terror and partly as a response to the short-lived Soviet Republic of Hungary in 1919. After WWII, Hungary became part of the Soviet-led bloc, the failed revolution of 1956, an attempt by Imre Nagy and his government to offer new perspective to Western Marxism. Soviet troops crushed the uprising, a pro-­ Soviet government installed brought a shift to ‘goulash communism’ that entailed more consumerism and economic freedoms: tourism industry brought foreign capital, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) provided loans. Dissidents were mobilizing and gaining more voice in the 1980s with underground journals or samizdats. The ruling party began relaxing their rule from the mid-1980s. Round-table negotiations took place in 1989 that eventually led to the dissolution of the communist government. The urban symbols were officially tied to the articulation, or performing of a new identity and era was through new heroes and vocabularies, often accompanied by new forms of architecture. The 1989 revolution was symbolized in the toppling of communist-era statues and the reburial of Hungarian communist leader Imre Nagy. In the early 1990s, the change of memorials and street names was evident on multiple scales. Communist memorials were toppled and relocated from the central squares of the capital city to a remote village outside the borders of the municipality of Budapest. Private citizens established memorials to commemorate their victims of the 1956. New era was also symbolized by the new coat of arms of the Republic of Hungary and in the debates over new national holidays. The multiparty system gradually evolved toward a two-­ party system in the hands of the politicians and parties that prioritized identity politics, instead of policy debates. Extreme political polarization and politicization of the everyday lives have been typical of Hungarian politics since the late 1990s (Palonen 2009). Even the abovementioned memory of 1956 (Nyyssönen 1999) was politicized and polarized, and the empty signifier Nagy was turned into a floating one in a paradiastolic move: seen as the hero of the Left rather than a national hero. The political polarization or ‘competing populism’ as bipolar confrontation between the so-called Left and the so-called Right, mainly the Socialist Party and Fidesz, led to the situation where internal debate was considered weakness potentially leading to the decline of the party (Palonen 2009).

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Performing Polarization Populism is a logic of articulation that stresses the discursive political frontier, in this case, the political strategy of the ruling Fidesz government was to instigate controversy. Recent urban transformations in Budapest show a connection between populism and nationalism in the cityscape. We are witnessing not only celebration or ‘grafting’ of nationhood in the way Smith (1990, 1992) described it but also an articulation of a people in the way that Laclau insisted: finding common means of identification and crucially generating political frontiers to define what the people are not. Next, I will discuss exactly how Fidesz sought to constitute the people through dichotomies but also often borrowing from the nation builders’ nodal points. The first Orbán government led by Fidesz in 1998–2002 introduced the Széchenyi program, named after a reformer from the nineteenth century, renovating of urban centers around Hungary in Fidesz-leaning towns (Palonen 2013). In the cityscape in Budapest then governed by a liberal mayor and a Left-leaning city council, new spaces were created featuring frontier-drawing effects to the surroundings. Novelties from this first Fidesz era include bringing in the Hungarian countryside to the city, in the case of post-Fordist ‘Millenáris’ Park and arresting the flow of the UNESCO-protected boulevard with Terror House Museum’s iron header, or the new national theater generated a new node to the city with regionalist organic architecture stopping the building of an earlier accepted modernist building in the center (c.f. Palonen 2013). Each of these included paradiastolic redescriptions of sorts: transforming the modernist glass-cube national theater in the center to a round historicist-­ regionalist one celebrating the national heroes in a new underbuilt area in the South Danube; Generating the landscape of floods that are typical for the Danube plains but are blocked off successfully in the capital city, in the Millenáris; and rewriting history through shortcuts that generate a chain of equivalence between the Nazi Arrow Cross movement, the Communist Secret Police and the Socialist Party. These landmarks highlighted myths that sought to sediment the confrontational imaginary and victory of those who claimed they were the only legitimate holders of national power.

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The party leader Victor Orbán manifested the bipolar confrontation through symbols in the early 2000s. In Hungary people wore a traditional badge in their overcoats around March 15 to remember the ill-­ fated revolution of 1848–1849. Just before the elections in 2002, Orbán called them to take off this badge, kokárdá, from their overcoats when going to vote. By this change of practice in the symbolic space, he sought to claim the nationhood and the revolutionary tradition for his party. In this constitutive articulation, the logic of difference separated who are not wearing the national symbol from those who did and named those who did as Fidesz supporters irrespective of different political forces taking part in the elections. There were two large and two small parties that made it to the parliament in 2002. The other large party at the time, the Socialist Party, emerged victorious in these elections, and they also won the subsequent elections by a narrow margin. The crisis shifted decisively when the Hungarian PM Ferenc Gyurcsány admitted in 2006 to his own party to have ‘lied night and day’ about the national budget deficit prior to the elections. The truth now severely undercut the party, it confirmed the suspicion that politicians lie and broke the imaginary of post-­ communist democracy. Riots ensued after the speech was leaked, rubber bullets were fired into crowds, and the opposition profited from the ensuing turmoil and public backlash (Palonen 2012).

Populist Transformations After 2010 The confrontation escalated. Claiming the election hype for himself in 2010, Orbán as opposition leader, called for a ‘revolution in the polls.’ Afterward with two-thirds majority Fidesz started implementing changes. The Orbán government in 2010–2014 was a populist one (Bátory 2016). Media and electoral laws were changed in Hungary. They have been ‘populists-­in-government who treat existing foundational laws as obstacles to the “real” rule of the people’ (Bátory 2016: 284) and reformed the constitution, media and electoral laws to suit their objective of remaining in power. However also street names were changed in the early 2010s to mark the ‘revolution’—significant political change in Hungary must be performed through the city-text. The opposition was in ruins. After win-

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ning elections in 2014 ‘Viktor Orbán described himself as the leader of “the most unified nation” in Europe’ (Akçalı and Korkut 2015: 72). He called for constitutional changes to promote ‘illiberal democracy.’ New era and imaginary were sedimented by a practice of myth replacement. Large development projects have dominated Hungarian planning discourse, from historical monuments to soccer stadiums, ‘presented to the public opinion as prestige projects to emphasize national prosperity and cultural superiority as well as symbols of governmental care for those affected by the maneuvers of international actors’ (Polyák 2015: 46). The surroundings of the parliament were transformed, previous order being the enemy. Three examples below account for the transformation. Meaning was made through synecdoche (part representing the whole), paradiastole (transforming the normative-ideological value) and catachresis through new symbols for a new era.

Street Name Changes Main changes in street names in Budapest took place in the early 1990s as signs of revolution of 1989 and the transition from communism to liberal democracy. After 2010 changing the linguistic landscape was a way in which power could be demonstrated and a new era marked across Hungary. Following legislation authorizing changing names tied to past dictatorships, the Academy of Sciences issued a list of names and personalities ‘referring to the socialist dictatorship.’ The fiercely debated also addressed the reality that street names were not changed in many rural communities, where names efforts to replace Marx and Lenin street names had not been a priority. Budapest removed names that could refer to the old era. New names included themes of religion and populism in different understandings. The Square of the Republic was named after the Pope John Paul II, originally a Polish dissident. Roosevelt paved way for István Széchenyi, an 1849 revolutionary yet also a moderate reformer and officially commemorated as the ‘Greatest Hungarian.’ One of the most visible changes was public square known as Moszkva tér (Moscow Square) from 1951 to 2011. The name of this major transport junction was returned to honor the politician Kálmán Széll after the

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60-year absence.2 This figure became a new historical hero and nodal point for the regime: sedimented through government reform package. The 1950–1960s surroundings of the square were renewed and showcased as a site for significant daily commuter traffic and a meeting point for locals from different backgrounds, from businessmen and administrators to day laborers and the homeless (Bodnár 2000).3 On the other hand, resistance was not new to this square: older generations had been calling the square Kalef (referring to Széll) unofficially during the communist period. The new lexicon that replaced the former vocabulary and personalities related to past dictatorships was heterogeneous: what was crucial was the act of wide-sweeping removal itself. The ruling party Fidesz, in the understanding of populism used here, is a prime example of a populist party as their discourse is based on generating a dichotomy between ‘us,’ the people and those threatening or illegitimate, often the Left or ‘communism’ (c.f. Palonen 2009).

Parliament Square: Kossuth tér to Interwar The square next to the Hungarian parliament known as Kossuth tér is a key public site for political demonstrations and a symbolic nexus of many conflicting political traditions (Dányi 2015).4 The square hosted some significant national memorials making it a symbolic square for popular protests and commemorations. It was also a node of transportation with a car park, tramline stations and a metro station that provided access to the other side of the Danube. The panorama of the Danube river, centered on the neo-Gothic parliament building designed by Imre Steindl, was entered into the UNESCO registry in 1987. In 2010, Fidesz initially focused its efforts on revamping Kossuth tér as the ‘the nation’s main square’ (nemzet főtere), regulating the space as a ‘democracy square’ dedicated ‘for free expression of political views and accentuate the beauty of  Kálmán Széll (1843–1915) was a finance minister (1875–1878) and PM (1899–1903).  Moszkva tér, a Hungarian road movie directed by Ferenc Török, set a tone of a generation in 2001. A novel based on ethnographic research was written about the lives of Budapest’s homeless (Pőcze 2014). 4  In the late 1990s, the now-removed eternal flame memorial commemorated victims of the 1956 uprising. 2 3

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the House of Parliament, its monumentality, and its representation of the nation from multiple perspectives.’5 The transformation included an underground car park for the MPs and the employees of the National Parliament, improved traffic lights, decorative green areas and reflecting pool, a new exhibition center on parliamentarism at the Museum of National Assembly and on the building, a flagpole and changes to the statues on the square. The facades of the ministries and museums around the square were also to be renovated. The overall intention of these renovations was to return to the square and surroundings to the pre-1944 era. Memorials work as nodal points in meaning-making: statues can be replaced with ‘better’ esthetic for the ideals of the political party in power. Here are three examples which work as the most significant nodal points articulating the direction of the change but most importantly for populism here: the confrontation and power of the government over symbolic space. The first controversial act on the square was the removal of the statue of the first president of the Republic of Hungary, Mihály Károlyi, in 2012. This deed had been an electoral promise of the radical-right Jobbik party, because Károlyi had signed the armistice with the Allied forces that ended WWI for Hungary. That ultimately led to the Treaty of Trianon which resulted in Hungary losing two-thirds of the lands that belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The statue of Károlyi from 1975 was by the ‘house sculptor’ of the transforming regime, Imre Varga represent heroes with a human face: a two-part heavy iron arch that connects to an elevated rather sad-looking, life-sized male figure. The statue of Lajos Kossuth on the same square had first monumentality with a seemingly timid, downward gaze. This version damaged in WWII was replaced by a more engaging, bold-countenanced bronze statue in 1952: after all, his revolution had failed in 1849. In 2015, an exact copy of the former statue was unveiled with Kossuth now surrounded by a brotherhood of politicians rather than the six generic figures as in the pre-Soviet period memorial. More contested was the exact copy of the interwar memorial on the north side of the Parliament: the 17-meter István Tisza memorial was originally erected in 1934. Tisza, the prime minister of Hungary from 1903 to 1905 and again 1913 to 1917, was a contradictory figure. The opposition protested. The Socialists  The parliament’s resolution (61/2011, VII. 13) including the Imre Steindl Program (Akçalı and Korkut 2015: 77). 5

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refused to attend the unveiling of this memorial in 2014. On the south side of the square, there an underground memorial that portrays in graphic detail the tragedy that occurred of Soviet tanks opening fire on demonstrators on November 4, 1956, yet it does not explain what the failed revolution was about. That would have been the narrative of the Left, the opposition in Hungary, but the other is not differentiated here. The square around the parliament became a site for projecting the government’s political agenda: nostalgia of the interwar statism; the nation’s flagpole with guards conveyed order and nationalism; space for people and bikes rather than cars reflected green ideals; interwar memorials symbolized conservative values and the rejection of the 1945–1989 era; and a national botanical landscape highlighted the importance of nature conservation and Hungarian countryside. The removal and installation of statues and memorials provoked passionate debates among Hungarians, politicians and historians.

 he German Occupation Memorial/Freedom Square: T Szabadság tér The neighboring Szabadság tér (Freedom Square) caused intense debate in the media and at the location. It was so fiercely contested that the opponents organized a counter-memorial. The floating signifier—or paradiastolic move to follow rhetoric—dealt with WWII. The erected on the Holocaust memorial year, the German Occupation Memorial gained protests that eventually spawned the grassroots movement Eleven Emlékmű (Living Memorial). The official memorial implied that the Hungarians had not played an active part in the Final Solution during the Holocaust—something difficult to absorb (Hirschberger et al. 2016). The counter movement criticized this rhetorical move: ‘the government ordered the erection of a statue of German occupation of 1944 in the heart of Budapest, suggesting that all Hungarians had been victims of German Nazis’ (Bozóki 2015: 24). In fact, the first antiSemitic laws in Hungary were actually passed in the 1920s, and the genocide intensified during the Arrow Cross era at the end of WWII.6  The Arrow Cross Party controlled the Hungarian government from October 1944 to April 1945. The party had roots in the mid-1930s in the Hungarian parliament and was composed of Hungarian citizens. 6

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The Eleven Emlékmű started as a flash mob on March 23, 2014 under the heading of ‘living memorial’ (‘my story’) that asked people from all ethnic backgrounds in Hungary to come and place some small commemorative items at the site to challenge the politicized historical narrative embodied by the memorial. The movement grew into a standing memorial, a regular event and a Facebook group and later Facebook page, where people, many of whom had no background in political activism, protested government policies. From the perspective of the government, which was building its identity through enemy rhetoric, it was perhaps convenient to have this active Budapest-based group of intellectuals. The living counter-memorial remains on the site. It also offers a point of contestation for at least those Hungarians familiar with the issue and works as a rallying point for the anti-government protests. This chapter sought to reveal how practices of transforming the urban symbolic landscape are relevant as an object of study for discourse analysis. It also established the rhetorical-performative discourse analysis as an approach related to the Essex School discourse theory. Performative-­ constitutive meaning-making is central to populism as a logic of articulation. In Hungary, the dichotomy of us and them was sedimented through transformation and contestation of urban symbols. The myths of the previous eras were contested, removed and replaced. Budapest as the platform for the re-articulation of nationhood was redesigned under Orbán governments enforcing populist confrontation and offering new points of identification. The interwar period was chosen by the government to be celebrated next to the parliament and paradiastolically rearticulated through selective amnesia of the German Occupation Memorial that also became a point of contestation, only strengthening the populist logic of equivalence: confrontation that itself became the empty signifier of Fidesz populism.

References A Akçalı, E., & Korkut, U. (2015). Urban Transformation in Istanbul and Budapest: Neoliberal Governmentality in the EU’s Semi-Periphery and Its Limits. Political Geography, 46, 76–88.

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B Bátory, A. (2016). Populists in Government? Hungary’s System of National Cooperation. Democratization, 23(2), 283–303. Berg, L.  D. (2011). Banal Naming, Neoliberalism, and Landscapes of Dispossession. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 10(1), 13–22. Billig, M. (1995). Banal Nationalism. London: Sage. Bodnár, J.  (2000). Fin de Millenaire Budapest: Metamorphoses of Urban Life. Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press. Bozóki, A. (2015). Broken Democracy, Predatory State, and Nationalist Populism. In P. Krasztev & J. Van Til (Eds.), The Hungarian Patient: Social Opposition to an Illiberal Democracy (pp. 3–36). Budapest/New York: Central European University Press. Butler, J., Laclau, E., & Žižek, S. (2000). Contingency, Hegemony, Universality. London: Verso.

D Dányi, E. (2015). Democracy in Ruins: The Case of Hungarian Parliament. In D.  Gafijczuk & D.  Sayer (Eds.), The Inhabited Ruins of Central Europe (pp. 55–78). London: Palgrave Macmillan. De Man, P. (1978). The Epistemology of Metaphor. Critical Inquiry, 5(1), 13–30. DeLuca, K. (1999). Articulation Theory: A Discursive Grounding for Rhetorical Practice. Philosophy and Rhetoric, 32(4), 334–348. Dikeç, M. (2005). Space, Politics, and the Political. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 23(2), 171–188.

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R Rose-Redwood, R., Alderman, D., & Azaryahu, M. (2017). The Political Life of Urban Streetscapes: Naming, Politics, and Place. London/New York: Routledge.

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T Turnbull, N. (2017). Political Rhetoric and Its Relationship to Context: A New Theory of the Rhetorical Situation, the Rhetorical and the Political. Critical Discourse Studies, 14(2), 115–131.

9 Solidarity in Europe and the Role of Immigration Policies: A Discourse Theoretical Perspective Efharis Mascha

Introduction The Greek pavilion at the 57th International Art Exhibition in Venice presents the ‘Laboratory of Dilemmas’, which is a narrative video installation based on Aeschylus’ theater play Iketides (Suppliant Women).1 The Suppliants have left Egypt to avoid having to marry their first cousins and arrive at Argos seeking asylum from the King of the city. The King is then faced with a major dilemma. If he helps the foreign women, he risks inciting a war with the Egyptians, who will come to take back the Suppliants. But if he doesn’t help them, he will be breaking the sacred laws of Hospitality and violating the principles of Law and Humanism,  Aeschylus’ Iketides (Suppliant Women, 463–464 BC) is the first literary text in history that raises the issue of a persecuted group of people seeking asylum. Laboratory of Dilemmas presents the play’s dilemmas through the excerpts of an unfinished documentary, about a scientific experiment. 1

E. Mascha (*) Hellenic Open University, Patras, Greece e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2019 T. Marttila (ed.), Discourse, Culture and Organization, Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94123-3_9

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leaving the Suppliants to the mercy of their pursuers, who might well destroy them. The dilemma it poses is between saving the Foreigner or maintaining the safety of the Native. Therefore, it aims to expose the anguish, puzzlement, and confusion of individuals and social groups when called upon to address similar dilemmas. European people and their authorities at the beginning of immigration crisis in 2015 have been in the same position, and it is unclear whether they chose the path of solidarity or that of deterrence. Due to the recent debt crisis the Eurozone faced, the term ‘solidarity’ is significantly discussed within the European Union (EU) political agenda. In particular, since 2008 the debate on European solidarity came to the forefront. A small group of EU countries (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain) questioned the existence of the Eurozone because of their poor economic performance and their inability to face the new financial and economic situation (Kontochristou and Mascha 2014: 50). The European economic crisis and moreover, the European immigration crisis, raised many questions about the future of the Eurozone and caused concerns about democracy, solidarity, and unity in the EU. Solidarity is a unifying and controversial principle. It may be used as a ploy in political rhetoric to hide that the phenomenon of solidarity is missing or to denote that there is a feeling of togetherness, a sense of loyalty, trust, and fairness (Kontochristou and Mascha 2014: 50). Solidarity is considered to be one of the EU values and has been included as a guiding principle in many European policies (e.g., financial policy, energy policy, asylum policy). The aim of this chapter is to examine the European discourse during the immigration crisis (2015–2017) and the policies set as means of expressing solidarity in practice among the EU states. Hence, Habermas’ (1995: 47) thesis ‘solidarity among strangers’ is more applicable than ever in the European context. Sweden, Germany, and later France and the Netherlands have played a pivotal role in the construction and implementation of European policies on immigration and asylum. However, with regard to the immigration flows, the European agenda was more focused on deterrence rather than solidarity and integration. The chapter unfolds as follows: Firstly, I provide a discussion on solidarity by investigating its theoretical background and emphasizing the

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most important aspects such as its concept, its significance, and its role to political discourse. Then, I draw upon the findings of the first part and explore the concept and issues of solidarity within the European context. Having established the theoretical framework, I explore three main European policies on migration, hence the Dublin Regulation on family reunification, relocation, and the EU-Turkey agreement. These policies were implemented so as to tackle the migration crisis and strategically solve the situation within the context of European Solidarity. In the last section, I summarize and conclude the quantitative and qualitative findings of the aforementioned policies and shed light to the European discourse on Solidarity.

 olidarity as Concept and Discursive S Construction Solidarity is used in a vague and undetermined sense, somehow hidden within the political rhetoric of actors, political parties, and/or institutions such as EU members and institutions (Kontochristou and Mascha 2014: 51). Therefore, the term solidarity requires clarification and historical contextualization within the particular political spectrum under investigation (Liedman 2002; Wilde 2007). Yet, it should be taken for granted what Bell (2010: 12) has identified as the ‘universal principle of human dignity, which underpins fundamental rights, as the basis of a degree of solidarity owed to everyone’. Theoretically speaking, the notion of solidarity could be addressed and conceptualized by drawing on Quentin Skinner. According to Skinner (1980), solidarity requires a threefold study. First, the society within which this idea is formulated. Second, the term itself, which refers to the use of the different equivalents of the same word (e.g., brotherhood, fraternity, unity). The third is the context, which can be divided into the conceptual context, the political context, and the historical or structural context. The conceptual context refers to the relationship between the concept in question and other concepts, the political context refers to the relationship between political parties and alternative strategies, whereas the historical/structural context refers to the economic boundaries nationally or internationally (Stjernø 2005).

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Similarly, and more importantly, a poststructural discourse theory understands solidarity and the dominant metaphors of solidarity ‘as a matter of belonging to a bounded social whole, without necessarily involving direct relationships among its members, and those representing it in terms of voluntary relationships or “ties” between individuals and groups’ (Honohan 2005: 2). Therefore, as Honohan suggests we could understand solidarity either as a membership of bounded entity or from the spectrum of social capital. In both cases the basic principle that prevails is that the discursive construction of solidarity emphasizes the relationships among individuals and groups and problematizes the wholeness of solidarity within specific boundaries (family, nation, ethnicity, culture). If we problematize social boundaries, then solidarity brings to the fore an important sociological issue: inclusion versus exclusion. Classic social theorists such as Emile Durkheim and Georg Simmel considered solidarity to be the constitutive element that made society possible in the first place (Durkheim 1893; Simmel 1908; Wilde 2007). While Durkheim distinguished between mechanical and organic types of solidarity,2 Simmel noted the role of religion as the binding factor for social order. Marx himself and the Marxist tradition understood solidarity in the form of class solidarity. This was later developed further and both in terms of structure and ideology the use of solidarity within the Marxist arena was discussed exclusively as the solidarity of the working class Kautsky (1909), Gramsci (1971), and Lenin (1902). However, the exploration of the use of solidarity within the recent European political spectrum is crucial. Solidarity as a concept has historically changed3 and focused on broadening democratic participation. The Social Democrat solidarity concept poses the issue of individualism versus collective action (Freeden 1996: 443). Since the late 1980s, many  In Emile Durkheim’s Division of Labor in Society (1893), ‘mechanical solidarity’ characterizes primitive societies. The members of that society are more likely to resemble each other and share the same beliefs and morals. Solidarity becomes more organic as these societies develop their divisions of labor. In particular, ‘organic solidarity’ is understood as a natural outcome resulting from social interactions generated by the division of labor in modern societies. 3  Stjernø (2005: 93ff.) suggests three possible explanations for the historical change in the use of solidarity. First, it is a change in the class structure and the need for electoral alliances. Second is the cultural change after 1968 that rendered the need for social democracy to broaden the concept of solidarity acute, and third is the nature of political symbols and programs. 2

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Social Democrat political programs tried to reconcile the freedom of the individual to pursue his or her interests and the needs of the community. The Christian Democrat agenda emphasizes subsidiarity and personal responsibility and confers a weaker role upon solidarity (Stjernø 2005: 240ff.). However, there is a sector within Christian Democrat discourse that pays particular attention to solidarity issues (i.e., Social Christians). In other words, both parts of the European discourse on solidarity face the issue of individualism versus collective action but from different perspectives. Generally speaking, the issue of individualism is raised due to the increased level of social mobility, the change in education to more individualist patterns, and the acute concerns with the specialization of science, which consequently has led to increased specialization in the work arena as well (Kontochristou and Mascha 2014: 51). Furthermore, due to the debt crisis within the Eurozone and the contested practices of the welfare state, the Mediterranean countries are faced with distrust from the Center-North EU countries. Hence, a discursive analysis of solidarity would enable us to see clearly that solidarity is an unbounded entity and there are certain salient relationships/policies among the EU states, which clearly detest the basic solidarity principle.

European Solidarity ‘Faces’ Having discussed solidarity and its theoretical background, the question remains what solidarity means in the European context. If it’s a question of self-interest or community and whether democracy and sovereignty during the migration crisis were put into question. Moreover, if there is a moral imperative in terms of reciprocity among inter-state policies, then how is the responsibility and coordination of the huge immigration wave shared among states. In the following sections, my aim is to discuss those issues. Although solidarity was one of the constitutional principles4 of the creation of the European Union, it is not clear how the notion of  ‘Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity’ (Robert Schuman, The Schuman Declaration, May 9, 1950). 4

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European solidarity is defined. In other words, it’s unclear the legal, political, economic, and moral limits of European solidarity. And in particular in the context of migration policy, and what kind of and how much solidarity have been exercised thus far. Firstly, solidarity and the EU is related to the aforementioned Durkheim’s thinking on solidarity and the process of differentiation in which ties of organic solidarity across national borders intensify and ties of mechanic solidarity within national boarders weaken. Sofia Fernandes and Eulalia Rubio (2012) in their study for the think tank Notre Europe argue that European solidarity in the EU is organic solidarity, that is, functional than emotional: While EU countries hold some common values, it is the awareness of being ultimately connected and mutual responsible for the preservation of a common project that has prompted the development of inter-state solidarity arrangements all over the history of the European integration. (Fernandes and Rubio 2012: 4)

More specifically, they maintain that a distinction can be made between two different rationales inspiring inter-state solidarity in the EU, namely, direct reciprocity (I help others so that they will help me in the future in case of need) and enlightened self-interest (I help others because I know that acting in the interest of other EU members or in the interest of the EU as a whole ultimately serves my own self-interest) (Kontochristou and Mascha 2014: 52). Many EU solidarity efforts have been driven by the logic of enlightened self-interest as it is reflected in EU cohesion policy. The strong EMU countries help the weaker or poorer EMU countries in order to guarantee the cohesion and stability of the European Union and to ensure the countries are economically integrated (Fernandes and Rubio 2012: 7). In this case, solidarity is driven by the donor EU countries’ conviction that helping the recipient countries ultimate benefits them.5 The direct reciprocity solidarity logic in the EU underpins the classic insurance-type schemes: for example, the EU Solidarity Fund, which comes to the aid of any member state affected by a natural disaster, or the  Wealthier countries help poorer EU countries to develop their economies in exchange for their engagement to the process of economic integration. In the short term, this provides more benefits for richer countries than for poorer economies (Fernandes and Rubio 2012: 5). 5

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Lisbon Treaty’s ‘solidarity clause’ according to which member states ‘shall act jointly in a spirit of solidarity if a member state is the object of a terrorist attack or the victim of a natural or man-made disaster’ (Fernandes and Rubio 2012: 4f ).6 The ultimate purpose of this solidarity arrangement is to provide reciprocal aid in face of a risk that is evenly spread across all the EU member states. All EU countries then are potential givers and receivers of help, and today’s provider of help can be tomorrow’s beneficiary (ibid.). However, solidarity is not a one-way approach but has to include commitments of responsibility. As noted by Jérôme Vignon (2011), any solidarity act has a counterpart element of responsibility from the country receiving the aid, and solidarity only grows stronger with consequent responsibility. Moreover, the exercise of inter-state solidarity in the EU concerns coordination. Coordination can serve to diagnose, prevent, and redress divergences within a group and can help reduce risks such as the current debt crisis (Kontochristou and Mascha 2014: 52). The creation of the EMU was enshrined with the signature of the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992. Apart from setting the calendar for the launch of the Euro, the Treaty endorsed the principle of solidarity7 in the European Union’s policy fields (e.g., external action on the international scene [Art 21 TEU], common foreign and security policy [Art 24.2, 31 TEU]) and introduced provisions related to solidarity and coordination within the EMU.8 These provisions reflected considerations about the impact of the EMU on the weaker economies and on national governments’ capacity to stabilize their economies. In particular, the treaty  ‘The Union shall mobilize all the instruments at its disposal, including the military resources made available by the Member States, in order to: prevent the terrorist threat in the territory of the Member States; to protect democratic institutions and the civilian population from any terrorist attack; assist a Member State in its territory, at the request of its political authorities, in the event of a terrorist attack’ [Art 222 1(a) TFEU]; ‘to assist a Member State in its territory, at the request of its political authorities, in the event of a natural or man-made disaster’ [Art 222 1(b) TFEU]. 7  Solidarity among the EU member states was acknowledged as one of the main values of the EU: ‘The Union shall be founded on the European Communities, supplemented by the policies and forms of cooperation established by this Treaty. Its task shall be to organize, in a manner demonstrating consistency and solidarity, relations between the Member States and between their peoples’ (Art 2 TEU). 8  For a discussion on the concept of solidarity in different EU law areas, see Malcolm Ross (2010: 23ff.). 6

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enshrined cohesion as an essential objective of the European Union, in parallel with economic and monetary union and the single market. The treaty created new cohesion instrument, that is, the Cohesion Fund, which was designed to help the poorest countries due to join the EMU (Greece, Portugal, Ireland, and Spain), an effort that was boosted by the Second Delors Package (Kontochristou and Mascha 2014: 53). However, solidarity and coordination were debated in two contrasting visions: Germany and France. The French position was reflected in Art 103 TEU, which stated that member states should regard their economic policies ‘as a matter of common concern’, whereas the German position was mainly reflected on the introduction of a ‘no bailout’ clause (Art 104b TEU), which actually forbids the European Union from helping an EMU country that fails to meet its financial obligations. The latter seems to contradict, to some extent, the vision of Europe envisaged in the TEU and the Lisbon Treaty, where the European Union ‘shall promote economic, social and territorial cohesion, and solidarity among Member States’ (Kontochristou and Mascha 2014: 52).

 olidarity During the Migration Crisis: S An ‘Imagined Community’? Beyond the continuing immigration crisis and any political manifestations of solidarity together with the lack of a common policy on migration, it should be noted that according to Eurobarometer’s findings in August 2017 around two-thirds of Europeans say ‘they are in favor of “a common European policy on migration” (68%, −1 percentage point since autumn 2016), while a quarter are “against” (25%, unchanged), and 7% answer that they “don’t know” (+1). In 27 Member States, a majority of respondents support “a common European policy on ­migration” (up from 26  in autumn 2016), with the highest scores in Spain (86%), the Netherlands (84%), Germany (83%), and Luxembourg and Cyprus (both 80%). At the other end of the scale, support is more limited in Hungary (47% vs. 45% “against”), Estonia (47% vs. 43%), and Poland (49% vs. 42%), while the Czech Republic is the only country where a majority of respondents oppose a common European migration policy (56% “against” vs. 39%)’ (Eurobarometer 2017).

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Apart from people’s voice, we definitely need to see how the aforementioned need for a common European migration policy is established in institutional level.9 Firstly, Tampere European Council of 1999 agreed on the establishment of a Common European Asylum System (CEAS). Secondly, the EU 2004 Hague Program proposed the establishment of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO). The Office was conceived to play a crucial role in ensuring practical cooperation between Member States on matters related to asylum. Thirdly, the European Commission proposed the creation of EASO on 18 February 2009. Fourthly, in the first quarter of 2010, the European Parliament and the Council agreed on the creation of EASO. The EASO regulation came into force on 19 June 2010. Fifthly, 1 February 2011, EASO became operational as an EU agency. Since then EU states such as Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Sweden, and many more have requested and obtained support by EASO either in terms of human capital or in terms of training, coordination, and guidelines. In 2015, EASO played a central role in the implementation of the EU Migration agenda and the new hotspot approach. Hence, we should keep in mind while discussing in the following section the three set EU policies on family reunification, relocation, and the EU-Turkey agreement, that EASO played a significant role on implementing, coordinating, and reinforcing them to the EU states who received the huge immigration flux. However, as Maria Stavropoulou, director of asylum service since 2012, pointed out with regard to EASO’s experts sent to the Greek islands during the migration crisis in terms of number and expertise ‘they weren’t very many in number and this was very surprising because this was a European project, but the other really surprising thing was that they were not all that experienced or very well trained’ (Newsdeeply 2017). She continued saying that ‘when they (EASO experts) were deployed, we had to retrain many of them. This didn’t really contribute to the efficiency of the asylum procedure on the [Greek] islands’ (Newsdeeply 2017). In a sense supporting a European project and the ideal of solidarity in a moment of crisis required better sources and efficiency, which weren’t at place but were discursively uttered.  https://www.easo.europa.eu/easo-history [Date of Access: 10 January 2018].

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Discursive Constructions on Solidarity Drawing on a post-structuralist perspective, discourse theory seeks to uncover power relations within deeply embedded social constructions and underlying logics of political action. Discourse theory emerged as a critical theory during the 1980s influenced by the new social movements. It draws upon (among others) the works of Saussure, Foucault, Gramsci, Laclau, and Mouffe. Discourse theory has been applied to a number of in-depth political analysis (Glynos and Howarth 2007). More precisely, the aim of discourse theory is to evaluate, interpret, and explain the conditions and the meaning of social and political phenomena. In other words, ‘discourse theory is concerned with understanding and interpreting socially produced meanings, rather than searching for objective causal explanations’ (Howarth 2000: 128). The key methodological tool for such an analysis is hegemony, as has been elaborated by Laclau and Mouffe (1985). This elaboration went through three models: The first model challenges the orthodox Marxist notion of a ‘necessary class belonging’ transcending all the ideological elements of society. Therefore, for Laclau (1977) and Mouffe (1979) the identities of all social agents are contingent. The second model introduces nodal points, fixed hegemonic formations underpinning the social order (Laclau and Mouffe 1985: 142). Finally, at the heart of the third model lies dislocation, which refers to unsymbolized events, external to the hegemonic order and aiming at its disruption (Laclau 1990a). For Laclau ‘the moment of dislocation is essential to any hegemonic practice’ (Laclau 1990a: 222). Therefore, dislocation lies at the very heart of every discourse and hegemonic practices aim to suture them. He discusses the notion of dislocation with historical reference to the Russian Revolution and points out clearly that in the specific historical context dislocation was positive and not negative since it permitted the advance of the working class. Later on, Laclau in Emancipation(s) (1996: 46) emphasized the unevenness of power in social relations and pointed out that civil society is partially structured and partially unstructured. Hence, these moments of dislocation need to be sutured in order for a hegemonic project to prevail. Furthermore, Stavrakakis has pointed out clearly this force of dislocation in an array of

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cases, such as the discussion of Green movement and ideology in Green Politics (Stavrakakis in Howarth et al. 2000) and in the case of Populism versus anti-Populism discourse (Stavrakakis et al. 2017). What is important for Laclau’s theory, for Green Politics, and the migration crisis/solidarity I aim to discuss further, is that the moment of dislocation is by principle negative but it can be the moment from which the new hegemonic practice can emerge. Taking into account this discourse theoretical account, we can infer that solidarity is a socially constructed notion and not a fixed hegemonic formation. It is constantly articulated and rearticulated and the moments of dislocation provide the necessary space for a new hegemony. Contrary to the aforementioned account, Schuman’s (1950) declaration that ‘Europe as a de facto solidarity project’ poses solidarity among the main constitutional principles of the EU and suggests that solidarity constitutes a fixed hegemonic formation, therefore a nodal point (Laclau and Mouffe 1985: 142). The crucial point within this context is to shed light on the dislocatory practices, which aim at disrupting solidarity. These practices can intersect the principle of direct reciprocity and the enlightened self-interest, since they tend to be within self-interest rather than collective action. For the purpose of this work, an important issue as a moment of disruption within the hegemonic project of solidarity is the immigration policy transgressing the Eurozone following the Dublin Convention (1990, amended as the Dublin Regulation in 2003 and 2013). Apart from this regulation, which sets the general context of the EU policies, we will further examine three sets of EU policies as moments of dislocation (i.e., family reunification, relocation, and the EU-Turkey agreement).

Dublin Convention According to Dublin Convention, refugees can request asylum only in the first country they reach. If they decide to request asylum from another state, the latter may decide to examine the application on humanitarian grounds. The regulation has been criticized (UN Human Rights Council,

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24/04/2017), and the M.S.S. judgment10of the European Court of Human Rights and the N.S. judgment11 of the Court of Justice of the European Union revealed serious deficiencies in the system (Goldner 2013). Both judgments emphasized that ‘asylum seekers must not be transferred to a Member State whose asylum system manifests systematic deficiencies’ (Goldner 2013). Reforming this regulation would mean refugees could request asylum in other European countries apart from the first one the refugee has entered. The EU commissioners for home affairs have spoken repeatedly of the joint responsibility of European countries together with a sense of solidarity and even a ‘genuine common European asylum policy’ (Die Presse (4/12/2013)). Similarly, as Malta’s prime minister mentioned in Die Presse (12/08/2013): Southern Europe deserves greater solidarity and the other countries must also absorb the new arrivals. If Germany were to take charge of a number of migrants proportional to the number taken on by Malta, nearly a million people would be concerned. This incident shows that in 2013 the EU has not found a solution to the distribution of the ‘boat people’.

Family Reunification According to the Dublin Convention III (604/2013) Art 8–11, asylum seekers whose family members live in EU countries are eligible to the family reunification scheme. According to the official figures of the Greek Asylum Service (Sept 2017) from 2015-31/08-2017, 8657 approvals by EU states have been received; 3944 rejections and 4170 transfers have been done. For the purpose of the scheme, family members are only considered the members of nuclear family and not the extended family. Also, minor members and not the adult members even if they belong to the  M.S.S. was an interpreter who had fled Afghanistan in early 2008 after, as he claimed, an attempt was made on his life by the Taliban (see Clayton 2011); Council of Europe: European Court of Human Rights, M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece, Application no. 30696/09, 21 January 2011). 11  In Case C-411/10, Mr. N.S., an Afghan national, came to the United Kingdom after traveling through, among other countries, Greece, where he was arrested in 2008 (see Court of Justice of the European Union, An Asylum Seeker may not be Transferred to a Member State Where he Risks being Subjected to Inhuman Treatment, Press release, No 140/11 Luxembourg, 21 December 2011). 10

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nuclear family are accepted to the program. For instance, and as mentioned in the Report of ActionAid, ‘a Syrian woman, 53 years old, reached the island of Lesvos on 1st April 2016, she has two sons in Germany, age 24 and 21 years old, she asked for family reunification but the authorities told her that her sons are too old for that. She travelled with her niece, who decided to leave Greece illegally, so as to reach Germany’ (ActionAid 2017). Hence, she could not be reunited with her sons as they are considered adults now and her mother should be left alone in another country coming out of a war zone and without her wish. Moreover, in terms of time processing the applications of family reunification it seems that the state bureaucracy and the mechanisms applied are time consuming (ibid.). Thus, applicants were not properly informed and had to undergo a minimum of seven months to a year or even more for being transferred safely. It should be noted that ‘the Special Rapporteur was informed that the Dublin procedure is often lengthy and that it may take 15 to 18 months for children to be reunited with their family members, due to DNA tests required by the receiving States. This is unacceptable and the procedure should be shortened’ (UN Human Rights Council 2017). This has led to many cases to the choice of illegal transfer as both child and parent could not reside to unsafe structures or for unaccompanied minors to be exploited or violated. In other words, quantitatively and qualitatively a clear moment of dislocation is manifested as far as it is concerned the international law and conventions and the European solidarity values, respect for Human Rights both in terms of the parent and in terms of the child. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (20/11/1989) states clearly that the best interest of the child is to be united with her/his family members and grow up in a family environment and urges the states to take immediate action in cases where child and parent are separated without their will or without any other legal obstacles.

Relocation Following the EU Council of Europe decision 2015/1601 [22/09/2015], a two-year relocation program was established, so as to facilitate the Greek and Italian authorities with the handling of a huge number of

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asylum applicants reaching their borders. This scheme was initiated based on the principle of solidarity among EU member states, battling illegal transfer, smugglers, and unsafe conditions of movement. It aimed to the relocation of 160.000 asylum applicants. It was considered a ‘safe and legal way for asylum seekers to be transferred’ from Greece and Italy to the rest of EU countries (EASO 2017). In other words, if an applicant arrived in Greece or Italy, the relevant authorities in cooperation with the authorities of the rest of the EU countries were able to relocate the applicant, establishing a safe transfer and the new host state would process his/ her application. While initially only few EU member states participated in the program, it was entered by further member states during 2016. The program referred to asylum seekers, whose country of origin had a 75% average recognition rate of international protection within the EU countries. However, during 2016 Yemen and Iraqi citizens weren’t part of the program even though both countries were in a war zone and their citizens flee from either civil war or from the attack of terrorist organizations such as DAESH. Hence, a moment of dislocation is clearly evident in this case and the authorities of both Greece and Italy were facing a huge number of applicants who initially were in the program but later on were banned from it. Apart from the qualitative factor of which asylum seekers were accepted to the program, the quantitative factor was not also met. More specifically, following the statistics of the EU Council of Europe, in January 2016, ‘272 people have been relocated out of 160.000 agreed in September by the Council’ (EU Commission 2016). Similarly, by April 2017, since the beginning of the program the figures were even more disappointing, as only ‘5001 asylum seekers from Italy and 11.339 from Greece’ (EU Commission 2017a) were relocated, which is a lot far away from the 160.000 asylum seekers agreed. In other words, in terms of figures, the program didn’t meet the figures it had anticipated. Also, the program was set for a two-year plan but in order to meet its needs it will need more than 20 years of work. At the same time, it should be noted that there was an increase of funding rate of almost 50% during 2015–2016 for the purpose of these schemes (EU Commission 2016). Hence, more questions of transparency and accountability are raised and

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need to be answered. It is interesting to point out that the host countries with the biggest numbers of relocated asylum seekers were mainly France, Germany, and the Netherlands whereas smaller figures were met in the rest of EU countries. Moreover, it should be noted that under those circumstances lots of families, unaccompanied minors and people with health problems who meant to be prioritized by the scheme were facing bureaucracy and insecure conditions. For instance: a 33-year-old woman from Syria arrived to the island of Lesvos on the 2 April 2016 with her husband and their four children. They applied for the relocation scheme, but their application was rejected twice. Her 23-year-­ old sister lives in Germany and they look forward to meeting her there. (ActionAid 2017)

Hence, neither the fact that they are Syrian nationals nor that they have family ties in Germany were significant reasons for being taken up by the program. The asylum seekers did not have the right to express their choice of host countries even if family ties such as the case above existed. Also, it should be noted that for the program, as for family reunification mentioned above, two adult sisters are not considered ‘family’, as only minors and children under the age of 18 are considered ‘family’. Therefore, families and extended families, siblings and relatives who are considered within the European values, and ideal family relations for the EU schemes are not considered the same. Solidarity and family relations are two dislocatory moments deeply embedded within the EU scheme. In practice family members were actually being transferred to different EU states, adult children were being separated from their mother and father, and children from very young age, such as 12–15 years old, were married so as to remain within the family bonds. Finally, as Maria Stavropoulou, Director of the Greek Asylum Service, stressed the need to resettle refugees directly from the Middle East and not letting them arrive with the help of smugglers. She has also rightly pointed out that ‘relocation was the EU’S first serious attempt at a common asylum and migration policy, but it put European solidarity to the test’ (Aljazeera News 2017).

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EU: Turkey Agreement Last but not least the EU-Turkey agreement, which took place on the 18 March 2016, will be discussed as another important moment of dislocation for EU solidarity discourse. More precisely what was this agreement or deal about: All new irregular migrants or asylum seekers crossing from Turkey to the Greek islands will be returned to Turkey, after an individual assessment of their asylum claims in line with EU and international law. For every Syrian being returned to Turkey, another Syrian will be resettled to the EU from Turkey directly. (1:1 mechanism) (EU Commission 2017b)

Therefore, after 20 March 2016 all migrants arriving at the Greek coasts had only two options: to apply for asylum or to be returned to Turkey. ‘This has resulted in 90 per cent of migrants trying to apply for asylum in Greece. The situation has stretched the capacity of the Greek Asylum Service and has led to a complicated system of registration and pre-registration’ (UN Human Rights Council 2017). However, EU commission regarded the measure as extremely successful considering a 97% drop of on illegal arrivals to the islands in comparison to the 2015 arrivals (EU Commission 2017b). Where do, then, the dislocatory moments emerge within this deal? Two aspects need elaboration in order to reach such conclusion. Firstly, how and on what grounds Greek authorities decided to take up such returns, and secondly is Turkey a ‘safe third country’? (EU Commission 2017b). As mentioned in the directive, the notion of safeness is socially and politically constructed and is mainly based on common legal principles within the countries of the Eurozone concerning the respect of human rights. In practice, EU asylum law allows EU governments to return asylum seekers to a ‘safe third country’ without hearing their refugee claims only if the country respects the principle of non-refoulement— that is, not removing or returning people to countries where they face the risk of torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or threats to their life and liberty and if the asylum seeker may apply for asylum there and enjoy all the protections afforded by the 1951 Refugee Convention

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if recognized as a refugee (UN Human Rights Council 2017). Within this context, we need to point out that this agreement is more of a deal, doesn’t have a mandatory character, and puts people’s lives at risk of prosecution. The Special Rapporteur is concerned that the European Union-Turkey statement constitutes a political ‘deal’ without mandatory value in international law. Its legal basis is undetermined and it cannot be legally challenged in courts. Despite its effects, the European Court of Human Rights has determined it to be non-reviewable. Greece was put under considerable pressure to implement provisions from the statement well before its entry into force and to apply maximum constraints on migrants, in order to achieve the objective of returning most migrants to Turkey. Therefore, 13 out of the 202 migrants returned on 4 April 2016 may have been mistakenly returned, as their asylum claims had not been registered (UN Human Rights Council 2017). The Greek authorities in an effort to implement the deal failed in certain extent to protect the rights of asylum seekers. Human Rights Watch (2017) pointed out this failure in a number of cases, especially in the decision of the highest Greek administrative court on 22 September 2017 when two Syrian asylum seekers were asked to be deported to Turkey following this agreement, thus putting their life at risk. It should be noted that Turkey does not provide non-Europeans fleeing persecution full rights as refugees and due to the nonmandatory character of the agreement, Turkish authorities are not in any sense obliged to respect refugees’ rights. Furthermore, the Special Rapporteur also noted that ‘the agreement is based on the flawed assumption that Turkey is a safe third country for asylum seekers. Under the deal, Turkey receives billions of euros in aid, visa liberalization for Turkish citizens, and revived negotiations for Turkish accession to the EU’ (UN Human Rights Council 2017). At the same time though, it should be noted that Turkish authorities haven’t so far ratified the Geneva Convention, hence exclude non-Europeans from refugee status. Syrian refugees living under temporary protection in Turkey officially have access to free health care and education for their children. But many of the over two million Syrian refugees who live outside the refugee camps in Turkey struggle to get housing, and large numbers live in abject poverty. More than 300,000 Syrian children are out of

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school, according to the latest available data (UN Human Rights Council 2017), because they are working to provide for their families, they cannot afford transportation or school supplies, or other reasons such as bullying in some schools. Non-Syrian asylum seekers in Turkey including Afghans and Iraqis are ineligible for temporary protection or basic state services. Since the deal went into effect, ‘tens of thousands of people have been confined in deplorable and volatile conditions on Greek islands, prevented from traveling to the Greek mainland’ (Human Rights Watch 2017). Therefore, the moment of dislocation is clearly evident, since asylum seekers were in the middle of a deal, which was not mandatory and Greek authorities were puzzled between the rule of the law and this deal. At the same time as soon as the number of migrants coming to the Greek coasts decreased, senior [EU] policy makers saw the problem as solved (Newsdeeply 2017). In a sense, neither the Greek authorities had the opportunity under the international pressure to assess each individual case properly nor Turkey can be considered, especially after the 15 July 2016 coup de etat and its condition of state as a state of emergency, a safe third country.

Conclusions The migration crisis has brought to light major problems within EU institutions, which reflect significant economic and social issues. Democracy, sovereignty, unity, and eventually solidarity have been at the epicenter of the European discussion about European identity. The question of whether solidarity has remained a common principle for the EU has arisen many times, denoting not only a lack of democracy but also a European public profoundly disconcerted and disappointed by European politics and distant from the common European ‘dream’. Hence, the question of saving the foreigner or maintaining a good rapport between EU countries and third countries remains unanswered. If, as Durkheim and Simmel have stated, society is not possible without solidarity, then it is hard to imagine the current European society and the European Union’s future without solidarity. Indeed, policy makers and media representations (Kontochristou and Mascha 2014) inaugurate solidarity as a means to create an ‘imagined community’ (Anderson 1983)

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for Europeans. In other words, solidarity is socially constructed aiming at suturing the moments of dislocation of the European hegemonic project. Hence, as Norval in Howarth et al. (2000) rightly pointed out in order to exist as a collectively recognized social order, a society needs an image of itself. That image can be constructed by means of notions of solidarity. The findings of the research indicate that the European measures undertaken are once more focused on covering issues such as economic and social deterrence of migrants, thus not constructing a safe environment based on the principles of solidarity. In particular, the EU measures, such as the Dublin Convention, the family reunification, relocation, and the EU-Turkey agreement, show the lack of solidarity within the European agenda concerning both foreign policy and immigration. The responsibility lies at the heart of the Eurozone countries, especially the member states that participate in the European decision-making agenda. The issue is whether this responsibility is accompanied by trust and respect for the member states, the lack of a common EU migration policy in parallel to the huge wave of illegal immigrants. Responsibility and trust do not seem to go hand-in-hand but undergo numerous adversity with significant consequences for the European mentality. In other words, living in a Europe where democracy has been questioned, blackmail and deterrence tend to but should not replace solidarity as a mentality. Finally, solidarity should be a principle and an outcome in every political debate among unequal partners. Beyond, any rhetoric solidarity should represent a mutual commitment to jointly cultivate a European model founded on loyal cooperation, democracy, liberty, and respect, a model based on ‘unity in diversity’. It might be argued that if dislocations were sutured such a model would emerge as a new hegemonic project.

Primary Material ActionAid, Ζώντας Χωριστά (Living Separately). Published Online: www.actionaid.gr/media/1367115/Relocation_Report_AA_GR_ FINAL_spreads.pdf. Accessed 12 Sept 2017. Asylum Service, Hellenic Republic, Ministry of Migration Policy. Published Online: http://asylo.gov.gr/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/ Greek-Dublin-Unit_gr.pdf. Accessed 30 Sept 2017.

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Aljazeera.Com. EU Urged to Resettle Refugees Directly from Middle East. Published Online: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/09/euurged-resettle-refugees-middle-east-170921175354194.html. Accessed 30 Sept 2017. Council of Europe. (2011). European Court of Human Rights, M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece, Application No. 30696/09, January 21, 2011. Published Online: www.refworld.org/docid/4d39bc7f2.html. Accessed 12 Mar 2014. Court of Justice of the European Union. (2011). An Asylum Seeker May Not Be Transferred to a Member State Where He Risks Being Subjected to Inhuman Treatment, Press Release No. 140/11, 21 December 2011. Published Online: http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2011-12/cp110140en.pdf. Accessed 12 Mar 2014. European Asylum Support Office. Published Online: www.easo.europa. eu/easo-history. Accessed 10 Jan 2018. European Asylum Support Office. (2017). Published Online: www.easo. europa.eu/about-relocation. Accessed 12 Sept 2017. European Commission. Public Opinion. Published Online: http://ec. europa.eu/commfrontoffice/publicopinion/index.cfm/Survey/ getSurveyDetail/instruments/STANDARD/surveyKy/2142. Accessed 30 Sept 2017. EU Commission. Managing the Refugee Crisis, State of Play and Future Actions, 2016, Published Online: https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/ sites/homeaffairs/files/what-we-do/policies/european-agendamigration/background-information/docs/eam_state_of_play_and_ future_actions_20160113_en.pdf. Accessed 1 Sept 2017. EU Commission. (2017a). Relocation and Resettlement. Published Online: https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/whatwe-do/policies/european-agenda-migration/20170412_update_of_ the_factsheet_on_relocation_and_resettlement_en.pdf. Accessed 12 Sept 2017. EU Commission. (2017b). EU Turkey Statement: One Year on. Published Online_ https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/whatwe-do/policies/european-agenda-migration/background-information/ eu_turkey_statement_17032017_en.pdf. Accessed 1 Oct 2017.

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Fernandes, S., & Rubio, E. (2012). Solidarity within the Eurozone: How Much, What for, for How Long?, Notre Europe: Report No. 51. Published Online: www.notre-europe.eu/uploads/tx_publication/ SolidarityEMU_S.Fernandes-E.Rubio_NE_Feb2012.pdf. Accessed 9 Nov 2013. Goldner, L. Ι. (2013). Is There Solidarity on Asylum and Migration in the EU?, Croatian Yearbook of European Law and Policy. Published Online: www.cyelp.com/index.php/cyelp%20/article/view/ 172. Accessed 8 Jan 2014. Human Rights Watch, Greece: Highest Court Fails Asylum Seekers, 27 September 2017, available at: http://www.refworld.org/ docid/59cba6174.html. Accessed 30 Sept 2017. La Biennale di Venezia, 57. Esposizione Internationale d’arte, Laboratory of Dilemmas, Greek Pavilion. Published Online: http://neon.org.gr/ wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Laboratory_of_dilemmas.pdf. Accessed 28 Sept 2017. Liedman, S. (2002). Solidarity. Published Online: www.eurozine.com/ authors/liedman.html. Accessed 20 May 2014. Newsdeeply. (2017). Lessons for Italy from the EU  – Turkey Deal. Published Online: www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2017/ 08/31/deeply-talks-lessons-for-italy-from-the-e-u-turkey-deal. Accessed 19 Jan 2018. UN Human Rights Council. Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants on His Mission to Greece, 24 April 2017. Published Online: www.refworld.org/docid/593a8b8e4.html. Accessed 30 Sept 2017. UN Human Rights Council. Convention on the Rights of the Child. Published Online: www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/crc. aspx. Accessed 30 Sept 2017. Vignon, J. (2011). Solidarity and Responsibility in the European Union, Notre Europe: Policy Brief, No. 26, June 2011. Published Online: www.notre-europe.eu/uploads/tx_publication/Bref27_JVignon_EN. pdf. Accessed 9 Nov 2013.

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10 ‘The People’ and Its Antagonistic Other: The Populist Right-Wing Movement Pegida in Germany Ronald Hartz

Introduction It seems that Europe sees the ascent of a ‘politics of fear’ (Wodak 2015). We can observe the rise of right-wing populist movements in several countries, and we are witnessing aggression against refugees and migrants in Germany and elsewhere. Politicians speak about America or Britain or Germany first. As Wodak (2015: x) puts it: ‘the rise and, indeed, discursive prominence of right-wing populist parties currently seems to be without end.’ My contribution to this volume deals with one facet of the ascent of right-wing populism by taking a closer look at the discursive fabrication of the Pegida (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West) movement in Germany (Geiges et al. 2015; Vorländer et al. 2016). This populist right-wing movement was founded in 2014 in Dresden, Saxonia. An estimated number of 350 people attended Pegida’s first demonstration in October 2014. At its peak, Pegida mobilized around 25,000

R. Hartz (*) School of Business, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2019 T. Marttila (ed.), Discourse, Culture and Organization, Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94123-3_10

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people in Dresden (Geiges et al. 2015: 33). Even if the peak of mobilization occurred about three years ago and media attention has since shifted to the establishment of other right-wing populist parties in Germany and around Europe, Pegida seems symptomatic of a general nationalistic turn in Europe (Wodak 2015; Bauman 2016). Thus, Pegida is a symptom of societal and ideological shifts rather than a singular event. At first sight, one major characteristic of the discursive constitution of Pegida is permeated by articulations of ‘hate speech’ (Butler 1997), of ‘words that wound’ in talking about migration, the ‘stranger’ and the ‘other.’ A discursive effect of these articulations is the construction of a social and ethnic hierarchy. The injurious speech act ‘constitutes the subject in a subordinate position’ (Butler 1997: 18). Moreover, this subordination is linked to the construction of a threatening ‘antagonistic other’ which shapes the discursive identity of the movement, justifies its existence and gives meaning to its followers. Against the backdrop of the work of Ernesto Laclau (Laclau and Mouffe 1985; Laclau 1990, 1996, 2005) and the perspective of post-foundational discourse analysis (e.g., Marttila 2015; Nonhoff 2006; Torfing 1999), the aim of this contribution is to gain further understanding of the discursive constitution of right-wing populist movements. Besides reconstructing some major elements of its discourse, the study wants to shed some light on the hegemonic character of such a movement. To do so, the next section sketches the post-structuralist argument of the fundamental fragility of the process of organizing and a postfoundational framing of the constitution of right-wing populist movements. After a short methodological section, the chapter presents some first findings of the empirical investigation of the Pegida movement’s discursive constitution. A short discussion of these findings concludes the chapter.

Conceptual Remarks The ensuing exploration of the discourse of Pegida is based on two theoretical perspectives. First, it follows some broad post-structuralist considerations about the constitution of organizations. Second, the study is linked to the work of Ernesto Laclau and to the perspective of

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­ost-­ p foundational discourse analysis (PDA). Broadly speaking, a ­post-­structuralist view on organizations is interested in the precarious and fragile ‘production of organization’ rather than in the ‘organization of production’ (Cooper and Burrell 1988: 106; cf. Chia 2003). The post-­ structuralist interest in the genealogy and production of organization is linked to an investigation of discourses and the production of meaning. While meaning is never fixed, we can observe constant attempts to partially fix it. The critical examination of processes of (discursive) fixation and their constitutive instability proves to be one of the main concerns of post-structuralist thought (Chia 2003; Derrida 1972; Jones 2009). One main concern is how institutions and organizations are produced, stabilized and/or destabilized as meaningful entities. As Mumby and Clair (1997: 181) put it: ‘[O]rganizations exist only in so far as their members create them through discourse.’ Turning to Laclau and PDA is one promising way to explore the discursive play of (de)stabilization of organizations (e.g., Cederström and Spicer 2014; Otto and Böhm 2006; Van Bommel and Spicer 2011; Willmott 2005). The point of departure is the anti-essentialist theory of the social and the political as prominently introduced by Laclau and Mouffe (1985). Social conflicts and social orders are not based on a pre-­ discursive space but based on expression and (precarious) result of discursive practices. The social order appears as a fragile and ultimately futile effort to tame the field of differences. Quite roughly, this perspective on the social fabric is linked to a discursive reformulation of Gramsci’s concept of hegemony. Following Torfing (1999: 101), hegemony can be defined as ‘the expansion of a discourse, or a set of discourses, into a dominant horizon of social orientation and action by means of articulating unfixed elements into partially fixed moments in a context crisscrossed by antagonistic forces.’ This explains the attempts to domesticate the field of differences aimed at establishing or maintaining ‘political as well as moral-intellectual leadership’ (ibid.). Hegemony proves to be an attempt to propagate a certain social order and the interests of social groups as attractive for an entire society and in the general interest. Laclau and Mouffe (1985) decontextualize the concept of hegemony from its class context and understand hegemony as a discursive strategy to claim universality and to represent a ‘communitarian unity’ which needs to be

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realized (Laclau 1996: 40–45). It is obvious to explore right-wing ­populist discourses against the backdrop of the concept of hegemony, given their attempts to represent ‘the people’ and its rhetoric of exclusion (Wodak 2015: 21). Similarly, Torfing (1999: 192) argues for a post-­foundational framing of the politics of nationalism, racism and right-­wing populist movements. Thus, nationalism is ‘certain articulation of the empty signifier of the nation, which itself becomes a nodal point in the political discourse of modern democracy and generally functions as a way of symbolizing an absent communitarian fullness.’ Constitutive of such a discourse is the construction of ‘enemies of the nation,’ responsible for the dislocation and disruptions of society. Both nationalism and racism are social imaginaries promising the reconciliation of society. Following Balibar (1991: 19), the strength of both doctrines is delivering ‘interpretative keys not only to what individuals are experiencing but also to what they are in the social world.’ Turning to the empirical exploration of the described phenomena, several authors point out the absence of a systematic elaboration of the relationship between post-foundational discourse theory and empirical research (e.g., Keller 2011; Marttila 2015). There have been some suggestions made to overcome this deficit (e.g., Cederström and Spicer 2014; Glasze 2007; Marttila 2015; Nonhoff 2006). For the following analysis, we will focus on some pivotal aspects of PDA which seem valuable for the reconstruction of the discursive constitution of Pegida. This is motivated first by anchoring the analysis in the Foucauldian notion of problematization and problem-driven research (Foucault 1985; Glynos and Howarth 2007: 167; Hartz 2013). What is of interest here is the critical reconstruction of the discursive production of societal problems and solutions, as well as its associated further practices. In our case, we are confronted with a so-called refugee crisis and its solutions propagated by right-wing populist movements. Second, the Pegida movement is but one expression of a conflict-ridden political phenomenon, that is, right-wing populist movements. In this respect, it is appropriate to focus on certain aspects of a ‘hegemony analysis’ (e.g., Nonhoff 2006). Following are some crucial assumptions regarding hegemonic projects that are discussed in more detail. Considering the general phenomenal features of hegemonic strategies and political hegemonies, the aim of empirical hegemony analysis is to locate the articulation of a fundamental lack and discursive articulations

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of difference, equivalence and antagonism. First, any hegemonic project is built upon the articulation of a certain demand. This demand is symbolized as totalizing demand, encompassing the society as a whole. This demand creates a temporary stability of the discourse because of its articulation of and anchoring in so-called nodal points. Nodal points, as Torfing puts it, ‘sustain the identity of a certain discourse by constructing a knot of definite meanings’ (1999: 98f.). Particular concepts, such as those of ‘God,’ ‘Nation’ and ‘Freedom,’ have the function of nodal points only if they lack specific conceptual content. At the same time, this demand and its articulation evoke a lack of reality or ‘unfulfilled reality’ (Laclau 2002: 75), which the effectuation of the demand can (at least partially) satisfy. The articulation of a demand turns out to be hegemonic if the articulation is successful in the creation of a chain of equivalence, which subsumes or subordinates other demands, which are also ‘floating signifiers’ (Cederström and Spicer 2014) under this one totalizing demand (e.g., ‘America first’ solves the problem of poverty, terrorism, migration, etc.). As Laclau (1990: 80) puts it: ‘No universality exists other than that which is built in a pragmatic and precarious way by that process of circulation which establishes an equivalence between an increasingly wide range of demands.’ Thus, the ‘nodal point’ functions as a hegemonic representative of various demands and constitutes a chain of equivalence. Interrelated with this and in addressing the problem of lacking reality, hegemonic endeavors attain temporarily stability through the construction of a social antagonism or, more precisely, through the antagonistic division of the discursive space. That is, to symbolize the lack of reality, we can observe the construction of resistors or traitors ‘outside’ the chain of equivalence that hinder the full realization of the demand and the identity of the ‘inside’ (Laclau 1990: 17). This ‘outside’ is a constitutive one, insofar as it constitutes the identity of the system in bracketing internal differences, which are usually framed as conflicts of interest, for example, among parties, employers and trade unions, men and women, old and young, and so on. This bracketing transforms differences into a chain of equivalence where the ‘normal differences’ are subsumed: men and women or old and young appear as equal members of a ‘people’ or a nation. In summary, the idea of the ‘constitutive outside’ points to the ‘impossibility of arriving at a positive formulation of one’s own identity without any negative reference to the other’ (Sarasin 2003: 39, own

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translation). The ideas of the final liberation from the ‘Other’ and the abolition of antagonism push the hegemonic project forward, providing the energy for addressed subjects to act and for ‘commonality’ to be created. As Marttila (2015: 132) puts it: ‘While the term nodal point embodies the idealized state of social being, antagonistic other symbolizes the threat, problem or aggravating condition impeding the possibility to reach the ideal state of social being.’ Finally, a hegemonic project is characterized by the existence of a social group whose demands are presented as universal. Regarding the concept of the ‘empty signifier,’ this means that ‘the hegemonic operations would be the presentation of the particularity of a group as the incarnation of the empty signifier’ (Laclau 1996: 44). This is an important point because it gives us an idea of how a social group, movement or organization can gain an identity and is then able to seduce subjects to join the movement searching for communality and the abolition of the lack of reality. Following Marttila (2015: 124), any discourse is ‘a structural arrangement of discursive elements that originates from practices of articulation.’ An empirical reconstruction of discourses and patterns of discursive articulation should focus on (a) discursive relations (connecting discursive elements with each other) and (b) discursive identities (which discursive elements have in connecting discursive relations) (ibid.). Against the backdrop of our conceptual framing, the following analysis will focus on the discursive relationship between antagonism and the discursive identity of the ‘protagonist’ It will also focus on the representation of the universal demand, articulated through ‘nodal points’ of their respective chain of equivalence and the ‘antagonistic other’ (Marttila 2015: 124–134). To do this, the following analysis will focus on: 1. The simultaneous articulation of both a lack or ‘unfulfilled reality’ and a demand to overcome this absence. Therefore, it is necessary to search for key words and concepts of the discourse (‘nodal point’ and related ‘floating signifiers’), which present the supreme justification of the movement (Cederström and Spicer 2014: 194). 2. The antagonistic division of the discursive space via the simultaneous creation of two confronting chains of equivalence, symbolizing the elements of absence and resistance and the demands to overcome these negative forces (Nonhoff 2006).

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Methodical Remarks The reconstruction of Pegida’s discursive constitution is based on the analysis of the Facebook site of Pegida Chemnitz, a regional group of Pegida in Saxonia. Social media and networking comprise ‘an essential cornerstone of the new movement’ (e.g., Amadeu-Antonio Foundation 2015; Moffitt 2017; Netz-gegen.Nazis 2015; Wodak 2015). The corpus was created with NCapture, a tool for data collection in social media that is part of the qualitative data analysis software NVivo 10. It was possible to collect the complete sample of all postings and comments on the site published between December 22, 2014 and December 16, 2015, including 632 postings and around 17,500 comments in chronological order. The overall corpus consists of around 300,000 words. To handle and then explore such an extensive corpus against the backdrop of the conceptual framework, it was appropriate to start with a rather simple analysis of the relative frequency of words, which can help to explore both nodal points and ‘floating signifiers.’ Following Glasze (2007), frequency analysis is one feasible method of lexicometrics when dealing with the discursive approach of Laclau, because the reconstruction of the frequency of articulations is helpful in exploring both nodal points and ‘floating signifiers.’ However, this exploration is an interpretative task that depends on the researcher’s knowledge of the field he wants to explore. This said, the corpus analysis was carried out in four steps. In the first step, a chronological cross-check of the first three months of the data set was made to get an impression of the content and peculiarities of the postings and comments. The impressions were recorded in memos, and individual statements from the postings were coded as in  vivo codes. Secondly, a word frequency search was initiated (1000 most used words, word length > 3 letters). Against the backdrop of the researcher’s knowledge about the field, the following chart contains the selection of the 200 most used words based on their supposed role as key aspects of the discourse (i.e., ‘nodal points’ and ‘floating signifiers’), as well as in the construction of absence and demand (Cederström and Spicer 2014; cf. Van Bommel and Spicer 2011). The third step processed an inductive coding of statements as well as individual lexemes, focusing on the construction of an antagonistic

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r­ elationship as well as its respective chains of equivalence. For the following, this coding focused on statements which contain the most used words, as indicated in Table  10.1. Finally, the inductive and in vivo codings were categorized against the backdrop of the conceptual framework to capture the simultaneous articulation of both a lack of reality or ‘unfulfilled reality,’ a demand to overcome this absence, the chains of equivalence and the antagonistic division of the discursive space. Table 10.1  Selection of the 200 most used words in the German migration discourse Rank

Word

Length

Frequency

Weighted percentage (%)

1 12 13 15 17 22 28 29 40 45 52 65 67 71 78 92 118 126 127 133 135 140 155 160 174 179 185 186 188 198

Germany Pegida People (‘Menschen’) Nation (‘Land’) Population (‘Volk’) Refugees Germans German (‘deutschen’) Merkel Children Woman Politician Politics Citizen Police Government Fear Rabble (‘Pack’) Europe Media War Asylum seekers Women Man Saxonia Do-gooders Labor State Nazis Violence

11 6 8 4 4 11 8 9 6 6 4 9 7 6 7 9 5 4 6 6 5 9 6 4 7 11 6 5 5 6

1366 842 827 774 693 653 608 600 513 496 454 405 400 391 363 333 257 244 241 231 229 224 209 205 190 187 183 182 180 172

0.45 0.28 0.27 0.26 0.23 0.22 0.20 0.20 0.17 0.16 0.15 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.12 0.11 0.09 0.08 0.08 0.08 0.08 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.06 0.06 0.06 0.06 0.06 0.06

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Research Findings The following presentation of findings is divided into three parts to explore fundamental ‘hegemonic strategies’ of the construction of antagonism and the creation of chains of equivalence (Nonhoff 2006: 213). First, it presents a general description of the antagonistic relationship with and division of the discursive space. The following two paragraphs take a closer look at the construction of the antagonistic division of the discourse via the reconstruction of the two corresponding chains of equivalence. Thus, the following results focus on the ‘hegemonic strategies.’

‘The People’ and Its Antagonistic Other Every ‘hegemonic strategy’ is based on a demand which presents itself as universal and simultaneously identifies an ‘unfulfilled reality.’ This said, the discourse at hand is built on the paramount value that Germany and its people, that is, ‘the people,’ should be given priority. Any political decision or societal development needs to be valued against this demand to put the German people first. Simultaneously, numerous articulations claim to represent the will of the people, referring to the slogan ‘We are the people!’ or making truth claims about the situation of the German people. ‘We are one people and we want to stay that way. We fight for all, even those who have it forgotten.’

Functioning as a nodal point of the discourse, however, the will of the German people is not realized. This fundamental absence relates to the first and pivotal antagonistic relationship of the discourse, that is, the construction of the refugees as an antagonistic Other. The claim is that the refugees are a fundamental threat to the German people and that, in its broadest sense, the ‘refugee crisis’ will lead to the extinction of the German people and Germany’s doom. ‘Germany as we know it will disappear.’ ‘We are those about to die!’

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Next, we will take a closer look at the construction of the antagonistic division of the discourse via the reconstruction of two chains of equivalence. First, we will highlight the discursive elements which are mutually equivalent in representing a threat to the realization of the will of the people. Second, we will turn to the second chain of further ‘floating signifiers,’ representing a commonality with the nodal point, which function to construct the social movement as the voice of other societal actors and as an articulation of the will of the people. The successive reconstruction of the two chains is for the purpose of presentation. Given our conceptual framework, both chains are articulated in a synchronic way. As Laclau (1996: 40) puts it in reference to the ‘unity of the working class’: The discursive elements and demands ‘are seen as related to each other, not because their objectives are intrinsically related but because they are all seen as equivalent in confrontation with the repressive regime.’

Against ‘the People’: Threats and Opponents The construction of a chain of equivalence that opposes the realization of the will of the people consists first of several discursive relationships which equate the ‘refugee crisis’ with a number of further threats, which as ‘floating signifiers’ are defined with specific content. The first discursive element in this chain is the articulation of a foreign infiltration. First, the arrival of the refugees is an attack ‘on us as German people.’ The sheer quantity of the refugees—articulated as ‘flood of refugees’—is seen as a threat and as a process of infiltration. What is at stake here seems to be the German way of life, its culture and its religious heritage. Thus, the discourse frequently addresses the ban of pork by Moslems, the wearing of the burka or the supposed building of mosques all over Germany: ‘This is Germany and not the Orient!’. The German people must neglect their own cultural heritage; the foreigner makes demands which are accepted by the government or the so-called elites. ‘Germany is taken away from the German people. We were expropriated. What else is still in ours and our children’s possession?’

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The second relationship of equivalence is drawn between refugees and the supposed increase in violence and criminality. Thus, migration will lead to an increase in violent crimes, for example mass brawls, honor crimes, sexual harassment, gang rapes, and so on. The prognosticated violence against ‘our women and children’ and the suppression of ‘our women’ both play prominent roles. This is closely linked to the third equation, which is the lack of respect for the law resulting in a kind of anarchy. While the Germans obey the law, the refugees don’t care and form a ‘parallel society.’ In addition, the threat of terrorism and Islamism is linked to immigration. Islam is characterized as a violent and reactionary religion that does not belong to us: ‘The Islam does not belong to Germany! No way!’ ‘To bring a religion to Germany and Europe, which still shows medieval structures and kills people in a bestial way, has no idea what he is doing.’

Beside the threat of infiltration and the different articulation of the threat of violence, the discursive element of the German people as second-­ class citizens plays a prominent role in the chain of equivalence. Every effort is being made for the refugees, but no one cares about the German people. The refugees ‘live at our expense’ and ‘lead a fine life.’ However, no one cares for us, especially for our poor and homeless people. ‘It would be better to set up accommodation facilities for German homeless people! They freeze their asses off and the poor refugees sitting under the Christmas tree, fill their stomach at our expense and laugh!’ ‘Where are the donations for poor people in Germany? There is plenty of old-age poverty and children poverty. And lo and behold: There is plenty of money! What a mess!’

Moreover, ‘our children’ must suffer. Gyms are used for refugees; schools are subject to ‘expropriation.’ For years they had to learn in run-­ down school buildings. Now it is possible to refurbish them for the refugees.

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Another notable discursive element which is equated with the ‘refugee crisis’ is the suppression of German language. This construction of a threat is, among other things, related to the announced use of Arab subtitles in news broadcasts on public television. This ‘thoughtfulness’ for refugees is articulated as another symptom of foreign infiltration, as the following posting and its comments indicate. ‘The ARD brings the “news in 100 seconds” now in Arabic. She speaks of a “service for immigrants in Germany”.’ ‘Poor Germany! To learn the language of the country where you are in safety seems to be out of date. Align yourself is for losers.’ ‘Will all the folk music programs come with subtitles too? Will Helene Fischer wear a Burka?’

With regard to this overall crisis, the discourse articulates a state failure and speaks about prominent politicians and elected representatives as betrayers of the people. We are living in a ‘banana republic,’ and it is our duty to resist. Thus, two other opponents become visible in this chain of equivalence. ‘Our country is in trouble and it is not only our right, but our duty to resist the failure of the state and the extinction of our people.’ ‘The only thing the people’s representatives can do is targeting its own people.’

Finally, the so-called do-gooders, the ‘liar press’ and the ‘elites’ are part of this chain as well, endangering the realization of the will of ‘the people.’ The ‘do-gooders’ plead for open borders and play a prominent role in playing down problems and threats. They are supported by the ‘liar press,’ which does not tell ‘the people’ the truth about the current situation. Finally, the ‘elites’ share the overall responsibility for the situation in ‘our country,’ for poverty, violence and crime. In sum, the reconstruction of the chain of equivalence related to the ‘antagonistic Other’ shows a complex picture of threats and opponents to

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the paramount value that Germany and its people should be given priority. In turning back to this nodal point, we will take a closer look at the construction of the second chain of equivalence supporting the realization of the ‘unfulfilled reality.’

For ‘The People’ Finally, we will take a closer look at the efforts to articulate ‘German people first!’ as a universal demand. This allows us to simultaneously reconstruct the chain of equivalence related to the nodal point and the identification of further ‘floating signifier’ in this chain. The findings about threats and opponents are quite helpful in that way, because they provide a relatively comprehensive picture of the societal groups and actors for whom the discourse claims to speak. Aside from the general claim of speaking for the people, other visible discursive elements and subject positions include the poor, the children and ‘our women.’ In addressing the problem of poverty, particularly old-age poverty, child poverty and homeless people, the discourse establishes a relationship of equivalence between the nodal point ‘German people first’ and the demand to overcome or at least to reduce poverty. Second, regarding the discursive element of violence and crime, the movement reclaims the goal for itself to have a secure and peaceful society, where law and order are respected and where our children can live in peace. ‘We stand here so that our children and grandchildren can live in peace.’

Of further importance is the demand to save our ‘cultural values’ and our way of life. The positive content of these values remains vague but are rendered through the articulation of what does not belong to our culture, that is, the pork ban, mosques and the suppression of women. Overall, we can frame this as defending the German culture and the value of its cultural heritage, for which eating pork is one expression. However, the task remains to discover and reappropriate our own culture. ‘The people must rediscover our own culture, if they are to survive!’

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Furthermore, we can identify consistent references to the freedom of speech. This is linked to the claim to speak the truth and to call into question and delegitimize the ‘liar press’ and ‘official’ statistics or political statements. ‘The German people are no longer informed by these shitty newspapers that only spread lies. Don’t believe the lies disseminated in public television! Do not believe in talk shows where the applause is played when a Do-Gooder and asylum advocates talks!’

Eventually, the claim to fight against the suppression of women can be linked to the value and demand of equality between men and women, and hence the chain of equivalence is extended to the historically handed-­ down demands of the feminist movement. To understand Pegida and its followers as a ‘hegemonic project,’ it is important to understand the consistent refusal of attributions to being a racist movement and strengthening xenophobia. This is a well-known argumentative shift in every right-wing discourse (‘I am not a racist, but …’). In our case, its function is to claim to speak for the people rather than for a distinct ideological position. ‘I’m not a Nazi but I have a national pride and I’m worried about my family, about my friends, about our German country!’

Finally, we can take a closer look at announced actions to overcome the absence of reality and to realize the will of the people. First and foremost, now the time has come to wake up, defend our country and to take our faith into our own hands. ‘Do not wait for any help! Defend your homeland and your children and women. Otherwise things will turn bad!!’

A ‘right to resist’ is articulated several times. Given the ‘refugee crisis’ and the refugee as an antagonistic Other, it is time to close the borders and deport the refugees. To restore law and order, it is necessary to bring down the government.

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‘The population of Germany must overthrow this government before things even become worse. We need to get out on the street so that existing law will be reapplied, and future suffering prevented.’

Discussion Figure 10.1 brings together the antagonistic division of the discourse and the two chains of equivalence as located in and disclosed in the studied empirical material. For reasons of simplicity, Fig. 10.1 does not indicate discursive relationships of antagonism between single elements of the two chains (e.g., between security and anarchy or between foreign infiltration and the preservation of the cultural heritage). However, it can be stated that the nodal point ‘German people first’ is constructed in an antagonistic relationship to all the elements of the chain of equivalence of threats and opponents. Other ‘floating signifiers’ are not necessarily in an antagonistic relationship with all the other elements of the other chain of equivalence (e.g., equality and anarchy are not inevitably antagonistic). The creation of an antagonistic relationship with the ‘antagonistic Other’ and its chain of equivalence depends on their own equation with the demand of the nodal point. Figure 10.1 also indicates the possibility of the extension of the chain of equivalence. To explore such an extensive corpus, it was quite helpful to use a frequency analysis to understand the

Fig. 10.1  Nodal point and chains of equivalence

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discursive relationships in terms of antagonism, nodal points and ‘floating signifier.’ However, a more comprehensive and fine-grained analysis needs both a further application of lexicometry methods, as well as further qualitative interpretation of discursive relationships and identities. With that, the findings help shed light on the discursive constitution of the Pegida movement and, more generally, on the constitution of right-wing populist movements. Although our findings are restricted to the identified key concepts and topics of the discourse, we can conclude that it is justified to frame Pegida as part of or a symptom of a hegemonic project, moving ‘from the margins of the political landscape … to the center’ (Wodak 2015: x). The movement gets its justification from its discursive identity as an actor who not only represents but is equal to the will of ‘the people.’ However, this ‘will’ is not realized yet; there is an absence which Pegida wants to overcome. This lack of or ‘unfulfilled reality’ is caused by the ‘antagonistic Other.’ Furthermore, to function as a hegemonic project, we can observe the creation of two chains of equivalence which eventually enable such a movement to speak for other demands (equality, law and order, etc.), which are equated with the demand ‘German people first.’ As Laclau (1996: 43) puts it: ‘This relation by which a particular content becomes the signifier of the absent communitarian fullness is exactly what we call a hegemonic relationship.’ Finally, I would like to sketch three further future lines of inquiry that are linked to the study at hand. First, the reconstruction of Pegida invites us to go beyond a mere discourse analysis of right-wing populist movements because the analysis can act as a starting point for further reflections and empirical explorations of the discursive constitution of such movements as distinct organizational forms. Turning to the differentiation between pluralist and popularist discourses (Laclau 1980; Marttila 2015: 66–73), one possible point of departure is to make a distinction between pluralist and popularist organizations. This distinction depends on the discursive constitution of organizations via the discursive strategies of creating an antagonistic space to create an organizational identity (the case of popularistic organizations following a logic of ‘we’ and ‘them’) or withdrawing from the construction of ‘antagonistic others’ and the like. Quite roughly, this perspective enables the generalization of the

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application of PDA for organization studies, for example, through empirical analysis of the justification of organizations via the creation of chains of equivalence beyond a mere profit orientation. Second, the findings point to the affective dimension of discourse. In following the Laclauian adaption of the work of Lacan, Cederström and Spicer (2014) pick up the three concepts of objet petit a, jouissance and fantasy to identify this affective dimension. Objet petit a relates to terms that attract highly emotional charged reactions, jouissance relates to the emotional attachment to a discourse, and fantasy is linked to stories and assumptions about perfect or disastrous states. It seems obvious that all three of these concepts of the affective dimension play a crucial role in the discourse. For example, the often-articulated threats of violence, crime, rape, and the like indicate an intense emotional investment. The discursive element of foreign infiltration and the nodal point ‘German people first!’ can both be linked to the concept of fantasy. Last but not least, jouissance ‘often operates on a seemingly meaningless level, where trivial aspects can acquire a disproportionate significance. For instance, the ­passionate attachment to a national identity often involves small precious things such as dancing and laughing, or watching baseball and eating hotdogs’ (Cederström and Spicer 2014: 196). Similarly, the frequent articulations about the eating of pork, Christmas trees and carols and the mention of German artists seem to play an important role in creating an emotional attachment by Pegida’s followers as well as by followers of other similar movements. Further illumination of this relationship of affect and discourse seems quite a promising task. Finally, the findings point to the question of the critical potential of PDA (Marttila 2015: 152–168). The work of Laclau and, consequently, the perspective of PDA provide a perspective for a critical analysis of the genealogy and, consequently, the historical contingency of the social fabric and its political constitution. However, its epistemological and ontological foundations seem to necessarily affect its own critical ‘standpoint’ and ‘the critique’s own discursivity’ (ibid., p. 168). To put it simply: If the post-foundational ontology makes it impossible to measure ‘the quality of different social and political institutions’ (ibid., p. 163), how can we criticize a right-wing populist movement and its nationalistic dreams beyond the proof of its contingency? As Critchley (2004: 117) puts it: ‘If

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the theory of hegemony is simply the description of a positively existing state of affairs, then one risks emptying it of any critical function, that is, of leaving open any space between things as they are and things as they might otherwise be.’ This leads to a somewhat fundamental question: ‘[W]hat is the difference between hegemony and democratic hegemony?’ (ibid. p.  116). It is not possible to answer the question of the critical potential of PDA right here and now, but it seems overdue to ask for it again, given the multiple crises in our present and the ascent of the ‘politics of fear.’

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N Netz-gegen-Nazis. (2015). Pegida in den sozialen Netzwerken. Published Online: http://www.netz-gegen-nazis.de/arti-kel/pegida-in-den-sozialennetzwerken-10054. Accessed 15 Jan 2018. Nonhoff, M. (2006). Politischer Diskurs und Hegemonie: Das Projekt ‘Soziale Marktwirtschaft’. Bielefeld: transcript.

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11 ‘Culture’ in German Media Discourses on Refugees: A Political Geography Perspective Annika Mattissek and Tobias Schopper

Introduction The number of migrants reaching Europe in hope of security, work or a better life has increased significantly in the last few years. Due to the ongoing civil war in Syria and, to a lesser extent, ISIL terror in Afghanistan and Iraq, the number of persons seeking political asylum at Europe’s borders peaked in 2015 and 2016. This massive increase has led to dramatic and chaotic scenes along flight corridors, at the EU borders and in registration centres and refugee camps. In the context of what has—controversially—been depicted by politicians and the media as the ‘European refugee crisis’, Germany has diverged from the rest of the EU. In 2015 Chancellor Merkel decided to accept refugees stranded in Hungary and Austria, despite the Dublin III Regulation which requires refugees to

A. Mattissek (*) • T. Schopper Institute of Environmental Social Sciences and Geography, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany e-mail: [email protected]; [email protected] geographie.uni-freiburg.de © The Author(s) 2019 T. Marttila (ed.), Discourse, Culture and Organization, Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94123-3_11

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apply for asylum  in the first EU country they enter. Merkel’s political manifesto ‘Wir schaffen das’ (‘we can manage it’), combined with her refusal to discuss the idea of a fixed cap on the number of refugees, have since led to an unprecedented influx of asylum seekers in Germany (BamF 2017). These developments have been met with intense public and political scrutiny as well as wide media coverage. Debates revolve around the issue of how refugee immigration should be assessed, as well as what political decisions need to be taken with respect to both the management and integration of refugees already living in Germany, as well as those who might require asylum in the future. While an in-depth analysis of such debates is beyond the scope of this  chapter, it is important to keep in mind the rapid rise of nationalist discourses, most visible in the sharply increased popularity of right-wing populist parties and groups—a development that many have found troubling. This can be exemplified by the rise of the party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), which became part of the German Bundestag for the first time after gaining 12.6% of the votes in the October 2017 elections, or PEGIDA, a group which has gained international attention with its Monday marches in Dresden and other German cities in protest against the alleged Islamisation of European cultures. One characteristic of these new right-wing groups and parties is that they usually draw on essentialist understandings of cultures and nations, arguing that their purity is endangered by the immigration of ‘strangers’, especially those from cultures and nations depicted as fundamentally different from ‘our’ (Western) culture. Philosophically, such arguments implicitly or explicitly refer to the concept of ethnopluralism (e.g., de Benoist and Champetier 2012), which claims that it is important and necessary to separate different ethnicities and cultures in order to prevent a deterioration of their originality and authenticity. Despite their increasing popularity within Western societies, these movements and their essentialist and reactionary world-views have been met with harsh criticism by many political and civil groups, as well as from mainstream media. However, as we will show with our empirical analysis of the mainstream German press, the exact same media that criticise and condemn

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the new right movements often implicitly use ethnopluralistic rhetoric themselves in their discursive constructions of ‘us’ and ‘other’. The aim of this  chapter is twofold: Firstly, we draw on Political Geography theories as well as the discourse theory of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe in order to explain why the processes of discursive inclusion and exclusion are not only present but massively gaining popularity in times of social change (in our example, triggered by the immigration of refugees). Secondly, we will use these theoretical frameworks in order to discuss the results of a discourse analysis of German print media. More specifically, we will show what role the term ‘culture’ plays in the formation of political identities and what connotations and associations are connected to this. Using this analysis, we will argue that cultural essentialism and forms of othering related to it are by no means exclusive to right-wing groups. Rather, they are very common in public discourse and provide a foundation for more radical and racially motivated politics.

 he Constitution of Spatial Identities: T Theoretical Foundations Broadly speaking, Political Geography is concerned with the analysis of relations between power and space (Reuber 2012). This includes both material aspects, such as the spatiality and material practices involved in the control of borders, as well as meaning-making processes and their relation to power, for example, the construction of specific social groups as ‘dangerous’. Both types of analyses and arguments can be used to counter claims for the establishment of culturally ‘pure’ nations and spatially contained cultures. First, the various movements and distributions of goods, people and ideas around the globe which characterise our rapidly globalising world make it increasingly difficult to draw boundaries between cultures. Instead, as many postcolonial theorists have argued, experiences of migration and conflicting world-views lead to various forms of hybrid identities (Bhabha 2004; Hall 1992). In addition to this empirical argument, and even more relevant for our paper, poststructuralist theories within Political Geography have pointed out that all spaces

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and spatial identities are constituted in discourses and are constantly contested and altered in discursive struggles. Empirical examples include geopolitical blocks (e.g., ‘the West’, ‘Socialist States’, ‘the Arab World’; Dalby 1991; Ó Tuathail and Agnew 1992; Paasi 2001), regional identities (e.g., ‘Bavarians’ or ‘Californians’) and—most prominently—national identities. From a poststructuralist perspective, national identities are not essentialist or pregiven; rather, they are socially constructed ‘imagined communities’ (Anderson 1983) that create a certain sense of belonging. Such identities allow members of a nation to accept decisions aimed at the common welfare of the nation state or at compensations between different interest groups, for example, through social benefits. This theoretical approach does not see nation states as homogeneous and autonomous entities; instead, the contingent foundations of their historical constitution are emphasised. However, this does not imply that nation states and national identities are not relevant in everyday life as well as in political processes. Rather, deconstructing the spatial and cultural self-­evidentiality and political sovereignty of nation states paves the way for intensified social struggles over the linkage between nation states and political identities. Against this background, the theoretical approach developed by the poststructuralist discourse theory of the Essex School can help to describe more precisely the discursive logics and processes underlying the constitution of national identities and their political effects. In particular, they can help to specify what discursive logics lie behind the principle of ‘othering’ that has often been identified as constitutive for the formation of (spatial) political identities (e.g., Gregory 2004). Laclau and Mouffe, much like poststructuralist political geographers, claim that political identities and the interests of political actors are discursively constructed: Political identities are not pre-given but constituted and reconstituted through debate in the public sphere. Politics, we argue, does not consist in simply registering already existing interests, but plays a crucial role in shaping political subjects. (Laclau and Mouffe 2001: XVII)

The important aspect to note here with respect to our empirical example is that Laclau and Mouffe break with the Marxist claim that political identity is primarily defined along the lines of class and economic status.

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Instead, they argue that political (in our case national) identities can be constituted in accordance with an array of different social distinctions, including language, religion, gender, sexual orientation and so on. Due to their non-essentialist nature, political identities in general, and national identities in particular, have to be constantly reproduced through their relation to an ‘outside’ (Sarasin 2001). This outside is not only depicted as different but as antagonistic, that is, as fundamentally threatening to the identity of the political group in question: In our conception of antagonism […] we are faced with a ‘constitutive outside’. It is an ‘outside’ which blocks the identity of the ‘inside’ (and is, nonetheless, the prerequisite for its constitution at the same time). With antagonism, denial does not originate from the ‘inside’ of identity itself but, in its most radical sense, from outside; it is thus pure facticity which cannot be referred back to any underlying rationality. (Laclau 1990a: 17)

The concept of antagonism thus helps to explain why the constitution of (spatial) political identity is always and inevitably interfused with power relations: the antagonistic other can never be a neutral outsider but is by definition threatening and characterised by negative characteristics. Yet, the question of which social differences the antagonistic other is defined against is contingent and dependent on power struggles. In other words: nation states have to constantly re-invent themselves in relation to an outside ‘other’ in order to constitute a national identity and conceal internal differences (Glasze 2013; Paasi 2001). This demarcation from an ‘other’ can be articulated in very different forms. For example, in development-­centred discourses, the hegemonic line of division runs between (economically) developed and underdeveloped countries; in discourses on ‘benefit scroungers’ or the ‘rags to riches’ narrative, the main difference is the willingness and ability of insiders/outsiders to internalise a certain work ethos and thus contribute to the economic prosperity of a nation. Crucially, these different ways of distinguishing between a national ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ can overlap and are not stable over time. The emergence of social disruptions and new internal differences can lead to new articulations and a disruption of the status quo. National identity is thus constantly renegotiated in new and often contradictory ways (Dzudzek et al. 2013).

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Globalisation, as argued by many social scientists, holds the potential to create such social disruptions and new lines of division (Appadurai 1996; Sassen and Appiah 1999). Importantly, this holds true both in terms of measurable social dynamics and differences (e.g., changes in the global distribution of wealth and income) as well as in terms of perceived changes, challenges and disruptions. As recent election campaigns and election results in the US and various countries in Europe have shown, migration is currently a particularly salient issue, which is at the heart of debates on changes and threats to the existing status quo in many countries. Two major lines of discourse can be identified in the related discourses: one that depicts migrants as a potential threat to financial security, jobs and economic prosperity and a second one which presents migrants as a threat to the internal cultural homogeneity of nations and populations (Mattissek and Reuber 2016). Both of these representations are forms of discursive othering in which the national identity is not essentially given, but depends on the demarcation from a threatening outside, in opposition to which the self appears as homogenous and pure (Leggett 2013). The problem with this, of course, is that nations are in fact far from pure; they are characterised by various heterogeneities, both economic as well as cultural. This tension between the political aim to create the appearance of a homogenous collective identity on the one hand, and the actual existing differences within societies on the other hand, lead to the omnipresence of what Ernesto Laclau calls ‘dislocated’ political identities. In his words, Every identity is dislocated insofar as it depends on an outside which both denies that identity and provides its condition of possibility at the same time. But this in itself means that the effects of dislocation must be contradictory. If on the one hand, they threaten identities, on the other, they are the foundation on which new identities are constituted. (Laclau 1990a: 39)

Processes of national identity formation that constitute the self as culturally different from an outside ‘other’ can thus be understood as ­temporary discursive fixations, which conceal differences and conflicts within the national state through a collective demarcation from a threatening outside (Dzudzek et al. 2013). From a Political Geography perspective,

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it is important to note that these forms of Othering often go along with ‘spatialisations’, in which distinctions are made between us/here and them/ there (elsewhere) (Glasze and Mattissek 2009). In these spatialisations, both the self as well as the other are projected onto a (national) territory, thereby making distinctions seem unambiguous and natural (Glasze and Mattissek 2009; Miggelbrink 2002; Schlottmann 2005). Empirically, this raises the question of which depictions of national identity become hegemonic in a given context and what effects (i.e., forms of inclusion and exclusion) result thereof. According to Laclau and Mouffe (1985), hegemony is defined as the expansion of a discourse to a dominant horizon of social orientation. Hegemonic discourses are centred around the articulation of ‘empty signifiers’ that in this case represent the collective national identity by establishing a chain of equivalence between different demands to the state, while at the same time demarcating this identity from the outside (Laclau 1996). In the formation of national identities, empty signifiers have the political function of processing heterogeneities within the collective and creating the (illusionary) image of a social sameness that is characterised by a specific spatiality (belonging to a territorially confined nation state). The constitution of hegemonic discourses has very material power effects and shape actual national state policies in various ways. The impact on institutions and state agencies can be grasped with the term ‘sedimentation’ (Laclau 1990a: 34). Sedimentation refers to the various ways in which discourses are institutionally and materially fixed (sedimented) in everyday life and in particular in national state policies. In these sedimentations, the awareness for the contingent nature of the nation state and the role of national identity formation in constituting inclusion and exclusion are eclipsed and replaced by questions of practical implementation of political strategies and regulations. Examples include the existence of national borders and associated laws and regulations (e.g., on immigration), material practices such as border controls and deportations as well as, more broadly, the granting and refusal of privileges and economic resources based on national citizenship. In summary, combining the discourse theory by Laclau and Mouffe with Political Geography research questions makes it possible to conceptualise national identities and the national state as effects of contingent

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discursive operations. In these discursive operations, collective identities are constituted through a common reference to certain attributes (language, race, religion, descent, culture) which create the illusion of a homogeneous community with clear-cut territorial borders in demarcation from a different, and sometimes even threatening, outside (Norval 1996; Sarasin 2001). Nation states and national identities are thus hegemonic, yet constantly changing discursive constructions that are only temporarily fixed. The ways in which these identities are challenged, renegotiated or affirmed culminate in the various forms of inclusion and exclusion inscribed in national state policies. Accordingly, in order to understand the specific forms of discrimination that are part of national policies, it is important to lay open the ways in which national identities are constituted and negotiated in everyday discourses and to emphasise their contingent, constructed and power-laden nature. In the following, we will apply the discourse theory of Laclau and Mouffe to the empirical example of recent renegotiations of national identity in German print media. In doing so, we examine the intense debates in the media, the public sphere and politics on the opportunities and challenges of increased immigration. The conflicting claims for opening or closing borders are exposed as indicative of struggles to establish a hegemonic understanding of national identity and national belonging. These struggles for hegemony are centred around a number of different social distinctions (income, education, demography, culture, etc.; cf., Mattissek and Reuber 2016). We focus empirically on forms of cultural identity formation since in these discourses, as we will show below, the concepts of ‘othering’ and the constitution of antagonism are particularly helpful for the analysis of the ongoing discursive struggles.

Methodological Approach Building on the understanding of discourses as temporary fixations of meaning, we chose a corpus linguistic approach for our analysis in order to examine how relationships between lexical elements are systematically established. In doing so, we draw on methodologies and methods developed in the context of the French School of Discourse Analysis, which

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argues that discourse analyses should focus on linguistic features, that is, empirically observable features of texts in order to identify patterns of meaning making and discursive shifts over time (Angermuller 2014; Mattissek 2010; Williams 1999). These methodical approaches are particularly well suited to operationalise empirical research that follows an Essex School theoretical framework, since they allow to trace how chains of equivalences and ideas of self and other are constituted by regularly establishing relations of similarity or difference on the linguistic level (Glasze 2007). While linguistic methods can principally be located on both the macro as well as the micro level of text analysis, we will focus on the macro level of large text corpora (i.e., corpus linguistic methods), since our main research interest is to find hegemonic patterns of identity formation which are characterised by their repeated reiteration of joint articulations of lexical elements. Corpus linguistics aims to identify structural characteristics of discourses that appear in regularities of language use that are typically too broad and numerous to be discovered through close reading (or hearing) of singular texts. It uses quantitative representations and statistical calculations in order to compare speech patterns between social contexts or different types of media, or in order to identify changes in meaning-­making processes over time. For our analysis, we used the following methods: Frequency Analysis  This shows how often a word, word form or combination of words occurs in a specific (sub-)corpus. It often provides a first overview of a corpus but can also be used to identify characteristic dispersions of words, for example, between time periods or speaker positions. Concordance Analysis  Investigates the context of words by determining the elements occurring immediately before and after a search term. This is used as a tool to quickly make linguistic patterns visible. Collocation Analysis  Provides a means to analyse co-occurrences, that is, words or word forms that appear more frequently in a predefined proximity to another word than they would in a random distribution. Collocation analysis is used to determine the semantic contexts of terms and concepts (Scherer 2006).

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Keyword Analyses  Keyword analysis is used to compare (sub-)corpora. It determines words that are characteristic for specific sub-corpora (e.g., time intervals, different media or speaker positions), that is, words that occur more (or less) frequently in a sub-corpus than they would under a random distribution.1,2 As empirical data we chose major daily newspapers. This follows the assumption that print media cover the majority of mainstream discourses in the public sphere. They are not limited to political opinions and decisions but provide insights into what types of events and decisions are discursively connected to migration in general and cultural differences between migrants and Germans in particular. Accordingly, while we assume that important discourses are not exclusively constituted and contested in the media, this forum nonetheless provides a good overview of hotly debated issues and frequently made assumptions and connotations alike (Baker 2006; Fairclough 1989; Pias 2010). The two newspapers analysed in this study are characterised by a high level of circulation and are considered influential among journalists and decision-makers (Reinemann 2003: 257; IVW 2016). The first one, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (faz), can be described as conservative while the second one, Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ), is considered centre-left. The chosen newspapers thus represent both sides of the political centre. The text corpus covers a time period of one year from May 2015 till April 2016 and contains all articles containing the term ‘.*flücht.*’ (the German word stem of Flüchtling meaning refugee; approx. 35.000 articles or 25 million words). In the following, we present the findings of our analysis, which seeks to answer the question of how collective national identities are constituted in the context of the so-called German refugee crisis. More specifically, we examine how the term culture is used to create the illusion of a homogeneous German identity that is fundamentally different from the  Software packages offer a number of statistical indicators to conduct keyword analyses (Oakes 1998). In our study we used the log-likelihood index. 2  In recent years, a number of software applications for corpus analyses have been developed. We used the IMS Corpus Workbench (CWB), developed by the Institute for Natural Language Processing at the University of Stuttgart. Unlike other programs like, for example, AntConc or WordSmith, CWB is designed to handle large text corpora. It can also handle tagged corpora, that is, corpora with metadata, for example, on grammatical forms (Schopper and Wiertz 2017). 1

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identity of those from other geographic origins, particularly that of migrants and refugees coming to the country.

 epresentations of Cultural Differences: R Results of the Media Analysis An overview of the key results of our analysis will be presented in this section. We start by showing how in the text corpus culture is used to indicate differences between social groups. On that basis, we identify the connotations and semantic field of the term in order to demonstrate that culture (together with other terms) serves as an empty signifier, in relation to which chains of equivalence are constituted. Next, we highlight the characteristics and qualities ascribed to people from other cultures and to German Culture and discuss how the German national identity is constituted by demarcating it from a culturally defined antagonistic other. The first step in the analysis aimed to gain an initial overview of what words are regularly used when culture is mentioned within migration debates. We identified all statistically significant occurrences of lemmas in close proximity (range four words before and four words after the key term; ±4) to culture and cultural (Figs. 11.1 and 11.2).3 The results show a clear picture of culture being associated with differences (between separate cultures) and problems arising from these differences. The purple-coloured words in particular are typical forms of ‘othering’ in that they refer to the ‘self ’ and the ‘other’ as well as to alienness between cultures. The way in which these terms convey meaning is specified by a number of adjectives such as different, alien and distinct. These are different from other adjectives in the sense that they do not have any positive meaning but instead indicate forms of otherness and demarcation. In addition to these general distinctions, the brown-­ coloured terms provide clues as to how the cultural differences might be  All findings in the following graphs are translated from German, with the original German terms added in smaller caption. Translating results like this is—although necessary in international publications—not unproblematic. Often the meaning of words, that is, their connotations, typical associations and so on, differ slightly between languages, and translations may therefore lead to altered interpretations (Husseini de Araújo and Germes 2016). 3

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(to) deal with

our diversity language political between (to) discover human religion own distinct other tradition Islamic (auseinandersetzen)

(Vielfalt)

(unser)

(zwischen)

(eigen)

(Sprache)

(kennenlernen)

(andere)

(verschieden)

different alien (fremd) (unterschiedlich)

(politisch)

(Mensch)

(Religion)

(Tradition)

(islamisch)

value history arabic (Wert)

culture, cultural area (Kultur, Kulturkreis)

(arabisch)

(Geschichte)

western (westlich)

german (deutsch)

Fig. 11.1  Collocators (±4) of the terms ‘culture’ and ‘cultural area’

background

misunderstanding

(Hintergrund) identity diversity our difference (Identität) imprint (Vielfalt) (unser) (Missverständnis) (Differenz)

exchange different (Austausch)

(unterschiedlich)

difference (Unterschied)

cultural (kulturell)

tradition (Tradition)

linguistic (sprachlich)

ethnical (ethnisch)

origin

(Herkunft)

(Prägung)

heritage (Erbe)

integration (Integration)

religious (religiös)

Fig. 11.2  Selected collocators (−2, +4) of the term ‘cultural’

explained: they are associated with spatial entities such as German or Arabic, thus territorialising the cultural differences. Other concepts connected to culture include language, religion, values and tradition. The results for the adjective cultural shown in Fig. 11.2 are quite similar to Fig. 11.1 but include more explicit references to origin (implying

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different cultures in different places) as well as ethnicity. Additionally, there is further evidence that the concept of culture functions as an empty signifier here, that is, has a central role in constructing differences between social groups, which are then connected to differences in language or religion. Here, references to traditions, identity, heritage as well as cultural imprint are even more prominent.

Culture, Religion, Language and Nationality As became evident above, the terms culture and cultural area (Kultur and Kulturkreis) as well as cultural (kulturell) are linked to several other concepts (religion, language and nationality), thus constituting a chain of equivalences between different social groups centred around the idea of separate cultures. By comparing the different collocation lists (range: ±4), the chain of equivalence can be visualised in the form of a discursive network comprised of terms whose common occurrence is statistically significant (Fig. 11.3). All terms in this figure, except for race are collocators

Islam

descent

(Islam)

(Abstammung)

religion

language (Sprache)

(Religion)

origin (Herkunft)

skin colour (Hautfarbe)

race

culture (Kultur)

(Rasse)

nation (Nation)

ethnicity (Ethnie)

nationality (Nationalität)

Fig. 11.3  Discursive network, mutual collocations in the environment of the lemma ‘culture’

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of the term culture. The arrows show the direction of the collocation: For example, the arrow from language to culture shows that culture is a statistically significant collocator of language. Particularly noteworthy is the use of terms such as race and skin colour since references to biological distinctions between people remain taboo in Germany. Such references are reminiscent of the Nazi Regime and the crimes committed during this period and therefore seldom invoked in current political discussions. All in all, the graphs show how cultures are discursively constructed as homogeneous entities with common languages, religions or lifestyles. At the same time, the distinct cultures constructed in this way are fundamentally different and opposed. The chain of equivalence strengthens the differences between the self and the other, and increases the power effects of such discursive connections. Through this discursive operation, a large number of observable differences are represented as cultural ones, thus pathing the way for even more extensive attributions. Empirically observable differences are thus naturalised and reduced to one hegemonic form of difference, culture, while at the same time, the contingent nature of these forms of othering is concealed.

Culture and People As aforementioned, a discursive link between culture and people is established within many of the texts. People, a political term which refers to the people of a territorially defined national state, is a statistically significant collocator to culture/cultural area and vice versa. Importantly, in these cases the concept culture is not used for individuals—there is no single instance in the whole corpus when an individual is described as having a certain culture. This connection between culture and people thus contributes to a spatialisation of the cultural differences described above by connecting them to the spatial entity of the national states of Germans and other peoples. So far, the analysis has shown notable patterns in how words referring to social differences are linked to the term culture. The analysis has also demonstrated how spatial identities are constituted and demarcated from

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each other through these discursive patterns. However, this quantitative approach has limitations in that it does not allow for an examination of the quality of the observed discursive links (Mattissek 2010). In order to provide a more in-depth analysis, all expressions in the corpus linking people and culture were extracted and qualitatively analysed. With the help of a concordance analysis, three recurring patterns/categories were identified inductively. The results are shown in Table 11.1. The first pattern depicts migrants as a challenge for German Society without saying what this challenge is exactly. The second pattern is characterised by undertones of victimisation in the sense that people with ‘other’ cultures are represented as in need of help and protection. The third pattern conveys the idea of different cultures being fundamentally incompatible with each other and their intermingling thus being a source for conflicts. Here, the ethnopluralist connotations of the concept culture become obvious. Discourses in the media portray thinking and action as determined by people’s culture, and culture in turn is understood as a natural attribute, acquired through one’s heritage and birthplace. Therefore ‘culture’ is an essentialist category—just like ‘race’. Another aspect that stands out in Table 11.1 is that no distinction is made between different non-German cultural groups: all those depicted as different from the German culture are assigned the same characteristics and are presented in vague terms as problematic and threatening. The only exception is Islamic culture which is accused of being even more Table 11.1  Comparison of attributions to people from other cultures and to people from Germany in the print media corpus People in Germany

People from other cultures

Meet a challenge Can/need to help, (wealthy) (Well educated), proficiency in German (Tolerant) Grundgesetz (German constitution)

Are the challenge Need help, poor, needy Poorly educated, no proficiency in German Religious-conservative Norms and values in conflict with the German constitution Outdated, discriminatory gender roles Patriarchal, traditional values Potential risk, threat

Emancipated, modern gender roles Enlightened, modern values (Not dangerous), threatened

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conflictual. This type of discursive representation is typical for antagonistic forms of identity construction as per Laclau and Mouffe, where the main function of the antagonistic ‘other’ is to constitute the imagination of a threatening outside, in relation to which the political identity of the ‘self ’ is constructed. It is also striking that several theoretically possible discursive positions are not present within the corpus.4 First, there is no occurrence in the corpus of the idea that people from other cultures could become equal members of German society. There is a big debate on how integration can work, or which challenges exist, but the cultural difference between the self and the other seems to remain stable despite integration. Second, no reference to culture appears in the reporting of motives for flight and the situation in the home countries of refugees. Accordingly, people to which another culture is attributed only appear in the German media discourse at the moment when they interact with German society. Third, in the observed contexts there were no references to advantages of migration: neither economic advantages nor demographical or cultural ones. Specific queries to the corpus show that these topics are indeed part of discourses on flight and refugee integration, but in the contexts where positive aspects of migration are discussed there is no reference to culture. The culture of immigrants is thus exclusively depicted as an obstacle to integration and not a positive aspect.

German Culture Following Laclau and Mouffe, the demarcation from a (threatening) outside coincides with a homogenisation of the inside of the political community. Thus, the last step of our empirical work is to take a closer look at how the German culture is discursively constituted in media debates on flight and migration. The lemma German is a statistically significant collocator to culture (±4). This collocation works in the other direction as well. However, both a collocation analysis and a concordance analysis which looked for terms, concepts or demands directly  The terms in the table have been identified through a qualitative analysis of texts. The terms in brackets have not been mentioned explicitly but are implicit in the analysed texts. 4

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linked to a German culture brought only two results. First, there is reference to the (German) language and second to (German) value(s). In contrast to other contexts, the term culture is only used in the singular form in reference to one single German culture—there are no German cultures in the plural. The same results were obtained in an extended analysis with western culture and European culture which are also statistically significant collocators to culture. This lack of plurality within references to the German culture indicates an alleged homogeneity of ‘us here’. At the same time, it serves to conceal the actual existing heterogeneities within German society and sharpens the demarcations to other cultures.

Conclusion As we have shown in our paper, the discourse theoretical ideas and concepts of Laclau and Mouffe can help Political Geography research to conceptualise the formation of national identities and policies related to migration. In particular, they explain how collective identities are constituted in reference to shared attributes (e.g., culture, religion, race), which create the illusion of a homogeneous, territorially confined population. Methodologically, we argued that a two-step corpus analytical approach is able to show how political identities are discursively constituted: First, an empty signifier, in our case culture, is represented as indicative of major and incompatible social differences. Second, chains of equivalences are established that link a variety of different social differences and features to this empty signifier. Drawing on results from our corpus linguistic study, we showed that in the context of debates on refugee migration, culture is frequently used to constitute an antagonistic division between the ‘self ’ and the ‘other’, thereby creating the illusion of a homogenous German political identity which is threatened by refugee immigration. Refugees are thus portrayed as fundamentally alien to the German society, and their alienness is presented as an effect of their cultural incompatibility. Such representations of refugees have practical consequences for political strategies because political actions are rationalised and legitimised against the background of taken-for-granted hegemonic discourses. In cases when refugees are

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depicted as sources of conflicts and problems, political demands on deterrence, deportations and border closings become more viable options than is the case when refugees are portrayed as either resourceful and beneficial to the country or in dire need of humanitarian help. These practical and political consequences of discursive representations of refugees illustrate the very material power effects that discursive identity constructions have (Laclau 1990a, b). As mentioned in the introduction, the term ‘culture(s)’ is often linked to essentialist and objectivist notions of identity formation that are currently gaining ground in ethnopluralist and new right argumentations. In this sense culture serves as a linguistic concealment for racism by superficially replacing the term race, while at the same time retaining its discursive patterns of identity construction (Balibar and Wallerstein 1990). In summary, our empirical analysis has rendered visible the nexus between the essentialisation of cultural identities and their supposedly unavoidable and persisting differences. Moreover, we have shown that essentialist understandings of national identity and an ethnopluralistic use of the term ‘culture’ are not limited to right-wing movements but are also dominant in mainstream media. Such a depiction of refugees as culturally non-integrable aliens or even a threat to German society (or culture) legitimates harsh migration policies. Against this background, it becomes an important task for social scientists to explore how the essentialisation of cultural identities takes place and what kinds of discursive strategies constitute the hegemonic construction of distinctions between self and other.

References A Anderson, B. (2006 [1983, 1985, 1991]). Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso. Angermuller, J.  (2014). Poststructuralist Discourse Analysis: Subjectivity in Enunciative Pragmatics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Appadurai, A. (1996). Modernity at Large. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

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B Balibar, É., & Wallerstein, I. (1990). Rasse  – Klasse  – Nation: Ambivalente Identitäten. Hamburg: Argument. BAMF. (2017). Das Bundesamt in Zahlen 2016 – Asyl, Migration und Integration. Nürnberg: Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge. Benoist, A. D., & Champetier, C. (2012). Manifesto for a European Renaissance. London: Arktos Media Ltd. Bhabha, H. K. (2004). The Location of Culture. London/New York: Routledge.

D Dalby, S. (1991). Critical Geopolitics: Discourse, Difference, and Dissent. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 9(3), 261–283. De Araújo, S. H., & Germes, M. (2016). Editorial: For a Critical Practice of Translation in Geography. ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 15(1), 1–14. Dzudzek, I., Glasze, G., & Mattissek, A. (2013). Nationalstaat und Identität mit Laclau und Mouffe gedacht – ein Beitrag zur Politischen Geographie aus diskurs- und hegemonietheoretischer Perspektive. In B. Belina (Ed.), Staat und Raum: Aktuelle Positionen der Politischen Geographie (pp.  129–146). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner.

F Fairclough, N. (1989). Language and Power. London: Routledge.

G Glasze, G. (2007). Vorschläge zur Operationalisierung der Diskustheorie von Laclau und Mouffe in einer Triangulation von lexikometrischen und interpretativen Methoden. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 8(2), Art. 14. http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114fqs0702143. Accessed 17 Apr 2008. Glasze, G. (2013). Politische Räume: Die diskursive Konstitution eines ‘geokulturellen Raums’ – die Frankophonie. Bielefeld: transcript.

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Glasze, G., & Mattissek, A. (2009). Diskursforschung in der Humangeographie: Konzeptionelle Grundlagen und empirische Operationalisierungen. In G. Glasze & A. Mattissek (Eds.), Handbuch Diskurs und Raum. Theorien und Methoden für die Humangeographie sowie die sozial- und kulturwissenschaftliche Raumforschung (pp. 11–59). Bielefeld: transcript. Gregory, D. (2004). The Colonial Present: Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.

H Hall, S. (1992). The Question of Cultural Identity. In S.  Hall, D.  Held, & T.  McGrew (Eds.), Modernity and Its Futures (pp.  274–316). Cambridge: Polity Press.

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O Ó Tuathail, G., & Agnew, J.  (1992). Geopolitics and Discourse: Practical Geopolitical Reasoning in American Foreign Policy. Political Geography, 11(2), 190–204. Oakes, M. (1998). Statistics for Corpus Linguistics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

P Paasi, A. (2001). Europe as a Social Process and Discourse: Considerations of Place, Boundaries and Identity. European Urban and Regional Studies, 8(1), 7–28. Pias, C. (2010). Poststrukturalistische Medientheorien. In S.  Weber (Ed.), Theorien der Medien: Von der Kulturkritik bis zum Konstruktivismus (pp. 222–293). Stuttgart: UTB.

R Reinemann, C. (2003). Medienmacher als Mediennutzer. Köln: Böhlau Verlag. Reuber, P. (2012). Politische Geographie. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh.

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S Sarasin, P. (2001). Die Wirklichkeit der Fiktion. Zum Konzept der Imagined Communities. In U. Jureit (Ed.), Politische Kollektive: die Konstruktion nationaler, rassischer und ethnischer Gemeinschaften (pp.  22–45). Münster: Westfälisches Dampfboot. Sassen, S., & Appiah, A. (1999). Globalization and Its Discontents: Essays on the New Mobility of People and Money. New York: The New Press. Scherer, C. (2006). Korpuslinguistik. Heidelberg: Winter. Schlottmann, A. (2005). RaumSprache: Ost-West-Differenzen in der Berichterstattung zur deutschen Einheit. München: Franz Steiner. Schopper, T., & Wiertz, T. (2017). Korpuslinguistische Analysen mit CQPweb: Eine Einführung für SozialwissenschaftlerInnen. Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg.

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12 Populism Versus Anti-populism in the Greek Press: Post-Structuralist Discourse Theory Meets Corpus Linguistics Nikos Nikisianis, Thomas Siomos, Yannis Stavrakakis, Titika Dimitroulia, and Grigoris Markou

N. Nikisianis (*) School of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece T. Siomos School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece Y. Stavrakakis • G. Markou School of Political Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece T. Dimitroulia Department of French Language and Literature, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece e-mail: [email protected]

© The Author(s) 2019 T. Marttila (ed.), Discourse, Culture and Organization, Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94123-3_12

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Introduction In May 2012, when Time magazine asked the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso ‘What concerns you most about Europe today?’ his answer was: ‘Probably the rise of some populist movements in the extremes of the political spectrum’ (Cendrowicz 2012). Since then it is clear that populism, wherever it comes from, has officially been proclaimed as the main enemy of the European Union. In Greece, specifically, after entering the Memorandum era, the phenomenon of populism has been the focal point of intense political wrangling. There has been no opposition party or movement that has not been accused by its opponents as ‘populist’, an accusation which, explicitly or implicitly, is simultaneously backed up with a set of specific characteristics, including social and political backwardness, latent or open nationalism/nativism, cult of the leader, devaluation or even rejection of the democratic rules, irresponsibility, irrationalism, lack of understanding of reality, demagogy or even conscious lying. These arguments, originating in the liberal literature of the mid-­ twentieth century and especially in the work of Richard Hofstadter (1955), have been uncritically adopted and violently adjusted to Greek reality. The ‘beast of populism’, primarily associated with the Left and social resistances to the Memorandum austerity policies, has acquired mythical features, embodying all the ‘chronic pathologies’ of Greek society and economy: partisanship and polarization, clientelism, corruption, the dominance of ‘guilds’ and trade unionists. Through this strategy, an emerging anti-populist block has attempted to naturalize a negative, pejorative signification of populism,1which was then utilized in the demonization of oppositional political and social identities, attitudes and forces as ‘populist’. The pejorative uses of the term have predominated the politico-social landscape, and populism has been defined through anti-populist discourse. But what is populism after all? Can we define it without ideological, stereotypical blinkers?  That would be a concrete example of what Roland Barthes calls myth: a special type of discourse that becomes naturalized, represses its contingent and historical articulation and presents itself as an obvious and indisputable certainty, as truth (Barthes and Howard 1979). 1

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Utilizing the innovative work of Ernesto Laclau and the so-called Essex School (Laclau 2005; Laclau and Mouffe 2001; Howarth et al. 2000), the POPULISMUS  research project has employed a rigorous yet flexible method of identifying populist discourses.2 It has thus attempted to ­remedy methodological deficits, arguing in favor of a ‘minimal criteria’ approach, as the phenomenon of populism is quite complicated and the utilization of an unsuitable analytical approach may cause comprehension gaps of the issue. In particular, populist discourses should include: (1) prominent references to ‘the people’ (or equivalent signifiers, e.g., the ‘underdog’) and the ‘popular will’ and to the need to truly represent it, (2) an antagonistic perception of the sociopolitical terrain as divided between ‘the people’/the underdog and ‘the elites’/the establishment (POPULISMUS Background Paper 2015). According to the  Essex School of Discourse Analysis and the POPULISMUS approach, both criteria need to be present for a discourse to be classified as ‘populist’. Hence, populist discourse always involves a division between dominant and dominated. An important aspect of Laclauian theory, which is strongly influenced by Gramscian theories on hegemony, is that the formation of a populist discourse occurs through the connection of heterogeneous popular demands (logic of equivalence) and the construction of a collective identity (through the identification of an enemy) (Laclau 2005). Moreover, a vital feature of Laclau’s theory of populism is the ‘nodal point’, namely, a central signifier that gives meaning to a discourse, to a discursive articulation. According to Laclau and Mouffe, ‘any discourse is constituted as an attempt to dominate the field of discursivity, to arrest the flow of differences, to construct a center. We will call the privileged discursive points of this partial fixation, nodal points (Lacan has insisted on these partial fixations through his concept of points de capiton, that is, privileged signifiers that fix the meaning of a signifying chain)’ (Laclau and Mouffe 1985: 112). Hence, ‘discourse  POPULISMUS unfolded its various activities in the period between February 2014 and August 2015 at the School of Political Sciences of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. The project was funded under the Action ‘ARISTEIA II’, which was implemented by the Ministry of Culture, Education and Religious Affairs within the framework of the Operational Program ‘Education and Lifelong Learning’ (NSRF 2007–13) and was co-funded by the European Union (European Social Fund) and national funds. More information is accessible from the POPULISMUS Observatory: www.populismus.gr 2

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should be conceived as an articulation (a chain) of ideological elements around a nodal point, a point de capiton’ (Stavrakakis 1999: 79). Within the frame of the POPULISMUS  project, this paper uses the methodological tools of Laclauian theory (nodal points, empty signifiers, etc.), combining them with a computer-based lexicometric methodology. In the last few years, it has been proposed that corpus-driven lexicometric procedures can greatly assist in the study of populist discourse (cf. Caiani and della Porta 2011; Rooduijn and Pauwels 2011). In particular, a lexicometric approach is considered compatible with discourse-theoretical analysis drawing on the Essex School of discourse analysis, which POPULISMUS employed, to the extent that it brackets the supposed intentions behind discursive articulation, while it considers meaning as formed by the relations established between lexical elements (Glasze 2007: 663f.).

Material and Methods In order to investigate these contradictory orientations in a systematic way, the POPULISMUS research team has attempted to study populist and anti-populist discourses as they were articulated in the Greek printed press. Our research covered the period between June 4, 2014 and July 13, 2015. This period coincided with some decisive political events and upheavals in Greek politics, which consistently fueled the controversy between populist and anti-populist discourse: (a) the European elections of 2014, marked by the decisive victory of SYRIZA and the growing electoral influence of many political forces throughout Europe characterized as populist; (b) the last reform efforts of the coalition government of ND-PASOK, including the privatization of public companies, which encountered the vehement resistance of the ‘populist’ opposition; (c) the victory of SYRIZA in the elections of January 2015, igniting popular mobilizations and initiating a new round of negotiations between Greece and its lenders; (d) the dead-end in the negotiations toward the end of June 2015 and, finally, the Referendum of 5 July 2015, where discursive conflicts around the people, popular sovereignty and populism reached a climax.

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Table 12.1  Selection of material on pro- and anti-populist discourse Categories

Criteria

Pro-­populist articles

290 Positive references to the ‘people’, the ‘popular will’ and ‘popular sovereignty’, in the context of an antagonistic perception of the sociopolitical terrain as divided between the people and the elites/the establishment Articles explicitly positioned against anti-populism Articles explicitly positioned against 747 populism

Anti-­populist articles

Number Percentage 28%

72%

Among 21,817 articles published by the Greek printed press in this period and containing the keywords ‘populism’ and ‘people’, we selected and coded 1,037 articles, originating from 62 different media, according to the following criteria (Table 12.1): The selected articles were labeled, stored and uploaded on the website of the POPULISMUS Observatory, where they are still accessible.3 Our aim was to sketch a comprehensive profile of populist and anti-populist discourses in the printed Greek media, constituting thus a useful base for the study of these two different types of discourse. Hence, all the articles were qualitatively analyzed, coded and indexed, according to the aforementioned Essex School methodological orientation. In addition, and with the aim of validating, through methodological triangulation, the qualitative conclusions, we attempted to study the pro-populist and anti-­ populist profiles through a  lexicometric methodology. Hence, we produced one corpus comprising all the pro-populist articles, one corpus comprising all the anti-populist articles and another  corpus with randomly selected articles from the entire indexing, which was used as a reference corpus (witness). These corpora were submitted to lexicometric analysis, with the help of the web-based text analysis tool developed for (and available at) the POPULISMUS Observatory and the lexicometric application AntConc.  www.populismus.gr/category/clipping-en/printed-greek-press-clipping (Date of Access: April 25, 2017). 3

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Distinguishing the Pro-populist from the Anti-populist According to the coding and classification of the selected articles, the vast majority of them take a position against populism. The large majority of the pro-populist articles consist of articles with significant and positive references to ‘the people’ and/or ‘popular sovereignty’. A small part of them include references to the ‘people’ with a clear nationalistic, racist, exclusionary content, deriving from media and columnists sympathizing with the right or the extreme right. Furthermore, a significant percentage concerns articles that are marked by their explicit opposition toward anti-­ populist discourse. What follows is an indicative example: As for us who say truths, who reject the dictatorship of the coalition, the downfall of the Greek people, they call us “populists”. It is not populism, the voice of truth; it is not populism, the support of the simple people. (Kontra News 2014)

Many of these articles that react to anti-populism, include—by extension—positive formulations regarding populism as such. Nevertheless, the articles that represent an autonomous—that is, not conditioned by a reaction to anti-populism—positive attitude toward ‘populism’ are really rare, and these usually refer to academic arguments. Correspondingly, the ‘anti-populist’ articles were further coded and classified, according to the following criteria: (a) the place of reference (Greece or other countries) and (b) the extent to which they are concerned with left-wing or right-­ wing populist forces. The overwhelming proportion (84.5%) of the selected articles refer to the Greek situation, targeting left-wing forms of populism and especially SYRIZA. Only a small part of them also target PASOK’s populism, referring however mainly to its (left) past in the 1980s. A significant part of this textual production indeed identifies populism with the left. To provide just one example, Yannis Pretenderis, a well-known anti-populist journalist coming from the center-left camp, has, in this respect, argued that: ‘There is no left free from populism, because, in this case, it would not be left’ (Ta Nea, 18/6/2014). At the same time, an important part of these articles tends to support the view

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that populism is, in fact, diffused throughout the whole Greek political scene, permeating all parties. Nevertheless, an analysis of such sweeping accusations indicates that, again, their strategic target in the present conjuncture seems to be the left. A small percentage of the selected articles connect populism with right-wing and extreme right forces and politics; nevertheless, half of them refer to other than Greece, mainly European, countries (France, Netherlands, UK). The articles that link populism to the right in Greece refer mainly to ANEL, the small right-wing partner of SYRIZA in government. Some anti-populist articles develop their position against populism from a left-wing perspective. In general, these articles see ‘populism’ as a distortion of genuine political attempts to serve popular needs and demands or of a genuine popular way of life. It is interesting to mention that a similar schema of contrasting an ‘original’ popular identity with a ‘distorted’ populism is also adopted by columnists coming from the nationalist right.

Pro-populist and Anti-populist Media With regard to their sources, populist and anti-populist discourses are both found in the majority of Greek printed media, yet in different proportions and with a different content. Moreover, the opposition between populist and anti-populist discourse largely overlaps with the traditional cleavage between left-wing and right-wing media. In particular, the 289 pro-populist articles originate from 34 printed media. Most of them are considered left-wing (Efimerida ton Syntakton, Avgi, Rizospastis). Nevertheless, in the next place we find the right-wing daily Choni. The 750 anti-populist articles come from 59 right-wing and left-wing printed media. The majority of them were published in the liberal right-wing daily newspaper Kathimerini, followed by the center-left daily newspapers Ta Nea and To Vima, the center-left daily newspaper Ethnos and the rightwing Eleftheros Typos and Estia, while some of them were also published in the left-wing Avgi and Efimerida ton Syntakton. One must also register the influential anti-populist interventions of the main financial newspapers and the weekly lifestyle, free-press fanzines Athens Voice and Lifo.

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On the basis of this coding, we created a simple index, which consists in the ratio of the pro-populist over the anti-populist articles published in every medium, suggesting that such an index may indicate  the pro-­ populist or anti-populist position of each medium. The results confirm  that we may clearly distinguish two distinct media blocks in the Greek press, one of pro-populist and the other  of anti-populist media (Table 12.2): The aforementioned findings were also confirmed with the use of lexicometric methods. Specifically, we hypothesized that: (1) the frequent use of the word ‘populism’ (and its derivatives) points to an anti-populist discourse, as populism is more frequently used in a pejorative context, (2) the frequent use of the word ‘people’ (and its derivatives), without corresponding necessarily to a populist discourse, may indicate a pro-­populist orientation. Hence, according to the above hypotheses, one can assume that the ratio of the frequencies of the words ‘people’/‘populism’ in the articles of a medium indicates its position on the populism/anti-­populism axis. Table 12.2  Pro-populist and anti-populist blocks in Greek press Medium

Populist articles/anti-populist articles

Choni Kontra News Rizospastis Efimerida ton Syntakton Avgi RealNews Total Dimokratia Proto Thema Naftemporiki Ta Nea Ethnos Vima Eleftheros Typos Kathimerini Estia Athens Voice Free Sunday Kefalaio Chrimatistirio Lifo

+ (no antipopulist articles) + (no antipopulist articles) 5.50 2.91 2.57 0.60 0.39 0.25 0.17 0.14 0.13 0.10 0.07 0.05 0.04 0.03 0 0 0 0 0

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In order to test this hypothesis, we selected six daily newspapers, with a different position on the populism/anti-populism axis (as defined above), as well as on the left/right axis: the left-wing pro-populist Avgi and Efimerida Ton Syntakton, the right-wing pro-populist Choni, the right-wing anti-populist Kathimerini and Eleftheros Typos and the center-­ left anti-populist Ta Nea. We selected a random sample of the total publications of each medium, and we produced six new corpora, one per medium. In each corpus we measured the frequency in the use of the word ‘people’ and its derivatives and the frequency in the use of the word ‘populism’ and its derivatives (Table 12.3). The results confirm the clear distinction between the two blocks, with Choni, Avgi and Efimerida ton Syntakton on one side and Kathimerini, Ta Nea and Eleftheros Typos on the other. Their classification coincides with the aforementioned classification, based on the index of the pro-populist/ anti-populist articles published.

The Context of ‘the People’ and Populism With the help of lexicometric tools (analysis of co-occurrences), we counted the words that tend to appear more frequently near (in a distance of +/− 5 words) the word ‘the people’ (or its derivatives), in both corpora of pro-populist and anti-populist articles. From the rough data, we kept only the words that have some political connotation, removing, that is, words with a functional or politically neutral character (Table 12.4). The results indicate that, in both corpora, a national determination of the ‘people’ is the dominant one (e.g., Greek, Greece, nation, etc.). Words that relate people with power (e.g., sovereign, mandate, decide, etc.) constitute another common category of frequent words that we see in both corpora, with a slight over-representation in the pro-populist articles. In particular, anti-populist discourse seems to strongly correlate people with elections (vote, majority), while in the pro-populist discourse we observe a higher frequency of references to ‘democracy’ in general. Moreover, in the pro-populist corpus we may notice more complicated social and political designations, correlated with the people, such as ‘class’, ‘labor’, ‘movement’. We also notice some characteristic keywords of pro-populist

Choni Avgi Efimerida ton Syntakton Eleftheros Typos Ta Nea Kathimerini Total

Left-­right Right Left Left Right Left Right

Pop-anti-­pop

Pop Pop Pop

Anti-pop Anti-pop Anti-pop

176 150 263 1237

41 338 269

Articles

2.0296 1.7759 1.7227 2.5178

3.9250 3.4124 2.5628

Frequency ‘people’ (*1000)

Table 12.3  Frequency of ‘people’ and ‘populism’ in six Greek newspapers

0.8381 0.8254 1.0364 0.6324

0.1308 0.3711 0.4570

Frequency ‘populism’ (*1000)

2.4 2.2 1.7 4

30 9.2 5.6

‘People’/‘populism’ index

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Table 12.4  Most frequent collocates of the word ‘the people’ Pro-populist corpus

Anti-populist corpus

Greek (ελληνικός) Sovereign (κυρίαρχος) Party (κόμμα) Mandate (εντολή) SYRIZA (ΣΥΡΙΖΑ) Movement (κίνημα) Country (χώρα) Nation (έθνος) Democracy (δημοκρατία) Europe (Ευρώπη) Politics (πολιτική) Government (κυβέρνηση) Communist Party of Greece (ΚΚΕ) Labor (εργατικός) Willing (βούληση)

Greek (ελληνικός) Right (δεξιά) Mandate (εντολή) Party (κόμμα) Sovereign (κυρίαρχος) Government (κυβέρνηση) Politics (πολιτική) Country (χώρα) Feeling (αίσθημα) Decide (αποφασίσει) Majority (πλειοψηφία) Populism (λαϊκισμός) Europe (Ευρώπη) Democracy (δημοκρατία) Nation (έθνος)

discourse, like ‘dignity’, ‘rights’ and ‘struggle’. In the anti-populist corpus, correspondingly, we can distinguish the—expected—correlation of ‘people’ with ‘populism’ and ‘sacrifice’. Finally, as expected, in the pro-­ populist corpus we frequently find signifiers that relate the people with the political left and left-wing parties, while in the anti-populist corpus we encounter a strong correlation with the political right.

The Context of ‘Populism’ Studying the co-occurrences of the word ‘populism’, we can see that, in the Greek press, populism is mainly used as a way of doing politics, strongly correlated with political parties. We can quantitatively confirm that populism is linked primarily with SYRIZA, with PASOK following in great distance. However, the right-wing political location and its derivatives appear lightly more frequently than a left-wing political location; we can understand this contradiction, as we know that the articles that relate populist with right-wing parties usually refer to other countries, while the articles that relate populism with left-wing parties refer mainly to Greece. Apart from the left, populism is strongly correlated with the Greek government, and also with demagogy, radicalism, statism and

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Table 12.5  Most frequent collocates of the word ‘populism’ Politics (πολιτική) Right (δεξιός) Left (αριστερός) Parties (κόμματα)

Government (κυβέρνηση) Demagogy (δημαγωγία) Democracy (δημοκρατία) National (εθνικός)

SYRIZA (ΣΥΡΙΖΑ) Greece (Ελλάδα) People (λαός) Greece (Ελλάδα)

Extreme right (ακροδεξιός) Struggle (μάχη) Radical (ριζοσπαστικός) Country (χώρα)

Unfortunately (δυστυχώς) PASOK (ΠΑΣΟΚ) Nationalism (εθνικισμός) Unbridled/unrestrained (άκρατος) Clientelist (πελατειακές) Statism (κρατισμός) Elite (ελιτ) ANEL (ΑΝΕΛ)

clientelism, and more weakly correlated with ‘nationalism’ and the ‘extreme right’. Finally, the signifiers which co-occur with ‘populism’ (or its derivatives) confirm that reference to ‘populism’ is made primarily within a negative context (unfortunately, unrestrained etc.) (Table 12.5). The words frequently co-occurring with the word ‘populism’ may also reveal the metaphors that anti-populist columnists employ to describe and to denounce the populist phenomenon. The most common metaphors come from medical science and present populism as a pathology or ‘disease’ inherent in Greek society (e.g., carcinoma, parasite, tumor, etc.). A special category are also the prevalent psychiatric metaphors where populism and its related politics appear as a social ‘mental illness’, (e.g., schizophrenia, madness or insanity). Another widespread category of metaphors likens populism, or its supporters, with a destructive natural phenomenon (e.g., wave, wind, storm, etc.). Finally, overextending their passion of denouncement, anti-populist columnists resort to mythology or the animal world and systematically liken ‘populism’ with voracious creatures (e.g., monster, beast, Hydra, etc.). The following example from Kathimerini illustrates the above argument: The beast of populism that we have been breeding in recent years will not leave any hand unbitten, not even the one that fed it systematically. This beast has no logic, it has an ideological and party blindness and, what is more, it is insatiable. (Kathimerini, 18/3/2015)

It is worth highlighting the obvious contradiction between the call for political moderation that the anti-populist block often invokes, accusing

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the ‘populists’ for an extreme phraseology polarizing political debates and the dehumanizing vitriol of its own criticism against populism and populist politicians (Stavrakakis 2014: 510).

 odal Points of Populist and Anti-populist N Discourse In a next step, we tried to reconstruct the network of the main concepts invoked by the populist and anti-populist discourse and figure out the concepts that may work as the nodal points of each discourse. Regarding the pro-populist articles, the concept of ‘the people’ would ideally work as a nodal point in the frame of populist discourse, incorporating an infinite series of equivalences and arising as the signifier that gives meaning to a whole field. The case of anti-populist discourse seems more complicated. Of course, a powerful candidate for the place of a nodal point is populism as such, as a prominent and negative reference to populism was the main criterion for the selection of anti-populist articles. Besides, a qualitative analysis of the articles reveals that populism emerged as an empty signifier par excellence and therefore as a vessel capable of accommodating an excess of heterogeneous meanings, becoming the synecdoche of an omnipresent evil and associated with all its manifestations imaginable: irresponsibility, demagogy, immorality, corruption, destruction, irrationalism (Stavrakakis 2014: 509). Nevertheless, in the anti-populist discourse, populism is never alone; its denouncement usually serves a higher purpose, namely, the advocacy of an alternative policy, which opposes the—considered as dominant—traditional Greek populism. Hence, in the anti-populist discourse, we also notice a series of equally powerful concepts that may describe such an anti-populist perspective. Based on the joint examination of the qualitative and quantitative data, over the entire period under examination, we argue that there are two signifiers that may serve this role: ‘reforms’ and ‘Europe’. We argue that during our research period the focus of anti-populist discourse has shifted. Before the official conduct of the January 25, 2015

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elections, the main focus of the anti-populist discourse was on the ‘reforms’ that were promoted (or, depending on each writer’s opinion, not sufficiently promoted) by the previous bipartisan government and which encountered the reaction of the so-called populist forces (trade unions, public administration and the Left). Hence, we often find that the main dilemma of this period was explicitly formulated as ‘reforms or populism’. After the elections and the victory of SYRIZA, the central reference of the political confrontation between the government and opposition seems to shift from ‘reforms’ to ‘Europe’. This happens because, according to the anti-populist opposition, the ‘populist’ policy of the new government questioned the country’s European orientation. Moreover, we notice a gradual rejection of the concrete aspects of this concept; ‘Europe’ is becoming progressively a more abstract term, disconnected from the specific institutions and the procedures of the existing European Union, converted into the ultimate symbol of the progressive orientation of the country toward modernization and the future, and it appears as the essence of all the successes of the Greek nation. Europe is gradually becoming a ‘name’, an empty signifier that can connect and give meaning to everything and not just a specific geographical area or an economic and political union. This development is reaching a climax in the end of the period of our research, through the demonstrations of the movement ‘Menoume Europi’ (‘We stay in Europe’ or ‘We remain Europe’) and the referendum of July 5. Lexicometric tools and especially keyness4 may also give a useful indication about the main concepts and the nodal points of each discourse. We assumed that a nodal point should (a) be among the most powerful keywords and at the same time, (b) it should be strongly connected with the other keywords. Hence, using a combination of different lexicometric tools, we tried to reconstruct the landscape of the two different discourses, to estimate the connectivity of the main signifiers and thus to  ‘Keyness’ is another lexicometric tool that measures the degree to which each word has the quality of being a keyword, that is, to be overrepresented, in a selected corpus, with respect to a reference corpus, constructed by a random set of articles (witness). 4

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identify their most influential nodal points. Having in mind the aforementioned shift after the elections, and in order to allow for greater consistency of the sample, we used the articles published in the period between the elections of January 25 and the Referendum of July 5, 2015. Specifically, through keyness measurement, we selected the first 30 keywords with a political meaning (excluding the proper names of politicians, parties and countries and the obviously neutral terms, like ‘politics’), and we recorded the overall frequency of these keywords (and their derivatives) in the two corpora. Thereafter, for the first ten signifiers of each corpus, we gathered the most frequently coappearing terms (within +/− five words distance). Through this process, we constructed Tables 12.1 and 12.2, where we can see how often each of the ten most important keywords tends to appear in the immediate vicinity of the rest of them (viz., the percentage of the total appearances of one keyword that are located close to the word under examination). We added these coappearance rates for each keyword, and we corrected the sum according to the overall frequency of each keyword, in order to produce a ‘connectivity index’ (Tables 12.6 and 12.7). The results are graphically visualized in Figs. 12.1 and 12.2. The font size and the size of the frame of each of the ten keywords reflect its overall frequency. The location of each keyword has been fixed in such a way that it appears near its coappearing keywords. Moreover, the words are colored blue or red, depending on the (correspondingly positive or negative) context (based on a qualitative assessment). Finally, we added in the graphs the next 20 keywords of each corpus (positions 11–30), without differentiation in size and oriented, respectively, according to their frequent coappearance with other keywords. The examination of the results leads to significant findings, which can be combined with qualitative discourse analysis. First of all, in populist discourse, the keyword that is more strongly related with the other keywords is ‘democracy’. In anti-populist discourse correspondingly, the ­keyword that is more strongly correlated with the other keywords is ‘euro’. This property indicates the nodal place of these two concepts in the context of the two discourses, respectively. Moreover, the anti-populist

6.84 5.47 2.32

2.29

1.25 1.20

1.18 0.89

0.78 0.71

1 2 3

4

5 6

7 8

9 10

Total

Freq (*1000)

a/a

People (λαός) Europe (Ευρώπη) Democracy (δημοκρατία) Social (κοινωνικός) Citizens (πολίτες) Referendum (δημοψήφισμα) People (κόσμος) Austerity (λιτότητα) Class (τάξη) Populism (λαϊκισμός)

1.47 0.45

0.34 0.45

0.79 1.70

1.25

4.87 2.94

0.28 0

1.84 0.85

0.00 0.28

0.57

3.96

4.95

0 2.33

1.00 0.67

1.33 2.33

3.00

8.67 7.67

people Europe democracy

1.35 0

0.68 0

0.68 0

2.36 1.35 3.38

Social

0 0

0 0

0

1.24

1.86 3.73 3.73

Citizens

0 0

0 0

0

0

7.74 3.87 4.52

referendum

0 0

0

0 0

0

2.63 7.89 0

0 0

0

0 0

0

4.35 6.09 2.61

people austerity

Table 12.6  Connectivity index of the ten most important keywords in the pro-populist corpus

0

0 0

0 0

0

0

0 0

0 0

0

2.97 16.3 3.96 4.35 0 5.43

class populism

0.03 0.03

0.04 0.02

0.03 0.04

0.06

0.52 0.44 0.27

Total

48.88

3.97 3.91

3.28 2.21

2.25 3.60

2.64

7.58 8.00 11.44

Connectivity Index

4.08 2.29 2.26 1.69 1.48 1.24 1.04

1.02 0.67 0.51

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

8 9 10

Total

Freq (*1000)

a/a

Europe (Ευρώπη) Populism (λαϊκισμός) Economy (οικονομία) Citizens (πολίτες) Euro (ευρώ) Crisis (κρίση) Referendum (δημοψήφισμα) Left (αριστερά) Disaster (καταστροφή) Reality (πραγματικότητα)

1.04 0.22 0.30

1.93 2.30 0.59 4.75 0.82 0.30

Europe

6.63 0.66 0.40

0.66 0.93 1.99 0.27 0

2.12

populism

0 0.54 0

0.67 2.95 5.49 0.27

4.02 0.80

economy

0.36 0 0

0.36 0 0.72

1.80 0.54 1.44

citizens

0 1.44 0

0.41 1.85

7.19 1.03 3.08 0.82

Euro

0 0.58 0

0

3.66 1.22 11.46 0.73 2.20

crisis

0 0 0

2.05 0 1.46 1.46 3.51 0

0.89 0

4.73 15.38 0 1.18 0.89 0 0

referendum Left

Table 12.7  Connectivity index of the ten most important keywords in the anti-populist corpus

0

0.91

0% 1.36 1.82 0.91 3.18 0 0.91

disaster

0 0

2.98 1.79 2.38 1.19 0 0 0

Reality

0.09 0.04 0.01

0.29 0.24 0.25 0.08 0.20 0.07 0.04

Total

72.9

8.72 6.49 1.37

6.99 10.52 10.87 5.04 13.42 5.62 3.90

Connectivity Index

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people

revolution

socialist

mobilization

people (κόσμοσ)

square demonstration

mandate dignity

Left

citizens

referendum Blackmail

solidarity

Rights

struggle

organize

democracy equality

labor

Class

populism

salary

sovereignty

Memorandum anti-popular

social Elite

austerity

Europe Fig. 12.1  Graphic representation of pro-populist corpus keywords

corpus appears to have a greater overall connectivity than the pro-populist one. This finding may indicate that anti-populist discourse is more tight and hierarchical than the populist one. Almost all the keywords of the anti-populist corpus appear to be strongly articulated around its nodal concepts, which in this case seem to be ‘euro’, ‘Europe’, ‘economy’ and ‘populism’. In the pro-populist corpus, on the contrary, we see a rather loose conceptual lattice, which lies mainly between its two main nodal concepts, that is, ‘people’ and ‘democracy’. The concept of ‘Europe’, although it appears with an equally high frequency, is not strongly related with other signifiers. Finally, in the anti-populist corpus, beyond the central positive concepts of ‘Europe’, ‘euro’ and ‘economy’, the rest of the terms tend to be rather negative. On the contrary, the pro-populist ­discourse appears to be based mainly on positive terms (with an ambiguity around the concept of Europe).

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economy

crisis

disaster failure drachmi

referendum

euro

money

division anti-european

Europe authoritarianism extreme right right

clientelism 3rd-World national-populism

left metapolitefsi taxes

rhetorics trade-unionists

reality

populism

citizens meritocracy

demagogy

excellence

Fig. 12.2  Graphic representation of anti-populist corpus keywords

Defining Characteristics of Populism In this final section, we will look at some special characteristics of the populist and anti-populist discourses, in order to check the credibility of some well-known and widespread convictions about populism, such as its correlation with nationalism, its devaluation of democracy and its cult of charismatic leadership. Traditionally, the anti-populist perspective in Europe tends to associate populism with nationalism, an association originating in the work of Hofstadter (1955: 60) and repeatedly reproduced in various contexts, by writers such as Germani (1978: 96, 103), Taguieff (1984, 2013: 49ff.) and Taggart (2000: 96). In Greece, similar arguments have been developed by Pantazopoulos (2001: 62f.) and Doxiadis and Matsaganis (2012), even if, in this context, as we have shown above, populism is strongly attached to the left. This association occurs in the

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Greek press as well. Actually, it culminated after the elections and the coalition between SYRIZA and ANEL (Anexartitoi Ellines), a right-wing populist party which includes in its discourse strong nationalist elements. Anti-populist criticism against this coalition was also expressed by the systematic recruitment of the term ‘national populism’. Let us consider an indicative example: ‘With the government of Social Salvation, the Left tradition of national populism has been connected, eventually, with the Right tradition of the same political logic, in a union, which surprises only those who do not know history. The envy and the fear of the West, as well as the irresponsibility, are basic elements for this tradition and its political expression’ (Kathimerini, 8/5/2015). In some cases of anti-­ populist journalistic discourse, populism is equated with fascism. In the article mentioned above, the author states: ‘Fascism is much closer to the Left than to the Right, although there is of course, “Right” fascism: Fascism – black and red – is populist, anti-capitalist, authoritarian, ruthless against its enemies’ (Athens Voice, 13/5/2015). Studying the content of the pro-populist articles, we can confirm the strong association of the ‘people’ with the ‘nation’. Nevertheless, this does not appear to be a special characteristic of populist discourse, since when we compare the lexicometric data of the pro-populist and the anti-­populist corpora, the most basic identification of the word ‘people’ is that of ‘national’ in both of them. Moreover, counting the most frequent words in both corpora, one can observe that the words of national identification (i.e., nation, Greece, homeland and their derivatives) are almost equally frequent in the pro-populist and the anti-populist corpora. The corpora comprised random articles from three ‘pro-populist’ and three ‘anti-populist’ media. In general, the results show that there is no statistically significant trend of the pro-populist media to refer preferentially to the nation. On the contrary, if we take into consideration the position of these printed media on the left-right axis, the distinction of the results becomes clear: the lower frequencies are found in the newspapers, the origin of which is traditionally left-wing (Ta Nea, Efimerida ton Syntakton and Avgi), and the higher frequencies are found in newspapers of a right-wing origin (Kathimerini, Eleftheros Typos and Choni). This

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result indicates that the tendency to refer to the nation is not determined by the populist or anti-populist character of a discourse but, rather, by other political characteristics and mainly by the traditional positioning on the Left-Right axis.

Populism, Anti-populism and Democracy There is a big debate today about the relationship between populism and democracy. Populism is often perceived as a threat, or a ‘challenge’, for democracy. Many researchers and academics around the world portray populism as a menace for democracy, a destructive ideology or a political pathology, equating it with demagogy (Abts and Rummens 2007; Akkerman 2003; Corrales and Penfold 2011; di Piramo 2009; Meny and Surel 2002; Müller 2016; Pantazopoulos 2013). Nevertheless, the period we examined is characterized by the strong defense of democracy and popular sovereignty by the pro-populist block. The articles of this block systematically denounce the ‘post-democratic’ practices prevailing in Europe and the dominance of financial elites, they call for the restoration of popular sovereignty (esp. before the elections of January 25, 2015), or the respect of the people’s mandate (after the elections), and finally they enthusiastically accept the challenge of the Referendum of July 5, 2015. Thus, as we saw above, ‘democracy’ arises as one of its main keywords and nodal points. In contrast, the anti-populist block takes an ambiguous stance toward democracy and democratic processes. We read, for example, that ‘the confusion coming from education, populism, demagogy and clientelist relationships has undermined, in Greece, representative democracy to a great extent’ (Ta Nea, 1/7/2015). Due to the populism of the politicians and the irresponsibility of the citizens, democratic processes now appear more as a risk, than as a way out: The theory states that in Democracy there are no dead ends … If, however, we are in Greece with politicians who express systematically a populist discourse– namely to characterize as possible what people want to hear – and

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with citizens constantly looking for an easy solution and an easy way to do things, then the elections may create a bigger deadlock than what they (supposedly) would overcome. (Aggelioforos, 6/6/2015)

Thus, before the official announcement of the early elections of January 12, 2015, the anti-populist camp repudiates systematically this possibility as disastrous for the economy and for political stability. Their attitude was also hostile against the conduct of a referendum on a new government-­ lenders agreement, since the spring of 2015, a tendency also known from previous academic critics against populism (cf. Conaghan and de la Torre 2008: 269f., 281f.): Is the referendum a threat for democracy? The implicit rejection of this question is not always right … What if they think of a ‘Bonapartist’ use of the referendum as the mandate of the people? (Kathimerini, 12/5/2015)

This tendency will reach its peak one week before the referendum, which was eventually held on July 5, 2015. The whole anti-populist block, without exception, rejected the referendum as a threat not only for the economy but also for the democracy. Consequently, after the elections of January 25, 2015 and, even more  so, after the result of the Referendum in July 5, 2015, the anti-­ populist columnists increasingly blamed the ‘popular will’ as destructive. Without directly questioning the validity of popular sovereignty, their main argument was that in a critical situations, people might not decide in their best interests: ‘And, please, I don’t want to hear any more about the “wise people”’ (Kathimerini, 8/7/15).

 opulism, Anti-populism and the Cult P of the Leader But if the people are too immature to decide what is best for them, we need an enlightened leadership that can indicate, or even impose, the right way. For the anti-populist block, this is quite clear: we need a leader like, for example, Konstantinos Karamanlis, who managed to promote

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the country’s accession to the EEC, without any help and against the political climate of the period: We were lucky enough to have a leader that took the responsibility and decided with sobriety and wisdom to push the small Greek boat (of Drachma) into a safe port … And, this way, he protected us from our own weaknesses. Today the problem is that […] the leadership of the country did not possess the parrhesia to stand by its mission and, instead, entrusted an angry and weak people to decide for the future of its country. (Kathimerini, 10/5/2015)

Tenths of anti-populist articles highlight the importance of the leader and reminisce about the role of past leaders, such as Ioannis Kapodistrias, Eleftherios Venizelos and Konstantinos Karamanlis, who had an inborn ability to ensure the long-term interests of the nation, even against the popular will. They also express similar opinions about the ‘old guard’ of European leadership, which laid the foundations of European integration. In contrast, they describe the current misery of the bourgeois parties, in Greece and Europe, as the latter do not have high-caliber leaders who can ensure, correspondingly, country’s European orientation or the successful completion of European integration. Even in their critique against SYRIZA, it seems that their only hope is its leadership: one of their main arguments is that Alexis Tsipras has to avoid the bodies and the internal democratic processes of the party and to take personally the responsibility for an agreement with the institutions; as we know, this appeal has indeed been fulfilled, with the signing of an agreement with the creditors on July 12, 2015. On the other hand, the pro-populist press does not make frequent references to the capabilities of the leader. The rule is rather the opposite, as there is a widespread suspicion for possible ‘treason’ of the popular demands by the leadership. A notable exception here is the pro-populist Kontra News, which exclusively bases its positions on the personality cult of Alexis Tsipras. Thus, another characteristic that is usually attributed to populist discourse, that is, the tendency to seek a charismatic leader and to highlight its role in history, underestimating the significance of democratic processes and institutions (e.g., De la Torre 2000: 22; Di Tella

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1965; Rydgren 2004: 123; Taguieff 2013: 69; cf. Karush and Chamosa 2010; Plotkin 2003), is eventually found in the Greek anti-populist discourse. These results are consistent with the quantitative analysis, as the references to the ‘leader’ and ‘leadership’ seems to be significantly more frequent in the anti-populist corpus (0.72) in comparison with the pro-­ populist one (0.56).

Conclusions Summarizing the above findings, we shall first confirm that populism has been a central question of the political debates in the Greek press, with two blocks explicitly articulated, a pro-populist or positively disposed to populism (as defined in our theoretical framework) and an anti-populist one. This division separates newspapers and other printed media, columnists and articles in two distinct, opposite camps. Concerning the size and influence of each side, it is quite clear that the anti-populist block dominates the Greek press. Consequently, populism is almost exclusively described as a negative category, confirming the naturalization of its negative content. An interesting contradiction that arises through our research is that, in Greece, populism is strongly related with the left, but when the discussion comes to populism in other European countries, the (same) anti-­ populist columnists reproduce the widespread identification of populism with the far right. The columnists don’t identify any apparent contradiction in this situation; from our point of view, these findings, question the Eurocentric identification of populism with the extreme right, highlighting the emergence of left-wing, progressive or inclusionary populist movements in the south of Europe, in the context of the current crisis. This distinction between the different kinds of populism, intentionally ignored by the majority of the anti-populist block, explains why some characteristics, traditionally ascribed to populist discourse in general, such as nationalism or nativism, anti-immigrant rhetoric, devaluation of democracy or the cult of the leader, have not been confirmed through this analysis. As it has been analytically demonstrated, these features

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penetrate horizontally and equally both populist and anti-populist discourses, if they don’t occur in fact more often in anti-populism. All the aforementioned outputs indicate the need for a critical reconsideration of the role of populism, as a political category, in the fields of social, political and ideological struggles. Does the demonization of populism really serve the cultivation of a democratic culture? Or it is used only as a weapon against the political and social left? Our research of the Greek press suggests that populism is, to a great extent, reconstructed by the anti-populist block, in order to devalue its political opponents. Acknowledgments  This article draws on material collected within the scope of the POPULISMUS research project (www.populismus.gr). POPULISMUS was undertaken at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2014–2015), with funding from the European Union (European Social Fund) and National Funds (Greece) within the framework of the Operational Programme ‘Education and Lifelong Learning’ (Action ‘ARISTEIA II’). The collection of more recent press material relied on a grant from the Research Committee of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. The research of Grigoris Markou has been financially supported by the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT) and the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (HFRI) (Scholarship Code: 391).

Primary Resources Websites POPULISMUS: Populist Discourse and Democracy. (2015). International Conference Background Paper. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Published Online: www.populismus.gr/wp-content/ uploads/2015/06/POPULISMUS-background-paper.pdf. Accessed 1 Dec 2017. POPULISMUS, Printed Greek Press Clipping. Published Online: www. populismus.gr/category/clipping-en/printed-greek-press-clipping. Accessed 25 Apr 2017.

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Articles in Greek Newspapers Aggelioforos, 6/6/2015, ‘The elections as deadlock’. Athens Voice, 13/5/2015, ‘Idealization and reality’. Kathimerini, 18/3/2015, ‘Can we tame the beast of populism?’. Kathimerini, 8/5/2015, ‘They came to become establishment’. Kathimerini, 10/5/2015, ‘Our weaknesses have won’. Kathimerini, 12/5/2015, ‘The unnecessary referendum’. Kathimerini, 7/6/2015, ‘The great dilemma of Alexis Tsipras’. Kathimerini, 2/7/2015, ‘The modern patriotism’. Kathimerini, 12/7/2015, ‘Blind present and national identity’. Ta Nea, 18/6/2014, ‘An imaginary patient’. Ta Nea, 1/7/2015, ‘The immediate lie’.

References A Abts, K., & Rummens, S. (2007). Populism Versus Democracy. Political Studies, 55(2), 405–424. Akkerman, T. (2003). Populism and Democracy: Challenge or Pathology? Acta Politica, 38(2), 147–159.

B Barthes, R., & Howard, R. (1979). Lecture in Inauguration of the Chair of Literary Semiology, Collège de France, January 7, 1977. October, 8(Spring), 3–16.

C Caiani, M., & della Porta, D. (2011). The Elitist Populism of the Extreme Right: A Frame Analysis of Extreme Right-Wing Discourses in Italy and Germany. Acta Politica, 46(2), 180–202.

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Cendrowicz, L. (2012). 10 Questions with European Commission President Jose´ Manuel Barroso. Time Magazine. Published Online: http://goo.gl/ h1Plh. Accessed 1 Mar 2018. Conaghan, C., & De la Torre, C. (2008). The Permanent Campaign of Rafael Correa Making Ecuador’s Plebiscitary Presidency. International Journal of Press and Politics, 13(3), 267–284. Corrales, J., & Penfold, M. (2011). Dragon in the Tropics: Hugo Chavez and the Political Economy of Revolution in Venezuela. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.

D De la Torre, C. (2000). Populist Seduction in Latin America. Athens: Ohio University Press. Di Tella, T. (1965). Populism and Reform in Latin America. In C. Véliz (Ed.), Obstacles to Change in Latin America (pp. 47–73). London: Oxford University Press. Doxiadis, A., & Matsaganis, M. (2012). National Populism and Xenophobia in Greece. London: Counterpoint.

G Germani, G. (1978). Authoritarianism, Fascism, and National Populism. New Brunswick: Transaction, Inc. Glasze, G. (2007). The Discursive Constitution of a World-Spanning Region and the Role of Empty Signifiers: The Case of Francophonia. Geopolitics, 12, 656–679.

H Hofstadter, R. (1955). The Age of Reform. New York: Vintage Books. Howarth, D., Norval, A., & Stavrakakis, Y. (Eds.). (2000). Discourse Theory and Political Analysis: Identities, Hegemonies and Social Change. Manchester/New York: Manchester University Press.

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K Karush, M., & Chamosa, O. (2010). Introduction. In M. Karush & O. Chamosa (Eds.), The New Cultural History of Peronism: Power and Identity in Mid-­ Twentieth-­Century Argentina (pp. 1–20). Durham: Duke University Press.

L Laclau, E. (2005). On Populist Reason. London: Verso. Laclau, E., & Mouffe, C. (1985). Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics (1st ed.). London/ New York: Verso. Laclau, E., & Mouffe, C. (2001). Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics (2nd ed.). London: Verso.

M Meny, Y., & Surel, Y. (2002). The Constitutive Ambiguity of Populism. In Y. Meny & Y. Surel (Eds.), Democracies and the Populist Challenge (pp. 1–21). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Müller, J. W. (2016). What Is Populism? Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

P Pantazopoulos, A. (2001). Gia to lao kai to ethnos: I stigmi tou Andrea Papandreou 1965–1989. Athens: Polis. Pantazopoulos, Α. (2013). O aristeros ethnikolaikismos 2008–2013. Thessaloniki: Epikentro. di Piramo, D. (2009). “Speak for Me!”: How Populist Leaders Defy Democracy in Latin America. Global Change, Peace and Security, 21(2), 179–199. Plotkin, M.  B. (2003). Manana es San Peron: A Cultural History of Peron’s Argentina. Willmington: Scholarly Resources Inc.

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R Rooduijn, M., & Pauwels, T. (2011). Measuring Populism: Comparing Two Methods of Content Analysis. West European Politics, 34(6), 1272–1283. Rydgren, J. (2004). The Populist Challenge: Political Protest and Ethno-Nationalist Mobilization in France. New York: Berghahn books.

S Stavrakakis, Y. (1999). Lacan & the Political. New York: Routledge. Stavrakakis, Y. (2014). The Return of ‘the People’: Populism and AntiPopulism in the Shadow of the European Crisis. Constellations, 21(4), 505–517.

T Taggart, P. (2000). Populism. Buckingham: Open University Press. Taguieff, P. A. (1984). La rhétorique du national-populisme. Mots, 9, 113–139. Taguieff, P. A. (2013). O neos ethniko-laikismos. Thessaloniki: Epikentro.

Part III Possibilities of Critique

13 Tensions in the Post-Althusserian Project: Descriptive Indeterminacy and Normative Uncertainty Geoff Boucher

Introduction Laclau and Mouffe’s intervention into left-wing political theory represents something of an ‘incomplete project.’ On the one hand, interpreted as a contribution to the critique of ideology following the disintegration of structural Marxism, Laclau and Mouffe’s theory of hegemonic articulation has rightly been celebrated as a breakthrough that successfully combines Althusser and Lacan. Furthermore, their defense of the political, grasped as the antagonistic contestation of social relations, maps out a political space that incudes but exceeds the institutional framework of the state. Finally, their shift in left-wing strategy, from militarized vanguard models, involving guerrilla warfare, insurrectionary action and the proletarian dictatorship, to a radical democratic politics, involving the extension and deepening of the democratic revolution, is really the only

G. Boucher (*) Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, VIC, Australia e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2019 T. Marttila (ed.), Discourse, Culture and Organization, Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94123-3_13

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currently plausible point of departure for progressive politics. On the other hand, the theoretical claims of discourse analysis, to be able to provide a model for the material articulation of social formations, represent a wild inflation of the theory of ideology. Because they abandon the materialist elements of the Althusserian program for an entirely semiotic theory, Laclau and Mouffe fail to distinguish structural function from institutional apparatus, and so their concept of the political floats free in the space of symbolic legitimation. The conflation of a normative political strategy with a descriptive theory of ideology, which is the result, leads to a persistent normative deficit in radical democratic strategy, most evident in what has reasonably been called Laclau’s ‘Left Schmittianism.’ This chapter explores the tension between these two ‘normative’ and ‘descriptive’ poles, concluding that a conceptual retrieval of elements of the Althusserian program can make a significant, positive contribution to post-Althusserian social theory. It is crucial to situate Laclau and Mouffe as post-Althusserians, because the pattern of blindness and insight in their theory only becomes intelligible against the theoretical and historical background of the Althusserian response to the ‘crisis of Marxism’ (Althusser 1978). Although Laclau and Mouffe’s (2014) deconstruction of Marxism in Hegemony and Socialist Strategy critiques Althusserian class essentialism alongside classical Marxist economic reductionism, they were explicit that theirs was a post-­Marxism, not an anti-, ex- or non-Marxism (Laclau and Mouffe 1987). The post-Althusserianism of Laclau and Mouffe is both genetic (their initial interventions were located within that research program) and structural (the shift ‘beyond the positivity of the social’ is mediated by Althusserian theory) (Laclau and Mouffe 2014: 79). The genetic influence of Althusserianism on Laclau and Mouffe’s theory is both social-­theoretical and strategic-political, as can be seen in the following. Laclau and Mouffe’s theoretical openings were efforts to reconcile the Althusserian theory of ideology with the existence of non-class social antagonisms and to articulate that with the concept of noneconomic political contradictions, within the category of hegemony (Laclau 1977; Mouffe 1979). That represents an exploration of the (Althusserian) conceptual space of the relative autonomy and specific effectivity of the structural instances, governed by the insight that structures are dynamized

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by regional contradictions rather than ruled by the laws of motion of the economic ­ foundation. That problematic—broadly speaking, how to articulate communist strategy with the new social movements in an alliance framework—was linked to the Eurocommunist notion, contested within Althusserianism, of a ‘revolution in liberty,’ in which structural transformations would happen within the framework of democratic politics (Elliott 1987: xi, 213, 227). Structurally, the concept of discursive practice develops the Althusserian notion that structural instances are defined by social practices (Althusser 1969: 166f.), but Laclau and Mouffe exploit the tension between Althusser’s functional account, based in economic determination in the final instance, and Althusser’s structural account, organized around differential relations, to assert an entirely symbolic definition (Laclau and Mouffe 2014: 84). In the development of that account, Laclau and Mouffe set forth from the Althusserian approach to both the theoretical problem of describing the nature and function of ideology and to its social role in historical transitions between social formations. Describing their horizon as post-Marxism, then, Laclau and Mouffe depend specifically on the Althusserian moment within that background for a theoretical point of departure and for a basic sense of the social reference of their theoretical constructions. Let me elaborate on that for a moment, because I am going to claim that the Althusserian genetic and structural legacy is effective in Laclavo-Mouffian discourse theory and political strategy in three main ways. Based on this claim, I intend to describe the discourse-analytical program sparked by Laclau and Mouffe as ‘post-Althusserianism’ in this chapter. The first way is that post-­Althusserianism uncritically inherits Althusser’s conflation of structure and institution. It does so because post-Althusserianism compellingly resolves another Althusserian problem, the tension between structure and agency, but its resolution depends for its consistency on Althusserian assumptions about the structure/institution relation. The second way that the Althusserian legacy is active in post-Althusserianism is that late Marxism provides a set of hierarchies and relations between social referents (structural instances, salient oppressions, political distinctions) that post-Althusserian theory actually problematizes. Laclau and Mouffe explicitly locate their practice of judgment within horizon

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of expectations formed by the Althusserian Left intellectual tradition and its ­ethico-­political situation, but they undermine any defense of these political intuitions with their flattening of practice to discourse. The third way is that post-Althusserianism uncritically inherits Althusser’s problem that once historical teleology is ruled out, normative development and social evolution are no longer (metaphysically) linked. It becomes impossible to assent to Marx’s assertion that the evolution of the productive forces eventually positions a universal class to act in the interests of humanity. Althusser’s solution was an entirely scientific theory of politics, combined with the delegation of the normative problem to the descriptive framework of the theory of ideology—that is, moral and political relativism. Post-Althusserianism has only partially succeeded in going beyond Althusser by clarifying its universalistic intentions in anti-essentialist terms.

The Althusserian Legacy My opening claim is that post-Althusserianism successfully resolves some thorny problems with Althusserianism, but it does so without a full investigation of the problematic assumptions underlying the disintegration of that research program. There were two salient problems with Althusserianism: (1) the relation between structure and agency and (2) the conflation of structure and institution. Both problems sprang from a lack of definition in the conceptual opposition between difference and function, which resulted from Althusser’s occultation of the functionalist elements of structural Marxism. The structure and agency problem turned up in relation to class struggle, where the question of historical transformations concerned the actant in transitions between modes of production. Noticed only within anthropology, the other significant problem with Althusser’s presentation of structural Marxism was his conflation of structural function and institutional apparatus. This conflation was particularly visible in debates that confused politics with the state and ideology with civil society. I want to inspect each of these problems in turn, but before I do, I had better quickly indicate why I think that

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Althusser was a secret functionalist (and not, for instance, a mechanical reductionist or a class essentialist). Althusser’s assertion that no social formation can exist without economic and ideological instances is a functional claim about the role of social practices (of the production of material life and the formation of productive agents) in social reproduction (Althusser 1969: 232). The interpretation of economic determination in the final instance through the mechanism of structural causality is also a functionalist claim, about the hierarchy of effectivities operating in a complex totality, resulting from the embeddedness of social systems in the natural environment (Althusser 1969: 111ff.). Althusser makes this clear when he insists that ‘determination in the last instance makes it possible to escape the arbitrary relativism of observable displacements [of the dominant structure] by giving these displacements the necessity of a function’ (Althusser et al. 2016: 246). Finally, Althusser’s conception of the overdetermination of any relatively autonomous regional effect by the complex whole of the social formation belongs to this functionalist paradigm, for Althusser’s claim is that the leading effectivity in the multiple causation of an event is held by the structure-in-dominance, itself determined in the final instance by the economic structure (Althusser 1969: 203ff. and 213ff.). ‘Overdetermination,’ Althusser (p.  209) specifies, ‘designates … the reflection in a contradiction of its own conditions of existence, that is, of its situation in relation to the structure in dominance of the complex whole.’ Yet, Althusser dressed his ‘secret Parsonianism’ (Thompson 1978: 148) in the borrowed robes of Levi-Straussian structuralism. Although Althusser maintained a critical distance between structural Marxism and non-Marxist structuralism, the terminology of structural causality, especially the discussion of differential histories and the ‘Marxist combination’ in Reading Capital, resonated with structuralism (Althusser et  al. 2016: 246ff., 376). Althusser did himself no favors with the notion that overdetermination, operating in moments of ‘historical inhibition’ and ‘revolutionary rupture,’ involved the ‘condensation of the struggle in [the] strategic locus [of politics] … [and the] displacement of the dominant [to the ideological]’ (Althusser 1969: 106, 216), for this implies that society is the dream work of the Marxist combination. Needless to say,

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seizing on Althusser’s proximity to Lacan, for whom ‘the unconscious is structured like a language’ (Lacan 1998: 149), the reception of Althusser tended to suppose that social practices are also differentially related in Althusserian ‘structuralism’ (Geras 1972: 58), that is, that society is structured like a language. Now, to return to my main argument, post-Althusserianism, intervening into Althusserian functionalism (masquerading as a structuralism), resolves the structure/agency problem but aggravates the conflation problem. The tortured recriminations explored in Althusser’s ‘self-criticism’ effectively announced that structural causality, when linked the ‘Spinozist eternity’ of necessary social reproduction (Althusser et al. 2016: 255), was inconsistent with the Marxist dictum of class struggle as the motor of history (Althusser 1976: 215). But there is something that critics such as Jacques Rancière, whose critique amounts to extended polemic in support of the claim that ‘structures do not march in the streets,’ failed to notice. Althusser’s reworked theory of ideology was intended to break out of the problem of the gap between the synchrony of the structure and the diachrony of class struggle, by supplying a theory of the structural formation of proletarian militants (alongside the conformist drones of late capitalism) (Althusser 1971: 127–186). That opposes the ideological apparatuses of the capitalist state to the ideological apparatuses of the emergent revolutionary social order, and their corresponding supports, interpellated as agents. Althusser can be interpreted as advocating either a long march through the institutions or a strategy of liberated zones, depending on contending Eurocommunist and French Maoist interpretations. Unfortunately, Althusser’s solution depended for its plausibility on an entirely implausible conflation of structure and institution. The insight that economic, political, juridical and ideological structural functions may be performed by one institution or distributed across several was something that was only visible from the anthropological perspective, which dealt with the ‘total institution’ of kinship arrangements in pre-­ class societies (Godelier 1977). Meanwhile, the historical and social provincialism of mainstream Althusserian research, including that of Althusser, revealed itself in a systematic conflation that reflects the assumption that modern, functionally differentiated social institutions

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are the only way to do it. Once this assumption becomes a dogma, the equivalence can flow both ways, from institution to function, but also back from function to institution, with surprising results. Since, on these assumptions, the political and the state are ‘identical,’ since the ideological and civil society are ‘identical,’ and since the state functions by coercion and consent (Machiavelli dixit), it follows that the state institution is ‘identical’ with the institutions of civil society. Then, we can speak of ‘ideological state apparatuses and repressive state apparatuses,’ embracing everything from the judicial and military institutions, through the parliament and bureaucracy, to the trade unions, the family, the church and the school, without noticing the manifest absurdity of what we are saying (Althusser 1971). Althusser’s total institution of the state, with its two functions (ideological consent and political repression), is a monolithic fantasy construction that belongs to the ultraleftism of the Cultural Revolution. But even the critics who ventured corrections, within Althusserianism, were satisfied with introducing a distinction between the state institution (responsible for the function of coercion) and the ideological apparatuses (responsible for the function of consent) (Therborn 1980). Order restored, with the distribution of functions once again corresponding exactly to the separation of institutions, the problem of conflation could be returned to invisibility, returning to visibility the problem of agency. Working on the problem of the relative autonomy of the structural instances made it possible for Laclau and Mouffe to solve the inconsistency between structural causality and agential struggle in historical transformations. Althusser had spoken of the economic overdetermination of non-class contradictions, implying that these were ideological displacements and political condensations of class antagonisms, which coalesced around structurally specific, non-class antagonisms because of conjunctural factors. Taking advantage of the Althusserian notion that the relative autonomy of the structural instances of the social formation implied the existence of specific contradictions, irreducible to economic contradictions, Laclau and Mouffe interpreted political and ideological struggles as inherently non-class antagonisms. When economic determinations also become active, there are ‘classes in struggle,’ but there is no ‘class struggle,’ because class subjects do not have political and ideological

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‘number plates.’ Laclau and Mouffe’s (2014) opening post-Althusserian contention is to ‘economic determination in the final instance,’ ­maintaining that economic class determinations may constitute a social identity but do not automatically do so in a dominant role. In other words, non-­class struggles in which political or ideological factors are dominant become paradigmatic and may include economic determinations in subordinate roles. Specifically, what Laclau and Mouffe claim is that: [T]he most profound potential meaning of Althusser’s statement that everything existing in the social is overdetermined, is the assertion that the social constitutes itself as a symbolic order. The symbolic – i.e., overdetermined  – character of social relations therefore implies that they lack an ultimate literality which would reduce them to necessary moments of an immanent law …. [But] if the concept of overdetermination was unable to produce the totality of its deconstructive effects within Marxist discourse, this was because, from the very beginning, an attempt was made to render it compatible with another central moment in Althusserian discourse that is, strictly speaking, incompatible with the first: namely, determination in the last instance by the economy …. The problem is that if the ‘economy’ is determinant in the last instance for every type of society, it must be defined independently of any specific type of society; and the conditions of existence of the economy must also be defined separately from any concrete social relation. In that case, however, the only reality of those conditions of existence would be that of assuring the existence and determining role of the economy – in other words, they would be an internal moment of the economy as such; the difference would not be constitutive …. If society has a last instance which determines its laws of motion, then the relations between the overdetermined instances and the last instance must be conceived in terms of simple, one-directional determination by the latter. We can deduce from this that the field of overdetermination is extremely limited: it is the field of contingent variation as opposed to essential determination. (Laclau and Mouffe 2014: 84f.)

In a crucial footnote located within this passage, Laclau and Mouffe reference the critique of Althusserianism by Hindess and Hirst as the authority for their interpretation of determination in the last instance.

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But Hindess and Hirst are partially mistaken. Firstly, the Marxist combination determines which structure is dominant by virtue of where the social relations of production are located (e.g., in the ideological instance in feudalism), which means that sometimes the economic instance merely secures the conditions of existence of the ideological (or the political, as in tributary modes) rather than the other way around. Secondly, the functional role of provision of the conditions of existence for the other instances (but primarily for the dominant instance) does not automatically reduce to a space of contingent variations. This is provided that (1) each system—that is, structural instance—has an environment that is not directly reducible to the other system’s environments and (2) the social practices constitutive of the distinct systems are specified by the relation between means of transformation and object of the practice. The problem is, of course, that Althusser defines the differences between practices (equivalent to the differences between structures) in terms of the differences between their means alone, excluding their object and therefore any reference to a system environment. Absent economic determination in the last instance and social practices are differentially related within a structural totality. That is something that can be satisfactorily modeled by a diacritical holism such as Ferdinand de Saussure’s conception of language, as differentially defined elements ‘without any positive terms.’ To sum up: Althusser’s temporization with structuralism and his reticence about the functionalist claims of structural Marxism created the intellectual opening for the replacement of social practices, externally oriented to environments, with discursive practices, located within a diacritical framework of internal relations. For Laclau and Mouffe, ‘the linguistic and non-linguistic elements are not merely juxtaposed [as discourse and materiality], but constitute a differential and structured set of positions – that is, a discourse,’ something with a ‘relational and differential logic’ (Laclau and Mouffe 2014: 95f.). Accordingly, the necessity of the arrangement of elements in an institution ‘derives, therefore, not from an underlying intelligible principle [such as a structural function in contact with an environment – GB], but from the regularity of a system of structural positions’ (Laclau and Mouffe 2014: 92). That diacritical theory of discursive practices, which ‘must pierce the entire material density of the multifarious institutions’ upon which it operates (Laclau and

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Mouffe 2014: 109), cannot differentiate between the referential (i.e., functional) and semantic (i.e., relational) aspects of an institution. Once they refuse the discourse/materiality distinction, the ‘rethinking and interpenetration of the categories which have up until now been considered exclusive of one another’ (Laclau and Mouffe 2014: 110) that they propose is highly problematic. Their concept of a ‘constitutive outside’ in the form of the ‘field of discursivity’ surrounding every discourse cannot salvage this position, because while every discursive totality has an exterior, ‘this exterior is constituted by other discourses’ (Laclau and Mouffe 2014: 146, note 120). Hence, for Laclau and Mouffe, there is no post-­ discursive referent whose properties do not endlessly dissolve once more into the labyrinth of signification. Laclau and Mouffe’s conflation of ideological discourse with discursive practice means that their discourse theory is strangely indifferent to the regional syntax of social structures and struggles to perform institutional analysis in other than borrowed terms.

Descriptive Indeterminacy Post-Althusserianism’s lack of consideration of extra-discursive materiality results in a theory of discursive practice that is indeterminate—in terms of its social reference—and implausible, in relation to the embeddedness of society in nature. By ‘indeterminacy,’ I mean a theory that, although it can make fine discriminations when applied to ideological phenomena, lacks conceptual criteria outside the ideological domain for asserting distinctions between structural regions of the social field based on their specificity. By ‘implausibility,’ I mean a theory which rehearses the German idealist notion that ‘nature is a social category,’ conflating scientific discourse about nature with rhetorical forms of ideological discourse that are amenable to arbitrary articulations, thereby effectively denying the embeddedness of society in the environment. Now I am going to sketch out the arguments for both of these critical claims. Because Laclau and Mouffe continue to operate within the legacy of Althusserianism, problems of reference and meaning are seldom thematized: post-Althusserian discourse theory assumes certain kinds of m ­ eaning

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and reference that the theory no longer validates; but, that generally does not arise as an explicit problem, since in application, researchers mainly focus on ideology. For instance, in discussions of the political conjuncture of the late 1980s, characterized by the emergence of the new social movements (NSM) and rise of the New Right, Laclau and Mouffe invoke the idea of a historic bloc consisting of traditional structures. They locate the challenge of the NSM in relation to ‘the commodification and bureaucratization of social relations … and the reformulation of liberal-­democratic ideology,’ happening within the transformation of social relations characteristic of the postwar hegemonic formation (Laclau and Mouffe 2014: 163). Then, they specify that ‘these “new antagonisms” are the expression of forms of resistance to the commodification, bureaucratization and increasing homogenization of social life,’ combined with ‘the effects of the displacement into new areas of social life of the egalitarian imaginary constituted around liberal-democratic discourse’ (Laclau and Mouffe 2014: 165). Finally, they add that capitalist relations of production, bureaucratic authoritarianism and the ideology of possessive individualism are structural matrices whose abolition ‘every project for radical democracy necessarily includes’ (ibid). I have described that analysis as ‘Marxisant’ (Marxist-like), noting that it is a plausible analysis of the Reaganite and Thatcherite conjuncture. But where do these instances—economics, politics, ideology—with their structural pivots, capitalist production, bureaucratic authoritarianism, possessive individualism, come from? Are they just natural kinds, lying around, as it were, ‘obvious’ to neutral descriptive gaze of the impartial researcher? Evidently not, for only a few years later, we find Laclau engaged in a deconstruction of the notion of distinct instances defined by functional specificity. ‘Instead [of capitalism],’ Laclau insists, ‘there are global configurations – historical blocs, in the Gramscian sense – in which the “ideological,” “economic” and “political,” and other elements are inextricably fused and can only be separated for analytical purposes’ (Laclau 1990: 26). Laclau concludes that ‘there is therefore no “capitalism,” but rather different forms of capitalist relations which form part of highly diverse structural complexes.’ The indeterminacy of ‘highly diverse structural complexes’ probably needs no commentary: post-Althusserian research struggles to avoid a theoretically agnostic descriptivism combined with a

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logical atomization of the social. Here, Laclau’s scare quotes in fact ­indicate what is essential, namely, that the theory cannot pick out the specific differences between functional complexes but can only describe the variegated institutional and conflictual patterns traced out on a theoretically flattened social terrain. That terrain operates, according to the leading hypotheses of post-Althusserianism, in line with the mechanisms of ideological interpellation and symbolic articulation. The consequence is that there is no theoretically consistent way to discriminate between the arbitrary constellations drawn up in political rhetoric and a scientific description of social relations that would turn this representation on its head. In actual applications, then, post-Althusserianism must rely on the horizon of expectations formed in the aftermath of Marxism for common sense definitions of its semantics and reference, which the theory itself strenuously denies. That problem is probably why most researchers prudently restrict the scope of their investigations to the critique of ideology, where the theory makes profound sense as a description of an object domain whose function is the formation of social subjects. Anna Marie Smith on the racial dimension of New Right ideology, Aletta Norval on apartheid discourse and democratic citizenship, David Howarth and Jason Glynos on the construction of democratic imaginaries and political identities, Yannis Stavrakakis on the Lacanian interpretation of social subjectivity—these are all excellent contributions to the contemporary theory of ideology. Yet absolutely none of them explores economic regulation, transnational corporate control over technological innovation, the institutional arrangements of the modern family, the changing structure of the trade unions, and so on except as these domains appear as objects of ideological discourses. Why not? There is no explicit reason whatsoever in the theoretical apparatus for this arbitrary delimitation of scope, aside from the obvious one. That is, that outside the ideological terrain, the theory must either helplessly retrace a set of objects constituted in other theoretical paradigms or conflate ideological discourse about an object with a scientific description of that domain. The indeterminacy of Laclavian discourse theory happens because diacritical formalism, which constitutes its objects as differences ‘without positive terms’ within a system of internal relations, does not actually

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work at the level of any unit of analysis that has meaning and reference (as the units of a social theory generally have). The central assumption of discourse theory is that particular groups have social identities (semantics) and institutional locations (reference) that are connected (and therefore modified) through hegemonic articulations whose model is diacritical/differential. Laclau says so explicitly: ‘society … is a plurality of particularistic groups and demands’ (Laclau 2000a: 55), and these groups are none other than the ‘particular contents’ that hegemonize the universal form and ‘become the signifier of the absent communitarian fullness’ (Laclau 1996: 43). But diacritical formalism does not provide for the possibility that society, as a relational semi-totality, defines groups as particular social entities in the way that Laclau proposes. Diacritical formalism applies only locally (Benveniste 1971) to the phoneme (Jakobson and Halle 1956). Not only are particular social groups as defined by Laclau positive terms, not mere differences. They also correspond as units of analysis to signs, because they have both meaning and reference. There is no equivalent in Laclavian social theory to the phoneme, as a differential unit whose combinations generate effects of signification, meaningfulness and reference. Benveniste’s and Jakobson’s corrections to Saussure effectively discredit any program that supposes that signs relate differentially. Jakobson’s well-­ known critique of the linearity of the signifier—that is, the reducibility of signified to signifier, given the postulate of their isomorphism, which results in the occlusion of the logical aspects of semantics behind a dogma of arbitrary differences—concluded that in fact the phoneme is the only element of language that is differentially related (Jakobson 1990: 217ff.). What does this mean? For starters, concepts would not be differentially related, even if words were differentially related; but words are not differentially related anyway, for that only applies to the component sound elements of the word image. Only the phoneme consists of differences without positive terms; only phonemes are diacritically related; only phonemes are meaningless units whose combination generates an effect of meaning, that is, the phoneme has the properties falsely ascribed to the signifier within post-structuralism. Therefore, it is also false to assert that signifiers relate differentially or that the signified is the verso to the recto of the signifier, linked by an arbitrary bond. It is also false to claim that

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the signified is merely a supplementary signifier that locally ‘clarifies’ it, at the cost of acknowledgement that ‘the central signified … is never absolutely present outside a system of differences … [which] extends the play of signification infinitely’ (Laclau and Mouffe 2014: 98; Derrida cited). It is clear that Lacan and Derrida failed to critique the Saussurean theory of the sign in these respects: Lacan’s theory of the master signifier is a variation on Benveniste (Borch-Jakobsen 1991); Derrida’s notion of difference (the model for discursivity) depends on the postulate that the differential character of the phoneme determines the nature of the sign (Daylight 2011), while Foucault’s distinction between discourse and materiality is excluded by Laclau and Mouffe (2014: 94). Now, that is important for the theoretical future of post-­Althusserianism. As we have seen, Laclau and Mouffe’s construction of discursive practices depends on the idea that discourses consist of differentially related terms, where floating elements can be articulated into equivalential and differential networks that locally fix meaning and reference by virtue of the intervention of a political symbol or master signifier (to adopt Žižek’s terminology). But in practice, these elements are always meaningful units—for example, ‘blocks, pillars, slabs and beams’ (Laclau and Mouffe 2014: 92)—with referential application that is defined by everyday definitions of reality or by theoretical discourses operating with realist ontologies, such as classical Marxism. These are then treated as susceptible to a linear reduction to differentially defined social signifiers, so that post-­ Althusserian theory can go to work specifying the ideological articulations operating upon these particular groups and social practices. But at no stage does the theory define a differential unit subtending the level of the particular group or social practice that would be the theoretical correlate to the phoneme in post-Saussurean linguistics. Post-Althusserianism does not, for instance, redefine the ideologeme in ways consistent with the Laclavian general theory of social antagonism—based on the claim that ideologemes behave as differentially related elements capable of arbitrary articulations because of the specific characteristics of the ideological instance. The post-Althusserian position lapses into the fallacy of (non-)reference, the false supposition that because of the discursive construction of the object, there is no reference to an extra-discursive materiality that

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would be not simply be another discourse. While Laclau and Mouffe affirm the existence of the external world and the materiality of discourse, they claim that the being of every object is discursively constructed and its existence is thereby exhausted (Laclau 1990: 97ff.). The clear implication is that the truth or falsity of a discourse is actually a discursively situated expression of partisanship purporting to be an objective evaluation, from which position it is straightforward to arrive at crude forms of epistemological and moral relativism. To grasp what is wrong with this supposition, I want to translate it into the framework of the philosophy of science: it is the proposition that because of the theory-ladenness of observation statements, there is no scientific access to the natural world that is not itself simply another hypothesis about reality. Karl Popper disposed of this error on his way to the positivist theory of scientific falsification: supposing a nominalist position on the independent existence of the natural environment and objective realities, such as that which Laclau expresses, the real is that X which theory presupposes and whose resistance to theoretical construction is felt by the falsification of scientific hypotheses. Reference to extra-discursive reality is possible (hypotheses successfully predict events) provided that it is acknowledged that scientific theories represent provisional knowledge ‘without truth.’ That is, science is not only without finality but also without progress, lacking any metalinguistic (i.e., metaphysical) guarantee that the sequence of scientific theories represents a progressive approximation to the structure of reality. By contrast with Laclau and Mouffe, the post-Popperian theory of Imre Lakatos makes a very different claim: the appearance of the object is discursively constructed (i.e., observation statements are theory laden), but theory must presuppose that the extra-discursive being of the existent is responsible for the anomalies that problematize discourses (Lakatos 1978a, b). The standard way to explain this point is with reference to the experimental falsification of scientific hypotheses and the demarcation between science and non-science, something of pressing relevance in the context of right-wing climate change denialism. Lakatos accepts that Popperian falsificationism, which assumes a one-to-one correspondence between hypotheses and observations, cannot be right. He introduces a coherence model and supplements the negative heuristic of the falsification of peripheral hypotheses with a positive heuristic deriving from core

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hypotheses (Lakatos 1969: 157, 164). Although the Lakatosian refinement of Popper implies that scientific research programs can never be definitively falsified, it nonetheless means that there are good provisional grounds for rejecting some discourses as probably false, because they fail to describe the appearances of the existent in a plausible way. To summarize, the problems of meaning and reference encountered by post-Althusserianism might be dealt with in an anti-essentialist way within a Lakatosian nominalism, but then there would be no single rule for the formation of ‘discourse’ applicable across the whole of the social, in abstraction from materiality. Instead, there would have to be a distinction between the linguistic model of practice and actual social practices whose specifications would have to be elaborated with respect to the extra-discursive materiality they were presumed to act upon. The exclusion of nature is a particular problem in relation to climate change, for ideological perspectivism and social belonging, while they might describe the antagonism between denialists and activists, do not satisfactorily capture what is irrational about climate change denial. Additionally, political populism as an ideologically labile phenomenon cannot be satisfactorily engaged with within a descriptive framework that renounces all reference to an evaluative standard—and a political strategy must involve recommendations as well as observations.

Normative Deficit The descriptive indeterminacy of post-Althusserian theory as it presently stands, based on its flattening of the social terrain into competing discourses, raises significant normative questions in the context of social complexity and multiple antagonisms. Again, this is a legacy problem from Althusserianism that has not yet been resolved by the post-­ Althusserian discursive framework. Althusser’s elimination of historical teleology from Marxist theory sunders normative justification from social evolution, making it impossible to assent to Marx’s assertion that the evolution of the productive forces eventually positions a universal class to act in the interests of humanity. It becomes necessary for strategic agents to relate interests to ideals argumentatively—but this was something that

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Althusser consigned, as ‘subject-centered,’ to a descriptive framework in the theory of ideology. Post-Althusserianism represents a prolongation and partial correction of this problematic impulse. Let me motivate that claim. Is an openly homosexual political commentator, who, on behalf of an ‘alt-right’ news website accuses Islamic immigrants in Western Europe of a failure to integrate, striking a blow for gay liberation or promoting the emergence of a neofascist movement? Post-Althusserian theory must logically conclude that the overdetermined subject-position of the political agent in question is capable of both articulations, so that how a movement relates to that agent is entirely context dependent. Because that context consists solely of discourses, it is not possible to articulate a principle of selection that is rationally grounded in a binding way across discourses. The problem here is the performative contradiction of an emancipatory discourse, which must implicitly stake a claim to universality, which announces that all discourses are perspectival and exclusionary, that is, irreducibly particular. Theoretically, then, the persistent normative difficulties of post-­ Althusserianism arise because the differential theory of discourse leads up to the notion that incommensurable totalities are antagonistically related, with no comparison possible between political programs and social identities that is not, itself, merely another ideological articulation. That problem becomes pressing when we consider the implications of the multiplication of social antagonisms and proliferation of sites of struggle, which implies a complex landscape where, unless there is an evaluative standard for political judgments, ‘emancipation’ and ‘domination’ become perspectival terms. Indeed, it is not difficult to imagine circumstances in which two or more struggles that cannot make an alliance because they are antagonistically related find themselves in confrontation with the same adversary or where constellations of alliances have complex interrelations because patterns of inclusion and exclusion include ‘friends’ (some allies of the allies are sympathetic) as well as ‘enemies’ (some allies of the allies are antagonists). PostAlthusserianism often deals with this problem by means of the invocation of political traditions and ethical conventions—that is, the post-Marxist horizon of expectations and the notion of political phronesis—proposing that because there is no final guarantee of the right-

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ness of a position, all ethico-political decisions ­happen on ‘undecidable terrain.’ But the alternatives developed here—absolutism or relativism—represent a false dichotomy: the absence of metaphysical guarantees or a logical procedure does not mean that decisions are arbitrary or traditional; positions ranging from consequentialism through to communicative ethics are provisional yet rational, uncertain (because counter-final), but binding. The whole idea of a ‘socialist strategy’ in this context is to make recommendations on political action, not to abstain on grounds that the ‘undecidability’ of the terrain means the decision can be passed off onto the context. The normative problems of post-Althusserianism have been noticed in two debates: the first between Laclau and Žižek and the second between Laclau and Critchley. Both critics note that the fundamental difficulty is the oscillation of post-Althusserian theory between opposed interpretations of the theory, namely, hegemony as a neutral frame of description of the politics of modernity and radical democracy as a partisan political project (Critchley 1999: 112; Žižek 1999b: 173f.). Žižek identifies the tension between neutral description and normative stance clearly: [Laclau] oscillates between proposing a neutral formal frame that describes the working of the political field, without implying any specific prise de parti, and the prevalence given to a particular leftist political practice …. Laclau’s notion of hegemony describes the universal mechanism of ideological ‘cement’ which binds any social body together, a notion that can analyze all possible socio-political orders, from fascism to liberal democracy; on the other hand, Laclau nonetheless advocates a determinate political option, ‘radical democracy.’ (Žižek 1999b: 174)

This alternation extends all the way through Laclau and Mouffe’s position: radical democracy is a neutral theory of politics and a partisan project; democratic citizenship is the horizon of democratic politics, but it is also aim of a new left-wing grammar of political conduct; ethics is only an effect of political decisions, but nonetheless radical democracy should be preferred as more egalitarian. Laclau and Žižek’s subsequent debates do not really advance the debate. Laclau’s demolition of Žižek’s ‘r-r-r-­ revolutionary’ posture, and the opposition between politics as the art of

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the possible versus the impossible desire for the inaugural act that is ­advocated by Žižekian neocommunism, is important (Laclau 2000b). But Laclau’s expose of Žižek’s confusions, and his posing of the alternatives of hegemonic articulation versus the dream of a complete rupture with existing arrangements, does not in itself contribute to clarification of the normative basis for radical democracy. Critchley’s debate with Laclau involves a similar point of departure. According to Critchley, Laclau silently assumes that democracy is morally valorized but refuses to provide a normative justification for this preference. Let me note for a moment that I shall be using the continental lexicon rather than the Anglo-American here: by ‘ethics,’ I mean everyday ethical life, consisting of conventions and customs regulating individual conduct; by ‘morals,’ I mean a set of universalized maxims that result from reflective argumentation, generally involving a critique of ethical conventions. In this context, there is a difference between the normative justifications for a political position, which normally make reference to principles of distributive justice grounded in the final instance in a moral consensus on the legitimacy of the derivation of these principles, and the arrangements of ethical life that may support or oppose the normative basis for radical democracy. The substance of Critchley’s argument is to ask: ‘if all decisions are political, in virtue of what is there a difference between democratizing and non-democratizing decisions?’ (Critchley 1999: 112). Two replies are possible. The normative response would be that democratic decisions are more egalitarian, pluralistic or participatory. The factual statement would be that democratization is taking place and hegemony is simply a description of this process. The normative claim is depoliticizing—in Laclau’s terms—because it admits a basis for political decisions outside politics. The factual account risks the collapse of the theory of hegemony into the descriptive process and the voiding of any critical claims. Laclau replies that he presents morality and politics as a unity by virtue of a Gramscian ‘politicization of ethics’ (Laclau 1995: 93). In opposition to the morality of infinite responsibility toward the Other promoted by Critchley’s interpretation of deconstruction (Critchley 1993), Laclau proposes that deconstruction is a form of decisionism (Laclau 1995: 94). Insofar as hegemony is the inverse of the operation of deconstruction as

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theorized by Laclau, this makes hegemony a theory of decision. So, for Laclau, ‘if deconstruction discovers the role of the decision out of the undecidability of the structure, hegemony, as a theory of the decision taken in an undecidable terrain, requires that the contingent connections existing in that terrain are fully shown by deconstruction’ (Laclau 1996: 103). Hegemony and deconstruction are one another’s inverse: hegemony goes from undecidability to the decision, while deconstruction reveals the contingent character of the original decision. While Laclau’s notion of the theory of hegemony as based in a decision on undecidable terrain would seem to rule out a normative response, his actual claim is that he theorizes hegemony as a mobile equilibrium between politics and morality. Subsequently, Laclau significantly modified this ‘politicization of ethics [i.e., morality; GB]’ (Laclau 2000a: 79ff.). Post-Althusserianism depends upon a moral decision to accept the transcendental status of the distinction between moral universality and particular norms or contextually bound maxims of conduct. The moment of morality corresponds to the formal universality of the absent fullness of society (the impossible yet necessary dream of a harmonious, organic totality), while political contents and concrete social norms are intertwined in particular complexes (Laclau 2000a: 74ff.). As Critchley observes, in this reintroduction of morality into post-Althusserianism, the distinctions moral/normative, form/ content and universal/particular line up with the distinction ontological/ontic (Critchley 2002: 3). Critchley notes that in response (Laclau 1995: 93ff.), Laclau introduces a distinction between the ontological and the ontic that coincides with a distinction between a moment of openness grounding decisions and the complicated terrain where the moral and the political, the normative and the descriptive, intertwine. The moment of openness to contingency is equivalent to the formal universality of an empty place—the empty place of power opened up by democratic invention—while the hegemonic terrain involves tendential universalization of social particulars (Laclau 2000a: 84; 2002: 1). I think that Critchley is right to trace this approach to the question back to Kant (Critchley 2002: 4)—that is, to the universalizability test for practical maxims—but unlike Critchley, I do not think that is a bad thing.

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What I want to question in conclusion, however, is whether this new framing of radical democratic strategy is consistent with the centrality of Carl Schmitt’s decisionist politics for post-Althusserian theory. It is Žižek who has accused Laclau and Mouffe’s position of Left Schmittianism, noting that the ‘undecidable decision’ on inclusion and exclusion—the construction of social antagonism through the creation of a constitutive outside—founds the political on an arbitrary partition of the social world into friends and enemies that cannot be differentiated from ideological demonization (Žižek 1999b). In Schmittian ‘ultra-politics,’ antagonism is acknowledged in the form of the friend (included) versus enemy (excluded) distinction, but it is then exiled from the political sphere through its prolongation into warfare. In their contributions to Mouffe’s (1999) collection, The Challenge of Carl Schmitt, both Žižek and Mouffe point out the proximity of the notion of the ‘constitutive outside’ to the Schmittian friend/enemy distinction. Significantly, Mouffe’s contribution grasps this proximity as equivalence, for she seeks to mitigate the implications of the theoretical identity between the post-Althusserian theory of hegemony and the Schmittian notion of the sovereign decision. To do this, she seeks to institutionalize political conflict while restricting its scope to democratic means, proposing that the ideal of democratic citizenship might act as a social cement preventing violence, ‘transforming (hostile) adversaries into (political) antagonists’ (Mouffe 1999). Žižek is correct to describe this as Left Schmittianism, an effort to retain the friend/ enemy logic of a certain conception of the antagonist while mitigating the problem of hostility with a dose of democratic ideology. Of course, Žižek’s own position simply inverts Left Schmittianism: for Žižek, the excluded group always represents the ‘part of no part,’ the incarnation of (proletarian) universality, not an excluded, meaningless singularity (Žižek 1999a). But the link between politics and the arbitrary character of the decision on the constitution and contestation of social relations remains central. I suggest that this insistence on arbitrariness is a consequence of the differential theory of discursive articulations and that once that is abandoned, intellectually satisfying and politically emancipatory articulations between universality and provisionality can be found—in the dialogical space of rational intersubjectivity.

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M Mouffe, C. (1979). Hegemony and Ideology in Gramsci. In C. Mouffe (Ed.), Gramsci and Marxist Theory (pp. 168–205). London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Mouffe, C. (1999). Carl Schmitt and the Paradox of Liberal Democracy. In C. Mouffe (Ed.), The Challenge of Carl Schmitt (pp. 39–55). London/New York: Verso.

T Therborn, G. (1980). The Power of Ideology and the Ideology of Power. London: New Left Books. Thompson, E. (1978). The Poverty of Theory and Other Essays. New  York: Monthly Review Press.

Z Zizek, S. (1999a). Carl Schmitt in the Age of Post-Politics. In C. Mouffe (Ed.), The Challenge of Carl Schmitt (pp. 18–37). London/New York: Verso. Zizek, S. (1999b). The Ticklish Subject: The Absent Centre of Political Ontology. London/New York: Verso.

14 Post-foundationalism and the Possibility of Critique: Comparing Laclau and Mouffe Marius Hildebrand and Astrid Séville

Introduction Since the publication of their co-authored book Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (2014), Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe’s works have been mostly read as contributions to a joint venture in political and social theory.1 In contrast to this reception, we discuss a gradual divide between Laclau and Mouffe. We argue that Laclau’s and Mouffe’s more recent  With two exceptions: Wenman (2003) and Hildebrand and Séville (2015). Our aforementioned article serves as a basis for this contribution, yet we shift our argument toward the potential of Laclau and Mouffe’s theory for a post-foundational practice of critique. 1

M. Hildebrand (*) Faculty of Law, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany e-mail: [email protected] A. Séville Geschwister-Scholl-Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, München, Germany e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2019 T. Marttila (ed.), Discourse, Culture and Organization, Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94123-3_14

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writings refer to two options for post-foundationalist thinking (Marchart 2007) that differ with regard to their political-ethical angles. Both postulate that pre-discursive, and therefore non-political, foundations cannot explicate social orders and immanent identities. Instead, any act of founding or instituting the social necessarily entails a political, that is, exclusionary, moment. However, they draw different conclusions from this paradigm. Laclau pursues a consistent post-foundationalist position and focuses on the hegemonic logic underlying the construction of social collectives. He trusts in the failure of demarcations and fixations of sense. Mouffe, however, practices a normative post-foundationalism. Turning toward a universal theory of democracy, Mouffe—contrary to Laclau, who argues strictly ontologically—addresses the ontic and normative question of how identities have to be stabilized and contends that boundaries have to be drawn to assure radical democratic pluralism. Our rereading is not just another finger exercise in political theory since it allows us to map Laclau and Mouffe’s theoretical reasoning on a range between pluralist ethics and populist strategy. And we claim that this reconceptualization will help us to grasp the critical stance of post-­ foundationalist thinking. Whereas Laclau and Mouffe’s perspective is notoriously criticized for undermining any basis of ideological critique (Geras 1987), for reducing whatsoever conflict to the essence of the political (Hirsch 2007: 200) or even for taking a purely voluntarist and relativist position (Priester 2012), our interpretation provides a powerful conception of critique. Their theory does not abandon emancipation and enlightenment but deepens and radicalizes these central ideas of modern democracy. In order to underpin our hypothesis, we will briefly reconstruct the core assumptions and concepts of their theory of discourse and hegemony (2). Then, we will show how these concepts have paved the way to different continuations (3) and highlight the problems of Laclau and Mouffe’s theoretical concord (4). In doing so, we will explain the dissimilarity between Laclau and Mouffe in terms of their distinct thematic emphasizes and locate their differences at a theoretical and conceptual level: Laclau’s psychoanalytical theory of populism is compatible with strategic and essentialist friend-foe relations and can be juxtaposed to Mouffe’s normative theory of democracy that excludes such d ­ emarcations.

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Thus, a potential friction between Laclau’s post-structuralist idea of fractured identity politics and Mouffe’s political pluralism becomes visible. Our deconstructive reading will eventually carve out the emancipatory heart of Mouffe and Laclau’s politico-theoretical projects. It allows us to discover the democratic and emancipatory performativity of post-­ foundationalism, not as a unitary normative position but as an ethical horizon for societal analysis and critique (5).

Political Ontology Beyond Foundations Laclau and Mouffe draw on Antonio Gramsci’s hegemony theory, Michel Foucault’s genealogical analysis and various strands of (post-)structuralist linguistic and semiotic theories. Due to their post-foundational perspective, Laclau and Mouffe reject the presence of any nondiscursive foundation of the social and political. They do not derive social order from an epistemologically founded point of observation such as instrumental or communicative rationality, class antagonism or a counterfactual veil of ignorance. Instead, Laclau and Mouffe’s post-foundationalist thinking excels by understanding social order as a sedimentation of antagonistic discourses. Hence, we can consider antagonism to be the key term in their political theory. Antagonism denotes neither a simple dialectic negation, such as labor versus capital in orthodox Marxism nor stable and objective schemes of otherness, since this would imply an essentialist demarcation between two prior opposing entities. Instead, antagonism means a temporary flexible demarcation that distinguishes friend and foe in a discursive operation. Since Laclau and Mouffe identify the social with the discursive and argue that every discourse—and therefore every societal totality—constitutes itself through contingent and temporary demarcations against an antagonistic outside, the social becomes a relentless effort to stabilize meaning. This necessarily involves decision and power. Thus, social systems, collective identities, bodies of knowledge and interpretive schemes are not reduced to pre-political substrates but reconstructed as consequences of historic series of decisions. From this perspective, collective identities always refer to antagonistic ‘opponents’ so that antagonism is considered a necessary feature of every

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society, whereas specific antagonistic frontiers and conflicts are contingent. The division between ‘us’ and ‘them’ is, in Derridean terminology, ‘undecidable’ as it contains multiple potentialities. However, a division has to be drawn because post-structuralist authors such as Laclau and Mouffe consider meanings and identities to be results of relations of difference: discourse and identities are deployed in the light of a disregarded other. People can express their grievances, needs, ideas and beliefs only within discursive limits. A chain of equivalence, which represents and forms a ‘collective will,’ that is, a political identity, connects these. The antagonistic outside is therefore the essential condition of any identity. Accordingly, Laclau and Mouffe reduce politics neither to an ideological superstructure of a socioeconomically determined foundation of society nor to a specific field of activity. Nor do they refer to politics as a particular social subsystem or the result of pre-political individual interests. Instead, they postulate the primacy of politics (Laclau 1990a; Mouffe 2008a). For both Laclau and Mouffe, the political is the ontological condition of society, an empty space of undecidability and antagonism, whereas political practice—meaning empirical politics—institutes and institutionalizes meanings and identities by establishing hegemonies.2 Consequently, we need to differentiate between the political and politics as the hegemonic attempt to articulate particular interests as universal. Laclau and Mouffe distinguish two levels: the social and political are understood as an ontological background, a universal horizon of opportunities and openings, while any concrete society and its politics institute meanings, identities, groups and political projects at the ontic level.3 For Laclau and Mouffe, democratic politics has to stay open for the political, as the latter exceeds any status quo and thus enables new antagonisms and new chains of equivalence. Let us briefly revisit the key premises of Laclau and Mouffe’s post-­ foundational theoretical framework. First, discourses, politics and soci With this distinction, Laclau and Mouffe follow the French philosophers Paul Ricoeur and Claude Lefort, who distinguish le politique (the political) from la politique (politics) (see, e.g., Lefort 1988). 3  For Laclau’s political ontology, see Laclau (1990a), and Laclau (2007a). Politics is seen as ‘the ensemble of decisions made on an undecidable terrain’ (Laclau 2007a: 103) and introduced as a definite field-specific overlapping practice of ‘disarticulation’ and ‘re-articulation’ (Mouffe 2008b) of the social. 2

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ety are contingent, reversible and uncertain closures of social order created by means of antagonistic relations. The structure of these antagonisms is persistently in flux. Second, their theory of discourse and hegemony provides a concept of political action that enables us to grasp the unbridgeable gap between contingency and undecidability on the one hand and the factuality of social order and power relations on the other. Third, Laclau and Mouffe’s redescription of society, culture and identity is characterized by a ‘decisionistic, conflict-oriented constructivism.’4 Societal self-descriptions and self-images are understood not as pre-political ‘glue’ holding society together but as crystallizations of contingent demarcations that always entail antagonism and exclusion.

 ind the Gap: Populism or Agonistic M Democracy? Drawing on this theoretical basis, Laclau worked on the clarification and completion of the theory of hegemony in order to theorize the ‘reciprocal contamination’ (Laclau 1999: 136) of the particular and the universal. On the one hand, he argues, any general and thus universalizing claim cannot fully transcend its specific and particularistic nature. On the other hand, any specific or concrete aspiration necessarily entails some form of universalism (Laclau 1996: 20). Accordingly, we cannot claim equality without referring to concrete experiences of inequality such as discriminatory practices concerning gender, race, and so on. Simultaneously, concrete struggles for equality (again, gender, race, etc.) necessarily frame their endeavors as universal—they reach for an equal society. Furthermore, Laclau’s two most important innovations are the integration of the psychoanalytic subject theory of Jacques Lacan, a complement suggested by Slavoj Žižek, and the implementation of the empty signifier as the new  By framing it as decisionistic, we follow Greven’s (1992) plea for a democratic decisionism. Those who read hegemony theory as a leftist relapse of Schmitt’s decisionism forget that Laclau and Mouffe think of the social in a difference-theoretical way and therefore—unlike Schmitt—cannot assume a politicization of a prior collective entity (Flügel-Martinsen 2003; Mouffe 2000). 4

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theoretical centerpiece.5 These two concepts are combined in his theory of populism, which uplifts the marginalized phenomenon of populism to a political phenomenon par excellence. In Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (2014), Laclau and Mouffe define the subject in accordance with Foucault’s theory of discourse. As such, they conceive subjectivity as emerging from the process of subjectification, in which antagonistically organized discourses position individuals as subjects within a discursively constructed symbolic order. But to explain why subjects sometimes identify themselves with authoritarian positions, Laclau designed the subject as a pre-discursive ‘psychic apparatus’ (Reckwitz 2006: 346) in New Reflections on the Revolution of our Times (Laclau 1990a). Thereby, he departs from a strictly Foucauldian notion of the subject and introduces a weak type of human condition. As the interminability of the social reappears in the subject, it experiences an incommensurable deprivation (the ‘real’), which leads to an insatiable desire for fullness, for non-blocked complete identity (Laclau and Zac 1994: 35). Laclau’s reconceptualization of the notion of subject also changes the social roles and functioning of hegemonic discourses: they not only impose certain subject positions, but they also provide attractive objects of projection that subjects can identify with. Therefore, subjects do not identify themselves with hegemonic discourses because their discursive subjugation6 might value them as full members of the community but because those discourses address an enduring deprivation of the subjects. Discourses can also present prospects of compensation.7 Subjects seek identity and try to extinguish or repress the antagonistic outside that prevents them from attaining a complete and consistent identity. Consequently, the outside becomes an external object of projection for internal experiences of frustration (Reckwitz 2006: 347). Against this backdrop of a Lacanian reformulation of the subject, Laclau introduces his concept of the empty signifier: subjects infinitely  On integrating structural psychoanalysis, see Laclau (1990b) and Laclau and Zac (1994). For the concept of the empty signifier, see Laclau (2007b: 36–46) and Hetzel (2004). 6  The term clarifies how subjectivization and disciplining intertwine. 7  In contrast to Butler, Laclau does not contend that subjects are often passionately attached to their identities, because they are only fully acknowledged when cultivating and incorporating hegemonic identities. For a comparison between Butler and Laclau, see Diestelhorst (2007). 5

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strive for an illusionary full identity, and the object of desire is produced within the symbolic order of a discourse. A discourse must symbolize a unity of articulated elements in order to ‘incarnate an absent fullness’ (Laclau 1997: 260). For Laclau (1997: 261), a universalizing signifier ‘beyond all differences’ embodies the desire of subjects. Empty signifiers can fulfill its function because it ‘is, strictly speaking, a signifier without a signified’ (Laclau 1996: 260). However, emptiness is not tantamount to meaningless. It describes a process in which one discursive element is unbound from its particular concrete meaning and bundles discursive elements into a chain of equivalence. It is crucial that constructing an empty signifier is not a mere performance of abstraction: it is neither causally determined nor logically coercive but fundamentally contingent that a certain signifier, be it a particular movement, a political slogan or a popular leader, represents a unity of unfulfilled demands.8 Laclau’s (2005a) reexamination of populism combines these theoretical concepts and again carves out that radical contingency is the constitutive logic of political collectives. Contrary to the common marginalization of populism as a pathology of modern societies, as an indicator of the crisis of representative democracy or as a dangerous deviation from liberal-­democratic rationality, Laclau develops an analytical and nonnormative concept of populism. For him, populism is not a shallow symptom but an effective formal logic of discourse. Populist discourses simplify the political space by their dichotomic organization.9 Populist politics combines three operations (Laclau 2005a: 77). First, it constructs a chain of equivalence containing disparate discursive elements such as claims, traditions, identities and social groups. As parts of one chain, they now constitute a coherent political unity. Second, populism establishes an antagonism against a threatening outside that opposes the political formation and its identities, interests and strategies. Third, populist discourse (symbolically) condenses these movements to an  Laclau (2005a, b) often alludes to the Solidarność movement fighting against Soviet rule and to Juan and Eva Perón fighting against the oligarchic caudillo system to explain the functioning of the empty signifier; but similarities can also be drawn to successful key political concepts, like nation, good governance, democracy and justice, that likewise accomplish integration. 9  This can be linked to the ‘heartland,’ which Paul Taggart (2004: 275) views as a fundamental feature of populist politics. 8

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empty signifier—on the inside and the outside of the antagonistic divide. On the inside, the empty signifier often denotes the name of the populist leader and/or reflects the political utopia of political fullness and harmony desired by subjects. However, this promised utopia remains beyond reach due to the antagonistic outside, which blocks any political fullness.10 In contrast to Laclau (e.g., 2010), who draws on Latin American left-­ wing populism to portray populism as a deepening of the political struggle,11 Mouffe (2005, 2008a: 64–89) has mostly dealt with European right-wing populism. Mouffe condemns right-wing populism as an indicator of a crisis of post-political cosmopolitism and as a reaction to neoliberal post-political government. She criticizes political agents for trying to evade political conflicts by sticking to middle-centered politics. The fiction of a middle ground pretends that it overcomes ideology and ideological cleavages by means of reasoned governance. As a consequence, pivotal political questions are no longer subjects of genuine political discussions and decisions but framed as problems that have to be solved in a rational technocratic manner. In this post-political environment, right-­wing populist parties revive the antagonistic dimension of the social by using ethno-nationalist schemes, ‘naturalizing’ and essentializing political frontiers between ‘foreign’ and ‘native’ people and thus undermining liberal-democratic forms of life and notions of citizenship. Mouffe’s explanation of the rise of right-wing populist parties is coherent with her political reasoning after Hegemony and Socialist Strategy. Taking up Carl Schmitt’s use of the term ‘political’ and his  Populism reflects both the antagonistic constitution of the social and also the desire for a non-­ reachable full identity. Hence, for Laclau, analyzing its functional logic provides a privileged access to the ontological constitution of the political. This is because on the one hand the popular ‘us’ only evolves along the binary splitting of the social space and the friend-foe differentiation that comes with it; on the other hand, the same antagonistic ‘them’ prevents the full realization, the self-­ identity, of this popular collective. 11  Populism reflects both the antagonistic constitution of the social and also the desire for a non-­ reachable full identity. Hence, for Laclau, analyzing its functional logic provides a privileged access to the ontological constitution of the political. This is because on the one hand the popular ‘us’ only evolves along the binary splitting of the social space and the friend-foe differentiation that comes with it; on the other hand, the same antagonistic ‘them’ prevents the full realization, the self-­ identity, of this popular collective. 10

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critique of liberalism and pluralist liberal parliamentarianism, she criticizes cosmopolitan deliberative consensus-oriented models of democracy.12 Instead of requesting rational decisions about legitimacy and illegitimacy, ­democratic societies should keep in mind the undecidability of the political, the contingent and power-loaded character of social order. Therefore, Mouffe advocates a transferral of political antagonism into democratic and pluralistic ‘agonism.’ Antagonism and agonism are not the same. While democratic pluralism relies on constructing ‘agonistic’ us against them distinctions, these ‘agonistic’ distinctions are not tantamount to identitarian, moral, ethnic or religious friend-foe antagonisms. They are versatile deviations between people whose political ideas of a good order may be irreconcilable but who do not deprive each other of the right to fight for a different political goal (Mouffe 2000: 98–105). Agonists consider each other as legitimate opponents. This democratic struggle between (legitimate) political opponents is complemented by constitutional principles of liberal democracy. For Mouffe, freedom and equality are crucial principles of agonistic democratic politics. She intends to transfer and tame the non-extinguishable antagonism. And yet she breaks with political theories that mainly foster stability, freedom and rationality. In contrast, Mouffe presents a normative model of agonistic conflictive democracy in which political adversaries are granted legitimate existence.13 In order to conceptualize a ‘demos,’ Mouffe writes of a ‘communality’ of citizens that does not deny, marginalize or overcome differences but acknowledges them as plural and different ways of life. With this, she responds to the conundrum that, nowadays, ideas of ‘the people’ as a substantial body or homogenous entity have lost their appeal. And yet the idea of ‘the people’ remains a symbolic and embattled point of identification for democratic politics.14  For Mouffe’s critique on cosmopolitanism, see Mouffe (2008a); for her critique on the deliberative model of democracy, see Mouffe (2000: 80–107). 13  Thus, Mouffe does not follow Carl Schmitt (see Sigglow 2012: 179). 14  On this, see also Jacques Rancière’s use of the term ‘people’ (Rancière and Höller 2007). 12

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 etween Theoretical Radicalism and Political B Pluralism As we have seen, Laclau and Mouffe draw on the same post-foundational framework yet end up with two distinct types of political theory. Both Laclau and Mouffe share the fundamental hypothesis that politics, ­society and identity point to a constitutive outside. Alternatives have to be discarded in the moment of identification with a subject position. Whereas Mouffe proceeds from this mutual theoretical basis and advocates a model of pluralistic ‘agonistic democrarcy’, Laclau contends that one does not necessarily have to acknowledge the legitimacy of any political opponent. To understand Laclau’s position, one can juxtapose it to Jacques Derrida and Simon Critchley’s argument: Derrida (1997) and Critchley (2007) supplement a post-structuralist epistemology with an ‘affirmation of the other’. They deduce principles of friendship, responsibility and the project of a démocratie à venir from the constitutive openness of the social. But Laclau insists that these epistemological premises do not necessarily result in a normative imperative to commit oneself to an ethic of friendship or to a positive identification with contingency. Instead, one could also derive a totalitarian desire for enclosure, fixation and determination from the experience of openness and contingency (Laclau 2007b: 77). There is no necessary or logical deduction. A strategic essentialization of political identities does not contravene Laclau’s radical democratic strategy, but it is just one possible theoretical conclusion. By rejecting any post-structuralist foundation of a concrete normativity, Laclau holds a consistent post-foundationalist position. He vetoes any form of prescriptive normativity because that would infer conclusions about a desirable institution or form of society. In his eyes, there is no consequence for the ontic state of social and political order. The inevitable antagonism merely results in confrontations between contingent hegemonic projects. Laclau (1999: 134–135) postulates that his thinking of contingency is ethically and politically empty. He argues that there is no universal ethical imperative or program that can be derived from undecidability.15  For example, Critchley (2004) argues that Laclauian post-structuralist discourse suffers from a ‘normative deficit.’ 15

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Against this backdrop, Slavoj Žižek (2005: 179–192) detects an aporia within post-structuralist social theory in general and post-foundationalist hegemony theory in particular. Žižek’s criticism pinpoints the friction within Laclau and Mouffe’s thinking. On the one hand, we find the post-­ structuralist ethnicization of contingency and openness and on the other hand, the theoretical argument for hegemony, sovereignty and strategy. Hegemonies disguise their ‘contingency’ in order to exercise power effectively. To a certain degree, hegemony theory therefore entails political closings, sedimentation and reifications. On this ‘theoretical rift’ in Laclau’s and Mouffe’s theory of hegemony, they take different positions. Mouffe seeks to design a normative frame and wants to make sure that openness and contingency are negotiated in a conflictive agonistic way. Laclau marginalizes—especially in On Populist Reason (2005a)—the ethical moment of deconstruction and hegemony. For him, a populist project including closure and (strategic) essentialization is indeed one legitimate way to articulate the political. Laclau (2005a: 167) argues, contrary to Lefort (1988), that in a democratic regime the place of power is not ultimately empty. By articulating the identity of a ‘people,’ subjects fill the empty place of power and at the same time evade their previous particular identities (e.g., Laclau 2005a: 169). According to Laclau, a radical and plural democracy has to be understood as a populist project that the political protagonists themselves have to pursue and fill out—and which should not be limited by any verdict of a social theorist. Laclau’s theory of populism can explain how political discourses work and how collective identities are constructed. It helps us to understand the impact of political leaders, too. Its blind spot, however, is that it has nothing to hold against essentialist identity politics and especially nothing against right-wing populist discourses. Laclau emphasizes the idea of a universal pursuit toward (an impossible) full identity. Contrary to Mouffe, he does not draw any normative conclusion from the fact that the full realization of a people’s identity after the disempowerment of the old elites might jeopardize the political pluralism both thinkers have in mind. But due to the eschatological illusion of a harmonious society, subjects might yearn for disempowerment or exclusion of political dissidents as ‘enemies of the people’ since they putatively impede the realization of this political myth of harmony. Laclau insists that identity is

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always incomplete and concedes that a post-antagonistic fullness is a totalitarian phantasm. However, he still attributes a certain legitimacy to such a phantasm: ‘[T]he place of power cannot be entirely empty … Between total embodiment and total emptiness there is a gradation of situations involving partial embodiments’ (Laclau 2005a: 166). According to Laclau, it is not inherent in the theory of hegemony that this partial embodiment is performed by a radical democratic discourse. Other types of political discourse can fill and fix the meaning of the empty place of power, too. In the case of right-wing populism, for example, leaders, fictions of homogenous people and racial body politics serve to exclude a parasitical ‘other’ and thus stabilize the populist project. Mouffe’s agonistic pluralism tries to encounter exactly these threats to democracy by incriminating essentialist friend-foe distinctions. We can further clarify this difference between Laclau and Mouffe by juxtaposing Mouffe’s normative plea for an agonistic pluralism to liberal models of political culture. Her concept of pluralism differs from both a multicultural perception of diversity and from empirical or factual pluralism. Mouffe is not interested in the plain fact that in modern societies conflicting ideas (of the good life) exist and that they can be assigned to diverse groups. She instead fights for persistent ‘political pluralism’ and argues that the ideals of societal consensus and a rationality of modern politics run counter to her own understanding of pluralism (Buchstein and Jörke 2003). Her idea of democratic politics is based on the axiomatic principle of ‘legitimation of conflict and division’ (Mouffe 2000: 19). Mouffe’s own normative point is that every democratic citizen can and should question all kinds of political arrangements—even those established in the name of freedom and equality. Therefore, Mouffe’s agonistic model of democracy presupposes both a political culture of openness that acknowledges and accepts dissent to political projects and the presence of competing political projects which invigorate the ‘agon’ with alternative political programs. Mouffe (2007: 41) mobilizes her and Laclau’s ­discourse and theoretical hegemony framework on behalf of a ‘vibrant’ pluralistic community. She banks on a pluralistic ethos and applies her normative model as a critical standard for contemporary politics. The ideal political order, as she understands it, sustains the political character of society by creating institutions and arenas that facilitate the institution

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and critique of social (power) relations. With her political project of radical and plural democracy, Mouffe seeks a renewal and radicalization of the liberal-democratic frame of reference. Her project is to reinvigorate the emancipatory character of the democratic revolution (Lefort) by establishing chains of equivalences between different struggles for liberty and equality. Mouffe’s and Laclau’s political theories diverge in many regards. Laclau is primarily interested in the hegemonic construction of collectives and in the ontological constitution of the political. He also declines all attempts to derive specific democratic or even ethical principles from post-­ structuralism. But Mouffe focuses on the ontic question of us versus them demarcations that foster and deepen pluralist democracies. She presents a normative model of democracy and subverts the contingency of modern societies by her ineluctable axiom of agonism (Greven 2010: 81). She emphasizes pluralism and openness. Her model of agonistic democracy does not fall back on universalistic arguments about transhistorical goods or rights, but it is attached to a radically contingent liberal-­ democratic discourse. Consequently, Mouffe transposes post-structuralist ontology into an ethical endeavor that stresses contingency and undecidability. Thus, she defies attempts to found ethical values in pre-discursive essences and criticizes the inadequate deliberation about good and bad, right and wrong. To summarize, while Mouffe puts forward pluralism and agonism as the normative acme of her theory of democracy, Laclau gauges the ontology of the political. Thus, he evades any ethical-political dimension in his oeuvre (Wenman 2003: 582). Laclau refrains from formulating any normative content—this has to be done by political discourses themselves. For Laclau, one cannot deduce any theoretical statements about the appropriate relationship between political adversaries from the axiom of undecidability. He does not formulate generic ethics of democracy. Quite on the contrary, his version of radical democracy presented in On Populist Reason (2005a) reduces radical democracy to an opportune strategy and to a power technology seeking to wed heterogeneous struggles and to form a popular democratic counter-hegemony. On her part, Mouffe formulates an agonistic model of politics and presents tangible strategies for the institution of radical democratic forms of citizenship and radical

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democracy based on mutual approval of political differences. She argues for an ethical frame of reference: a democratic agon. But instead of providing universal standards to evaluate the legitimacy of norms, institutions and laws, Mouffe formulates an ethical frame that identifies itself as political. She does not impose anything—her theory neither coins moral imperatives nor absolute principles—it privileges conflictive controversies.

 ost-foundational Critique as a Matter P of Epistemological Premises So far, we have classified Laclau’s social ontology as one beyond (political) normativity. But what if the very epistemological, that is, post-­ foundational, presumptions of his and Mouffe’s theory entail a radical democratic program? Their political theories endow power, conflict and exclusion as constituent elements of the social. In our opinion, this theoretical perspective is the precondition for an—implicit—ethical understanding of contingency. Democratic politics can only prosper if contingency and openness are not repudiated. Only if we understand consensus as an effect of power can democracy become radical and reflect its integral exclusions. If we search for an—implicit—ethical or normative dimension of this political ontology, then, Laclau’s unspoken political and ethical credo comes visible. His perspective and choice to read politics and society through the lens of their theory of discourse and hegemony makes him focus on versatile exclusions which social order is based upon. Thus, his work encourages critique and new enunciations of social conditions. At the level of concrete political strategies, Laclau’s and Mouffe’s theoretical perspectives give rise to two distinct political projects. Both articulate heterogeneous claims and subaltern positions ­without appealing to a priori commonalities or essences.16 Laclau argues against any rationalistic objectification of social conditions and also  Laclau (2005a: 151) assigns a crucial role to underdogs: ‘historical actors will be the outsiders of the system – those we have called the heterogeneous – who are decisive for the establishment of an antagonistic frontier.’ 16

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against post-political fantasies. His notion of democracy does at some points converge with Mouffe’s—but it is not identical. He confines himself to reading sedimented identities as effects of politics. Obviously, Mouffe pursues the same goal. However, in contrast to Laclau, she insists on agonistic politics in order to create a normative frame for a (re-)politicization of discursive closures after her diagnosis of a post-political environment. Both Mouffe and Laclau contest technocratic governance and output-centered usurpations of democratic participation and legitimation of political decisions. For them, democracy remains vital only against the background of post-foundationalism because democracy must be thought of as a groundless and objectively unfounded regime (Hetzel 2004). As a consequence, a profound democratization of modern society has to defy all claims of some kind of ultimate reason as the origin of society. Finally, one can argue that Laclau and Mouffe’s political theory is immanently radically democratic. Its approach of conceptualizing hegemony leads us to an opposition to denials of contingency and power. Mouffe and Laclau encourage the dismissal of the totalitarian phantasm of homogeneity, unity and harmony. Their theory calls for the establishment of institutions that pave the way for and sustain antagonisms and retain openness and contingency. From time to time, Laclau and Mouffe have been accused of relativism. However, this neglects the fact that post-­ foundationalism and radical democracy are based on an ‘ethical a priori’ (Aronowitz 1989: 52). For a post-structuralist and post-foundationalist political theory, contingency and undecidability are not contingent but essential (Devenney 2004: 138). They constitute the axiomatic reference point of politics and society.17 Nevertheless, the frictions within post-foundational theory that we have elucidated make one thing clear. We might understand our political order and our own knowledge, identity and action as contingent, but this  Post-foundationalism views the moment of the empty universal as a consequence of modernity since democracy discourse can no longer claim transcendental legitimacy. Following Žižek, one can criticize authors like Laclau and Mouffe for not being able to grasp this argument as a decisive a priori due to their implicit theory of history. However, the theoretical decision for a politically empty center is itself a hegemony that excludes fullness, the invisibility of power or a reconciled society (see Heil 2006: 247). 17

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does not necessarily entail an obligation to self-reflect. Being aware of contingency does not imply prescriptive normativity or political virtues. Neither does it automatically involve an ethical imperative of responsibility or open political dispute. Reflections on contingency do not lead per se to resistance, critique and justice but can enable self-reflection as a way toward that. Therefore, Laclau and Mouffe’s theoretical epistemological premises serve as a prerequisite for democratic ethics—their theoretical project is a political and normative intervention into the critical and emancipatory discourse of politics and democracy. They do not provide us with any objective normative standard or authority with which to judge social conditions. Instead, they help us to undermine any claim for epistemological superiority and to bring on an egalitarian radical democratic form of critique.

References A Aronowitz, S. (1989). Postmodernism and Politics. In A. Ross (Ed.), Universal Abandon? The Politics of Postmodernism (pp. 46–62). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

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D Derrida, J. (1997). The Politics of Friendship. London: Verso. Devenney, M. (2004). Ethics and Politics in Discourse Theory. In S. Critchley & O.  Marchart (Eds.), Laclau: A Critical Reader (pp.  123–139). London: Routledge. Diestelhorst, L. (2007). Umkämpfte Differenz: Hegemonietheoretische Perspektiven der Geschlechterpolitik mit Butler und Laclau. Berlin: Parodos.

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G Geras, N. (1987). Post-Marxism? New Left Review, 163, 40–82. Greven, M. (1992). Über demokratischen Dezisionismus. In D.  Emig, C.  Hüttig, & L.  Raphael (Eds.), Sprache und politische Kultur in der Demokratie: Hans Gerd Schumann zum Gedenken (pp. 193–206). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. Greven, M. (2010). Verschwindet das Politische in der politischen Gesellschaft? Über Strategien der Kontingenzverleugnung. In T.  Bedorf & K.  Röttgers (Eds.), Das Politische und die Politik (pp.  68–88). Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.

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Hildebrand, M., & Séville, A. (2015). Populismus oder agonale Demokratie? Bruchlinien der theoretischen Symbiose von Laclau und Mouffe. Politische Vierteljahresschrift, 56(1), 27–43. Hirsch, M. (2007). Die zwei Seiten der Entpolitisierung: Zur politischen Theorie der Gegenwart. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.

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15 Post-foundationalism, Systems Theory and the Impossibility of Critique Niels Åkerstrøm Andersen, Erik Højbjerg, and Anders la Cour

Introduction The question of whether it is possible again today to do critical social science should not be separated from the question of whether a reemergence of the concept of critique is desirable in the first place. The discussion of a critical foundation of the social sciences dried out in the beginning of the 1980s. Some might say it was displaced by individualism, neoliberalism and consumerism. We believe that its death probably came from within critique itself. It was abandoned quite simply because one of the most prominent effects of the critique of society by its advocates from the 1970s was to divide people into ‘us, the critical’ and ‘all the other uncritical, conservative, ideological, the unreflective mainstream, and so on’. And among ‘us, the critical’, there were ‘us’, the truly critical and all the others who were either wrong, had misunderstood the purpose or—

N. Å. Andersen (*) • E. Højbjerg • A. la Cour Department of Management, Politics & Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark e-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] © The Author(s) 2019 T. Marttila (ed.), Discourse, Culture and Organization, Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94123-3_15

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worse—betrayed it. More than anything else, the concept of critique leads to this division. We will have to ask ourselves if there really is a way to revive the discussion of critique without the perhaps unintended, but automatic, companion of arrogance and self-conceitedness. At a minimum the goal must be a concept of critique that, firstly, acknowledges that there is no place outside of society from where it can be criticized. You are always in society, and per definition you cannot see it from the outside. Secondly, it must be a concept of critique that does not preach and assigns itself the right to judge right from wrong. As Luhmann puts it so well: ‘Sociologist are not supposed to play the role of the lay-priest of modernity’ (Luhmann 1997: 77). Thirdly, it must be a concept of critique which is actually about the society we are part of and does not disrespect others by labeling everything as critique that that policy is ‘neo-liberal’. Finally, it would have to be a concept of critique to which nothing is sacred or outside the gaze of critique nor covers behind representing ‘the weak’, ‘excluded’ or ‘vulnerable’ so that they become an instrument of branding oneself as a little better than most. In other words, a critical practice that takes as a starting point the impossibility of critique and therefore includes in its practice constantly to undermine itself by shifting, moving the gaze and turning the critique onto the critique itself while nevertheless insisting on the necessity of critique. Below, we will first discuss some of the pitfalls related to the ambition of a critical endeavor as observed from the perspective of post-­ foundationalism. The discussion is exemplary in focusing on among others the works of Reinhart Koselleck, Karl Marx and Louis Althusser. We will show how the very idea of a non-contingent and foundational truth about society created problems for a critical engagement in the development of society. The purpose is not to provide a general genealogy of critique but to explain—in a way that resonates with a number of post-­ foundational social and political theories like Luhmann, Laclau, Latour, and so on—the problems and issues that the search for a foundational critique posed for a sociological engagement with society. Through the clarification of contradictions inherent the foundational forms of criticism on the one hand and an indication of diversity within post-­ foundational perspectives on critique on the other, the chapter moves on to its central contribution: how can Niklas Luhmann’s work inspire a

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reflexive critical practice imbued by the struggle of creating a position from where to describe society from within? This reflection will take place in two steps. Firstly, we will present the work of Luhmann’s epistemology of systems theory and its particular problematization of the lack of any stable foundation for critique. Secondly, the chapter elaborates on how to respond to the challenges of a foundational critique without abandoning the ambition of committing to a critical sociology. In doing so, we will reflect on how you can develop a critical engagement on the premises of the impossibility of criticism.

 he Concept of Critique and the Impossibility T of Critique The German historian Reinhart Koselleck (1923–2006) described how the differentiation between morals and politics paved the way for a certain kind of critical attitude. Koselleck worked with critique as a historical-­ empirical concept (e.g., Koselleck 1988). He demonstrated how the idea of critique emerged in the seventeenth century as a result of separation of morals from politics. The line was drawn on the side of morals, whereby the critique could establish itself as evidently non-political in contrast to politics and politicians, who were driven by an amoral desire for power. Critique became the art of judgment: ‘Its function calls for testing a given circumstance for its validity, its rightness, or beauty’ (Koselleck 1988: 103). In the domain of morality, several dualities were set up, such as ‘Reason and revelation, freedom and despotism, nature and civilization, trade and war, decadence and progress, light and darkness’ (Koselleck 1988: 100). He showed how critique, starting off as counter-critique of the absolutist state, eventually gave rise to hypocrisy: They became the victims of their own mystification…. Criticism goes far beyond that which has occasioned it and it transformed into the motor of self-righteousness. It produces its own delusion …. Reaching towards infinity, the sovereignty of critics seemed to continue its upward climb. Pushing criticism to its utmost limits, the critic saw himself as the King of Kings, the true sovereign. (Koselleck 1988: 117, 119)

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The question is whether this diagnosis, the critique of the critique, is also valuable for the forms of critique of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. To criticize and describe oneself as critical becomes a care of the self through which the critical social scientist can claim a sovereignty that surpasses the mass of mainstream scientists. The doubling of reality in vertical layers of immanence and manifestation seems to be a recurrent feature in many concepts of critique. It is about having access to an immanent depth that is beyond the reach of others, from where you can speak the truth. With Karl Marx reality is doubled in manifest reality and immanent form. The form is the immanence of reality, and a critique only becomes a critique when it is mediated through critique of form. According to Marx, a critique of a specific condition with a specific justification is not a radical critique. With the younger Marx, a radical critique initially investigates the general conditions of form that make it possible for a specific problem to emerge (Marx 1964). In the later Marx, not only reality and form are distinguished, but form as a logical figure of thought is also distinguished from form as real abstraction. Logical form analysis refers to Hegel, who is criticized for exclusively seeing the forms of society as mental figures of thought in which abstraction involves finding the logical forms of thought in empirical manifestations (Sohn-Rethel 1978: 17–18). By contrast, real abstractions are forms generated by material history. What characterizes capitalism is precisely the making of abstractions for exchange. In the words of Alberto Toscano, capitalism is ‘a culture of abstraction par excellence, as a society that … is really driven, in many respects, by abstract entities, traversed by powers of abstraction’ (Toscano 2008: 273). Real abstractions work in practice but are invisible for practice, which explains the necessity of distinguishing between false ideology and true socialist science. False consciousness is ontologically given as necessity because the human cannot know the fundamental forms. Only he or she that is capable of describing the real abstractions can describe the truth. To examine truth critically involves constantly asking for the immanent invisible abstraction that manifests itself behind practice. The final knowledge on the truth about real abstractions can only be acquired after the revolution, because also the intellectual Marxist research is a practice through which the real abstractions work.

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With Althusser one finds a somewhat different concept of critique that rests on a rereading of Marx with the help of Spinoza, Freud and Lacan. In Althusser, Lacan’s triad of the symbolic, the imaginary and the real is substituted by the triad of politics, ideology and economic infrastructure. In Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses, the infrastructure of economy is installed in the space of the real. As the real conditions of existence, the economy is—as it were—over-determinant or determinant in the last instance (Althusser 1971: 135). Ideological state apparatuses, understood inter alia as the political (in the widest sense) and legal practices and institutions, are put in the space of the symbolic. The relations of the human to its conditions of existence are always mediated through these. Ideology is put in the space of the imaginary so that the apparatuses always function on and realize the ideology (ibid.). Ideology does not simply equal the illusory. Althusser compares ideology with Freud’s category of the unconscious: ‘ideology has no history, can and must … be related directly to Freud’s proposition that the unconscious is eternal … ideology is eternal, exactly like the unconscious’ (ibid., p.  161; emphasis in original). Ideology is defined as an imaginary representation of individuals’ relation to their real conditions of existence—it is the imaginary ordering of the relationship between the ideological apparatuses and the economic infrastructure (ibid., pp. 162–165). The imaginary is endowed with a material existence through apparatuses and practices (ibid., p.  166). The ideology is not visible. It cannot say ‘I’m ideological!’ (ibid., p.  175). In this context critique of ideology is equivalent to psychoanalysis. In Reading Capital (Althusser and Balibar 1970), Althusser presents his symptomatic reading as a double reading strategy based on psychoanalysis. The first step is to read the text on its own premises. Here, one struggles with finding coherence in the text despite illogical inferences and holes in the argument. In the second step, flaws, fallacies, holes and white spots are not merely an expression of the texts’ points of collapse but indications of a double text, another text. The other text is not simply ‘another text’ but the necessarily absent text in the present text (Althusser and Balibar 1970: 31). The other text is exiled from the field of visibility:

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The same connexion that defines the visible also defines the invisible as its shadowy obverse. It is the field of the problematic that defines and structures the invisible as the defined excluded …. The invisible is defined by the visible as its invisible, its forbidden vision: the invisible is not therefore simply what is outside the visible … the outer darkness of exclusion – but the inner darkness of exclusion, inside the visible itself because defined by its structure. (Althusser and Balibar 1970: 25f.; emphasis in original)

This double reading strategy becomes Althusser’s method of observing the invisible ideology through symptoms present in the state apparatus. Our point with the above is rather straightforward. We argue that many concepts of critique subscribe to a vertical doubling of the world into two layers—manifestation (readily observable indications of reality) and immanence (hidden, deeper and non-contingent structures of reality). Knowledge regarding the manifest is considered of less value than knowledge regarding the immanent. What constitutes a critical practice is the exclusive access to the immanent, and hence, in our view, the damage is quite simply done. The effect is a vertical differentiation of social scientists according to which you are only a true, sovereign scientist when you can claim to be speaking on behalf of the immanent. We are not alone in dismissing the doubling of reality. Other post-foundational scholars have also been critical toward critique. Stephen Best and Sharon Marcus argue that ‘symptomatic reading’ is no longer relevant to contemporary political realities, and it has come to seem ‘nostalgic, even utopian’ (Best and Marcus 2009: 1–2). Sedgwick claims that critique retains a paranoid structure (Barnwell 2016a; Sedgwick 2007: 640), and Brian Massumi argues that critique ‘loses contact with other more moving dimensions of experience’ (Massumi in Zournazi 2002: 220). Also Bruno Latour has been rather critical toward critique seeing critical methods as outdated. He compares critical methods with ‘mechanical toys that endlessly make the same gesture when everything else has changed around them’ (Latour 2004: 225), and he asks: ‘What has become of critique when a French general, no, a marshal of critique, namely, Jean Baudrillard, claims in a published book that the Twin Towers destroyed themselves under their own weight, so to speak, undermined by the utter nihilism inherent in capitalism itself … ?’ (Latour 2004: 228).

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Ashley Barnwell argues that many critiques of critiques end up in a similar kind of totalitarianism as the one they set out to criticize in the first place. Echoing Koselleck (ibid.), she shows how critique of critique may result in self-righteousness also within post-foundational perspectives. As an example, she studies very carefully the anti-critical semantics of Bruno Latour and shows the function of this semantics in his work: ‘To counter critique, Latour calls for ‘a realist attitude’. But the underlying impetus of critique remains valid with continuing questions, as Latour’s very argument proves, about who has the right to adjudicate which matters of fact are ‘good’ and which realities are ‘real’ (Barnwell 2016b: 915). She asks: ‘Indeed, is the turn against critique itself not a form of ideology critique – concerned that scholars are unwittingly recuperating ingrained narratives?’ (ibid., p. 914). Yet, Barnwell is not ready to simply give up critique, probing ‘might there be a way to rethink critique rather than retrench it?’ (ibid., p. 908). We would like to take up the challenge Barnwell formulates. Our endeavor is not to eliminate the project of critique but to rethink its possibility. As we will argue, mainly drawing on systems theory, the impossibility of creating an ‘outside’ from where you can perform your critique is not necessarily a reason for leaving behind the very idea of practicing critique. Trying to solve the paradox of the form of critique by insisting on a secret access to reality leads to self-righteousness or something worse. Paradoxes cannot be solved, but they can be made into something productive. Maybe there is a way to continue the work of critique though insisting on its impossibility.

Systems Theoretical Diagnosis of the Present Below, we will present an approach to diagnosing the present that tries to avoid producing a vertical ontology on manifestation and immanence but which still has some diagnostic potency. Our approach is primarily inspired by the systems theory of Niklas Luhmann, who rejected the very possibility of critique (Luhmann 1991) also arguing: ‘There is no privileged point of view, and critique of ideology is no better off than ideology’ (Luhmann and Behnke 1994: 28). Normative, critical social science,

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he argued, is only interested in how the world is not a constant mirroring of the world of ideals. Such a science merely produces disappointments over the organization of the world: ‘Critical sociology would continue to perceive itself as a success, but society as a failure’ (Luhmann 1994: 126). Yet, Luhmann knows that this also applies for systems theory. He argues that the system theorist is like ‘a rat in a labyrinth and has to reflect on the position from which he/she observes other rats’ (Luhmann 1988). To us, Luhmann represents one way of both continuing and epistemologically radicalizing Foucault’s genealogical thinking and Derrida’s deconstruction within a sociological ambition of getting rid of normativity and morals. Along these lines, Hans-Georg Moeller claims that [s]ocial systems theory does not deal with fabricating new hopes, new promises, or new utopias, but it is also not afraid of letting go of hopes that cannot be fulfilled, promises that have never been kept, and fairytale visions of a golden future. It dares to introduce a nonhumanist paradigm shift in social theory  – one that may ‘perturb’ society in a profound and (obviously) entirely contingent way. (Moeller 2012: 31)

In Luhmann’s theory of social systems, you will find no morals, no ideals or any goals that the development of society should pursuit. Luhmann’s dismissal of the possibility to formulate any non-contingent and transcendental truth from where you can criticize society, while insisting on the possibility of critique from ‘within’ society, is a dilemma that he shares with other contemporary thinkers such as Laclau (2004), Latour (2004) and Glynos and Howarth (2007) among others. In the following, however, we will show how particularly systems theory has found its own way of handling this dilemma.

Epistemology of Systems Theory The reason why we start in systems theory is that its epistemology is so fundamentally antagonistic to vertical thinking as it can be. Here, nothing resembles an ontological division between manifestation and immanence, there is only one level—that of the operation (Clam 2000).

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Systems exist through their operations, and operations occur only in the moment. A system that does not operate does not exist; nothing but operations exist. One could say that everything is manifestation. In a certain manner it is a radical phenomenological point of view on observing the world as it appears. Systems theory is about observing observations as observations. An observation is an operation that indicates something in the world by drawing a distinction (Luhmann 1995). All observations operate by means of a distinction. It deals with how systems build up themselves through discriminatory distinctions that note something and not something else and which see something while simultaneously being radically blind to everything else. The point is that every observation is an operation drawing a distinction—a distinction which is simultaneously invisible in the observation itself. Observation always indicates one side of the distinction, leaving the other side unmarked but nevertheless guiding for the observation. You see what you see, but you do not see the very gaze and the distinction by which you see. The distinction thus sets a blind spot of the observation. The epistemological program of systems theory, and its fundamental contribution to sociology, is to observe the blind spots in other observations. This is called second-order observation (Esposito 2013; Luhmann 1993). Initially, it sounds somewhat like the symptomatic reading of Althusser, which is also interested in blind spots. However, in systems theory there is no privileged observer, and there is no ranking of first- and second-order observations. Every second-order observation is simultaneously a first-order observation. A second-order observation also notes something in the world by drawing a distinction, which becomes the blind spot of the second-order observation. You are not fundamentally better off in the world as a second-order observer than as a first-order observer. Moreover, second-order observation implies a loss of realization and cognition: a second-order observation cannot simultaneously observe what the first-order observation observes. A second-order observer is not simply positioned on higher ground where the outlook is better but—as it were—another place in the world (Esposito 2013). Second-order observation is not concerned with identifying the captains of ideology. Observations are observed as such in their immediate

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scantiness and not as representing something else. This is exactly what makes systems theory so potent in deactivating truisms. It is a form of phenomenological concretism insisting on staying at the level of observations and not immediately shifting the gaze away toward their context of cause or significance. Observations are not to be interpreted; their meaning should not be unfolded nor explained. They should simply be described and diagnosed: by what distinction is observation done? How is the blind spot set? How can new observations be added to the system’s observation? Hence, to the extent that second-order observation is considered a critical practice, it is not one that is better off than the one being observed. There is no more truth on second-order than on first-order. Rather, one knows less on second-order than on first-order since it is an utmost reductionary gaze one applies, because it only observes through the difference indication/distinction. If second-order observation constitutes a critical form, it is a tautological critique, a critique applicable onto itself and a critique that commits to using its particular gaze on itself. At this point, one may ask why engage in a sociology with no ambition to develop society in any particular direction or suggest solutions to present problems, even a sociology that refuses to formulate a critique of the present and only offer contingent, tautological descriptions. The answer to this question will be developed below.

 ystems Theoretical Diagnostics S and the Problem of an ‘Outside’ Originally developed by Foucault, the concept of ‘diagnostics of the ­present’ begins by observing the present as a special disruption that takes place as an event in which we participate so as to examine what the present involves for us (Foucault 1977, 1978). Here, the present takes a relational existence that we are involved in and whose consequences we must unfold or explicate. For a diagnosis of the present, the present appears as a yet to be settled to score that needs further examination in order to elucidate what is at stake for us and where it might lead us’ (Raffnsøe et  al. 2016: 455). History as contemporary history becomes a strategy

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through which one can diagnose the present, show how ‘something’ has become ‘something’ and consequently open up the present. Systems theoretical diagnostics of the present involves two aspects. On the one hand, we want to observe how the observation of problems, technologies, norms, expectations and notions emerge to see how ‘something’ becomes ‘something’. On the other hand, we want to ask what the development of such elements is the answer to. This includes being sensitive to how new emergences put constitutive forms in society at stake. In order to ask questions of the type ‘what is at stake when semantics and practices develop?’, one must distinguish between what is the case and what lies behind the case (Luhmann 1994). In systems theory, diagnostics of the present is the unity of this difference (Fig. 15.1): In order to say something about what is at stake in the case, one must be able to answer the question of what lies behind. From where is one able to make that distinction? It has always been the challenge of diagnostics of the present that what it puts ‘behind’ later turns out to be the ‘case’. How can we avoid determining in advance the answer to the question of ‘what lies behind?’ What can we do if we insist that the outside of our investigation is not fixed in advance? Diagnostics of the present needs an ‘outside’ in order to observe that something is at stake. Diagnostic insight is only an insight in relation to what is beyond the insight itself; there must always be an ‘outside’ that constitutes contribution and insight. The outside becomes a

Fig. 15.1  Diagnostics of the present

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measurement, a point zero, that defines when a change is a change to ‘something’, for example, how developments in semantic forms put something at stake. But if we take the systems theory epistemology approach into account, there is no ‘outside’ that can anchor a diagnostic judgment—any position is always part of a system, and an ‘outside’ is consequently impossible. The problem is therefore that an outside is simultaneously both necessary and impossible. The only way to deal with it is to set the distinction between ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ from the inside. How an ‘outside’ is created must be part of the analysis and cannot be left to philosophy or normative tricks. From a sociological perspective, any outside is always already inside society. The work of defining an outside is happening inside and, as such, never moves outside in a real sense. Thus, as part of the analysis, we must define criteria for identifying how the inside produces and attributes an ‘outside’ to which our analysis should contribute. We cannot start with a point zero. Where should it come from? Our point zero must be created as part of our analytical strategy. Only this way will diagnostics of the present become tautological, including a critical self-diagnosis as part of the analysis. Of course, this makes diagnostics even more fragile, partial and contingent (Fig. 15.2).

Fig. 15.2  The making of an ‘outside’ from within

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Three Epistemological Interests In attempting to create an analytical strategy that establishes its ‘outside’ from the ‘inside’, we suggest to split into three the epistemological interest of diagnostics of the present (Fig. 15.3). The first epistemological interest is production of contingency, that is, the production of insight into the differently possible. One of the epistemological aims of second-order observation is simply to offer systems new possibilities for self-description through the description of their self-­ descriptions and thus through the production of contingency in their possibilities for observation. It is through dissolving what seems self-­ evident that the differently possible becomes a real possibility. So, the first step is insight into the contingency of the systems’ semantic self-description. When we describe the self-descriptions of systems by analyzing different semantics, we provide the systems with contingency concerning their self-descriptions. In other words, when we, for example, describe how organizations describe their relationship with their employees, it becomes evident to the organizations that their ways of describing are not self-evident but might be different. Equivalent analytical strategies are conceptual history or discursive genealogies. In terms of yielding a critique from the ‘inside’, the production of contingency as an epistemological interest results in questions like how do problems become problems, how is meaning condensed into

Fig. 15.3  Epistemological interests

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reservoirs of concepts available to communication systems and how is ­regulation of practice developed over time. It is about taking the starting point of the operations of the contemporary systems paying attention to what they are interested in. We then move to the creation of this interest, including the possibilities of operations in terms of concepts, norms, technologies, architecture, and so on. When we describe systems’ self-­descriptions by analyzing various semantics, we offer the systems the contingency regarding their internal autopoiesis. However, how do you from the outside identify the self-evident semantic that needs to be addressed in order to offer systems contingency regarding their self-descriptions? What is self-evident is not self-evident. It has to be established as a part of the semantic historical analysis. As Foucault (1972) noted, discourse analysis begins with the fact that the analyst is part of the discourse. One cannot see the discourse to be analyzed, only the single statements that belong to and individually contribute to the constitution of that discourse. Only when you are done with the discourse analysis it becomes possible to see the discourse as the regularity of dispersed statements. So, even here it is difficult to create an outside by describing the descriptions of systems as self-evident, making production of contingency a possible contribution. The second epistemological interest focuses on social forms and their inherent paradoxes. Here, the epistemological objective is to observe the observation of different forms and to use these to describe conditions of impossibility for social phenomena and the paradoxes that function as autopoietic machines within systems of communication. All communication operates within forms as unities of differences. The forms do not belong to or reside on another level. They only exist through the continuation of communication. When one asks about the form, one asks about the unities that are repeated when communication continues to indicate something and thereby draws a difference. These forms always insert paradoxes in communication that communication itself cannot solve but at the same time has to handle (Luhmann 1993, 1999). It is about gaining insight into what must necessarily exist given a particular form of communication. So, the second step raises subsequent questions about a system’s limit of contingency, that is, the form within which a system’s contingency must unfold.

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In systems theory, the relationship between form and semantics (including concepts, discourses, norms, etc.) is seen as a tension between paradox and de-paradoxification (Andersen 2011). Production of semantics and self-descriptions always represents the unfolding of the constitutive paradoxes of the communication forms. The formation and condensation of meaning represent the generation of communicative possibilities from the specific impossibilities build into the form. Paradoxes constituted by a particular form function as the internal universalizing ‘machines’ of systems, preventing them from falling into passivity and compelling them toward constantly de-paradoxifying meaning formation, which never leads to closure but at best generates endless displacements. In this second step, the epistemological interest revolves around analyzing different forms and their construction of the paradoxes and impossibilities that become the autopoietic machines of the systems. Here it is not about insight into the production of contingency per se but rather into the necessities given that the communication takes a particular form and determining how contingency is produced in a certain way. Form analysis does not, as it were, become a contribution until it provides insight into a system’s restless production of new meaning and new forms of meaning. Nevertheless, it is not self-evident which forms to analyze. We believe that the semantic analysis can be used to construct the ‘outside’ of the form analysis in the sense that the semantic historical analysis points toward the forms that need to be analyzed. So, in order to produce an outside, we try to observe which forms are repeated in the semantics. Finally, the third epistemological interest is then devoted to the diagnostics of the present. We speak of a diagnostic of the present when second-­ order observations not only produce contingency for a specific semantic field and not only describe individual forms of communication but also observe how semantics and forms in general generate particular forms of differentiation and put different systemic relations at stake in particular ways. It is about how a pattern emerges across semantics, systems and forms. The third step raises new questions about the communication forms’ conditions of formation: how do these forms relate to other forms over time? What is the unity of differentiation as form, which appears precisely in the formal unfolding of these systems? How are the forms

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differentiated and coupled? This brings us to the diagnostic of the present where the central focus becomes the condition for the production of forms and how forms are put into play and at stake. In sum, what kind of regime seems to emerge and repeat itself across the different semantics, forms, structural couplings, technologies, and so on? So, in the third step we move our interest from ‘what is the case?’—that is, the semantics and forms in themselves—to ‘what lies behind?’, including the question of how what is put at stake in the spaces of possibility of current changes. We ask how the forms of society are shaken in the current evolution of semantics, technologies, architecture, and so on. The diagnostic of the present is committed to being very precise in describing how specific forms are put at stake due to semantic changes and under what conditions. Any diagnosis of the present must begin with a study of the making of semantic possibilities, and the specific diagnosis will always be based on the semantic analysis. The specific diagnosis of the present can never be better than the semantic historical analysis on which it is based. Without the semantic analysis, diagnostics becomes arbitrary speculation. Each ‘step’ produces its own kind of epistemological insight into contingency, forms and diagnosis. The ambition is to push the insights upward step by step without losing the insights on the previous steps and without jumping over some steps. At every step, an ‘outside’ to our epistemological interest is created in a special way, and the diagnostic of the present presupposes the preceding ones as its outside. We have tried to illustrate this in the following figure (Fig. 15.4):

Fig. 15.4  The making of outside

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Asking Impractical Questions to Practice In the above, we have suggested ways one can think of how to conduct a system-theoretical diagnostic of the present that has no given ‘outside’ from where to observe but is committed—one might even say condemned—to constructing its ‘outside’ along the way. This is a strategy to produce critical insight under the basic premise that critique is impossible, that critique never has a basis and that its ‘outside’ must be established ‘from the inside’ and therefore never becomes a real ‘outside’. The next question, then, becomes what kind of relationship this type of systems theoretical diagnostic of the present can have with the systems observed, described and diagnosed. In systems theory, this is not an easy question to answer exactly because operational closure is presumed not only for the systems we study but also for the scientific system, in which we participate. Scientific communication links to scientific communication, and this creates connectivity for further scientific communication (Luhmann 1990). Likewise, financial transactions link to financial transactions, thereby creating opportunities for new transactions, and so on (Luhmann 1988). Only science can communicate scientifically. Other systems can, of course, communicate about the scientifically produced knowledge in their own way, but not in the particular way of science. The scientific communication system can therefore not communicate with other systems. Each system attributes itself to a function, but when they observe each other, they are seeing a performance. Thus, what is internally a function for a system is the performance of another external system. The scientific system assigns itself the function of producing true knowledge. Knowledge is here the purpose of everything. For other systems in the environment of the scientific system, knowledge is at best a performance that supports the other systems in their internal operations. For the educational system, knowledge can be seen as prerequisites to be acquired in teaching. For the political system, knowledge is ammunition in the political struggle. For organizations, knowledge is seen as a decision-making premise. It is never science itself that determines whether knowledge produced by the scientific system is observed and assigned value for other systems.

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This means that the scientific system cannot intervene in other systems. Science is quite simply not in contact with other systems. We cannot inject other systems with knowledge, because we do not decide whether other systems choose to find what we are doing is relevant, and if they do find us relevant, we cannot control how our research is productively misunderstood from that other system’s inner logic. The critical quality of our research is in the end determined by those who communicate about what we are doing. It is out of our hands. But even though research does not decide whether and how it is perceived as performance, we may well on the function side of the distinction between function and performance reflect upon how we make our observations perceptible as a particular kind of performance for other systems. In systems theory, diagnostics of the present resides on the function side of the distinction about asking ‘what is the case?’ and ‘what lies behind?’. On the performance side of the distinction, it might be about asking impractical questions to practice. To the extent that systems theory can be viewed as a post-foundational program of critique, in our view, it is about promoting self-observation in society, not by judging, evaluating or suggesting specific alternatives but by pointing out blind spots, tensions and contingency: ‘Systems theory has a certain capacity to improve the instruments of self-observation, i.e. of communicating within society about society’ (Luhmann 1982: 137). Diagnostics of the present is not so much about intervening in society through knowledge as it is about providing the systems with greater capacity for self-intervention through offers of alternative self-­descriptions. Again, as put by Luhmann (1994: 136): ‘Sociology could create a surplus of structural variations that could induce the observed function systems to consider alternatives to their own modes of operation’. This includes the descriptions of descriptions and diagnoses of the present that irritate the systems and make them uncomfortable. However, irritation is always a self-irritation in the systems. The afore-mentioned three epistemological interests function as a strategy for slowly ‘radicalizing’ our impractical questions to practice, that is, the self-description of systems. The posing of impractical questions that invite systems to observe themselves differently is quite simply what the social systems’ theoretical perspective can offer in terms of

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c­ ritique. In the first step, we produce insights into the form of contingency through the semantic history analysis, observing how problems over time have become problems. It provides a possible specific performance to the systems of society in the form of impractical questions that point to how the practices of systems might not be necessary. It is an insight into the fact that things are not self-evident and that everything can be observed differently with different effects on perception of possibilities and subsequent continuation of the systems. You could therefore always ask: what happens if you observe the same differently? Which new possibilities will then occur? In the second step, we produce insights into the communicative forms that are repeated and unfolded in the semantics. Internal tensions and paradoxes of the forms are investigated, and it is explored how social systems’ operations are not just contingent but also driven by necessary paradoxes. Here is another offer of performance in the form of an impractical question to practice that reads ‘What you do is impossible!’. So, what is offered here is an insight into the tragedy that governs system practice. It is reasonable to ask how such an insight can be perceived as relevant. In our view, it is actually a fairly relevant insight to offer systems. For example, when analyzing the form of decision-making and pointing to the decision’s fundamental undecidability, organizations are offered insight into how it may be that decision-making is always experienced so difficult as well as insight into the political space that the undecidability establishes. Precisely because there is a fundamental undecidability that can never be analyzed away, there is also a certain kind of freedom in the paradoxical operation. Finally, in the third step, diagnostics of the present allows for a performance in the form of an impractical question to practice that reads: ‘You do much more than you realize. Take responsibility for it!’. Here, you do not only produce an insight into the self-evidences that govern system practice, that is, an insight into the contingency of operations. You also provide insights into the paradoxes and built-in tragedies that follow the individual forms of communication, regardless of the efforts the system. It always turns out that the system never really solved its problem or met its ideal. Finally, in the third step, the systems are offered insights into how their creative endeavors are not just tragic but may also put at stake

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Fig. 15.5  Accumulation of impractical rights

more than they were aware of. Perhaps you have found that in the social work of the organization, you are exercising power in relation to the clients you want to help. Therefore, the strategy is changed, so the goal instead becomes empowerment and offers citizens dialogue and individual contracts. A diagnosis of the present shows that it may well be that citizen contracts originate from a will to empowerment, but at the same time they make the will of a management object so that the client is now in an even more stressed situation. The citizens are now expected not only to document certain behavior but also to prove their inner will. To prove will is, however, always charged with severe authenticity problems. The three impractical questions to practice we have summarized are as follows (Fig. 15.5):

Conclusion We do not believe there is any way we can distinguish clearly between critical and non-critical research. It is difficult enough for science itself to distinguish between true and not true. But at the same time, we believe it to be absolutely crucial to discuss what programs of knowledge production we want to commit ourselves to. For example, to claim critique on the ground of the impossibility of critique might make sense at least as a form of resistance to conventional scientific standards, that is, searching for an ‘outside’, where you can consider what you want with your research. We are not claiming that diagnostics of the present with the help of

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s­ystems theory is a critical practice. Anyone who claims to be critical demands a sovereignty that others do not possess. Nevertheless, we would still claim to have a critical ambition with our form of diagnostics, even if we believe that this ambition is doomed to end tragically because it is impossible to step outside both time and society and to diagnose it. It will always prove that even the most critical diagnostic of the present was itself merely an affirmative part of the present and its self-creation and tragic, because it is always up to the systems whether our knowledge is critical. If our knowledge seems critical, it is only because the systems find it meaningful to produce self-criticism from our noise—never because what we are doing is simply critical. So, it is possible to have a will to critique, but that is also all that is possible. We can now answer the question we posed previously: why should society be engaged in systems theory at all if its descriptions of it have no ambition of telling it what to do? The answer is quite simple, because society is intransparent for itself. Systems theory can offer a description, which can improve society’s self-description in order to improve its understanding of its own way of functioning. According to this line of thought, critical theory is not critical enough, because instead of challenging society’s self-description as an ‘unfinished project of enlightenment’, it turns it into its own declared ambition to help society to realize its own ideals of becoming modern, through its criticism (Moeller 2012: 31). What we need, instead, is a description of society that challenges its own idea about what it means to be modern and on what contingent premises this assumption is based, thereby challenging any conventional self-descriptions of society. In doing so, the theory provides a paradoxical form, where society acquires a description, a certain perspective, from where it can describe itself internally as if it was from the outside.

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Index1 

A

Affect, 29, 30, 52, 158, 181, 185, 239 Agency, 27, 30, 139, 162, 165, 166, 172, 173, 207, 251, 301, 302, 304, 305 Agonism, 168, 169, 171, 172, 331, 335 Agonistic democracy, 327–332, 335 Agonistic pluralism, 334 Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), 246 Althusserianism, 300–302, 305, 306, 308, 314 Althusser, Louis, 2, 140, 182, 299–307, 314, 344, 347, 348, 351 Angermuller, Johannes, 1, 5, 20, 69, 155, 253

Antagonism, 6, 23, 43–58, 71, 71n2, 72, 72n3, 90, 93, 96, 158, 168, 182, 183, 227, 228, 237, 238, 249, 252, 300, 305, 312, 314, 315, 319, 325–327, 329, 331, 332, 337 Antagonistic other, 45, 223–240, 249, 255 Anti-essentialism, 106 Anti-essentialist ontology, 106, 117, 122 Anti-populism, 209, 268–291 Anti-populist, 268, 270–275, 277–291 Arbitrariness, 319 Artisan, 146 Assemblage, 9, 156, 159–162, 164–166, 168, 168n9, 170, 172–174

 Note: Page numbers followed by ‘n’ refer to notes.

1

© The Author(s) 2019 T. Marttila (ed.), Discourse, Culture and Organization, Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94123-3

399

400  Index

Austerity policies, 268 B

Bachelard, Gaston, 18, 19 Barthes, Roland, 21, 22, 134–136, 138, 140, 141, 143, 268n1 Bataille, Georges, 52–54, 52n6, 53n7, 56, 57 Biopolitics, 130 Biosemiotics, 133 Bowman, Glen, 47, 49, 57 Budapest, 9, 180, 187, 188, 190, 191n3, 193, 194 C

Chain of equivalence, 44, 45, 48, 49, 51, 72, 81–83, 90, 96, 98, 122, 188, 227, 228, 232–235, 237, 251, 257, 258, 326, 329 Christian Democratic discourse, 203 Christian Democratic Union (CDU, Germany), 92–94, 98 Christian Social Union (CSU, Germany), 74, 75 City-text, 9, 179, 180, 186, 189 Common European Asylum System (CEAS), 207 Community media, 166, 171, 173, 174 Conflict, 74, 133, 139, 146, 158, 166–168, 174, 225–227, 250, 259, 262, 270, 319, 324, 326, 327, 330, 334, 336 Constructivism, 327 Context, 8, 22, 26, 27, 34, 57, 58, 67–69, 77, 81, 85, 86, 88, 92,

94, 105–110, 112–115, 117–121, 117n3, 118n5, 132, 133, 136, 137, 140–142, 145–147, 158, 163, 167, 172, 181, 200, 201, 203, 204, 208, 209, 215, 225, 245, 251–254, 260, 261, 274–279, 281, 285, 290, 313–317, 347, 352 Contingency, 24, 32, 51, 83, 116, 117, 158, 159, 162, 165, 166, 172, 174, 239, 318, 327, 329, 332, 333, 335–338, 355–358, 360, 361 Corpus linguistics, 3, 23, 121, 252, 253, 261, 268–291 Critique, 4, 10, 18, 30, 32–34, 119, 132, 133, 136, 137, 139, 142, 160, 239, 289, 300, 304, 306, 311, 312, 317, 323–338, 343–363 Critique of ideology, 32, 299, 310, 347, 349 Cultural difference, 245–262 Cultural identity, 130, 147, 252, 262 Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC), 156, 166–174 D

Death of the Author, The (Roland Barthes), 135 Decentered subject, 19, 25, 27–32, 34 Decisionism, 317, 327n4 Deduction, 106, 107, 109, 111, 112, 122, 332 Deleuze, Gilles, 21, 45, 163, 164

 Index    

Demand, 69–73, 75–77, 80–83, 83n9, 89–91, 93–95, 98, 108, 121, 146, 181, 183, 185, 227–232, 235–238, 251, 260, 262, 269, 273, 289, 311, 329, 363 Democracy, 10, 24, 72, 74, 95, 167, 180, 181, 189–191, 200, 202n3, 203, 216, 217, 226, 275, 281, 284, 285, 287–288, 290, 309, 316, 317, 324, 329, 329n8, 331, 331n12, 333–338, 337n17 Democratic ethics, 10, 338 Diagnostics of the present (Foucault), 352–355, 357, 360–362 Diaz-Bone, Rainer, 2, 5, 7, 21, 34, 86 Disclosing critique, 19, 32–34 Discourse, 1, 17–35, 43–58, 105–123, 129, 155, 179, 199–217, 224, 245–262, 268–291, 300, 324, 356 Discourse coalition, 66, 77–78, 82–84, 86, 87, 92, 98, 99 Discourse theory, 2–4, 7, 23, 43, 50, 56–58, 66, 67, 105, 106, 120n6, 122, 123, 156–160, 168, 173, 174, 180, 182, 183, 194, 202, 208, 226, 247, 248, 251, 252, 268–291, 301, 308, 310–311 Discursive-material analysis (DMA), 156, 168n9 Discursive-material knot, 166–168 Discursive strategeme, 89 Discursive turn, 1, 5

401

Dislocation, 9, 26, 46–49, 47n3, 47n4, 155–174, 208, 209, 211, 212, 214, 216, 217, 226, 250 Division of labor, 202n2 Division of Labor in Society (Emile Durkheim), 202n2 Dublin Convention, 209–210, 217 Dublin III Regulation, 245 E

Eating preferences, 131 Economic determination, 301, 303, 305–307 Emancipation, 57, 208, 315, 324 Embodiment, 74, 130, 131, 138, 142, 334 Empty place of power, 318, 333, 334 Empty signifier, 44–46, 48–50, 56, 57, 70, 73, 74, 183, 184, 187, 194, 226, 228, 251, 255, 257, 261, 270, 279, 280, 327–330, 328n5, 329n8 Entanglement, 7, 8, 24, 156, 160, 162, 173 Epistemological deficit, 34 Epistemology, 19–25, 34, 332, 350–352 Equivalence, 23, 44–46, 48–50, 53–56, 71–73, 81, 89–93, 96, 97, 159, 183–185, 227, 228, 230–233, 235–239, 253, 255, 261, 269, 279, 305, 319, 326, 335 Essex School (in discourse analysis), 1–10, 17–21, 23, 27, 29–32, 34, 35, 43, 180, 194, 248, 253, 269–271

402  Index

EU cohesion policy, 204 EU Council of Europe, 210n10, 211, 212 Europe, 190, 199–217, 223, 224, 233, 245, 250, 268, 270, 279, 280, 284, 285, 287, 289, 290, 315 European Asylum Support Office (EASO), 207, 212 European Monetary Union (EMU), 204–206 European refugee crises, 9, 245 European solidarity, 200, 201, 203–206, 211, 213 European Union (EU), 9, 46, 147, 200, 201, 203–207, 204n5, 205n7, 205n8, 209, 210, 210n11, 212, 213, 215–217, 245, 268, 269n2, 280 EUROZONE, 200, 203, 209, 214, 217 EU Solidarity Fund, 204 EU-Turkey agreement, 201, 207, 209, 214–217 F

Falsificationism, 313 Family reunification, 201, 207, 209–211, 213, 217 Fidesz, 180, 187–189, 191, 194 Field of discourse analysis, 1, 3, 5, 157 Field of discursivity, 55, 56, 157, 158, 162, 308 Fixity/fixation, 157, 158, 225, 250, 252, 269, 324, 332 Fluidity, 157

Food and globalization, 134 Food and popular culture, 138 Food as signification, 132 Food elites, 143 Food negotiation, 138–144 Food politics, 129–149 Foucaultian discourse analysis, 2, 5, 7, 66 Foucault, Michel, 2, 21, 26, 30, 45, 67, 70, 100, 122, 131, 137, 161, 226, 312, 325, 328, 350, 352, 356 French School of Discourse Analysis, 252 G

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs), 147, 148 Geography, 4, 182, 247 German Ideology (Marx, Karl & Engels, Friedrich), 27 Germany, 9, 83, 85, 89, 92, 96, 200, 206, 210, 211, 213, 223–240, 245, 246, 258 Greece, 200, 206, 207, 211, 212, 214, 215, 268, 270, 272, 273, 275, 277, 285–287, 289, 290 H

Hegemonic articulation, 46, 55, 57, 76, 77, 299, 311, 317 Hegemonic politics, 9 Hegemonic project, 76–78, 81–83, 91–99, 208, 209, 217, 226–228, 236, 238, 332

 Index    

Hegemonic strategy, 65, 66, 78–84, 86, 88, 89, 99, 100, 226, 231 Hegemony, 6, 7, 43, 44, 46, 49, 50, 54, 56–58, 63–100, 83n9, 106–109, 130, 139, 140, 144, 158, 159, 167, 168, 179, 181–184, 208, 209, 225, 226, 240, 251, 252, 269, 300, 316–319, 324–327, 327n4, 333, 334, 336, 337, 338n17 Hegemony analysis, 7, 63–100, 226 Hermeneutic(s) first-order, 31 second-order, 31, 117 Hermeneutical perspective, 117 Hermeneutic circle, 118n5 Heterogeneity, 6, 23, 43–58, 72, 181, 250, 251, 261 Heuristic power, 18, 32 Historical bloc, 309

403

Imaginary, 74, 82, 140, 184, 185, 188–190, 226, 309, 310, 347 Imagined community, 206–207, 216, 248 Immigration, 199–217, 233, 246, 247, 251, 252, 261 Immigration policy, 199–217 Indeterminacy, 22, 299–319 Induction, 106, 109–112, 122 Ingestion and physical boundaries, 133 Interpretative turn, 28 Invitation, 155–174 K

Keller, Reiner, 5, 7, 28, 35, 105, 226 Koselleck, Reinhart, 344, 345, 349 L

I

Identification, 5, 29, 30, 32, 56, 109, 181, 182, 184, 185, 188, 194, 235, 269, 286, 290, 331, 332 Identity, 24, 25, 29, 30, 32, 33, 43–51, 47n4, 54, 56, 57, 64, 113–115, 130, 132, 134, 141, 144, 147, 149, 162, 181, 185–187, 194, 208, 216, 224, 227, 228, 238, 239, 247–255, 257, 258, 260–262, 268, 269, 273, 306, 310, 311, 315, 319, 324–329, 328n7, 330n10, 330n11, 332, 333, 337

Lacan, Jacques, 2, 20, 29, 58, 144, 145, 162, 239, 269, 299, 304, 312, 327, 347 Laclau, Ernesto, 1, 4, 6, 8, 10, 17, 21–26, 30, 32, 43–58, 44n2, 47n3, 52n6, 64, 67, 69–74, 72n3, 79–81, 144, 148, 156–162, 156n2, 156n3, 180–185, 188, 208, 209, 224–229, 232, 238, 239, 247–252, 260–262, 269, 299–301, 305–313, 316–319, 323–338, 337n16, 337n17, 344, 350 Lakatos, Imre, 5, 18, 34, 313, 314 Latour, Bruno, 10, 34, 344, 348–350

404  Index

Law, John, 161 Leader, 53, 167, 180, 187, 189, 190, 268, 285, 288–290, 329, 330, 333, 334 Lexicometric analysis, 229, 271, 275 Lexicometry, 229, 238, 270, 271, 274, 275, 280, 280n4, 286 Liberal democracy, 72, 181, 190, 309, 316, 329–331, 335 Logic of equivalence, 48, 183, 194, 269 Logics of Critical Explanation in Social and Political Theory (Jason Glynos & David Howarth), 105 Luhmann, Niklas, 344, 345, 349–351, 353, 356, 359, 360 Lumpenproletariat, 43, 50–54, 56, 57

Merkel, Angela, 245, 246 Methodological position, 18 Methodologization, 3 Methodology, 1–9, 17–35, 63–100, 105, 106, 108, 112, 119, 120, 120n7, 123, 133, 136, 168–169n9, 180, 208, 224, 252–255, 269–271 Mouffe, Chantal, 1, 10, 17, 21–24, 32, 44–46, 48, 50, 55, 57, 64, 67, 70–72, 72n3, 79–81, 144, 145, 148, 156–161, 156n2, 156n3, 168, 181, 182, 208, 209, 224, 225, 247, 248, 251, 252, 260, 261, 269, 299–301, 305–309, 312, 313, 316, 319, 323–338 Müller-Armack, Alfred, 87–92, 88n12, 89n14, 97 Myth, 136, 141, 184, 185, 188, 190, 194, 333

M

Marchart, Oliver, 4, 17, 19, 20, 24, 29, 163, 182, 183, 324 Marx, Karl, 27, 43, 50–54, 56, 57, 190, 202, 302, 314, 344, 346, 347 Material/materiality, 2, 7–9, 23–26, 31, 48, 52, 64–66, 70, 85, 86, 99, 130, 133, 134, 136, 144, 145, 148, 155–174, 156n2, 179, 180, 184, 237, 247, 251, 262, 270–271, 300, 303, 307, 308, 312–314, 346, 347 Media, 9, 130, 132, 136, 142, 145, 148, 149, 163n7, 166, 171, 173, 174, 189, 193, 216, 224, 229, 245, 246, 252–257, 259, 260, 262, 271–275, 286, 290

N

Nagy, Imre, 187 Nation, 63, 64, 147, 148, 184–186, 188, 190–193, 202, 226, 227, 246–251, 280, 286, 287, 289, 329n8 National identity, 64, 147, 185, 239, 248–252, 254, 255, 261, 262, 286 Nationalism, 47, 57, 141, 167–169, 179, 184–186, 188, 193, 226, 268, 278, 285, 290 Natural science, 106, 108–114, 117, 117n3, 120n7 New materialism, 8, 31, 155, 156, 160, 173, 174

 Index    

Nodal point, 57, 72, 82, 171, 188, 191, 192, 208, 209, 226–229, 231, 232, 235, 237–239, 269, 270, 279–284, 287 Normative deficit, 10, 32, 300, 314–319 Normative uncertainty, 299–319 Norms, 133, 134, 137, 138, 140, 143, 318, 336, 353, 356, 357 O

Ontology, 2, 5, 6, 17–19, 27, 30, 34, 71, 71n2, 106, 108, 113–115, 117, 118n5, 119–122, 155, 158, 160–162, 168n9, 181, 182, 239, 312, 318, 325–327, 330n10, 330n11, 335, 336, 349, 350 Orbán, Viktor, 180, 188–190, 194 Overdetermination, 118n4, 158, 303, 306 P

Participation/participatory, 95, 121, 166, 167, 168n9, 170–173, 202, 317, 337 PASOK (a Greek political party), 272, 277 Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA, Germany), 9, 223, 246 Peirce, Charles Sander, 109–111, 110n1 People, 50, 76, 93, 116, 131, 142, 148, 166, 171, 173, 182,

405

185, 188, 189, 191, 193, 194, 199n1, 200, 207, 210, 212–216, 223–240, 247, 255, 258–260, 269–272, 274–277, 279, 284, 286–289, 326, 330, 331, 332n14, 333, 343 Phenomenological discourse analysis, 7 Phenomenological tradition, 30 Plural democracy, 333, 335 Political discourse, 63, 65, 69, 70, 74, 75, 78, 85, 100, 184, 201, 226, 333–335 Political geography, 245–262 Political ontology, 325–327, 326n3, 336 Political, the, 9, 50, 129, 137, 142, 148, 156n2, 156n3, 158, 167, 179, 183, 187, 188, 192, 201, 238, 249–251, 254, 260, 268, 277, 280, 289–291, 299, 300, 305, 307, 309, 315, 316, 318, 319, 324, 326, 326n2, 329–331, 330n10, 330n11, 333–335, 347, 359, 361 Politics of fear, 223, 240 Popper, Karl, 106–108, 111, 112, 313, 314 Populism, 43, 50, 54, 56, 57, 179–194, 209, 223, 268–291, 314, 324, 327–331, 330n10, 330n11, 333, 334 Positivist hegemony, 106–109 Post-Althusserian theory, 301, 312, 314–316, 319 Post-foundational condition, 20, 21, 24–26, 29, 32–34

406  Index

Post-foundational discourse analysis (PDA), 9, 17–35, 224, 225 Post-foundationalism, 10, 323–338, 343–363 Post-hermeneutic epistemology, 31 Post-politics, 330, 337 Post-structuralism, 144, 311, 335 Poststructuralist discourse theory, 105, 106, 120n6, 122, 123, 180, 248 Power, 18–20, 24–26, 32, 34, 49, 81, 83, 85, 129–149, 161, 167, 183, 188, 189, 192, 208, 247, 249, 251, 252, 258, 262, 275, 318, 325, 327, 331, 333–337, 333n15, 338n17, 345, 346, 362 Practice of critique, 32–34, 323n1 Pragmatic discourse analysis, 5 Press, 236, 246, 268–291 Prophecy self-defeating, 116 self-fulfilling, 116 Pro-populist, 271–275, 279, 284, 286, 287, 289, 290 Psychoanalysis, 2, 144, 347

Reflexive methodology, 18 Reflexivity first-order, 117 second-order, 115–117 Reichenbach, Hans, 106, 107, 112 Relation of difference, 71, 73 Relation of equivalence, 71, 91 Relational epistemology, 19–25, 34 Representation, 45–50, 53–55, 58, 70, 72–74, 73n4, 76, 77, 81, 82, 90–93, 98, 129, 130, 134–136, 138, 140, 141, 144, 147–149, 163, 163n7, 172, 181, 183, 185, 190, 192, 202, 216, 217, 225–228, 231, 232, 234, 238, 251, 253–257, 259–262, 269, 272, 287, 299, 300, 310, 313, 315, 316, 319, 326, 329, 344, 347, 350, 352, 357 Retroduction, 105, 106, 108–112, 122 Retroductive cycle, 105–123 Rhetoric, 9, 121, 148, 179–194, 200, 201, 217, 226, 247, 290, 308, 310 Rhetorical-performative analysis, 179–194 Right-wing populism, 223, 330, 334 Rigidity, 157

R

Radical contingency, 117, 329 Radical democracy, 10, 299, 300, 309, 316, 317, 319, 324, 332, 334–338 Radio, 156, 166–169, 171–173 Reading Capital (Louis Althusser & Etienne Balibar), 303, 347

S

Saussure, Ferdinand, 2, 21, 67, 208, 307, 311 Schmitt, Carl, 319, 327n4, 330 Self-interpretation, 28, 30, 31, 112, 113, 116 Semiotic analysis, 22, 135

 Index    

Semiotics of culture, 133 Slow Food movement, 146 Social Democratic Party (SPD, Germany), 97–99 Social market economy, 64, 65, 69, 76, 79, 84–86, 89, 89n14, 91–99 Sociosemiotics, 133 Solidarity mechanical, 202, 202n2 social democratic, 202n3 Stallybrass, Peter, 50, 51, 53, 54, 57 Structuralist semiotics, 22, 23 Subjectivation, 64, 66, 77–78, 82, 98 Subject theory, 327 Super sign, 145 SYRIZA (a Greek political party), 270, 272, 273, 277, 280, 286, 289 System theory epistemology, 345, 354 first-order observation, 351 outside, 349, 352–355 second-order observation, 351

407

Tradition, 1, 4, 8, 10, 18, 20, 23, 29–32, 34, 35, 112, 118n5, 141, 142, 146, 147, 160, 186, 189, 191, 202, 256, 257, 286, 302, 315, 329 Treaty of Maastricht, 205 Tropes catachresis, 184 synecdoche, 183 Tropology, 181 U

Undecidability, 158, 316, 318, 326, 327, 331, 332, 335, 337, 361 UNESCO, 188, 191 United Nations (UN), 169, 172 Universalism, 327 Upholstery button, 145–148 Urban landscape, 9, 179–194 W

West Germany, 64, 65, 79, 84, 85, 88, 93, 94 Z

T

Technocracy, 330, 337 Totalitarianism, 349

Žižek, Slavoj, 29, 46, 163, 181, 312, 316, 317, 319, 327, 333, 337n17

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