The “Agonistic Turn”: Political Theory and the Displacement of Politics in New Contexts
First published in 1993, Bonnie Honig’s Political Theory and the Displacement of Politics challenged political theorists’ focus on justifying political institutions and norms, and helped to usher in what we might call an “agonistic turn” in political theory. While searching for “agonism politics” in Google Scholar brings up more than 26,000 results today, for entries prior to 1993 those same search terms number only 1300 results. As of July, there are already 2160 results for 2019 alone.
Agonism’s move from a marginal to central place in contemporary political theory has a double edge. Many varieties of democratic theorists have largely adopted one of Honig’s main claims – that agonistic contestation is not a regrettable feature of democracy, but a democratic good – as their own. This once-provocative claim seems now uncontroversial. The absorption of agonism into the theoretical mainstream, on the one hand, means that political theorists are much more focused on contestatory politics...
- Arendt, H. (2013) The Human Condition. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Beltrán, C. (2010) The Trouble with Unity: Latino Politics and the Creation of Identity. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Handy, B. (2017) How the story of ferdinand became fodder for the culture wars of its era. The New Yorker. 15 Dec 2017. https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/how-the-story-of-ferdinand-became-fodder-for-the-culture-wars-of-its-era, accessed 12 Aug 2019.
- Hartman, S. (2019) Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
- Hegel, G.F.W. (1977) Phenomenology of Spirit. Translated by A.V. Miller. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Honig, B. (ed.). (1995) Feminist Interpretations of Hannah Arendt. State College: Pennsylvania State University Press.Google Scholar
- Honig, B. (2019) 12 Angry Men: Care for the Agon and the varieties of masculinity. Theory and Event 22(3): 701–716.Google Scholar
- Honig, B. (1994) Difference dilemmas, and the politics of home. Social Research 61(3), Liberalism [FALL 1994], pp. 563–597).Google Scholar
- Honig, B. (2017a) (Un)reality TV: Trump, Kelly, and the revolving door of whiteness. Politicsslashletters, Oct 2017, http://politicsslashletters.org/features/unreality-tv-trump-kelly-and-the-revolving-door-of-whiteness/, accessed 12 Aug 2019.
- Honig, B. (2017b) The president’s house is empty Boston Review, 20 Jan 2017. http://bostonreview.net/politics/bonnie-honig-president’s-house-empty, accessed 12 Aug 2019.
- Honig, B. (2018) Renovating the house (and senate). Los Angeles Review of Books Blog. 30 Sept 2018. https://blog.lareviewofbooks.org/essays/renovating-house-senate/, accessed 12 Aug 2019.
- Honig, B. (2020/2021) ‘Give me glory!’ Gender, The Bacchae, and the Politics of Refusal. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press: The Flexner Lectures.Google Scholar
- Hooker, J. (2018) Grief and black politics: From black death to black life. Presented at the American Political Science Association Conference.Google Scholar
- hooks, b. (2015) Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Jones, C.C. (2019) Fearing for his life. The Verge, 13 Mar 2019, https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/13/18253848/eric-garner-footage-ramsey-orta-police-brutality-killing-safety
- Keeling, K. (2019) Queer Times, Black Futures. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
- Leaf, M. (1936) The Story of Ferdinand, Illus. Robert Lawson. New York: Viking Press.Google Scholar
- Marso, L. (2018) Birthing feminist freedom, Medium, https://medium.com/@arendt_center/birthing-feminist-freedom-985847049ec1, and in The Journal of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College 6: 98–106.
- Martel, J. (2011) The ambivalent anarchism of Hannah Arendt. In: J.C. Klausen and J. Martel (eds.) How Not To Be Governed. New York: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
- Morgan, D. (2019) Bryan Stevenson: ‘The North won the Civil War, but the South won the narrative war’ on history of racism. CBS News 24 Jun 2019, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/bryan-stevenson-we-are-all-complicit-in-our-countrys-history-of-racism/?fbclid=IwAR0oawb6Yy0ufm0dJHZGoSEQ6FLOM1QkeAgPNmTq86cyzcOqXTuSllH5RpQ), accessed 11 Aug 2019.
- Murray, S. (2008) Representing Autism: Culture, Narrative, Fascination. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.Google Scholar
- Nietzsche, F. (1911) Homer’s contest” & “the Greek state. In: O. Levy (ed.) The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche, vol 2, Translated by M.E. Mügge. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Nietzsche, F. (1998) On the Genealogy of Morality, Translated by M. Clark. Indianapolis: Hackett.Google Scholar
- Pilkington (ed.). (2018) Crystal Mason begins prison sentence in Texas for crime of voting. The Guardian. 28 Sept 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/28/crystal-mason-begins-prison-sentence-in-texas-for-of-voting, accessed 11 Aug 2019.
- Rawls, J. (1971) A Theory of Justice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Reagon, B. (1983) Coalition politics: Turning the century. In: B. Smith (ed.) Home Girls. New York: Kitchen Table Press, pp. 356–368.Google Scholar
- Spillers, H. (2011) African-American women and the republics. In: A.R. Janmohamed (ed.) Reconsidering Social Identification: Race, Gender, Class and Caste. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Wamsley, L. (2017) Erica Garner, who became an activist after her father’s death, dies. NPR, 30 Dec 2017, https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/30/574514217/erica-garner-who-became-an-activist-after-her-fathers-death-dies, accessed 11 Aug 2019.
- Warner, M. (2005) Publics and Counterpublics. New York, NY: Zone Books.Google Scholar