On the Political

Last week I wrote a few posts related to a talk I was asked to give to the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW). The talk was inspired in part by a book by Chantal Mouffe (2005) called On the Political: Thinking in Action that I have been teaching this period in the course People, Policy and Resources in Comparative Perspective.

The book challenges the trend towards a post-political society wherein we restrict or even deny differences and passions that Mouffe argues (and I agree) cannot be ignored. She makes use a conservative thinker to challenge contemporary liberal approaches to deliberative democracy and consensus building.

I like the book for teaching because it posits a fundamental challenge to values most students hold dear and take for granted. It is a nice book to begin a critical reflection on contemporary politics.

However, some students do find it quite challenging and so to support their reading, learning and reflecting, I developed a mind-map of key terms and some of their interconnections.

Sharing it here in case it if of use to anyone out there. I would also be curious to connect with any other teachers who make use of Mouffe in their courses.

Mind map of key terms from Mouffe (2005)
Mind map of key terms from Mouffe (2005) “On the Political”

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