Education and articulation: Laclau and Mouffe’s radical democracy in school

Ethics and Education 12 (3):1-13 (2017)
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This paper outlines a theory of radical democratic education by addressing a key concept in Laclau and Mouffe’s Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: articulation. Through their concept of articulation, Laclau and Mouffe attempt to liberate Gramsci’s theory of hegemony from Marxist economism, and adapt it to a political sphere inhabited by a plurality of struggles and agents none of which is predominant. However, while for Gramsci the political process of hegemony formation has an explicit educational dimension, Laclau and Mouffe ignore this dimension altogether. My discussion starts with elaborating the concept of articulation and analysing it in terms of three dimensions: performance, connection and transformation. I then address the role of education in Gramsci’s politics, in which the figure of the intellectual is central, and argue that radical democratic education requires renouncing that figure. In the final section, I offer a theory of such education, in which both teacher and students articulate their political differences and identities.
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On Populist Reason.Laclau, Ernesto

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