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Series:

Emmanuel Renault

Marx and Critical Theory examines Marx’s main philosophical, political and social theoretical ideas. Its purpose is twofold: making sense of the concepts and theses of Marx, and showing that they remain relevant for contemporary critical theory. Part One focuses on Marx’s conception of philosophy. Part Two analyses the Marxian primacy of the practical. Part Three is devoted to Capital and the critique of political economy. This book will be useful for those who want to deepen their understanding of Marx’s main ideas, as well as for those who want to clarify what is at stake in contemporary debates about the ways in which contemporary critical theory could or should refer to Marx.

John Lachs's Practical Philosophy

Critical Essays on His Thought with Replies and Bibliography

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Edited by Krzysztof Piotr Skowroński

John Lachs (1934-) has been one of the most interesting American philosophers for nearly sixty years. His philosophical, educational, and public activity has been an attempt to show the relevance of philosophy to life. This is the first book dedicated to his thought. International scholars have proposed different themes in Lachs’ philosophy, so as to present its enormous potential. Lachs’ responses to his critics shows that dialogue with his critics is an inspirational activity for both sides. Lachs’ way of philosophizing can be seen as exemplary for those who want to unify and present a clear and understandable articulation of moral and philosophical messages to everyone.

Strangers, Aliens, Foreigners

The Politics of Othering from Migrants to Corporations

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Edited by Marissa Sonnis-Bell, David E. Bell and Michelle Ryan

To contend with others is to contend with ourselves. The way we “other” others, by identifying and reinforcing social distance, is more a product of who we are and who we want to be than it is about “others.” Strangers, Aliens, Foreigners questions such consolidation and polarization of identities in representations ranging from migrants and refugees, to terrorist labels, to constructions of the local. Inclusive and exclusive identities are observed through often arbitrary yet strategically ambiguous lines of class, religion, race, ethnicity, nationality, social status, and geography. However, despite any arbitrariness in definition, there are very real consequences for the emotional, physical, and psychological well-being of those constructed as “the other”, as well as legal governance implications involving human rights and wider sociopolitical ethics. From practical, professional, and political-philosophical points of view, this collection examines what it means to be, or to construct, the Strangers, Aliens, Foreigners. Contributors are David Elijah Bell, Adina Camenisch, Hanna Jagtenberg, Seraina Müller, Lana Pavić, Michelle Ryan, Marissa Sonnis-Bell and Tomasso Trilló.

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Alessandro Ferrara

In Rousseau and Critical Theory, Alessandro Ferrara argues that among the modern philosophers who have shaped the world we inhabit, Rousseau is the one to whom we owe the idea that identity can be a source of normativity (moral and political) and that an identity's potential for playing such a role rests on its capacity for being authentic. This normative idea of authenticity brings unity to Rousseau's reflections on the negative effects of the social order, on the just political order, on education, and more generally, on ethics. It is also shown to contain important teachings for contemporary Critical Theory, contemporary views of self-constitution (Korsgaard, Frankfurt and Larmore), and contemporary political philosophy.

Debating Cognitive Existentialism

Values and Orientations in Hermeneutic Philosophy of Science

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Edited by Dimitri Ginev

Cognitive existentialism is a version of hermeneutic philosophy. The volume provides a summation of the critical approaches to this version. All essays are engaged in probing the value of universal hermeneutics. Drawing on various conceptions developed in analytical and Continental traditions, the authors explore the interpretative dimensions of scientific inquiry. They try to place the projects of their investigations in historical, socio-cultural, and political contexts. The task of extending hermeneutics to the natural sciences is an initiative of much relevance to the dialogue between the scientific and humanistic culture. A special aspect of this dialogue, addressed by all authors, is the promotion of interpretive reflexivity in both kinds of academic culture.

After Orientalism

Critical Perspectives on Western Agency and Eastern Re-appropriations

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Edited by François Pouillion and Jean-Claude Vatin

The debate on Orientalism began some fifty years ago in the wake of decolonization. While initially considered a turning point, Edward Said’s Orientalism (1978) was in fact part of a larger academic endeavor – the political critique of “colonial science” – that had already significantly impacted the humanities and social sciences. In a recent attempt to broaden the debate, the papers collected in this volume, offered at various seminars and an international symposium held in Paris in 2010-2011, critically examine whether Orientalism, as knowledge and as creative expression, was in fact fundamentally subservient to Western domination.
By raising new issues, the papers shift the focus from the center to the peripheries, thus analyzing the impact on local societies of a major intellectual and institutional movement that necessarily changed not only their world, but the ways in which they represented their world. World history, which assumes a plurality of perspectives, leads us to observe that the Saidian critique applies to powers other than Western European ones — three case studies are considered here: the Ottoman, Russian (and Soviet), and Chinese empires.
Other essays in this volume proceed to analyze how post-independence states have made use of the tremendous accumulation of knowledge and representations inherited from previous colonial regimes for the sake of national identity, as well as how scholars change and adapt what was once a hegemonic discourse for their own purposes. What emerges is a new landscape in which to situate research on non-Western cultures and societies, and a road-map leading readers beyond the restrictive dichotomy of a confrontation between West and East.

With contributions by: Elisabeth Allès; Léon Buskens; Stéphane A. Dudoignon; Baudouin Dupret; Edhem Eldem; Olivier Herrenschmidt; Nicholas S. Hopkins; Robert Irwin; Mouldi Lahmar; Sylvette Larzul; Jean-Gabriel Leturcq; Jessica Marglin; Claire Nicholas; Emmanuelle Perrin; Alain de Pommereau; François Pouillon; Zakaria Rhani; Emmanuel Szurek; Jean-Claude Vatin; Mercedes Volait

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Edited by Jacky Bouju and Mirjam de Bruijn

Ordinary social violence, - i.e. recurrent mental or physical aggression occurring between closely related people - structures social relationships in Africa, and in the world. Studies of violence in Africa often refer to ethnic wars and explicit conflicts and do not enter the hidden domain of violence that this book reveals through in-depth anthropological studies from different parts and contexts in Africa. Ordinary violence has its distinctive forms embedded in specific histories and cultures. It is gendered, implicates witchcraft accusations, varies in rural and urban contexts, relates to demographic and socio-economic changes of the past decades and is embedded in the everyday life of many African citizens. The experience of ordinary violence goes beyond the simple notion of victimhood; instead it structures social life and should therefore be a compelling part of the study of social change.

Corruption as an Empty Signifier

Politics and Political Order in Africa

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Lucy Koechlin

Corruption as an Empty Signifier critically explores the ways in which corruption in Africa has been equated with African politics and political order, and offers a novel approach to understanding corruption as a potentially emancipatory discourse of political transformation.
Conventionally, both academic literature as well as development policies depict corruption as the lynchpin of politics in Africa, locking African societies into political orders which subvert democratic change. Drawing on the findings of a case study of the construction industry in Tanzania, Lucy Koechlin conceptualises corruption as a signifier enabling, rather than preventing, social actors to articulate democratic claims. She provides compelling arguments for a more sophisticated understanding of and empirical attentiveness to emancipatory change in African political orders.

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Edited by Ulf Engel and Manuel João Ramos

Fifty years after the foundation of the OAU and the consolidation of most African states and institutions, the international panorama and Africa’s position in it have changed considerably. The world's geopolitical and economic configuration has evolved, with new actors appearing in a new period of globalization. In tone with ECAS 2013, this volume proposes that the experiences appearing in Africa question dominant paradigms in terms of political practice and academic reflection and thus offer a clear challenge to the academic community. The volume offers clues to answer questions such as: What is the impact of the current processes of globalization for African countries and African citizens? How should African Studies be engaged to gauge African dynamics, both at a local and global level? What interdisciplinary means and tools should be brought in to produce an epistemologically relevant view (or narrative) of the issues under analysis?