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Stathis Kouvelakis

The theoretical problem Bensaïd tries to confront from the 1990s onwards is the problem of the categories that are necessary to account for the traumatically new experience of history opened up by the defeat of the revolutionary experiments of the twentieth century. Hence the necessity of new answers to these fundamental and inexhaustible questions: How are we to understand history in its relation to human practice and to politics? Can we talk of ‘necessity’ in history, of ‘laws of history’, of ‘determination’, or ‘determinism’, or of modes of causality operating within it? How are we to conceive the notions of ‘historical possibility’, of ‘conflict’ and ‘struggle’? Bensaïd’s contribution will focus on a dialectical notion of temporality that implies a primacy of politics over history and a break with the traditional Marxist notions of a historical subject as an internally homogeneous and fully-sovereign collective force.


Edited by Jacques Bidet and Stathis Kouvelakis

The Critical Companion to Contemporary Marxism is an international and interdisciplinary volume which aims to provide a thorough and precise panorama of recent developments in Marxist theory in the US, Europe, Asia and beyond. Drawing on the work of thirty of the most authoritative scholars, the Companion spans all the humanities and social sciences, with particular emphasis on philosophy. The work is divided into three parts: 'General Trends', which provides a broad intellectual and historical context; 'Currents', which tracks the trajectories of twenty specific currents or disciplinary fields; and 'Figures', which examines in detail the work of fifteen key actors of Marxist or para-Marxist theory (Adorno, Althusser, Badiou, Benjamin, Bhaskar, Bourdieu, Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault, Gramsci, Habermas, Jameson, Lefebvre, Uno, Williams). The Companion is set to be unsurpassed for many years, in breadth and depth, as the definitive guide to contemporary Marxism.