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Phronimon

On-line version ISSN 2413-3086

Abstract

OLIVIER, Bert. Rancière and the recuperation of politics. Phronimon [online]. 2015, vol.16, n.1, pp. 0-17. ISSN 2413-3086.

In the work of Jacques Ranciere one encounters a welcome and uncompromising return to the question of the political, or politics proper, as opposed to politics in the ordinary sense of the word. For Ranciere, the political is something irreducible, where the fundamental equality of all human subjects manifests itself, while customary politics is the perversion of the political in as far as it covers up this equality and institutes in its place a hierarchical arrangement of the polis. Hence Ranciere's claim that customary politics is the work of what he calls the "police" (not with the usual meaning), which here represents the agency that parcels out the polis according to the interests of those who have a "part" in it. Ranciere's concern, however, is for the part of the de-mos, or those "with no part", who are at once excluded from politics and immanent to it as its constant other, or shadow. This paper explores the implications of Ranciere's radicalisation of the notion of the "political" - or "politics" in the sense of the democratic pursuit of equality - for the hierarchical, consensual realm of (pseudo-) politics under the "police", and for the prospects of democracy, especially considering the role of what Ranciere calls "dissensus".

Keywords : Democracy; demos; distribution of the sensible; equality; politics; Ranciere; the "police".

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