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Beyond the ontological turn: affirming the relative autonomy of politics

Khan, Gulshan Ara

Authors

Gulshan Ara Khan



Abstract

In this article, I critically evaluate a characteristic tendency that is found across the various traditions of poststructuralism, both narrowly and more broadly defined. This is an increasing propensity to be preoccupied with ontological questions and seemingly at the expense of either a refinement of political concepts or a concrete analysis of forms of power and domination. I consider the reasons for this development and stress how this characteristic feature of poststructuralism appears to follow from the very fact of ontological pluralism. What we see in contemporary continental thought is a proliferation of different traditions, and each side seeks to defend their position in ontological terms. Following this, I advance the idea of a relative autonomy between ontology and politics, where the former does not determine the latter in any direct or straightforward fashion. I argue that we need to stress this relative autonomy to open a little space between ontology and politics, space where we can return poststructuralism to a more concrete engagement with ‘the political’.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 1, 2017
Journal Political Studies Review
Print ISSN 1478-9299
Electronic ISSN 1478-9302
Publisher SAGE Publications (UK and US)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 4
APA6 Citation Khan, G. A. (2017). Beyond the ontological turn: affirming the relative autonomy of politics. Political Studies Review, 15(4), doi:10.1177/1478929917712933
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/1478929917712933
Publisher URL http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1478929917712933
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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