The problems with liberal consensus. Agonistic politics according to Chantal Mouffe


  • Anna Szklarska



antagonism, agonism, liberalism, democracy, hegemony, deliberation, political philosophy


This article is a critical analysis of the most important assumptions of Chantal Mouffe’s political philosophy, along with its original categories such as agonism, radical democracy and hegemony. The sources of her concept are indicated and certain difficulties that the author falls into are distinguished. The thread that is considered central to this philosophy, with the most profound practical consequences, is an attempt to demonstrate the futility of a liberal doctrine that values consensus and deliberation and proclaims an apology for individualism and rationalism. Mouffe’s diagnosis strikes at the most important liberal values with the intention of discrediting them although she tries to creatively adopt others, such as pluralism. She proposes a new paradigm, much fairer than existing ones, because it does not negate the conflictive nature of politics. Does an agonist dispute and radical democracy really have a chance to undermine liberal axiology? Are we dealing with a breakthrough in thinking about politics?





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