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Institute for Political Studies
Editor of the journal
New Serbian Political Thought
Faculty for Media and Communications, Singidunum University
The New School for Social Research, New York, USA
The New School for Social Research, New York, USA
Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade University
Bogdana Koljević, PhD, is the Research Associate of the Institute for Political Studies. She published several highly-rated books: “Biopolitika i politički subjektivitet” (Biopolitics and Political Subjectivity) (Službeni glasnik, 2010), “Kosovo, Evropa, demokratija” (Kosovo, Europe, Democracy) (Nova srpska politička misao, 2011), “Biopolitika i savremeni svet” (Biopolitics and Contemporary World) (Zavod za udžbenike i nastavna sredstva, 2015), “Twenty-First Century Biopolitics” (Peter Lang International Publishing, Frankfurt Am Main, 2015), “Ustanak evropskih naroda” (Uprising of European Nations) (Filip Višnjić, 2016), and numerous academic papers in the fields of biopolitics, contemporary democracy theory and international relations.
CHANTALLE MOUFFE’S POLITICS OF RADICAL DEMOCRACY
In this article the author critically reflects upon contemporary democratic theory of Chantal Mouffe – outlined in works such as The Democratic Paradox, The Return of the Political and Hegemony and Socialist Strategy – most notably focusing on her conception of radical democracy as politics of agonism vs. antagonism. In the first part of the essay, the issue of the paradoxical nature of contemporary liberal democracy is placed forward, as well as the theoretical and practical question about the establishment of the so-called consensual politics of the centre and “third way” politics which undertook the name of “social-democracy”. Mouffe rightly emphasizes the difference between two philosophical, historical and political traditions, namely, between the principle of popular sovereignty, on the one hand, and the idea of human and individual rights on the other, concluding that their encounter has been a matter of historical contingency. In this light, the concept of the democratic paradox is articulated, first of all, as the mutual exclusion of these principles among themselves. In the second part of the article, through Mouffe’s dialogue with authors such as Schmitt, Rawls, Habermas and Wittgenstein, the relations between power and pluralism i.e., between otherness and conflict are addressed – with the focus on the idea of conflict as the nature of politics itself. Rethinking the difference between the concept of the political and the concept of politics, the author analyzes Mouffe’s suggestion about substituting the concept of the enemy with the concept of the adversary, which results from her concern as how the role of power and violence can be both reduced and institutionalized. It is argued that the philosophically inspiring and multi-level discourse of hegemony that Mouffe presents nonetheless faces itself with structural problems i.e., that perpetual insistence on affirmation of the liberal-democratic framework annuals the very idea of politics of difference as well as of democracy as such in a self-contradictory manner. Most notably, while Mouffe’s position was conceptualized in a way of a deconstructive and/or poststructural anti-essentialism, it ends up precisely as a totalizing comprehension, that is, in an almost metaphysical grounding of “the other of the same”, as well as in exclusion, and all this in the name of “common ground” which leads political passion in a new “democratic design”. This “design”, however, is one of an anthropological pessimism coming from a perspective of a bellum omnium contra omnes. Moreover, such exclusion, in an act of political decision, rejects original political and social otherness, irreducible difference, divergent interpretations and irreplaceable plurality i.e., the whole field of the “constitutive outside” as the core of democracy and the political per se.
The Role of Serbs in the Creation of New Europe
In this article the author reflects upon the idea of theoretical and practical creation of new Europe as opposed to the concept and form of the European Union. In this context, the issues of subjectivity and sovereignty of Europe’s peoples are addressed in relation to the question of true democracy. The response to neoliberal and postmodern political project - such as the EU - is presented as the rise of post-liberal patriotism in different European states. The role of Serbs is this altering process of the 21st century is exemplified in a three-folded way: through the rise of Euroscepticism, through a remembrance that Russia is a constitutive part of Europe and through emphasis on the specific and representative case of political sovereignty of the Republic of Srpska.
How Can Contemporary Political Philosophy Become Applied Philosophy
In this article the author reflects on the idea of “double responsibility” of political philosophy – as responsibility towards reason and towards practice. Such analysis is presented with the challenge of neoliberalism as dominant world-view and therefore addresses the question of meaning of political philosophy as applied philosophy today. In the second part of the essay, key issues of contemporary political philosophy are articulated: political subjectivity, democracy, the future of the international law, the question of state sovereignty and the relation between ethics and politics. In conclusion, a critical examination of both contextualism and universalism is presented.
Rethinking the Question of Otherness and Democracy in European Philosophy
In this paper the author questions how European philosophy from the Greeks to Modernity and postmodernity encountered the problem of Otherness as the problem of the stranger. Morover, otherness and alterity were for the most part understood as opposed and threatening to the European “selfhood”. In the second part of the article the author addresses the theory of Costas Douzinas, both its originality and shortcomings as a response to the issue of rethinking new cosmopolitism. In conclusion, democracy, pluralism and identity are analysed in the light of ongoing debates surrounding the dilemma and accomplishments of the multicultural approach. The author argues that alternative cosmopolitism includes not only critical but normative theory as well.