The Durkheimian notion of collective representation embod- ies several theoretical and political strategies—the theorisation of forms of social power, social divisions, and of societies in general; a way to formulate the creation and emergence of new and different forms of social thinking; and forms of reflexivity and the social spaces in which these forms might occur. In this sense, representation matters, both in terms of the self-under- standings to which the participants in conflict may be orientated, that is, the mutual comprehension and recognition of key social imaginaries, and the forms of political representation through which social groupings—class, eth- nic and racial groups—can articulate their demands and be part of the polity and its processes and procedures.
By so doing, these papers also open onto issues regarding democracy that stand outside models of incorporation and include direct democracy, representative democracy, regional represen- tation, national representation, and supra-national representation, all of which may stand under the umbrella of a cosmopolitan ethos or social imaginary. This is especially the case with the work of Cornelius Castoriadis, notwith- standing his own critiques of the politics and metaphysics of representation.
If this is the implicit point of refer- ence, the explicit one is the specificity that both thinkers give to the reflexive condition of modernity. This is especially the case in a putative globalised environment, which posits the relativisation of nation-states and their subordination simply as regions to the demands and mobility of new forms of capital and labour.
Notwithstanding their nationalisms, nation-states still provide frameworks or collective representations for the realities of social life, for imagined com- munities B.
Anderson and legal structures against which globalisation may be contested. For Raulet, the recognition of the nation-state as a functioning social and political unit, which provides the continuing context for most forms of social- isation, is neither a republican-integrationist nor a communitarian argument— quite the opposite. In this context, there is an indeterminate and open relation, rather than a necessary and closing connection between recognition and reciprocity.
According to Raulet, the recognition of disjunction and discrepancy has ben- efits at the transnational level, where nation-states and cosmopolitanism pro- vides a double point of mediation for the political life of citizens in an increasingly mobile world. Both generate robust public spheres that require political actors who, themselves, recognise and can address complexity and disaggregation, without being disaggregated themselves. However, as writers as diverse as Balibar and Wieviorka have stressed, the French nation-state also advances its own republican model, which empha- sises a conflation between universalism, sovereignty and citizenship, and national identity when faced with social conflicts.
This has been the case, whether these conflicts have stemmed from transformations in work prac- tices, or from so-called post-industrial configurations such as demands from ethnic groups, regionalists, environmentalists, or sexual and gay rights activists. This issue of the relation between the republic and the political came to paradigmatic life in a debate concerning the equal political representation of women that occurred in In the face of a republican model in which the state is viewed as embodying both universality and particularity the position of women is especially paradoxical.
Either the universalistic grammar of the republic—rights, disembodied participation, impartiality— is embraced as the basis of inclusion, or specificity, difference, particularity is emphasised, which runs the risk of reinforcing an essentialism. Sintomer points to this paradox as the key to mapping the contours of this recent equal- ity debate—a debate, which, he argues both reproduced the paradox and threw it into relief.
In this position a naturalism was posited that was also accompanied by a socio-historical construction, which together was doubled with a humanism, and it was on the basis of this doubling that equality of representation should be accorded. It is precisely here that the question of representation is also thrown into relief as both a limit to conflict and as a facilitator. As Sintomer notes, power dif- ferentials cannot simply be dissolved once representation becomes available and fixed in forms grounded, for example, in delegated individualism, cor- poratism, or proportional representation.
No amount of deliberation or pro- cedure overcomes inequality, injustice or a lack of freedom. Hence, it is not a matter of restating paradoxes embodied in divisions between universality and particularity, republicanism or multiculturalism, or of managing state sponsored difference. Rather, these issues of equality, freedom, and justice concern the dynamics of power and conflict, that is, politics, which should remain dynamic and open-ended in all instances. As many of the writers in this volume and beyond it emphasise—politics is not simply representation, but concerns the ongoing articulation of conflicts, both old and new, whether or not they will ever be resolved, integrated or managed.
A common thread running throughout the essays present in this volume, despite the often deep disagreements between the writers here, is a recognition of the centrality of conflict for the theory and practice of democ- racy. In this sense, and as is intimated by many of the writers in this volume, a distinction can be made between power, politics and conflict on the one hand, and violence and the images of rupture, on the other.
By con- trast and understood as social action and not as a set of institutional arrange- ments, politics denotes an ongoing activity of disputation, whether or not this disputation takes the form of non-verbal acts such as strikes and protests, or verbal ones such as arguments.
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In all of these instances a basic anthropological claim is being made, that of the recognition of the ongoing, indeterminate and contestatory nature of social life, and especially of poli- tics. In other words, recognitive conflict denotes an internal relation between conflict and politics, and a constitutive co-presence of the participants or pro- taganists within the field of the political itself.
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Notes 1 Cf. The book is first of all a methodical study in the psychology of work intended for ergonomists and engineers of work. But the analyses conducted in it have tremendous philosophical implications, not just on the specific question of work, but also for political philosophy and the philosophy of subjectivity.
Essai de Psychologie du Travail, Paris, Bayard, 3rd edition.
David Pellauer, Cambridge, Mass. Essays in Social and Political Philosophy, ed.
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Dejours, Souffrance en France. Johann P. In this context, it is striking how close, for example, Honneth and Ranciere turn out to be in their visions of politics. See J-P. Ethics is indeed a fashionable word. Ethics is viewed as a general instance of normativity that enables one to judge the validity of practices and discourses operating in the particular spheres of judgement and action. Understood in this way, the ethical turn would mean that politics or art are increasingly subjected today to moral judgements about the validity of their principles and the consequences of their practices. There are those who loudly rejoice about such a return to ethical values.
I do not believe that there is so much to rejoice about, because I do not believe that this is actually what is happening today.
Handbook of Critical Theory
The reign of ethics is not the reign of moral judgements over the operations of art or of political action. Ethics, then, is the kind of thinking which establishes the identity between an environment, a way of being and a principle of action. On the other hand, the radicality of this law that leaves no other choice is nothing but the simple constraint stemming from the order of things. This story transposes the Brechtian fable of Saint Joan of the Stockyards who wanted to impose Christian morality in the capitalist jungle. But the transposition is a very good illustration of the gap between the two epochs.
The Brechtian fable was set in a universe in which all notions were divided in two. Christian morality proved ineffective in combatting the violence of the economic order. It had to be transformed into a militant morality, which took as its criterion the necessities of the struggle against oppression. The right of the oppressed was therefore opposed to the right that was the accom- plice of oppression, defended by the strike-busting policemen.
The opposition of two types of violence was therefore also that of two morals and two rights. This division of violence, morality, and right has a name. It is called politics. Politics is not, as is often said, the opposite of morals. It is its division. By contrast, the evil encountered by Grace in Dogville refers to no other cause but itself. She is just the stranger, the excluded one who wants to be admitted into the community and who is subjected by the com- munity before being rejected by it. Her disillusionment and her narrative of suffering no longer depend on any system of domination that could be under- stood and destroyed.
They depend upon a form of evil that is the cause and the effect of its own reproduction.
Only evil repays evil, is the transformed formula, the one that is appropriate for consensual and humanitarian times. Let us translate this into the language of George W. It has been said that it was not well chosen. Maybe it was chosen only too well. It is probably for the same reason that the morality of Dogville has caused a scandal. This lack of humanism lies without a doubt in the idea of a justice done to injustice.
It remains the secret kept in common by the guilty and his associate, the policeman Sean. This is because the joint guilt of Jimmy and Sean exceeds what a tribunal can judge. They are the ones who, while they were children, took Dave along in their risky street games. It is because of them that Dave was taken away by men posing as police, locked up and raped.
Because of this trauma, Dave became an adult with problems, one whose aberrant behaviour denotes him as the ideal culprit for the murder of the young girl. Dogville transposed a theatrical and political fable. In this scenario, truth confronted the falli- ble justice of tribunals and public opinion, and always ended up winning, at the cost sometimes of confronting another form of fatality.
It is a state of indistinction between guilt and innocence, between spiritual disease and social unrest. It is within such trau- matic violence that Jimmy kills Dave, who is himself the victim of a trauma following a rape whose perpetrators themselves were without doubt victims of another trauma.
However, it is not only the scenario of disease that has replaced the scenario of justice. Disease itself has changed its meaning. This misfortune from which nobody can escape revokes the idea of a justice done to injustice. It does not abolish punishment. But it abolishes its justice. It brings it back to the imperatives of the protection of the social body, which, as we know, always has its few mishaps. Many like to denounce the simplistic nature of the psychoanalytical intrigues that are made in Hollywood.
These intrigues, though, adapt their structure and tonality quite faithfully to the lessons of professional psychoanalysis. When Antigone replaces Oedipus in the Lacanian theorisation, a new form of secret is estab- lished, one that is irreducible to any saving knowledge. The trauma that is summarised in Antigone is without beginning or end. She is rather the terrorist, the witness of the secret terror at the basis of the social order. As a matter of fact, in political matters trauma takes the name of terror.
Terror is one of the master words of our time. It surely designates a reality of crime and horror that nobody can ignore. But it is also a term of indistinction. Terror designates the attacks on New York on 11 September or Madrid on 11 March , as well as the strategy in which these attacks have their place. To talk of a war against terror is to connect the form of these attacks with the intimate angst that can inhabit each one of us in the same chain. At the same time, therefore, this is a justice for whom no other justice can serve as a norm, a justice that puts itself above any rule of law.
The essential aspect in this process is certainly not the virtuous return to the norms of morality. Morality implied the separation of law and fact. It implied concurrently the division of different forms of morality and of rights, the division between the ways in which right was opposed to fact.