Marked unmarked: Black politics and the western political

Barnor Hesse*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Modern political theory has traditionally exorcised the meaning of black politics from its conceptual landscape. The poststructuralist distinction between politics and the political potentially offers radical possibilities for thinking against this. Its emphasis on contingency, groundlessness, and incompleteness subverts liberal political theory's identification of politics with the formalism of law, the preservation of order, and elected administrations. However, despite engaging questions of institution, hegemony, and antagonism, poststructuralist political theory currently remains indebted to the racialized conventions of a Western order of things. This essay considers how a poststructuralist approach to black politics might be conceptualized otherwise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)974-984
Number of pages11
JournalSouth Atlantic Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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