Browsing by Subject "Political philosophy"

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  • Gurhanli, Halil (Jyväskylän yliopisto, 2018)
    Nykykuttuurin tutkimuskeskuksen julkaisuja
    Perhaps the clearest indicator of one’s partiality towards a Laclauian approach to populism is the belief that it is a constitutive dimension of politics without which the latter ceases to exist. The presence of a frontier between the ‘people’ and its ‘other’ is the precondition of politics. But what if this frontier itself becomes the sole point around which those identities are articulated? Is it still possible to speak of politics when there is ‘too much’ populism? The article answers this question through an analysis of the extreme polarization in today’s Turkey over the hegemonic figure of the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Praises for Erdoğan government as a democratic model for the Muslim world withered away once the regime had decisively turned towards authoritarianism and begun consolidating Erdoğan’s personal control over state and society. A personality cult, named Erdoğanism here, has gradually materialised around his figure, overtaking all previous forms of political identity among his supporters and becoming one with ‘the people’. Those who display even a minimal reluctance to submit themselves completely to his will are excommunicated as ‘enemies’ of the people. Most interestingly, such an extremely polarizing discourse appears to have turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy, for it has been reciprocated by virtually all opposition actors in the form of Anti-Erdoğanism. The very survival of opposition in Turkey seems to have been locked into an anti-Erdoğanist corner, risking to run the whole political field into a zero-sum game between two polar opposites, a case of pure populism
  • Gurhanli, Halil (2013)
    This article critically engages with Laclauian theory of populism by utilizing Michael Oakeshott’s theory of politics. It argues that both build their works on similar post-foundationalist premises, accepting once the impossibility of a final ground of society as well as the possibility of its contingent political foundations. It then shows that both scholars conceptualise politics residing on a continuum between what they consider as two theoretical extremes: politics of faith and scepticism for Oakeshott, pure populism and pure institutionalism for Laclau. In terms of the ways in which they operate, functions they fulfil, and effects they have on politics, these extremes overlap with one another to such an extent that they can be considered as near synonyms. This synonymy serves as a fertile ground to spread the seeds of a reconsideration of Laclau’s account of populism. Utilizing Fieschi and Heywood’s concept of entrepreneurial populism, the article briefly problematizes his account and calls attention to this particular species of populism gaining increasing popularity in contemporary politics. It is every bit of populist in its modus operandi yet neither subverts the status quo nor aims to reconstruct a new one, but simply plays it.
  • Lönnqvist, Pamela (Helsingin yliopisto, 2000)
    This master’s thesis explores the paradox human rights that was identified by Hannah Arendt seventy years ago, which will be analysed in view of the critique presented by Jacques Rancière. Despite his critique, it is clear that Arendt has made a significant contribution to Rancière’s own thinking about human rights. Arendt is critical of the concept of human rights. Arendt emphasizes that a human being must be recognized as an equal legal and political subject of a political community in order to be able to effectively claim the rights. Arendt describes the loss of human rights as the loss of a meaningful place in the world and identifies a paradox, which questions the entire concept of human rights. According to Arendt, the most fundamental human right is “the right to have rights” that can be understood as the right to belong to a political community. According to Jacques Rancière, Arendt’s critique of human rights stems from the anti-political and archi-political features of her thinking. I suggest, following Andrew Schaap, that there are some features in Arendt’s thinking that can be interpreted as anti-democratic, but it does not mean that Arendt’s understanding of human rights is as problematic as Rancière suggests. According to Ayten Gündoğdu, Arendt’s understanding of human rights is not as paralyzing as Rancière argues. Rancière’s critique reflects his own understanding of the concepts of politics, the police, dissensus, the axiomatic principle of equality and the process of political subjectification. As Andrew Schaap has argued, despite their similarities, there are significant differences in Arendt’s and Rancière’s understanding of human rights, which appear when analyzing for instance example of the sans papier movement. This thesis has an introduction and six chapters. The second chapter introduces Hannah Arendt’s understanding of human rights and the human condition. The third chapter introduces Rancière’s critique of Arendt, and presents his understanding of the concepts of politics, the political, dissensus, the axiomatic principle of equality and the subject of human rights. The fourth chapter provides an analysis of the Aristotelian influence on Arendt and Rancière and the relevance of speech in their respective theoretical frameworks as well as an analysis of the concept of legal personhood. The fifth chapter provides an analysis of Rancière’s critique of Arendt, according to which she has adopted an archi-political position and a comparison of their respective theoretical frameworks in view of Andrew Schaap. The sixth chapter explores Ayten Gündoğdu’s aporetic reading of Arendt and the possibilities to rethink her understanding of human rights and her strict separation of the political and the social before providing the conclusions in the seventh chapter.