Quotation Blühdorn, Ingolfur, Butzlaff, Felix, Haderer, Margarete. 2021. Emancipatory Politics at its limits? An introduction. European Journal of Social Theory.




Emancipatory politics and the very idea of emancipation have come under pressure. Feminist and post-colonial critiques, the appropriation of emancipatory ideals by right-wing populists and the crises triggered by the transgression of planetary boundaries all expose emancipatory paradoxes and raise questions about the further suitability of emancipation as a regulative ideal guiding any socio-ecological transformation of contemporary consumer societies. With this article, which introduces a Special Issue entitled The Dialectic of Emancipation - Transgressing Boundaries and Boundaries of Transgression, we are working toward a research agenda that acknowledges the current impasse of emancipatory politics and explores its ambivalences and further potentials. Following an outline of the emancipatory paradox and a review of how emancipatory movements have continuously contested – and redrawn – restrictive boundaries, we scan sedimented understandings of the two key terms, emancipation and dialectic, feeding into the concept that we are suggesting as an analytical lens for investigating the current impasse and future prospects of emancipatory politics: the dialectic of emancipation. We preview how the contributors to this Special Issue make use of these terms as they are engaging with this research agenda and conclude by reflecting on the dangers and pitfalls associated with the concept dialectic of emancipation.


Press 'enter' for creating the tag

Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal European Journal of Social Theory
Citation Index SSCI
Language English
Title Emancipatory Politics at its limits? An introduction
Year 2021
Reviewed? Y
URL https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/13684310211048116
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/13684310211048116
Open Access Y
Open Access Link https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/13684310211048116


Blühdorn, Ingolfur (Details)
Butzlaff, Felix (Details)
Haderer, Margarete (Former researcher)
Institute for Social Change and Sustainability IN (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5118 Political science (Details)
5402 General sociology (Details)
5413 Sociological methods (Details)
Google Scholar: Search