Rowman and Littlefield International

The Question of Political Community

Sameness, Logos, Space

By Jonna Pettersson

Part of the series Frontiers of the Political

Publication Date: Dec 2018

Pages 176

Hardback 9781783488919
£80.00 €112.00 $120.00
Paperback 9781783488926
£24.95 €34.95 $39.95
Ebook 9781783488933
£24.99 €34.99 $38.99
Not available for pre-order
From discussions on democracy, to attempts to widen the scope of citizenship beyond the confines of the nation-state, Western thinking of the political community has continued to assume a unifying principle of sameness, reflected in history, space, language, or reason, as the condition of possibility of the community.
The author assesses how, despite attempts to broaden the scope for inclusion and the meaning of political existence, contemporary political theory gives rise to new externalities through relying on a notion of the community as predicated on sameness. Proceeding normatively and hermeneutically,
The Space of Community seeks to divert the thinking of political community from assumptions of calculability, unity, and boundedness by elaborating a notion of sameness that does not presuppose difference and a notion of difference that does not presuppose identity.
Through close engagements with texts in contemporary political theory and continental philosophy, it is argued that in order to confront the problem of closure and exclusion, the question of political co-existence needs to be reformulated and relocated so as to grasp the meaning of an incalculable community.
1. Introduction / 2. Sameness and membership / 3. Sameness and boundaries / 4. Sameness and space / 5. The free thinking of ‘us’? / 6. Incalculable space / 7. Reasoning with incalculability / 8. Conclusions /
References / Index

Unity and sameness are usually assumed to be inseparable but in this deeply thoughtful book Jonna Pettersson parses them, offering a much richer understanding of relationality as a result. What emerges is a notion of politics that is based, not on exclusion, but rather on the myriad ways that we are together and many, the same and different, both calculable and incalculable.

James Martel, Professor of Political Science, San Francisco State University
Against the closure of politics wrought by theories of political community predicated on unity, Pettersson incisively argues that place and dwelling open up an “incalculable space” as conditioning the possibility of a political community which, resisting exclusion, makes room for all. This book is an important contribution to the highly topical debate about boundaries and community.
H.K. Lindahl, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
Jonna Pettersson is Research Fellow at Lund University, Sweden. She has published in Distinktion:
Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory.

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