Vaclav Havel's Postmodernism

Steger, M 2005, 'Vaclav Havel's Postmodernism', Contemporary Political Theory, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 253-274.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Vaclav Havel's Postmodernism
Author(s) Steger, M
Year 2005
Journal name Contemporary Political Theory
Volume number 4
Issue number 3
Start page 253
End page 274
Total pages 21
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Abstract Examining the nature of Václav Havel's 'postmodernism,' we suggest that his use of this ambiguous label can be best understood if interpreted outside the conventional binary framework of modern/postmodern philosophy, which does not sufficiently answer to the lingering crisis of foundational certainty in political theory. In our view, the Czech playwright-turned-politician offers not merely a less confining sense of what it means to be 'postmodern,' but his commitment to moral political action also lends itself to overcoming some of the limitations of contemporary postmodern theorizing by reentering the depreciated terrain of ontology. Specifically, we argue that an assessment of Havel's brand of postmodernism yields a rich interpretive harvest when read through ontological lenses. Indeed, Havel's theoretical posture serves as an instructive example of what political theorist Stephen K. White has called a 'felicitous weak ontology.'
Subject Political Theory and Political Philosophy
DOI - identifier 10.1057/palgrave.cpt.9300165
Copyright notice © 2005 Palgrave Macmillan
ISSN 1470-8914
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