The growing exploration of political life from an aesthetic perspective has become so prominent that we must now speak of an aesthetic turn in political thought. But what does it mean and what makes it an aesthetic turn? Why now? This diverse and path-breaking collection of essays answers these questions, provoking new ways to think about the possibilities and debilities of democratic politics. Beginning from the premise that politics is already aesthetic in principle, the contributions to The Aesthetic Turn in Political Thought from some of the world's leading political theorists and philosophers, disclose a distinct set of political problems: the aesthetic problems of modern politics. The aesthetic turn in political thought not only recognizes that these problems are different in kind from the standard problems of politics, it also recognizes that they call for a different kind of theorizing - a theorizing that is itself aesthetic. A major contribution to contemporary theoretical debates, The Aesthetic Turn in Political Thought will be essential reading to anyone interested in the interdisciplinary crossroads of aesthetic and politics.
Nikolas Kompridis is Research Professor of Philosophy and Political Thought, and Foundation Director of the Institute for Social Justice, Australian Catholic University. He is the author of Critique and Disclosure: Critical Theory between Past and Future (2006) and Philosophical Romanticism (2006).