Chantal Mouffe
Mouffe in 2013
Born (1943-06-17) 17 June 1943 (age 80)
Charleroi, Belgium
AwardsWestern philosophy
EraContemporary philosophy
Main interests
Political theory
Notable ideas
Criticism of deliberative democracy

Chantal Mouffe (French: [muf]; born 17 June 1943)[1] is a Belgian political theorist, formerly teaching at University of Westminster.[2]

She is best known for her contribution to the development—jointly with Ernesto Laclau, with whom she co-authored her most frequently cited publication Hegemony and Socialist Strategy—of the so-called Essex School of discourse analysis,[3][4] a type of post-Marxist political inquiry drawing on Gramsci, post-structuralism and theories of identity, and redefining Leftist politics in terms of radical democracy.[5] She is also the author of influential works on agonistic political theory, including Agonistics: Thinking the World Politically and The Democratic Paradox. Her book For a Left Populism was published in 2018.


Chantal Mouffe studied at the Universities of Leuven, Paris and Essex and has worked in many universities throughout the world (in Europe, North America and Latin America). She has also held visiting positions at Harvard, Cornell, Princeton and the CNRS (Paris). During 1989–1995, she served as Programme Director at the Collège international de philosophie in Paris. She currently holds a professorship at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster in the United Kingdom, where she is a member of the Centre for the Study of Democracy.[2]


A prominent critic of deliberative democracy (especially in its Rawlsian and Habermasian versions), she is also known for her use of the work of Carl Schmitt, mainly the concept of "the political", in proposing a radicalization of modern democracy—what she calls "agonistic pluralism". She has developed an interest in highlighting the radical potential of artistic practices.[6] Mouffe's Agonistics: Thinking the World Politically (2013) has been criticised by Timothy Laurie for its strong focus on State institutions, noting that Mouffe's "professed enthusiasm for (some) non-Western Islamist movements is solely conditional upon their assumption of State instruments".[7]



See also


  1. ^ "Mouffe, Chantal". Library of Congress. Retrieved 25 July 2014. CIP t.p. (Chantal Mouffe) data sheet (b. 17 June 1943)
  2. ^ a b "Professor Chantal Mouffe". University of Westminster. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  3. ^ Townshend, Jules (21 June 2016). "Discourse Theory and Political Analysis: A New Paradigm from the Essex School?". The British Journal of Politics and International Relations. 5 (1): 129–142. doi:10.1111/1467-856X.00100. S2CID 146283536.
  4. ^ Townshend, Jules (24 June 2016). "Laclau and Mouffe's Hegemonic Project: The Story So Far". Political Studies. 52 (2): 269–288. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9248.2004.00479.x. S2CID 143928179.
  5. ^ "Chantal Mouffe". Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  6. ^ ”Mouffe, Chantal, “Artistic Strategies in Politics and Political Strategies in Art” in Tom Bieling (Ed.) (2019): Design (&) Activism: Perspectives on Design as Activism and Activism as Design, Milano: Mimesis, p. 53–57
  7. ^ Laurie, Timothy (2013). "Review: 'Agonistics: Thinking the World Politically'". Melbourne Journal of Politics. 36: 76–78.
  8. ^ "UV nombró Doctora Honoris Causa a politóloga Chantal Mouffe". Universidad de Valparaíso. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Reconocidos intelectuales europeos recibirán el doctorado". Universidad de Costa Rica (in Spanish). Retrieved 9 August 2023.
  10. ^ "Laudatio - Motivatio Chantal Mouffe". (in Dutch). Retrieved 9 August 2023.

Further reading