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Left and right as political resources

By Jonathan White

Abstract

This article examines the political categories of 'Left' and 'Right', in particular as they are evoked and instrumentalized by political actors in the democratic process. Drawing on some of the insights of positioning theory, it shows how 'Left' and 'Right' are discursive resources deployed, contested and resisted in political exchange. The article looks in depth at some of the political uses to which Left-Right talk may be put, discussing in particular acts of partisan profiling, of legitimization and subversion, and the evocation or rejection of political continuity. The article argues that although these usages can be seen as tactical moves pursued for political advantage, they have a larger significance insofar as they indicate one of the ways the democratically important imagery of Left and Right may remain active in contemporary politics

Topics: JC Political theory
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1080/13569317.2011.575681
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:37528
Provided by: LSE Research Online

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