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Contemporary Political Movements and the Thought of Jacques RancièreEquality in Action$
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Todd May

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748639823

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748639823.001.0001

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Institutions of Equality

Institutions of Equality

(p.101) 5 Institutions of Equality
Contemporary Political Movements and the Thought of Jacques Rancière

Todd May

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter reports the argument by Jacques Rancière that one of the necessities of democracy is that it cannot be institutionalized. Rancière's thought appears to deny in principle that one can institutionalize the presupposition of equality. There is a dissensual character to the co-op, but it is one that emerged over time and is a bit indirect. Rancièrean politics is a politics of the demos, of the people. Since AK Press is operated collectively, not only what it publishes but how it operates on a day-to-day level is decided by the members of the collective. The Upstate Food Co-op and AK Press demonstrate that it is possible to institutionalize or collectivize the presupposition of equality. Long-term projects of institutional equality have sustained themselves in a society of inequality.

Keywords:   institutional equality, Jacques Rancière, Rancièrean politics, AK Press, Upstate Food Co-op, inequality

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