The agonistic model of democracy postulated by Chantal Mouffe states that democratic politics consists in transforming social antagonism into agonism; transforming the battle between enemies into the battle between adversaries. This implies the recognition of the impossibility of a consensus without exclusion, which obliges one to keep the inherent controversy of democracy alive.

In this volume the author presents a few of her essential hypotheses, beginning with a critique of essentialist notions of identity and subjectivity as fundamental to all democratic politics. She establishes a debate that hopes to link political theory to artistic and cultural practices, which will pull together some of the hypotheses from her book The Return of the Political and her work on Carl Schmitt and the limits of liberalism. The last of her writings from 2006 defend artistic practices as political intervention, which have experienced a surge in the past few years. In this sense, she proposes that they form part of the wider critical movement, along with the social effects of global capitalism, similar to the agenda of radical democracy and which contribute to the visibility of dissent of the dominant hegemony.

I’d really like to think that the artist could be just another kind of material in the picture, working in collaboration with all the other materials.
Robert Rauschenberg