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Reticulations

Jean-Luc Nancy and the Networks of the Political

2009
Author:

Philip Armstrong

Reticulations

Revealing how networks reopen our understanding of political discourse today

Philip Armstrong proposes a rethinking of political public space that specifically separates networks from the current popular discussion of globalization and information technology. Analyzing a wide range of Jean-Luc Nancy’s works, Reticulations shows how his project of articulating the political in terms of singularities, pluralities, and multiplicities can deepen our understanding of networks and how they influence community and politics.

The breadth of Reticulations is its most impressive and important dimension. Philip Armstrong takes Jean-Luc Nancy’s thought into political contexts in a far more sustained way than I have seen in other critical literature on Nancy.

Christopher Fynsk, University of Aberdeen

Significantly advancing our notion of what constitutes a network, Philip Armstrong proposes a rethinking of political public space that specifically separates networks from the current popular discussion of globalization and information technology.

Analyzing a wide range of Jean-Luc Nancy’s works, Reticulations shows how his project of articulating the political in terms of singularities, pluralities, and multiplicities can deepen our understanding of networks and how they influence community and politics. Even more striking is the way Armstrong associates this general complex in Nancy’s writing with his concern for what Nancy calls the retreat of the political. Armstrong highlights what Nancy’s perspective on networks reveals about movement politics as seen in the 1999 protests in Seattle against the World Trade Organization, the impact of technology on citizenship, and finally how this perspective critiques the model of networked communism constructed by Hardt and Negri.

Contesting the exclusive link between technology and networks, Reticulations ultimately demonstrates how network society creates an entirely new politics, one surprisingly rooted in community.

Reticulations

Philip Armstrong is assistant professor of comparative studies at Ohio State University.

Reticulations

The breadth of Reticulations is its most impressive and important dimension. Philip Armstrong takes Jean-Luc Nancy’s thought into political contexts in a far more sustained way than I have seen in other critical literature on Nancy.

Christopher Fynsk, University of Aberdeen

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This text is an important one for considering the use of networks as social organizations, and not simply as a trope of social media outlets. Such networks that Armstrong promotes in Reticulations will be critical for understanding the relations among, within, and between political organizations, smaller factions of political dissent, and the increasing desire to understand our relatedness through difference.
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The Information Society

With incredible breadth of context and eloquent prose, Armstrong shows how Nancy’s philosophy of community reopens the traditional understanding of the collective.

Enculturation

Reticulations provides an exceptionally valuable way of thinking about how technology and political organization operate.

The Communication Review