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Fracturing Politics: (or, How to Avoid the Tacit Reproduction of Modern/Colonial Ontologies in Critical Thought)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Leonie Ansems de Vries, Lara Montesinos Coleman, Doerthe Rosenow, Martina Tazzioli, Rolando Vázquez

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-108
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Political Sociology
Issue number1
Accepted/In press12 Oct 2016
Published2 Mar 2017


  • Fracturing politics_DE VRIES_Published2March2017_GREEN AAM

    Fracturing_politics_DE_VRIES_Published2March2017_GREEN_AAM.pdf, 2.55 MB, application/pdf

    Uploaded date:15 Aug 2017

    Version:Accepted author manuscript

    This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in International Political Sociology following peer review. The version of record, published in IPS, v. 11, Issue 1 (OUP, 02 March 2017) is available online at:

King's Authors


This article engages in an experiment that aims to push critical/post-structuralist thought beyond its comfort zone. Despite its commitment to critiquing modern, liberal ontologies, the article claims that these same ontologies are often tacitly reproduced, resulting in a failure to grasp contemporary structures and histories of violence and domination. The article brings into conversation five selected critical scholars from a range of theoretical approaches and disciplines who explore the potential of the notion of ‘fracture’ for that purpose. The conversation revolves around political struggles at various sites – migrant struggles in Europe, decolonial struggles in Mexico, workers and peasant struggles in Colombia – in order to pintpoint how these struggles ‘fracture’ or ‘crack’ modern political frames in ways that neither reproduce them, nor lead to mere moments of disruption in otherwise smoothly functioning governmental regimes. Nor does such ‘fracturing’ entail the constructing of a ‘complete’ or ‘coherent’ vision of a politics to come. Instead, we detail the incoherent, tentative and multiple character of frames and practices of thought in struggle that nevertheless produce an (albeit open and contested) ‘whole’.

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