Saul Newman
Saul Newman is a political theorist and central post-anarchist
Post-anarchism or postanarchism is the term used to represent anarchist philosophies developed since the 1980s using post-structuralist and postmodernist approaches. Some prefer to use the term post-structuralist anarchism, so as not to suggest having moved "past" anarchism...


Newman coined the term "post-anarchism" as a general term for political philosophies filtering 19th century anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

 through a post-structuralist
Post-structuralism is a label formulated by American academics to denote the heterogeneous works of a series of French intellectuals who came to international prominence in the 1960s and '70s...

 lens, and later popularized it through his 2001 book From Bakunin to Lacan
From Bakunin to Lacan
From Bakunin to Lacan: Anti-Authoritarianism and the Dislocation of Power is a book on political philosophy by Saul Newman, published in 2001. It investigates the essentialist characteristics of anarchist theory, which holds that government and hierarchy are undesirable forms of social organisation...

. Thus he rejects a number of concepts traditionally associated with anarchism, including essentialism
In philosophy, essentialism is the view that, for any specific kind of entity, there is a set of characteristics or properties all of which any entity of that kind must possess. Therefore all things can be precisely defined or described...

, a "positive" human nature
Human nature
Human nature refers to the distinguishing characteristics, including ways of thinking, feeling and acting, that humans tend to have naturally....

, and the concept of revolution
A revolution is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.Aristotle described two types of political revolution:...

. The links between poststructuralism and anarchism have also been developed by thinkers like Todd May
Todd May
Todd May is a political philosopher notable for his role in developing, alongside Saul Newman and Lewis Call, the theory of post-structuralist anarchism. He is currently Class of 1941 Memorial Professor of Philosophy at Clemson University and contributes to CounterPunch...

 and Lewis Call
Lewis Call
Lewis Call is an American academic notable for being a central post-anarchist thinker. He is best known for his 2002 book Postmodern Anarchism, which develops an account of postmodern anarchism through philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche and cyberpunk writers such as William Gibson and Bruce...


Newman is currently Reader in Political Theory at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He received his B.A.
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 from the University of Sydney
University of Sydney
The University of Sydney is a public university located in Sydney, New South Wales. The main campus spreads across the suburbs of Camperdown and Darlington on the southwestern outskirts of the Sydney CBD. Founded in 1850, it is the oldest university in Australia and Oceania...

, and his Ph.D
Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated as Ph.D., PhD, D.Phil., or DPhil , in English-speaking countries, is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities...

 in political science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

 from the University of New South Wales
University of New South Wales
The University of New South Wales , is a research-focused university based in Kensington, a suburb in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia...

. His work has been translated into Turkish, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese and Serbo-Croatian, and has been the subject of a number of debates amongst anarchist theorists and activists as well as academics.


Some of Newman's publications in recent times deal with Max Stirner
Max Stirner
Johann Kaspar Schmidt , better known as Max Stirner , was a German philosopher, who ranks as one of the literary fathers of nihilism, existentialism, post-modernism and anarchism, especially of individualist anarchism...

, a German philosopher of the mid-19th century, author of the famous book Der Einzige und sein Eigentum (1845) (Engl. trans. The Ego and Its Own
The Ego and Its Own
The Ego and Its Own is a philosophical work by German philosopher Max Stirner . This work was first published in 1845, although with a stated publication date of "1844" to confuse the Prussian censors.-Content:...

, 1907). Newman regards Stirner as a key figure in developing a new radical critique of Western society. He calls Stirner a proto-poststructuralist who on the one hand basically anticipated modern poststructuralists such as Foucault
Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault , born Paul-Michel Foucault , was a French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas...

, Lacan
Jacques Lacan
Jacques Marie Émile Lacan was a French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist who made prominent contributions to psychoanalysis and philosophy, and has been called "the most controversial psycho-analyst since Freud". Giving yearly seminars in Paris from 1953 to 1981, Lacan influenced France's...

, Deleuze
Gilles Deleuze
Gilles Deleuze , was a French philosopher who, from the early 1960s until his death, wrote influentially on philosophy, literature, film, and fine art. His most popular works were the two volumes of Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus , both co-written with Félix...

, and Derrida
Jacques Derrida
Jacques Derrida was a French philosopher, born in French Algeria. He developed the critical theory known as deconstruction and his work has been labeled as post-structuralism and associated with postmodern philosophy...

, but on the other had already transcended them, thus providing what they were unable to: paving the ground for a "non-essentialist" critique of present liberal
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 society. Newman's interpretation of Stirner has received some degree of attention, including an endorsement by Ernesto Laclau
Ernesto Laclau
Ernesto Laclau is an Argentine political theorist often described as post-Marxist.He studied History in Buenos Aires, graduating from the Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires in 1964, and received a PhD from Essex University in 1977.Since the 1970s he has been Professor of Political Theory at the...

, who provided a foreword to From Bakunin to Lacan.


  • "Universalism/Particularism: Towards a Poststructuralist Politics of Universality", New Formations, 41: 2000.
  • "Anarchism and the Politics of Ressentiment", Theory and Event
    Theory and Event
    Theory and Event is an electronic academic journal founded in 1997 and devoted to contemporary questions in political theory, particularly those related to sovereignty, territory, government, identity, and the politics of representation as it appears in a variety of fora including elections,...

    , Vol. 4.3: 2000. 2001 2001.
  • “Specters of the Uncanny”. Telos 124 (Summer 2002). New York: Telos Press. 2002. October 2002.

}} 2003. 2003. 2003. 2004. August 2004. 2007.


  • From Bakunin to Lacan. Anti-Authoritarianism and the Dislocation of Power. Lanham MD: Lexington Books 2001
  • Power and Politics in Poststructuralist Thought: New Theories of the Political. London: Routledge 2005
  • Unstable Universalities: Postmodernity and Radical Politics. Manchester: Manchester University Press 2007
  • Politics Most Unusual: Violence, Sovereignty and Democracy in the 'War on Terror. (Co-authored with Michael Levine and Damian Cox). New York: Palgrave Macmillan 2009
  • The Politics of Post Anarchism. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press: 2010 (forthcoming)
  • (ed.): Max Stirner. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK; New York: Palgrave Macmillan 2011 ISBN 978-0-230-28335-0

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.