This article begins by analyzing critically the usefulness of the recent political philosophy of Chantal Mouffe for reconceptualizing ideas of peace and conflict. It takes as its focus for doing so the situation of the Middle East. It proceeds to show how Mouffe’s radical democratic politics is actually just another form of the liberalism of Habermas and Rawls that she positions her theory against. The article then explores the potential digital media hold for making affirmative, affective, hyperpolitical interventions in specific contents and singular situations. In particular it advocates using the wiki medium – hence the piece’s Wikipedia-like form – to experiment with new ways of organizing institutions, cultures, communities, and countries which do not uncritically repeat the reductive adherence to democracy, hegemony, and Western, bourgeois, liberal humanism identified in Mouffe, but which can also be located in the institution of academic criticism more widely. “WikiNation” is part of a series of “performative media” projects. Performative media here stands for media that do not endeavor to represent the world so much as have an effect in or on it. They are media which produce the things of which they speak, in other words, and which are engaged primarily in their actual performance.
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Gary Hall; Wikination: On Peace and Conflict in the Middle East. Cultural Politics 1 March 2009; 5 (1): 5–26. doi: https://doi.org/10.2752/175174309X388455
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