Open Access (free)
An intellectual history of post-concepts

What does it mean to live in an era of ‘posts’? At a time when ‘post-truth’ is on everyone’s lips, this volume seeks to uncover the logic of post-constructions – postmodernism, post-secularism, postfeminism, post-colonialism, post-capitalism, post-structuralism, post-humanism, post-tradition, post-Christian, post-Keynesian and post-ideology – across a wide array of contexts. It shows that ‘post’ does not simply mean ‘after.’ Although post-prefixes sometimes denote a particular periodization, especially in the case of mid-twentieth-century post-concepts, they more often convey critical dissociation from their root concept. In some cases, they even indicate a continuation of the root concept in an altered form. By surveying the range of meanings that post-prefixes convey, as well as how these meanings have changed over time and across multiple and shifting contexts, this volume sheds new light on how post-constructions work and on what purposes they serve. Moreover, by tracing them across the humanities and social sciences, the volume uncovers sometimes unexpected parallels and transfers between fields usually studied in isolation from each other.

Post-ideology and the politics of periodization
Adriaan van Veldhuizen

Introduction It was in the late 1950s that the idea of a ‘post-ideological era’ made its first appearances. The German sociologist Helmut Schelsky, for instance, put forward the suggestion that German sociology had developed in a non-ideological direction, to the point of having reached a ‘ nachideologischen Epoche ’. 1 In a review of Schelsky’s book, Raymond Aron argued that not only German sociology, but German society in general had entered this post-ideological phase. In this context, Aron

in Post-everything
Open Access (free)
Post-concepts in historical perspective
Herman Paul

popularity of such concepts in the social sciences. Noting that the post-war United States had been characterized as post-bourgeois and post-collectivist, among other things, Bell concluded: ‘It used to be that the great literary modifier was the word beyond : beyond tragedy, beyond culture, beyond society. But we seem to have exhausted the beyond, and today the sociological modifier is post .’ 13 This was confirmed by others who observed that ‘Post-Civilization, Post-Modern, Post-Industrial, Post-Historical, Post-Ideological

in Post-everything
Open Access (free)
Lessons for future posts
Adriaan van Veldhuizen

, but virtually all other authors in this volume touch upon the concept. Postmodernism was not travelling alone: we see that post-structuralism went transatlantic from France to the US, while post-ideology oscillated between France, Germany and the US. The latter concept even found its genesis in an international organization – the Congress for Cultural Freedom – that introduced the concept not only in different countries, but also in a plethora of academic, political and cultural circles. Postfeminism is observed moving from

in Post-everything
Open Access (free)
Tony Fitzpatrick

government to be flexible, testing what does and does not work and changing accordingly, to adapt to alterations in society and the economy (particularly important in a global environment) and to combine the best features from a range of political ideas. Pragmatism is suited to a post-ideological age where we recognise that there is no perfect social model. Yet pragmatism is not necessarily a form of conservatism, but that which can be made to serve an ambitious and radical agenda. This means that once we have chosen our goals, e.g. reinvestment in the public sector, we

in After the new social democracy
So, no change there then?
David Broughton

vote gain in 2001 was amongst the unemployed, although this ‘success’ still only produced a vote share of 23 per cent within this particular category, still leaving a lead of 31 per cent for Labour.8 However, in a ‘post-ideological’ age marked by partisan and class dealignment, these figures do not provide any real comfort for the Conservatives because socio-economic background as a whole is no longer a major determinant of electoral choice. Instead, questions of overall policy competence, leader images and issue saliency are now assuming that role. The 2001 defeat

in The Conservatives in Crisis
Sustaining literature
Claire Colebrook

might decay and yet its sense would remain. Nature would not generate anything that would scar or disturb its ongoing, self-adjusting auto-poetic life. Writing would achieve a form of shared communicative transparency that would be global, inclusive and post-ideological. What we say and write would be so fully understood and true that the material medium of conveying sense might wither away. Both of these ideals of (natural and cultural) biodegradability would be challenged by thinking the transcendental unsustainability that marks what has come to be known as life

in Literature and sustainability