Mark Devenney researches in contemporary political philosophy. His teaching includes courses on Marx and Freud and he leads the Humanities Programme at the University of Brighton.
Mark's research interests cover: contemporary political philosophy including post-Marxism and the work of Ranciere, Adorno and Laclau; and the politics of life, death and equality, with particular interest in the different ways of valuing life, whether actuarial, religious, ethical or otherwise.
He is co-director of the Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics
Dr Mark Devenney researches and lectures in contemporary politics and philosophy, and leads the programme of degrees in Humanities: History, Philosophy Culture and Politics.
Mark's research covers two primary areas: first, contemporary political philosophy, and second improper forms of political action including occupations, theft, squatting, and terrorism. .
Mark Devenney completed his PhD with Professor Ernesto Laclau at the University of Essex in 1998. His PhD concerned the politics of critical theory. It developed a critique of the political implications of the work of Habermas, Laclau and Derrida, and developed a reconstruction of their respective attempts to conceptualise subjectivity, democracy and ethics. The publication of his book Ethics and Politics in Contemporary Theory marked a critical intervention in debates between these traditions, refusing the all too quick polarisation of their positions.
Mark Devenney has presented this work at conferences, in summer schools and in the form of publication across the world. He has been a visiting lecturer at Victoria University, New Zealand, and at the University of Essex. He has also been invited to present papers in the United States, to be a keynote speaker at a conference on post-colonial politics at the University of Dunedin, and has given public lectures about the politics of suicide bombing.
Mark runs a reading group in contemporary political philosophy for postgraduate students and organises lecture series linked to this work through his directorship of the Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics [CAPPE], whose activities include landmark annual lecture and conference series.
Mark supervises PhD research in the following areas of work:
He recently supervised Dr Andy Knott's critique of Hardt and Negri to successful completion (without corrections), and has examined PhDs for the University, and Dr German Primera's PhD on the POlitics of Giorgio Agamben.
Mark will take students on interested in working in the areas listed above, as well as around issues to do with the value of life, Agamben and Biopolitics, thinking about resistance and politics in light of recent changes to Unviersities, and the war on terror. These latter areas reflect the development of his research in recent years.
Devenney, Mark, Howarth, David, Norval, Aletta J., Stavrakakis, Yannis, Marchart, Oliver, Biglieri, Paula and Perelló, Gloria (2016) The politics of antagonism Contemporary Political Theory, 15 (3). pp. 329-335. ISSN 1470-8914
Devenney, Mark (2015) La política del antagonismo In: Debates y combates. Fondo de Cultura Economica, Argentina. ISBN 9771852434009
Devenney, Mark (2015) Rethinking Political Antagonism Critical Studies, 1 (1). pp. 44-49. ISSN 2055-1428
Devenney, Mark (2015) Sjalvmordsbombning – En Omtolkning Fronesis, 52-53. pp. 66-94. ISSN 1404-2614
Devenney, Mark (2012) Reply to Revolutionary subjectivity in post-Marxist thought: the case of Laclau and Badiou by Oliver Harrison Global Discourse, 2 (2). ISSN 2043-7897
Devenney, Mark (2012) Suicide Bombing and the Value of Life In: Security, Surveillance and the State, 31st January 2012, Edgehill University. (Unpublished)
Devenney, Mark (2011) Property, propriety and democracy Studies in Social Justice, 5 (2). pp. 149-165. ISSN 1911-4788
Devenney, Mark, Brecher, Bob and Winter, Aaron (2010) Discourses and practices of terrorism: interrogating terror Critical Terrorism Studies . Routledge, London and New York. ISBN 0415488087
Devenney, Mark (2009) The limits of communicative rationality and deliberative democracy Journal of Power, 2 (2). pp. 137-155. ISSN 1754-0291
Devenney, Mark (2007) Thinking the Postcolonial as Political Borderlands, 6 (2). ISSN 1447-0810
Devenney, Mark (2007) Patenting Life and the Body Politic Res Publica, 13 (4). ISSN 1356-4765
Devenney, Mark (2007) Slavoj Zizek’s Passion for the Real In: Bowman, Paul and Stamp, Richard, eds. The Truth of Zizek. Continuum Press, pp. 64-81. ISBN 0826490611
Devenney, Mark (2007) Zizek's passion for the real: the real terror, terror of the real Continuum Press, London, UK.
Devenney, Mark (2004) Ethics and Politics in Contemporary Theory: Between Critical Theory and post-Marxism Routledge. ISBN 0415237378
Devenney, Mark (2004) Ethics and politics in contemporary theory Routledge, Abingdon, UK. ISBN 0415237378
Devenney, Mark (2004) Ethics and politics in discourse theory In: Critchley, Simon and Marchart, Oliver, eds. Laclau: a critical reader. Routledge, Abingdon, UK. ISBN 9780415238434
Devenney, Mark (2001) Toward an Ethics of Incommensurability Strategies Journal of Theory Culture & Politics, 14 (2). pp. 209-225. ISSN 14701251
Devenney, Mark (ed.) (2015) Thinking the Political: Ernesto Laclau and the Politics of Post-Marxism, London Routledge. (Publishing date August 2016) ISBN: 978-1-13-891558-9
Devenney, Mark Towards an Improper Politics (2017) Book proposal currently under review
Brecher, Devenney and Winter (eds) 2009 Interrogating Terror, edited collection, London Routledge (including three contributions written by me.) ISBN: 978-0-415-48808-2 (to be republished in 2015)
This book is a critique of the conventional wisdom that critical theory (notably the works of Adorno and Habermas) and post-structuralist theory (in particular the works of Laclau, Butler and Agamben) are incommensurable. Although much theoretical work comparing Habermas and Foucault, as well as Habermas and Derrida was already published in 2004, this text was the first to explore critical theory in relation to explicitly political versions of post-structuralism. Since its publication a number of authors, notably Thommassen (2006 and 2007), Norval (2007), and Bowman (2007) Guttman (2010) have published further work in this area.
This book critically interrogates the discourse of the war on terror, challegning its use as a means for the reframing of political life in democracies. It includes written contributions from the three editors, and an introduction arguing that the war on terror is a contradiction in terms with disastrous consequences.
Articles in Preparation
Devenney, Mark “The Improper Politics of the Occupy Movement” August 2016.
Devenney, M ‘The Politics of Suicide Bombing’ English translation of article already published in Swedish under consideration with Critical Terrorism Studies.
Article under contract
Devenney, Mark (2017) ‘The Improper Politics of Representation’ in Power and Representation (edited by Urbinati, Disch and van de Sande), Cambridge University Press..
Published or in press
Devenney, Mark (2016) ‘The Politics of Antagonism’ in Contemporary Political Theory, volume 14, No 3.
Devenney, Mark (2016) ‘Rethinking Equivalence and Hegemony’ in Thinking the Political, (ed. Devenney), Routledge. ISBN: 978-1-13-891558-9.
Devenney, Mark (2016) ‘Introductory Comments: Ernesto Laclau and the future of Radical Political Theory’, in Thinking the Political, Routledge, ISBN: 978-1-13-891558-9 (August 2016)
Devenney, Mark (2015) ‘Sjalvmordsbombning – En Omtolkning’ in Fronesis, Nr 52-53, pp.66-94. ISBN: 978-91-982457-4-5 [Suicide Bombing – A Reinterpretation’
Devenney, Mark (2015), ‘La política del antagonismo’ in DEBATES Y COMBATES Nº9 pp. ISBN: 9771852434008
Devenney, Mark (2011) ‘Property, Propriety and Democracy’ Studies in Social Justice, US: Windsor University, Volume 5, number 2. ISSN: 1911-4788.
Devenney, Mark (2009) "The limits of Communicative Rationality and Deliberative Democracy” Journal of Power, vol.2 no.1. ISSN: 1754-0291
Devenney, Mark ‘Rethinking Postcolonial Politics’ in Borderlands, volume 6, number 2, October 2007. ISSN: 1447-0810
Devenney, Mark (2007) “Terror of the Real: The Real of Terror” in The Truth of Zizek: Zizek and his Critics, London, Continuum Press. (with lengthy response by Zizek)
Devenney, Mark (2004)‘The Ethics of Radical Democracy’ in Laclau: A Reader, (London, Routledge.) (with response from Laclau)
Devenney, Mark (2002)‘Ethics and Politics: The Normative Dimensions of Post-Structuralist Theory’ in Strategies, Spring 2002, special edition, ‘Ethics, Politics and Cultural Studies.
Devenney, Mark (2002) 'Radical Democracy: Laclau and Habermas' in Post Structuralism and Politics, (ed. Finlayson, A and Valentine, J) Edinburgh University Press, 2002.
Devenney, Mark (1999) ‘The Politics of Literature’ in South Africa in Transition: New Theoretical Perspectives (eds. Howarth and Norval) London, Routledge.
Devenney, Mark (1994) 'In the Absence of Certainty: Critical Theory After Apartheid', Theoria, pp.163-179.
Devenney, Mark (1994) ‘Democracy, Literature and Politics’ Wits History Workshop, http://wiredspace.wits.ac.za/handle/10539/7788?show=full.
Devenney, Mark (1993) 'Left Behind: Marxism and Aesthetics in Contemporary South African Literature' inAfrica Perspective, vol.2 no.1, pp.117-131.
Devenney, Mark (1995) 'Nadine Gordimer's None to Accompany Me: the Politics of South African Literature' in Southern African Review of Books, January 1995.
Devenney, Mark (1992) Reviews of Stepjan Mestrovic: The Coming Fin De Siècle, and Keith Shields: Places on the Margin in Southern African Sociology.
1995: 'Nadine Gordimer's None to Accompany Me: the Politics of South African Literature' in Southern African Review of Books, January 1995.
1992: Book Reviews of Stepjan Mestrovic: The Coming Fin De Siècle, and Keith Shields: Places on the Margin in Southern African Sociology.
Mark has presented regularly at conferences internationally, in seminars, and as a Guest lecturer to various departments in the UK, the US, Canada, Slovenia, Croatia, Germany, Italy and in South Africa:
Editorial Boards for the following journals:
Manuscript Reviewing for
1.‘Rethinking the War on Terror’ at the Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonial Studies Conference, University of Leicester, July 2016.
2. ‘The Politics of Antagonism’ Argentinian Embassy Conference, The Legacies of Ernesto Laclau, December 2015.
3. ‘The Politics of Equivalence’ to Thinking the Political Conference, Sodertorn University, Stockholm, November 2015.
4.‘The Politics of Property’ to Critical Legal Studies Conference, September 2014.
5. ‘ Improper Politics: from Plato to Benjamin’ delivered to 4th International Re-thinking Humanities and Social Science Conference , September 2013, Zadar, Croatia.
6. ‘Politicising Oikos: Rethinking the Politics of the Left’ delivered at the ‘Crisis of Politics and the Political in a Changing World’ Conference, hosted by the Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb, May 2013.
7. ‘Reimagining the Suicide Bomber’ , to (In)Security, Surveillance and the State Public Lecture Series, Edgehill University, January 2012.
8.’Reframing Intellectual Intellectual Property’ to Spaces of Democracy, Democracy of Spaces Research Network Launch, Victoria University, New Zealand, December 2008.
9. 'The Ethics of Organ Donation' keynote address to Conference Living Donor Transplantation: chasing the limits at St Guys Hospital, London, October 2007.
10 ‘Postcolonial Politics’ Keynote Address to Postcolonial Politics Conference, University of Otago, New Zealand, November 2006.
In addition to these keynote lectures I have delivered papers at more than 50 conferences in the years since I started working at Brighton University
2003 - 07
2004 - ongoing
1995 - 97