The Critique and Politics of Identity: On the Affinities between Critical Theory and Poststructuralism. A Conversation with Bernard E. Harcourt and Martin Saar conducted by Sarah Bianchi, Coils of the Serpent. A Journal for the Study of Contemporary Power, Issue 10, 2022, pp. 110-130.
We know what Michel Foucault, the leading poststructuralist thinker, said about early Critical Theory: “Perhaps if I had read those works earlier, I would have saved useful time, surely”. Much has already been written about the relation between poststructuralism and Critical Theory, well-known are the objections advanced in particular by the second and third generation of the Frankfurt School against poststructuralism, especially against its alleged relativism. The aim here, however, is to explore the potential affinities and their relevance today. To this end, it is instructive to have a conversation with two key thinkers in the field, Martin Saar and Bernard E. Harcourt. Martin Saar holds the chair for social philosophy at Goethe-University in Frankfurt and Bernard E. Harcourt is the Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law and Professor of Political Sciences at Columbia University in New York. Critical Theory and poststructuralism play a key role in both of their work.