The Politics of Orientation: Deleuze meets Luhmann

Hannah Richter

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The Politics of Orientation provides the first substantial exploration of a surprising theoretical kinship and its rich political implications, that between Gilles Deleuze's philosophy and the sociological systems theory of Niklas Luhmann. Through their shared theories of sense, Hannah Richter draws out how the works of Luhmann and Deleuze complement each other in creating worlds where chaos is the norm and order the unlikely and yet remarkably stable exception. From the encounter between Deleuze and Luhmann, Richter develops a novel take on postfoundational ontology where subjects and societies unfold in self-productive relations of sense against a background of complexity. The Politics of Orientation breaks and rebuilds theoretical alliances by reading core concepts and thinkers of Continental Philosophy, from Leibniz to Whitehead and Marx, through this encounter. Most importantly, the book puts Luhmann and Deleuze to work to offer urgently needed insight into the rise of post-truth populism. In our complex democratic societies, Richter argues, orientation against complexity has become the ground of political power, privileging the simplistic narratives of the populist right.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherState University of New York Press
ISBN (Print)9781438495064
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Feb 2023

Publication series

NameContemporary Continental Theory


  • Post-truth, spin, media, UK, politics
  • complexity
  • post-structuralism
  • Deleuze
  • Luhmann


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