The eruption of global struggles in 2010 calls for theoretical reflection. What distinguishes the new movements is not only their refusal of the existing socioeconomic order but their conscious experiments in alternative forms of social organization, interaction, and self-determination. Gunn and Wilding’s article argues that the movements’ inspiring mix of “refusal” and “alternatives” can be understood within a theoretical framework that foregrounds the concepts of contradiction and recognition. In this context, the article presents Herbert Marcuse and Slavoj Žižek as theorists who, in different fashions, turn away from contradictions that an alienated world contains. Self-determination exists—but in a self-contradictory way. The article argues therefore that recognition is a fundamental category of revolution.

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