Dangerously empty? Hegemony and the construction of the Irish entrepreneur

Kate Kenny, Stacey Scriver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


In this article we build on Jones and Spicer's (2009) conceptualization of the entrepreneur as an empty signifier. We explore the function of the signifier 'entrepreneurship' within a social context marked by crisis: Ireland 2007-2010. In doing so, we show how its articulation by government acted to legitimize the continuation of market logics and, relatedly, the existing political status quo. Theoretically, we demonstrate the usefulness of Laclau and Mouffe's conception of hegemony, which shares a Lacanian legacy with Jones and Spicer. This helps us to understand the contradictory nature of the signifier of the entrepreneur in Irish political and social discourse, along with its relationship to the reproduction of political hegemony.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-633
Number of pages19
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012

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