Modernity is marked by acrimonious debate over the form of the good society and the proper shape of politics. But these struggles are set within a frame that supports some arguments and rules other possibilities out of contention. If late–modernity is a time of danger as well as significant achievement, it is necessary to ask: how can we become more reflective about the economies of thought which have governed modern political discourse? William Connolly clarifies the affinities binding together disparate theorists who have sought to comprehend the shape and prospects of modernity. He reveals how thinkers adamantly opposed to one another at one level implicitly share assumptions and demands at a more basic level; and invites Nietzsche – the thinker who disturbs modern theories by assessing them from the hypothetical perspective of a non–modern future – to expose patterns of insistence inside the theories of his predecessors.