Politics and the Other Scene

Essays on politics by the pupil of Althusser.
As one of Louis Althusser's most brilliant students in the 1960s, Etienne Balibar contributed to the theoretical collective masterpiece of Reading Capital. Since then he has established himself among the most subtle philosophical and political thinkers in France. In Politics and the Other Scene Balibar deepens and extends the work he first developed with Immanuel Wallerstein in Race, Nation, Class. Exploring the theme of universalism and difference, he addresses such topical questions as European racism, the notion of the border, whether a European citizenship is possible or desirable, violence and politics, and identity and emancipation.


  • 'Syriza wins time—and space' by Étienne Balibar and Sandro Mezzadra

    Alongside the comments made by Costas Lapavitsas and Stathis Kouvelakis on the Greek government's "capitulation" in the Eurogroup negotiations, Étienne Balibar and Sandro Mezzadra argue for a different approach to the present moment.

    So is it true, as many of the papers tell us, that Athens has given in to the Eurogroup’s demands (as La Repubblica puts it) or that it has take the first step toward returning to austerity policies (as the Guardian reports)? If we believe certain leaders of the left wing of Syriza, the new government’s courage didn’t last long, and the ‘capitulation’ has already begun…

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  • 'What kind of solidarity with the Greek people?': A round table with Étienne Balibar, Susan George and Francis Wurtz

    The facts

    On Sunday 25 January Syriza won a historic victory, scoring 36.34% in the Greek elections. Just falling short of a parliamentary majority, the radical Left coalition announced the formation of an ‘anti-austerity’ government.

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  • Étienne Balibar: Three words for the dead and the living

    Étienne Balibar comments on Charlie Hebdo.

    An old Japanese friend of mine, Haruhisa Kato – formerly a professor at Todai university – wrote to me with this: ‘I’ve seen the images of all of France in mourning. I’ve been deeply moved by all this. Over the years I really loved Wolinksi’s collections. I have always been a subscriber to the Canard enchaîné, and I enjoyed Cabu’s “Beauf” cartoons every week. I still have his collection Cabu et Paris by my desk, including a number of fine drawings he did of Japanese girls, tourists having fun on the Champs-Élysées’. But further on, this reservation: ‘The 1 January Le Monde editorial starts with the words “A better world? This firstly supposes an intensified struggle against the Islamic State and its blind barbarism”. I was very struck by this statement, a rather contradictory one I thought, that we need a war for the sake of peace!’.

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Other books by Etienne Balibar