Thinking Through Balibar’s Dialectics of Emancipation

A Review of Equaliberty: Political Essays by Étienne Balibar

In: Historical Materialism
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  • 1 Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London
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In this review, I discuss Balibar’s ‘proposition of equaliberty’ with regard to its theoretical status and contribution, its relationship to other contemporary theories of radical democracy as well as to the problematic of bourgeois versus communist emancipation in Marx. The primary interest of this essay is to develop a detailed understanding of Balibar’s analytical schema, which draws a complex picture of our contemporary ‘human condition’, and to place it within his own theoretical development since his contribution to Reading Capital in the 60s. On that basis, it will be possible to assess his contribution to thinking politics with and after Marx and place it more concretely within the generalised radical-democratic turn in post-Marxist theory.

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