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About Etienne Balibar

Etienne Balibar is Emeritus Professor at Paris X Nanterre and Anniversary Chair of Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University, London. He has addressed such questions as European racism, the notion of the border, whether a European citizenship is possible or desirable, violence, identity and emancipation. His books include Reading Capital (with Louis Althusser, New Left Books 1970), Race, Nation, Class (with Immanuel Wallerstein, Verso, 1991), The Philosophy of Marx, Spinoza and Politics, Politics and the Other Scene (Verso, 2002), and We, the People of Europe? Reflections on Transnational Citizenship (Princeton UP, 2004). His latest publications are Equaliberty (Duke UP, 2014); Violence and Civility (Columbia UP, 2015), Citizenship (Polity, 2015) and Europe, crise et fin ? (Edition Le Bord de l’Eau, 2016).

Articles by Etienne Balibar

This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

‘Gilets jaunes’: the meaning of the confrontation

As the ‘gilets jaunes’ movement continues after President Macron’s speech, the French philosopher examines its origins and some of its political implications for all of us.

A call for an international right of hospitality on World Humanitarian Day

In the current situation there is a crying need to limit the arbitrariness of States by confronting them with legitimate and internationally recognized counter-powers.

The political representation of the European people

English version of the political philosopher’s interview with Vadim Kamenka of L’Humanite Dimanche (21 June) and Ana Maria Merlo for Il Manifesto (15 June).

Europe in crisis: which ‘new foundation’?

This essay is an English adaptation of the main part of the author’s “discourse of acceptance” for the Hannah-Arendt Prize in Political Thought 2017, awarded by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the City of Bremen (Germany), on December 1, 2017.

'Populism' and 'counter-populism' in the Atlantic mirror

There are three major lessons for we Europeans in the US presidential elections. They necessarily lead us towards the imagining of a transnational counter-populism.

Brexit: a dismantling moment

We have reached a turning point with an uncertain outcome, in which the British and European dimensions are two sides of the same coin.

In war

In this nomadic, undefined, polymorphous, and unsymmetrical war, the populations on 'both shores' of the Mediterranean are taken hostage. And Europe has a nearly irreplaceable function.

Europe and the refugees: a demographic enlargement

We will begin to understand that in order for Europe to be able to carry out the task which has suddenly fallen to it, a new Europe is required, with a different political form.

Borderland Europe and the challenge of migration

We tend to think that the external limits of the European Union define the 'real' borders of Europe, which is a mistake.

Il dilemma di Syriza e il nostro

Gli "accordi" del 13 luglio a Bruxelles segnano la fine di un'epoca? Sì, ma certamente non nel senso indicato dal comunicato conclusivo el "vertice". EnglishFrançais.

Syriza’s dilemma, and ours

Do the “agreements” reached on July 13 mark the end of an era? Yes, but certainly not in the sense suggested by the press release of the “summit”. Italiano. Français.

The Brussels diktat: and what followed

Alexis Tsipras won the battle on a question of principle - the need for a new Europe - even if he lost the war that ensued. What are the implications for the Greek left and for Europe? (Long: 9,000 words) Français. Deutsch.

Das diktat von Brüssel: was folgt daraus?

Alexis Tsipras won the battle on a question of principle - the need for a new Europe - even if he lost the war that ensued. What are the implications for the Greek left and for Europe? (Long: 9,000 words) EnglishFrançais.

Useless European elections?

A vicious circle must be broken, but this can arise only from inside the European perspective, through a mounting pressure of the Union’s citizens, who must at the same time avoid “sovereign” fallacies and "cosmopolitan" illusions.

Out of the interregnum

The old national order is dead, but the new post-national union of states, whether called a federation or not, is unable to take shape. French philosopher Etienne Balibar calls for European action.

A new Europe can only come from the bottom up

Simply put, 'another Europe' must be able to suggest alternatives that make sense to the majority of the citizens across the continent.

Our European incapacity

If we are to articulate a ‘politics of hope’ in contemporary Europe, then we must revisit such problematic concepts as ‘populism’, ‘democracy’ and ‘Europe’, formulating a new language that can register the fact that the coexistence of an antidemocratic Europe, and an anti-European exploitation of fears and frustrations, are two sides of the same coin.
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