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Balibar and the Citizen Subject

Edited by Warren Montag, Hanan Elsayed

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Explores the core of Balibar’s work since 1980

This collection explores Balibar’s rethinking of the connections between subjection and subjectivity by tracing the genealogies of these concepts in their discursive history. The 12 essays provide an overview of Balibar’s work after his collaboration with Althusser. They explain and expand his framework; in particular, by restoring Arabic and Islamic thought to the conversation on the citizen subject. The collection includes two previously untranslated essays by Balibar himself on Carl Schmitt and Thomas Hobbes.

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Notes on the contributors

Introduction: Balibar and the Citizen Subject
Warren Montag and Hanan Elsayed

Part I: Balibar Reading Schmitt Reading Hobbes: Equality or Sameness?

1. Schmitt’s Hobbes, Hobbes’s Schmitt
Etienne Balibar

2. The Mortal God and his Faithful Subjects: Hobbes, Schmitt and the Antinomies of Secularism
Etienne Balibar

Part II: Transindividual / Universal

1. The ‘Other Scene’ of Political Anthropology: Between Transindividuality and Equaliberty
Jason Read

2. Intersubjectivity or Transindividuality: The Leibniz-Spinoza Alternative
Vittorio Morfino

3. A Parallelism of Consciousness and Property: Balibar's Reading of Locke
Warren Montag

4. Figures of Universalism: Notes on Philosophy and Politics in Etienne Balibar
Mohamed Moulfi

5. Balibar and the Philosophy of Science
Giorgos Fourtounis

Part III: Inequality, Violence and the Possibility of Citizenship

6. La Haine: Falling in Slow Motion
Hanan Elsayed

7. Morbid Perseverance: The Internal Border and White Supremacy
James Ford

8. Just like a woman: Balibar on the politics of reproduction
Nancy Armstrong

9. Another "Neo-Racism": Balibar and the Everywhere War,
Mike Hill

Notes on contributors

About the Author

Warren Montag is Brown Family Professor in Literature, English at Occidental College. His publications include The Other Adam Smith with Mike Hill (Stanford UP, 2014) and Althusser and his Contemporaries: Philosophy’s Perpetual War (Duke UP, 2013).

Hanan Elsayed is Associate Professor, Spanish and French Studies at Occidental College, where she teaches French and Arabic languages and literatures. She is the author of L'Histoire sacrée de l'Islam dans la fiction maghrébine (Karthala, 2016).


There is hardly a field in contemporary critical thought that does not bear the traces of the powerful interventions of Étienne Balibar. This collection of essays is not merely a due homage to his work. It opens up new and challenging pathways in the wake of Balibar’s philosophical and political reflection.

- Sandro Mezzadra, University of Bologna

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