In this Book

Citizen Subject
summary
This book constitutes the summation of Étienne Balibar’s career-long project to think the necessary and necessarily antagonistic relation between the categories of citizen and subject. In this magnum opus, the question of modernity is framed anew with special attention to the self-enunciation of the subject (in Descartes, Locke, Rousseau, and Derrida), the constitution of the community as “we” (in Hegel, Marx, and Tolstoy), and the aporia of the judgment of self and others (in Foucualt, Freud, Kelsen, and Blanchot). After the “humanist controversy” that preoccupied twentieth-century philosophy, Citizen Subject proposes foundations for philosophical anthropology today, in terms of two contrary movements: the becoming-citizen of the subject and the becoming-subject of the citizen. The citizen-subject who is constituted in the claim to a “right to have rights” (Arendt) cannot exist without an underside that contests and defies it. He—or she, since Balibar is concerned throughout this volume with questions of sexual difference—figures not only the social relation but also the discontent or the uneasiness at the heart of this relation. The human can only be instituted if it betrays itself by upholding “anthropological differences” that impose normality and identity as conditions of belonging to the community. The violence of “civil,” bourgeois universality, Balibar argues, is greater (and less legitimate, therefore less stable) than that of theological or cosmological universality. Right is thus founded on insubordination, and emancipation derives its force from otherness. Ultimately, Citizen Subject offers a revolutionary rewriting of the dialectic of universality and differences in the bourgeois epoch, revealing in the relationship between the common and the universal a political gap at the heart of the universal itself.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Foreword
  2. Emily Apter
  3. pp. vii-xviii
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  1. Introduction: After the Controversy
  2. pp. 1-18
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  1. Citizen Subject: Response to Jean-Luc Nancy’s Question “Who Comes After the Subject?”
  2. pp. 19-39
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  1. Annex: Subjectus/Subjectum
  2. pp. 40-52
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  1. Part One. “Our True Self Is Not Entirely Within Us”
  1. One. “Ego sum, ego existo”: Descartes on the Verge of Heresy
  2. pp. 53-73
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  1. Two. “My Self,” “My Own”: Variations on Locke
  2. pp. 74-91
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  1. Three. Aimances in Rousseau: Julie or The New Heloise as Treatise on the Passions
  2. pp. 92-105
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  1. Four. From Sense Certainty to the Law of Genre: Hegel, Benveniste, Derrida
  2. pp. 106-120
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  1. Part Two. Being(s) in Common
  1. Five. Ich, das Wir, und Wir, das Ich ist: Spirit’s Dictum
  2. pp. 121-142
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  1. Six. The Messianic Moment in Marx
  2. pp. 143-154
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  1. Seven. Zur Sache Selbst: The Common and the Universal in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit
  2. pp. 155-172
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  1. Eight. Men, Armies, Peoples: Tolstoy and the Subject of War
  2. pp. 173-184
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  1. Nine. The Social Contract Among Commodities: Marx and the Subject of Exchange
  2. pp. 185-202
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  1. Part Three. The Right to Transgression
  1. Ten. Judging Self and Others: On the Political Theory of Reflexive Individualism
  2. pp. 203-212
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  1. Eleven. Private Crime, Public Madness
  2. pp. 213-226
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  1. Twelve. The Invention of the Superego: Freud and Kelsen, 1922
  2. pp. 227-255
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  1. Thirteen. Blanchot’s Insubordination: On the Writing of the Manifesto of the 121
  2. pp. 256-272
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  1. Part Four. The Ill-Being of the Subject
  1. Fourteen. Bourgeois Universality and Anthropological Differences
  2. pp. 273-302
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 303-386
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 387-392
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  1. Commonalities Series List
  2. pp. 393-395
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