Vortragsabend mit Etienne Balibar

A new cosmopolitanism? Strangers not enemies

Vortrag mit Etienne Balibar

25. März 2015
18 Uhr
Hörsaal 1
Foyer Toni-Areal

"Is there a future for the cosmopolitan idea? Is there even a present? We
seem to be confronting an extremely paradoxical situation; on the one hand,
a globalization of communications, cultural and commercial exchanges, has
realized some of the material conditions that Enlightenment philosophers
considered necessary for the overcoming of nationalist hatreds and the
advent of a political community beyond the sovereign States; on the other
hand globalization looks more like a "reverse cosmopolitanism", in which -
to recall a Kantian criterion - strangers are treated as virtual or actual
enemies, xenophobia and racism, even terror, are spreading. It is not enough
to lament this contradiction or hope for its spontaneous overcoming. The
lecture will attempt a partial genealogy of past dilemmas affecting the
cosmopolitan project and suggest some ideas for its renewal in the Global

"Etienne Balibar was born in Avallon (France) in 1942. He graduated at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the Sorbonne in Paris, later took his PhD from the University of Nijmegen (Netherlands) and has an Habilitation from Université de Paris I. He has been teaching at the Universities of Algiers, Sorbonne, Leiden, Nanterre, UC Irvine. He is Professor of Philosophy at Kingston University London and Visiting Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, New York. His books include Reading Capital (with Louis Althusser) (1965), On the Dictatorship of the Proletariat (1976), Race, Nation, Class. Ambiguous Identities (1991, with Immanuel Wallerstein), Masses, Classes, Ideas (1994), The Philosophy of Marx (1995), Spinoza and Politics (1998), Politics and the Other Scene (2002), We, the People of Europe? Reflections on Transnational Citizenship (Princeton, 2004). The Proposition of Equaliberty (2014), Violence and Civility, and Citizen Subject (2014), Essays of Philosophical Anthropology (2015).