STRANGERS AS ENEMIES: Walls all over the World, and How to Tear them Down, A lecture by Etienne Balibar


Borders isolate, but they also link people. Throughout history, they have been complex, mobile, porous, and conflictual. They retained an essential correlation to the figures of sovereignty and identity. In a "globalized" world, which is also increasingly diasporic and nomadic, they could become privileged sites of democratization and the renovation of politics. We observe, almost everywhere, just the opposite: walls, fences, barriers - be they material or virtual, inside and around territories - are being erected and violently fortified, killing and harming citizens and non-citizens, without producing protection or security, feeding xenophobia and anxiety. The lecture will describe the various forms of this "ghettoization" of the political space, discuss its meaning, and tentatively address the political alternatives it calls for.


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Thursday, 3 November 2011, 6:10 PM
Columbia University, 754 Schermerhorn

Etienne Balibar is Professor Emeritus of moral and political philosophy at Universite de Paris X - Nanterre and Distinguished Professor of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine. He has published widely in the area of Marxist philosophy and moral and political philosophy in general. His many works include Lire le Capital (with Louis Althusser, Pierre Macherey, Jacques Ranciere, Roger Establet, and F. Maspero) (1965); Spinoza et la politique (1985); Nous, citoyens d'Europe? Les frontieres, l'Etat, le peuple (2001); Politics and the Other Scene (2002); L'Europe, l'Amerique, la Guerre. Reflexions sur la mediationeuropeenne (2003); Europe, Constitution, Frontiere (2005). His seminar at Columbia in Fall 2011 is entitled "Human Rights and the Institution of the Citizen."