In Violence and Civility, Étienne Balibar boldly confronts the insidious causes of violence, racism, nationalism, and ethnic cleansing worldwide, as well as mass poverty and dispossession. Through a novel synthesis of theory and empirical studies of contemporary violence, the acclaimed thinker pushes past the limits of political philosophy to reconceive war, revolution, sovereignty, and class.
Through the pathbreaking thought of Derrida, Balibar builds a topography of cruelty converted into extremism by ideology, juxtaposing its subjective forms (identity delusions, the desire for extermination, and the pursuit of vengeance) and its objective manifestations (capitalist exploitation and an institutional disregard for life). Engaging with Marx, Hegel, Hobbes, Clausewitz, Schmitt, and Luxemburg, Balibar introduces a new, productive understanding of politics as antiviolence and a fresh approach to achieving and sustaining civility. Rooted in the principles of transformation and empowerment, this theory brings hope to a world increasingly divided even as it draws closer together.