Theoretische Reflexion und politische Praxis als Dialektik von Aufstand und Verfassung : Die politische Philosophie des Étienne Balibar
With his original reading of the French Revolution Étienne Balibar established a notion of politics in which theoretical refection and political practice are irreducibly interwoven. Contrary to liberal and republican interpretations of these events he claims that one can neither derive material rights nor rules of political processes from the basic concepts of the revolution; instead he sees their main characteristic in their resistance to fnal interpretation. Rather than prescribing a certain social or political system, their contested openness gives occasion to or even forces a political society into a process of self-questioning by constantly reapplying those main concepts to political practices. In my essay I will present Balibar’s complex interpretation of the French Revolution as starting point of this open process as well as his own proposal for its future development. I will claim that his own proposal contradicts some of his central assumptions about the French Revolution so that certain problems of his notion of politics will manifest itself in retrospect.