Etienne Balibar – Antinomies of Citizenship

12 May 2009 – Professor Etienne Balibar – Cassal Lecture in French Culture: ‘Antinomies of Citizenship’ – Ever since the origins in ancient societies, the concept of the citizen and the corresponding “community of citizens” (the Greek politeia, the Roman civitas) have moved in polarities which accounted for a permanent tension: between rights and duties, membership and exclusion, participation and representation, etc. In periods of crisis of the political institution such as the current ‘trans-nationalization’ of the Law and the global Economy , the constitutive tensions can become genuine antinomies, which confront individuals and collectives with radical choices. This Lecture will try to clarify their formulation and show what is at stake in their uncertain perspectives.