Contemporary Political Theory 5 (4):371-404 (2006)

In his theory of the event, Alain Badiou argues that the realm of politics is particularly important. Drawing to an extent on Marx, Lenin and Mao, he argues that true politics is revolutionary, or at least 'eventmental'. Badiou's political thought places great emphasis on the role of the agent of change — the subject — but he argues controversially that subjecthood in politics as well as in other domains comes only after the event has taken place, leaving the potential subject in a highly passive position before the event has taken place. He has relinquished some but not all of Marx's materialist and historical approach, in favour of a more idealist approach influenced in part by Plato, with the effect that his theory of politics is rather disjointed. Badiou's uneasy blend of idealism and materialism means that he has at times highly unorthodox things to say about the notion of democracy and has uneven positions regarding both parliamentary politics and political activism. A lonely, committed voice in contemporary France, Badiou's theory of politics nevertheless offers a rare opportunity to engage with a thinker who is attempting to offer a new philosophy of praxis
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1057/palgrave.cpt.9300275
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 68,908
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Heroic Business ‘Ethics’.John Dobson & Eleanor Helms - 2014 - Business and Professional Ethics Journal 33 (2-3):131-146.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Thinking the Break: Rancière, Badiou and the Return of a Politics of Resistance.Todd May - 2009 - Comparative and Continental Philosophy 1 (2):253-268.
Badiou and the Politics of Form.Paul Livingston - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (5):304-315.
Art, Politics and Philosophy.John W. P. Phillips - 2010 - Theory, Culture and Society 27 (4):146-160.
Verdades sem significado: ontologia, ética e política em Alain Badiou.Lucas Camarotti - 2011 - Cadernos de Ética E Filosofia Política 19:77-104.
Alain Badiou (2010) Cinéma.Manuel Ramos - 2011 - Film-Philosophy 15 (2):143-149.
Can Politics Be Thought in Interiority?Sylvan Lazarus & Harper - 2016 - Cosmos and History 12 (1):107-130.


Added to PP index

Total views
21 ( #531,297 of 2,497,712 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #428,657 of 2,497,712 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes