Accueil > The notion of equality in contemporary French political thought

DSPO 2480A - Notion of equality in contemporary French political thought (The)

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


Basic knowledge on the political theory of liberalism and Marxism.

Course Description

Equality can be regarded the key notion in contemporary radical political thought, and very much so in today's French political thought. Where many political doctrines focus either on freedom (Liberalism) or on equality (Socialism, Communism), contemporary French political thinkers demonstrate that true liberty presupposes a radical notion of equality, which implies a critical perspective on the world we are living in. Through an analysis of the question of equality in the works of Alain Badiou, Jacques Rancière and Jean-Luc Nancy, we will see how such a notion has consequences for our understanding of politics and society. Through a comparison with some complex manufactured problems like climate change, poverty, and terrorist violence, a perspective will developped on how such theories could offer us valid alternatives for dealing with these problems.


VAN DER SCHOOT, Dolf (Enseignant)

Course validation

The assessment of this course will consist of : End-of-Term paper (60%) Presentation (30%) Participation (10%)

Required reading

  • Badiou, Alain (2006) Metapolitics, transl. J. Baker. London, Verso.
  • Rancière, Jacques (2010) Dissensus : on Politics and the Aesthetics, transl. S. Corcoran, London, Continuum.
  • Nancy, Jean-Luc (2000) Being Singular Plural, transl. R.D. Richardson & A.E. O'Byrne, Stanford, Stanford University Press.