Critics have claimed that Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a primitivist uncritically preoccupied with "noble savages" and that he remained oblivious to the African slave trade. Fugitive Rousseau presents the emancipatory possibilities of Rousseau's thought and argues that a fresh, "fugitive" perspective on political freedom is bound up with Rousseau's treatments of primitivism and slavery.
Rather than trace Rousseau's arguments primarily to the social contract tradition of Hobbes and Locke, Fugitive Rousseau places Rousseau squarely in two imperial contexts: European empire in his contemporary Atlantic world and Roman imperial philosophy. Anyone who aims to understand the implications of Rousseau's famous sentence "Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains" or wants to know how Rousseauian arguments can support a radical democratic politics of diversity, discontinuity, and exodus will find Fugitive Rousseau indispensable.
Jimmy Casas Klausen holds an appointment at the Instituto de Relacoes Internacionais of the Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro. He is co-editor with James Martel of How Not to Be Governed. His articles have appeared in American Political Science Review, Polity, Political Theory, and Journal of Politics.
List of Illustrations List of Abbreviations Acknowledgments Introduction I Slavery 1. Displacements 2... and Condensations II Freedom? 3. Cosmopolitanism 4. Nativism 5. Fugitive Freedom Afterword Notes Index