This collection of political essays from Alain Badiou analyses, with keen philosophical insight, some of the key events and debates that have come to pass in recent years. Political activism is a constant of Badiou's life and with customary acuity he delivers here precise analyses on the nature and limitation of the American adventurism in Iraq and the war in Kosovo, on the interconnection between the State, capitalism and cultural repression in the French government ban on headscarves, on the custom of voting, and on the status of the word "jew". This collection includes Badiou's sketch of a possible "fusion" of Germany and France into a figure beyond the nation-state, as well as the latest version of his manifesto for art. Finally, it includes two essays, more philosophical in style, on two momentous sequences of history, the Paris Commune and Cultural Revolution, in which he gives a highly original articulation of the conditions under which space can become a radically transformative event.
Alain Badiou teaches philosophy at the Ecole Normale Superieure. For many years a Maoist, he remains a committed political activist. In addition to several novels, plays and political essays, he has published a number of major philosophical works, including Theory of the Subject, Being and Event, Manifesto for Philosophy, Gilles Deleuze: The Clamour of Being and (from Verso) Ethics.