Comment devient-on citoyen si on le devient ?

  • Monique David-Ménard
Keywords: politics, anthropology, psychoanalysis, Butler, Abélès, political space, contingency


According to classical and modern political philosophy from Hobbes via Kant and Hegel to Marx, one becomes a citizen by transforming one’s family and social rootedness into a juridical and/or political existence. By insisting on the precariousness of politics, Judith Butler and Marc Abélès challenge the classic distinctions, such as between private and public, by showing how the immanence of conflicts and their contingency is constitutive of the emergence of politics today. In thinking politics beyond the state, both Butler and Abélès conceive the political place as the intersection of various dimensions of a concrete space where the perilous exposition of bodies is rendered visible. It is against this background that the author departs from an ontology of precariousness insofar as this ontology tends to obscure the radical contingency of freedom as the latter is always a freedom under multiple conditions. In order to render the contingency of the creation of a political space visible, it is therefore necessary to pay attention to the social and historical conditions of such a creation. A non-ontological conception of precariousness in politics, by contrast, makes it possible to explore the surprising proximity between the methods used in psychoanalysis and political anthropology. Psychoanalysis has some affinities with politics insofar as it constructs, just like politics, a site for wandering. However, while psychoanalysis is not to be assimilated to politics insofar as it concerns individual singularities and not collectives, is can nevertheless provide precious instruments for the analysis of political situations.


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How to Cite
David-MénardM. Comment devient-on citoyen si on le devient ?. FV [Internet]. 2019Jan.16 [cited 2020May25];39(3). Available from: