Demonization : Nathaniel Berman

One of the most powerful tactics in current political debates is to accuse one’s opponent of “demonizing” the target of his or her critique. The charge almost always forces the other on the defensive – ranging from the petulant (“I wasn’t demonizing, I was just making specific criticisms”) to the childish (“I’m the one who’s demonizing?! You’re the one who’s . . .


Demonization : Nathaniel Berman

One of the most powerful tactics in current political debates is to accuse one’s opponent of “demonizing” the target of his or her critique. The charge almost always forces the other on the defensive – ranging from the petulant (“I wasn’t demonizing, I was just making specific criticisms”) to the childish (“I’m the one who’s demonizing?! You’re the one who’s . . .


Enough : Jacques Lezra

Politics is concerned with what is or is not enough; it takes shape when I judge something to be insufficient for something to obtain; and when I make a claim based on this judgment. The rules for obtaining whatever it is that I desire (a state of affairs or a matter of fact; something abstract, like the “truth,” “freedom,” or “security”; or being-with someone; or something. . .


Enough : Jacques Lezra

Politics is concerned with what is or is not enough; it takes shape when I judge something to be insufficient for something to obtain; and when I make a claim based on this judgment. The rules for obtaining whatever it is that I desire (a state of affairs or a matter of fact; something abstract, like the “truth,” “freedom,” or “security”; or being-with someone; or something. . .


Equality : Collaboration

Being a lexical enterprise, Political Concepts revolves around what is probably the quintessential philosophical question at least since Socrates: “What is X?” Socrates’ basic idea, much like that of the current lexicon, is that the everyday use of concepts is often problematic. The attempt to define what some X is, even when it does not reach a definite. . .


Equality : Collaboration

Being a lexical enterprise, Political Concepts revolves around what is probably the quintessential philosophical question at least since Socrates: “What is X?” Socrates’ basic idea, much like that of the current lexicon, is that the everyday use of concepts is often problematic. The attempt to define what some X is, even when it does not reach a definite. . .


Exploitation: Étienne Balibar

When I proposed “exploitation” as a contribution for this conference, I thought I would vindicate the political character of Marxism in the framework of an Encyclopedia of “political concepts” in the making, since everybody knows that this is one of Marxism’s central notions and that it characterizes Marxism’s way of overcoming separations between. . .


Exploitation: Étienne Balibar

When I proposed “exploitation” as a contribution for this conference, I thought I would vindicate the political character of Marxism in the framework of an Encyclopedia of “political concepts” in the making, since everybody knows that this is one of Marxism’s central notions and that it characterizes Marxism’s way of overcoming separations between. . .


Hope : Bruce Robbins

Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will. One rarely hears this famous formula mentioned except with approval, and that is remarkable for a formula that is mentioned so often. When we pronounce these by now almost ritualized words, we feel that we are being properly tough-minded but that we are simultaneously managing as we feel is our paradoxical duty . . .


Hope : Bruce Robbins

Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will. One rarely hears this famous formula mentioned except with approval, and that is remarkable for a formula that is mentioned so often. When we pronounce these by now almost ritualized words, we feel that we are being properly tough-minded but that we are simultaneously managing as we feel is our paradoxical duty . . .


Horror : Kiarina Kordela

Other differences notwithstanding, theoreticians tend to concur in that horror is not a cognitive but a physiological or affective extra-discursive state of being. Not unlike the state of having fever or feeling nausea, horror is a state of being, whose manifestation, based on the etymologies of the Greek φρικη [frike] and the Latin horror, may be . . .


Horror : Kiarina Kordela

Other differences notwithstanding, theoreticians tend to concur in that horror is not a cognitive but a physiological or affective extra-discursive state of being. Not unlike the state of having fever or feeling nausea, horror is a state of being, whose manifestation, based on the etymologies of the Greek φρικη [frike] and the Latin horror, may be . . .


Human/Animal : Stathis Gourgouris

My interest on this occasion is not to test the traditional humanist human-animal distinction, which in recent years has been examined in inventive ways, sometimes under the rubric of so-called posthumanism or animal studies. On the contrary, one might say that I am—for the purposes of argument—abolishing the distinction in the name of raising the possibility of. . .


Human/Animal : Stathis Gourgouris

My interest on this occasion is not to test the traditional humanist human-animal distinction, which in recent years has been examined in inventive ways, sometimes under the rubric of so-called posthumanism or animal studies. On the contrary, one might say that I am—for the purposes of argument—abolishing the distinction in the name of raising the possibility of. . .


Impolitic : Emily Apter

Impolitic, used as an adjective, hardly stands out as a high-performing political concept or premier Untranslatable on the order of the citoyen-sujet, partisano, subaltern, party hack, unpolitical man (as in Thomas Mann’s 1918 Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen (Reflections of an Unpolitical Man), or der Untertan (the title of Heinrich Mann’s 1914 novel. . .


Impolitic : Emily Apter

Impolitic, used as an adjective, hardly stands out as a high-performing political concept or premier Untranslatable on the order of the citoyen-sujet, partisano, subaltern, party hack, unpolitical man (as in Thomas Mann’s 1918 Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen (Reflections of an Unpolitical Man), or der Untertan (the title of Heinrich Mann’s 1914 novel. . .


Intelligence : Oded Zipory

A common discussion of the concept of intelligence is taking place in the discourse of psychology, which considers the most effective and reliable ways to measure this concept. This discussion also deals with the tension between the biological and the social foundations of intelligence, and mainly through an elaboration upon this tension, the context in which the. . .


Intelligence : Oded Zipory

A common discussion of the concept of intelligence is taking place in the discourse of psychology, which considers the most effective and reliable ways to measure this concept. This discussion also deals with the tension between the biological and the social foundations of intelligence, and mainly through an elaboration upon this tension, the context in which the. . .


Katechon : Peter Szendy

When one looks up the entry for the verb katechō in an ancient Greek dictionary—let us say the Liddell and Scott—, one finds: to hold fast, to hold back, to withhold, to check, to restrain, to bridle, to detain, to inhibit, to gain possession of, to be master of, to control, to possess, to occupy, to fill, to be spread over, to cover. The polysemy of the word is restrained, though, or . . .


Katechon : Peter Szendy

When one looks up the entry for the verb katechō in an ancient Greek dictionary—let us say the Liddell and Scott—, one finds: to hold fast, to hold back, to withhold, to check, to restrain, to bridle, to detain, to inhibit, to gain possession of, to be master of, to control, to possess, to occupy, to fill, to be spread over, to cover. The polysemy of the word is restrained, though, or . . .


Missing : Thangam Ravindranathan

Missing is not so much a concept here as a conceit, a trick, and I cannot say for sure whether I am the one playing the trick or the one tricked. Here’s how I might quickly tell this sticky, burdensome, embarrassing tale, less like an albatross than like a dog. There is a part of me that feels secretly, inordinately anxious in the presence of concepts. Do not worry, I said to . . .


Missing : Thangam Ravindranathan

Missing is not so much a concept here as a conceit, a trick, and I cannot say for sure whether I am the one playing the trick or the one tricked. Here’s how I might quickly tell this sticky, burdensome, embarrassing tale, less like an albatross than like a dog. There is a part of me that feels secretly, inordinately anxious in the presence of concepts. Do not worry, I said to . . .


Movement : Hagar Kotef

Movement is the change in the position of a body (object or subject) or part of it over the course of a certain interval of time. This is my working definition. By the end of this essay I hope to open this definition, not so much by “abstracting movement”—by thinking of the more “metaphoric” meanings it encompasses—but by exploring the ways in which the. . .


Movement : Hagar Kotef

Movement is the change in the position of a body (object or subject) or part of it over the course of a certain interval of time. This is my working definition. By the end of this essay I hope to open this definition, not so much by “abstracting movement”—by thinking of the more “metaphoric” meanings it encompasses—but by exploring the ways in which the. . .


Myth : Chiara Bottici

Why are philosophers, and in particular political philosophers, reluctant to focus on political myth as a primary topic for their investigations? Why do they keep oscillating between the Scylla of rationalism, with its normative standards, and the Charybdis of political theology, with its smell of death? Not only do political myths exist, but they are also theorized . . .


Myth : Chiara Bottici

Why are philosophers, and in particular political philosophers, reluctant to focus on political myth as a primary topic for their investigations? Why do they keep oscillating between the Scylla of rationalism, with its normative standards, and the Charybdis of political theology, with its smell of death? Not only do political myths exist, but they are also theorized . . .


Nature : Lukas Rieppel

Nature may seem like an unlikely choice for a lexical project devoted to political concepts. This is because it is often defined in terms of the non-human, such as when John Stuart Mill described it as everything “that takes place without the agency… of man.” For many, I suspect the word conjures a mental image of plants, animals, and perhaps even the wilderness. The . . .


Nature : Lukas Rieppel

Nature may seem like an unlikely choice for a lexical project devoted to political concepts. This is because it is often defined in terms of the non-human, such as when John Stuart Mill described it as everything “that takes place without the agency… of man.” For many, I suspect the word conjures a mental image of plants, animals, and perhaps even the wilderness. The . . .


Occupation : Jacques Rancière

Contributing to a lexicon of political terms normally supposes that you take for granted that politics exists per se as a well-established sphere of human activity, so that one should choose either a concept belonging to that sphere or a concept dealing with its foundations, be they ontological, theological, or other. My own contention, however, is that this . . .


Occupation : Jacques Rancière

Contributing to a lexicon of political terms normally supposes that you take for granted that politics exists per se as a well-established sphere of human activity, so that one should choose either a concept belonging to that sphere or a concept dealing with its foundations, be they ontological, theological, or other. My own contention, however, is that this . . .