Author Archives: Martin O'Shaughnessy

A Mother and Citizen Facing the Social and Climate Emergency: the French State Mobilised against the Right to Demonstrate

‘If they stop thinking, every human being can act as a barbarian.’ Hannah Arendt (Originally published in French at, this English translation appears by permission of the text’s anonymous author). There were tens of thousands of us in the street … Continue reading

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Laurent Cantet’s Entre les murs (2008) and the crisis of republican integration (a way into the film for students)

Introduction: Made entirely with amateur actors, Entre les murs won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and is Cantet’s most successful film to date. It provoked considerable debate within France and travelled widely abroad. It is one of a number of high … Continue reading

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Žižek’s critique of Badiou’s response to the November attacks

In his recently published Against the Double Blackmail (Penguin, 2016), Žižek noted his response to Alain Badiou’s judgement (summarized here) on the Paris massacres of November 2015. He agrees broadly with Badiou’s analysis and especially that there is no emancipatory … Continue reading

Posted in Morality, philosophy, theory, The politics of crisis, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Alain Badiou on the 13th November Paris massacres

Badiou laid out his reaction to the co-ordinated Paris terror attacks of November 13th in a seminar delivered in Aubervilliers ten days after the events. Since then, his thoughts have been transcribed and published in a little book entitled Notre mal vient … Continue reading

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Building the Common: nine political propositions from Dardot and Laval

In an earlier post (here), I summed up Dardot and Laval’s position on how we should think the common. What I want to do now is focus on the nine key political propositions about how to build the common to … Continue reading

Posted in Morality, philosophy, theory, the common(s), Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Thinking about the common with Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval

Best known outside of France for their important book on neo-liberal governance, Dardot and Laval have more recently (2014) added another important work to their output, a work whose breadth and ambition is clearly indicated by its title, Commun: essai … Continue reading

Posted in Morality, philosophy, theory, Protest and mobilisation, the common(s) | 5 Comments

Using the work of Maurizio Lazzarato to understand subjection in the contemporary British university

Previously on this blog (here), I provided an account of Maurizio Lazzarato’s elegant, concise and persuasive book on debt. What I’d like to do here is take some of the main insights from two later works, Governing by Debt (Semiotext(e) / … Continue reading

Posted in Crisis and the university, debt in theory and culture, The politics of crisis | 1 Comment