Las Torres de Lucca. International Journal of Political Philosophy, Vol 6, No 10 (2017)

Has J. Rancière’s concept of politics Marxist assumptions?

Andrés Felipe Parra Ayala


This paper examines critically the claim of Jacques Rancière that politics should be thought without reference to social spaces or to the power relationships which take place in themselves. This text seeks to show that those descriptions and cartographies of social spaces work yet as hidden assumptions in the Rancièrian theory despite being refused by the French philosopher himself as crucial rudiments of the reflection about politics. In its first part, the paper approaches Rancière’s objections against the theories which like Marxism derive the nature of political conflict of the understanding of social conflicts. In the second part, it will show that, without referring to sociological descriptions of society like those that Marxism employs, the Rancièrian concept of politics would fall into internal contradictions by fitting politics with emancipation together, as the formal figure of actualization of equality is not enough to define the emancipatory nature of political irruption.