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Rada Iveković, philosophe et indianiste repentie avec formation linguistique, démarche politique et féministe, est née à Zagreb en 1945. Elle a fait ses études à Belgrade, Zagreb et à Delhi. Elle a enseigné la philosophie au Département de philosophie de l’Université de Zagreb de 1975 jusqu’en 1991. Après un semestre à l’Université de Paris-7, elle a enseigné au Département de philosophie de l’Université de Saint-Denis (Paris-8) de 1992-2003. Elle a enseigné à l’Université de Saint-Étienne, a été directrice de programme au Collège international de philosophie, Paris textes & activités de 2004 à 2010 où elle continue à faire cours de temps en temps (séminaire "Quand le Sud global aide à penser et dire le monde commun", avec Rémy Bazenguissa-Ganga et Kadya Tall, à partitr de la rentrée 2014 et jusqu’en 2016, programme). Elle a été professeure invitée, notamment dans les universités de Paris-7 Jussieu, de Pennsylvania (Philadelphie), de Johns Hopkins (Baltimore), de Graz, de Rome-La Sapienza, ainsi que "senior visiting fellow" au Asia Research Institute de la National University of Singapore (2013). Elle est l’auteure d’une vingtaine de livres de philosophie, d’indianisme et de contre-indianisme, d’essais variés, de quelques manuels et de nombreux articles en plusieurs langues. Voir les couvertures de certains livres en cliquant ici puis en déroulant la page vers le bas.
Rada Iveković sur Academia.edu :
LES CITOYENS MANQUANTS,
Cet essai réfléchit sur le concept de « citoyens manquants », en prenant comme point de départ les violences dans les banlieues françaises, et en se concentrant sur l’observation des migrations contemporaines et la construction des citoyennetés. Ce concept s’inspire de celui, hérité de la sociologie indienne (Amartya Sen), de « femmes manquantes » : en effet, elle nomme ainsi toutes les fillettes et les femmes écartées par des avortements sélectifs, une malnutrition ciblée, voire par des assassinats. Les citoyens manquants, ou encore les européens manquants, sont tous les migrants qui vont vers l’Europe, tous ceux morts à nos frontières attirés par des promesses qui ne leur étaient jamais destinées, mais également toutes les populations qui, à l’intérieur même de nos frontières, sont reléguées en marge de nos sociétés (errantes, ou habitantes des bidonvilles, ou encore cantonnées dans les « quartiers »). Les citoyens manquants sont exposés par des opérateurs politiques croisés, tels que le « sexe », la « classe », la « race », les « migrations », la « langue », la « traduction », la « nation », les « frontières », les « banlieues », la « violence », la « laïcité », les « savoirs », le « sujet », qui sont autant de filtres de la domination, évoqués et étudiés ici. Le fait de nommer les citoyens européens manquants rend visible une population occultée, mais, de fait, qui nous est constitutive. Ce concept de « citoyens manquants » donne chair à une citoyenneté de l’avenir. LIRE LE DÉBUT DU LIVRE - LIRE LA DEUXIÈME PARTIE DU LIVRE
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L’éloquence tempérée du Bouddha. Souverainetés et dépossession de soi,
Comment parler de ’rhétorique’ face à une civilisation qui privilégie la dépossession de soi, la distance sereine, la parole tempérée ? C’est l’objet de ce livre. A partir des origines indiennes antiques du bouddhisme, de ses tribulations asiatiques jusque dans la mondialisation, il se penche sur les aléas des souverainetés en Asie. Comment la souveraineté se met-elle en place là où, à partir d’un regard « occidental » post/colonial, on retire sciemment l’attribut de politique et toute velléité de souveraineté ? Quel lien entretient-elle avec les idées de liberté, de sujet, d’État ailleurs qu’en Europe ? Comment lire les philosophies indiennes comme politiques, et est-on en droit de le faire ? La philosophie bouddhique accepte de penser dans l’incertitude et admet la vie sans garantie suprême, étatique ou divine, dans un univers non anthropocentrique. Rada Iveković invite le lecteur à suivre à la fois des grands textes du premier bouddhisme et une réflexion sur ce qu’impose à un esprit occidental, formé au conflit des positions et à la manipulation des consensus, une traversée du champ bouddhiste de la persuasion. Elle propose un itinéraire initiatique à travers une rhétorique ’sans rhétorique’ du Bouddha par – le paradoxe existentiel du sujet qui se soustrait à la conception occidentale de la résistance et de la politique – les exercices spirituels de ’dé-fondation’ – la non-adhésion qui fera rejeter à Gandhi le pouvoir – la rhétorique du non-explicite. Mais, faire ainsi surgir une optique qui dénie ce qui fonde même la rhétorique telle que l’occident la connaît (la prise de position du sujet, la conviction d’avoir raison, le triomphe d’une opinion sur une autre) conduit l’auteure à poser la question de la normativité de nos concepts, et en particulier de celui du politique. Rada Iveković propose d’intégrer la leçon du Bouddha dans les débats actuels sur l’avenir de notre planète et suggère qu’entendre sa pensée est peut-être l’une des clefs de notre sauvegarde.
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Les derniers :
Some epistemological conditions of political modernity
I shall start from the idea of multiple alternative or complementary modernities as well as of western modernity not being the only model. Asian modernities are significantly peculiar and diverse with regard to constructing the concepts of subject/agent/citizen and that of sovereignty, among others (Iveković, 2014). But generally speaking, it is impossible to single a concept out of its context – and the context is the whole conceptual apparatus with its history and configuration, and with the mind-set. For the same reason, we never find word-t-word translations of the latter from one language to another. In translating concepts, there is always something missing as well as something in excess.
Classical Asian philosophies have not been sovereignist ; they have avoided theorizing the subject and have created conceptual universes different from the one(s) known to the west. True, this was partly the case for some currents of thought within Europe too, where non-sovereignist ways of thinking may have come up without, They have not, however, been systemic or dominant in the west. The retrospective protraction of the western subject and of sovereignty to antiquity (mainly Greek and Latin antiquity) was an a posteriori reconstruction of a line of thinking as if it were the only possible one. But there have been alternatives.
On the other hand, that these philosophies have not chosen to establish the towering concept of a subject or of sovereignty, doesn’t mean that Asia has not known of various forms of sovereignty all along. Not theorising an issue may be a choice, and it has been. At the same time, this “non-theorisation” doesn’t mean at all that the issue doesn’t exist “out there”. One thing is our conceptual apparatus (in our minds), another its objects (material or ideal, no matter).
In any case, modernity is an epistemological condition. From modernity on, an unbroken genealogical origin has been constructed for “western” concepts and the western episteme as “universal”. That pedigree comes form European etymologies constructed as founding and universal. Hence, there has been continuity for the “west” and interruptions for other histories and epistemes, for which indeed discontinuity with their own antiquity was declared. From the point of view of the western episteme, their past counted as “premodern”, “traditional”, and thus as belated compared to universalized (western) modernity. The same applies to social groups, considered in comparison with the dominant group. Thus, women’s condition is seen as lagging behind that of men – who are supposed to give the norm when it comes to gender, in the same way in which the “west” function as the model with regard to social relations. What is not seen is that the supposed delay of “other” is constitutive of western modernity, i.e. constitutive of the norm itself. (“Western”) modernity is normative and has become universalized over time. The projection of the notion of progress and of its constitutive exceptions is complicit with the hierarchy of cultures produced in time and in space. It shows the self-referential side of the split of reason as a regressus ad infinitum. The rift in reason appears each time that both a rule and its exception are proposed as an explanation. The exception indicates the dialectical crack and is the transcendental limit of the mind. It takes some magical thinking to understand that the exception confirms the rule rather than being part of it and confirmed by it.
This mechanism established a triumphant continuity between antiquity and modernity (supposed to be western), but installed an unsurpassable abruption with their own past at modernity for other continents. As Boaventura de Sousa Santos shows, one of the great abyssal lines of history will also be constituted all along this fault line, where class hierarchy coincides with that of countries/”cultures” formed during colonialism (De Sousa Santos, 2007). Within western cognitive hegemony (as part of the west’s political hegemony) whose result is a general lack of cognitive equality and justice, there is, for those other modern, no recognized continuity with their own production of knowledge other than in particularity or in exception. They access modern universality on condition and without hegemonic self-referentiality. But parallelly and perhaps surreptitiously, their own modernities make their way, intertwined with the universally recognised one. Visible to “s/he who knows so” . The “subordinate” always makes its way into and across the dominant, to various degrees, though it may take a longer time.
The universality of western modernity renders invisible alternative and complementary modernities and histories, although these exist, whether we choose or not to perpetuate the label “modernity”. Or, as Catarina Gomes has it, “Modernity is also an ideology which sees modernity as a break with the past. Fashioned by science, this rupture consecrates the principle of the ‘new’ as a paradigm and as the ideological foundation of modernity (Antunes Gomes, 2011).”
This same rupture introduces, generally speaking, a new quality of political exclusion and its change of paradigm for women, for the colonised, for the poor : subordinate inclusion (in part, wrongly called « exclusion ») of various forms. The establishment of this historical « threshold » is modernity, a limit constituted with regard to a local historical interest, but with a universality thought of as both western, neutral and all-encompassing. Alterity was projected far away in space and time, into a “non us”. It is thus that the image and imaginary of the State (subject/citizen and State being complementary in modernity) with a whole cartography, forming spaces or cultures that will be really subsumed under that label only later, are projected towards the past. It is thus that “orient” and ”occident” too are constructed, corollaries of the state and of the nation. For example, we speak of “India” also referring to antiquity, although India is a very modern formation .
Modernity and 1989
We can hardly exaggerate the importance of the modern abruption, carried even beyond colonialism : a disjunction in time but also a gap between the “west” and the “rest” (Stuart Hall, 1996). It irremediably separates the two “identities” it establishes. It is at western modernity that the figures of subjectivity and of sovereignty are asserted in Europe and in the west, resulting mainly from a monotheistic horizon supported by colonialism. They will contribute to constructing the nation, capitalism, European prosperity (including the modern ideas of democracy), and help moulding knowledges after the nation. This still existing vision is totally inadequate nowadays. It will be necessary, albeit disquieting, to transcend it towards a non-hegemonic transnationalism that could account for a pluralism of viewpoints without any overhanging view (or any higher office) and without positive criteria in a pluriverse : we need to learn living in a world without guarantee or certainties. This implies living in a properly political space, endowed with responsibilities. The political (le politique), as much as knowledge, needs to be reformulated if it is going to help us understand our times. It cannot stay normative any longer. Western modernity, while reproducing the pattern of the nation but also that of nations in the plural with their inequality and hierarchy resulting from the colony and from imperialism, formed them in correspondence with each other. It is important to underscore the correspondence between political forms, social ones, the sexual order of things and the forms and ways of transmitting knowledge. Shaped by the state under the sign of the nation and with the help of its symbolism, modern knowledges and their way of transmission sustain and reproduce the social and political order – from the gender regime up to the international order - where everything holds.
The “fault-line” of 1989 (fall of the Berlin wall, a symbolic and epochal event) has spread over a whole era of transition and doesn’t designate any more merely that very year or one event (Hui, 2009) , but henceforth the whole period and processes thereafter, including ours. It encompasses, fits in and completes in its manner of acting also previous historical periods that are woven into them even though transformed, such as (western) modernity. Nothing will be like before. We have certainly come out of a linear and uni-oriented history, but still have difficulties in assessing our surroundings. We shall call that threshold “1989” or “end of the Cold War”, even though the events composing it are unequal and gradual according to the their locus and conditions. This division line casts itself over, and nourishes, the doorstep of modernity. Since it is a matter of historical threshold, we can indeed compare 1989 to great historical events such as modernity, which by the way launched modern-time colonialism, the one we are only partly rid of. Such important historic thresholds also have huge epistemological significations ; they shift towards new paradigms of contents, of structure, of production and of manners of transmitting of knowledge. The new paradigms of knowledge are steadily and surely materialising, and transition periods usually offer a choice of options ranging from maintaining to subverting the order. The paradigms of knowledge construction are very tightly linked to the mode of production in general (labour) as well as with political and social patterns (Se Sousa Santos 2000 ; Hardt, Negri, 2000, 2004 ; Moulier Boutang 2007 ; TERRA, 2011, programme “Les savoirs“). We cannot think of them away from their social, political, economic, historic context or, nowadays, we cannot conceive of them outside the phenomena of migration or of the acute financial and other crises differentially, generalised.
1989 has also brought a general collapse of our understanding of temporality as merely linear, and therefore it also brought it some confusion in orientation regarding time, history and historicity. Alternative knowledges that are more and more accessible to us these days, resulting from “alternative” or local modernities, from the confirmed failure (confirmed by the current crisis) of developmental ideas of progress-and-development as well as of direct and pure profit in economy, helped by a serious epistemological critique, have disrupted our relationship to certainties and to unquestioned bright futures. They interrogate the modernity paradigms even as the latter still govern parts of the world, to a great extent by way of inertia. The doorstep of western modernity and that of 1989 converge and are levelled from the end of the Cold war. Catching up with each other historically and paradoxically, they become « contemporary » without having ever been simultaneous. It is particularly the case with Europe, unable to construct herself as having her colonial past in view, and denying it. Europe did not manage to establish herself while taking into account her east, her elsewhere or her others. It is particularly clear nowadays (2016) as Europe is disintegrating while facing her greatest crises because of the arrival of migrants – as the backlash of her “unthought”, of her unconsciousness. At the time of Europe’s reunification (1989), eastern Europe was felt as coming from another time, rather than being a parallel modernity, a socialist modernity. The fulfilling of the capitalist project (really existing capitalism) has, as much as that of the socialist project (really existing socialism), been a formatting of the modernity project. For neither of these historical events and evolutions, or regarding its colonial past, has Europe yet been able to construe a collectively shared social or political self-image. The unity of the community, of the people or of the nation which intervenes in any collective self-understanding, ignores the « others » to various degrees, both included and excluded others.
This brings Europe to having to deal with the two heritages together, modernity (with colonialism) and the threshold of 1989, in its most recent attempts at re-founding its society , as if they were simultaneous : they come together in what is called the “refugee crisis”, although the crisis is not the refugees’, but Europe’s. And let’s not forget that the post-1989 period coincides, for Europe, with the collapse of the classical colonial project and the decolonisation of the sixties. At a 30 years distance, the two historic periods (decolonisation and the end of the Cold war) intersect and are in their turn confounded in the present through the immigration wave, as well as through the fact that Europe has not known how to deal with them in its construction. Any self-image is to some extent conflictual, split and paradoxical, containing a certain dose of self-indulgence (and also a certain, but probably lesser, dose of self-denigration). It never corresponds to reality (Konstantinović, 1981 ; Iveković 2001). Even when conceited, it is powerless, lacking a strong political imagination and will towards a shared future. But only if it is shared, will there be a future here.
Europe and the Balkans
The examples for not being able to construct a motivating self-image are certainly many. Taking today’s Europe as an example, two are the specific perplexities impeding such an image, one concerning the integration of the colonial past and its present reverberation, the other concerning the integration of eastern Europe. But both are now imbedded in a general impossibility to project oneself into the future due among other things to the current European crisis. The arrival of migrants and refugees, whose numbers are disproportionately exaggerated, has only unveiled it (Iveković, 2016). It is impossible to construct an operative self-image because it is impossible to build a common social project on those two counts (mainly, though not solely). In addition, in order to imagine one’s community as an identifiable whole, one needs to be able to identify also its general framework : the state, a name, a place in the world, recognition. But those elements are vanishing due to the loss of sovereignty of the states and due to the subsumption of states under the sovereignty of the market in the form of the Global Financial Market (GFM) (Balibar, 2011). An adequate or acceptable self-image is difficult to obtain when there is no projection in the future due to the crisis, and due to a lack of perspective of integration and solidarity. In such a situation, there is no resolving the tension between economy and society (between capitalism and democracy), while the pattern of fragmentation is internationalised (Streeck, 2012). Not only can a community or a society hardly have an image of itself, but it also cannot see the position of its community, nation and state within international relations.
Another recent example of the same order but on a smaller scale, was what happened at the partition of Yugoslavia : its peoples who, until then, could see themselves as Yugoslavs (even when adopting also ethnic identities which, however, was hardly the rule) framed by a state and that state as having a definite (and quite enviable) position in the world, lost or abandoned their common denomination overnight when the state sovereignty (or Cold War equilibrium between the two camps) was lost and Yugoslavia collapsed. Until then, there had been a valid legitimation from World War II, and a common project ; from that time on no common project had seemed possible any more and the WWII resistance legitimation faded with generations. People immediately started looking for nearer allegiances, and those were offered as national and/or ethnic projects, promising also quick fix state frameworks. In the case of Yugoslavia, the collapse was also economic and could be seen as the first visible manifestation of the later identified Global Financial Market (GFM) : the state had lived on credit thanks to the Cold War equilibrium. It collapsed once the latter had been dismantled. In a crisis, here too, it was impossible to see a common future or build a common image.
A reassuring self-image is not the same as the idea of a shared future, which is far more important than the former. Uncertain images of oneself and of “collective identity” can be overcome through a project of sharing the future. The latter, then, will allow growing. A self-image is usually unsatisfactory when a common and shared project has become unthinkable, and thus the future improbable. Europeans at the moment of migrants knocking at their doors as they flee the Syrian war and other horrors within the circle of Europe’s sphere of influence, are unable at this crucial time to share their future with those refugees, who are their missing citizens (Iveković, 2015).
Creating epistemological conditions necessary to a new, plural and truly universal modernity would mean overcoming the abyssal lines (De Sousa Santos, 2000 ; 2007) through knowledge and considering the latter’s constitution ; overcoming these very abyssal lines where cognitive inequality and injustice are at long last seen as being part of social, political and economic inequalities. It will then be necessary to make an extra effort through a displacement and an epistemological advance even where abyssal lines still stay put in real life, in the gender relationship for example, in xenophobia, racism or the exclusion of the Roma people. The knowledge dimension allows sometimes imagining and accelerating the establishment of a world where abyssal lines would be overcome, but this is on provision of its own (knowledge’s) conditioning and origin being understood, and on the condition of snatching oneself away from these through deconstruction and critique. Knowledges must uproot themselves from the national framework, from factors formatting them according to their origin and positioning, and from the complex disciplinary, disciplining and normative hierarchies that mould them. Looking for crossing the separation lines coincides then with searching for the alternative construction of other or differently constituted knowledges. The aim is to render a collectivity readable and understandable to itself in an image corresponding with its current social and political conditions while remaining open to other points of view. Such an image of oneself could be more humble than those set up by great conquering nations, and more suitable to conviviality.
One of the conditions for overcoming the present-day deadlock of political modernity (or postmodernity), through political translation (Iveković, 2002 ; 2005 ; 2007 ; 2008 ; 2009a ; 2009b ; 2010 ; 2011), is itself epistemological : an epistemology keeping trace of its multiple genealogies, including southern, including non-western, including non-modern origins. The modern breakthrough in this area was really done by feminist, but alternative knowledges subaltern, postmodern, decolonial and unconventional ways of constructing and sharing them have always existed.
Since European modernity, two lines are present : the one concerning the continuity of the western pattern, and the one about the discontinuity of all other others, should they want to be modern. In that way, concepts such as humanism or democracy are proposed as universal to the whole planet and are normative. This is not simply fraud ; it is also a true historical process and conditions resulting in the fact that the west is henceforth everywhere, and cannot be located only at its source. It is a relationship. Europe, not being a continent encompassed by oceans, is a paradox : not having well defined territories, Europe is open towards east. The east therefore is, as much as a reciprocal openness with Asia - Europe’s chance.
Not all epistemes have chosen to deploy the concept of the subject (agent) or to put it in relation with that of the nation, and all have not cared to invent the category of sovereignty (“India” and generally Asia, with topical differences however ; Africa too in general). We need to examine those other options. Understanding their logic and, indeed, logistics, would help us to overcome the stalemate of a normative modernity where not only third world or emerging countries, but also countries of its historic origin are unable to keep up to their own political promises. Multiple alternative modernities in a pluriverse where frozen abyssal material differences are the common enemy instead of the people being the enemy, would be a completely different matter and a chance for equity, justice and solidarity. That has different philosophical presuppositions than the ones on which our modern, exclusive world is constructed.
As we know from Asia, one can philosophize without the concept of a subject, and without the categories we have produced and put into boxes as universal readymade thinking. One could think that those who have not chosen to construct the concept of a subject are also most resistant to a national framework (though this would have to be demonstrated). There are ways of proceeding through de-identification, through the dispossession of the self. Emancipation, liberation, release, can as much be conquered through identification as through de-identification, through subjectivation as much as through desubjectivation (Iveković, 2003a, b). They can even be pursued in failure and loss (Iveković, 2007-08 ; 2008-09). Globalisation, the crisis of immunitarian systems, the spread of the Internet, spaces on the web, allow seeing the « rest » (Hall, 1996) : there is a coincidence with the shattering of the westphalian system. The functionalities of sovereignty are then reconfigured, the meaning of citizenship changes, and the political is not anymore a normative concept.
Instead of a conclusion [subtitle]
As sovereignty shifts to the east, as Asia emerges into modernity and post modernity and possibly into trans modernity on its own terms, overcoming the western pattern, excelling in it and exceeding it in many imaginative ways while transforming it, it does so by cumulating diverse experiences and diverse relative temporalities. Some of these have been imported through colonial history and developed locally, specifically and -in colonial conditions- differently, and maybe with much more adversity and violence than in the west. Because over a shorter period of time in any case. This refers both to political issues as well as to social, cultural, economic ones (Palat, 2002). Multiple genealogies of concepts must be taken into account, even as concepts in their evolution constantly get adjusted to, and absorb different and new conditions and experiences. Concepts profit from being grafted and transplanted. Their new and acquired complexities are missed and remain unnoticed if, in trying to read them, we keep unchanged “our” one and only reference and genealogy of a concept. The non-reference to stately sovereignty in the “Indian” history of ideas from olden times corresponds to a late configuration of empire(s) (Moghul and British ), and at the same time to a civilisational choice as well as to the willing, elected option of not glorifying or not even constructing a concept of the subject. This matches the contempt in which the ego and any centricity of the self are generally held. China is a different matter, where some notion of sovereignty linked to the belief in the cosmological centricity of the Middle Kingdom has always existed, underscored later by the legalist school (School of Law) approach (during the Warring Kingdoms period from about 475 b.c.e. to the reunification of China under the Qin dynasty in 221 b.c.e.). None of the great Asian philosophies chose to develop a specific theory of the subject, which was a very deliberate choice. However, subjectivations did and do arise, but they happen, when away from the European philosophical tradition, without any glorification of the subject or of political thought, under the auspices of a “utilitarian” approach good pragmatically for the “real” world, “lower or ordinary truth” which is generally not held in very high esteem. All the while, “theory” is not postulated while yoga, the practical aspect of thinking and of any human involvement - is privileged. So politics (with war, governing peace and everything it involves) is practically useful though not transcendent, and is not likely to bring deliverance or any kind of ultimate freedom, either on the individual or on the social level.
In the new context as state sovereignties have migrated from the west to Asia and have altogether other references, this may still not have vanished. This is why “governance” is so easily adopted and absorbed into state sovereignty, unleashing all sorts of new “subjects” without much mediation of a “public space”, of “civil society” , with a different history of citizenship than in the west, and with the utmost violence and growing social gaps . All this happens in a new historical and social context for which we are not sure to have adequate cognitive instruments and a matching epistemological framework : we must then refurbish our conceptual apparatus.
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Streeck, Wolfgang . (2012). “La crise de 2008 a commencé il y a 40 ans. Aux origines politiques de la debâcle financière”. Monde diplomatique n. 694, janvier : 10.
TERRA-HN (2011), programme “Les savoirs”, in particular : http://www.reseau-terra.eu/article1... ;
Wagner, Peter. (2012). “Violence and justice in global modernity : reflections on South Africa with world-sociological intent”, in Modernity. Understanding the present, Cambridge (UK) : Polity Press : 119-150.
Des textes du séminaire CIPh de 2011 sont provisoirement affichés sur la "Page des programmes hébergés" de TERRA : http://www.reseau-terra.eu/article1...
Précédemment, enseignements de philosophies principalement aux universités de Zagreb, de Paris-VIII, au Collège international de philosophie (Paris). Nombreuses invitations à d’autres universités.
Rada Iveković est membre de l’équipe éditoriale de TERRA,
Membre du Comité scientifique de Oecumene. Citizenship after Orientalism, Open University, Milton Keynes (Londres), http://www.oecumene.eu/,
Membre du Comite éditorial international de l’African Yearbook of Rethoric (AYOR), Capetown/Le Cap, http://www.africanrhetoric.org/,
Membre de la revue Transeuropéennes, www.transeuropeennes.eu,
Ancienne directrice de programme au Collège international de philosophie, Paris (2004-2010), où elle continue à faire des séminaires, www.ciph.org > Programmw Séminaires extérieurs.
Pour voir les pages de couverture de certains livres, derouler vers le bas de page du blog du CIPh - ICI / HERE.
J’ai travaillé pendant plusieurs années, entre les disciplines, sur le rapport entre la construction de la nation et le genre ou la différence des sexes ; il en est résulté plusieurs articles puis deux livres en français publiés chez deux différents éditeurs, en plus de publications en d’autres langues. Mon intérêt pour cette thématique venait de mon expérience personnelle de la partition, autre sujet qui a retenu mon attention pendant longtemps.
Les deux s’inscrivent pour moi dans la recherche sur le partage de la raison. Le sexe n’est en effet qu’une scission première de/dans la pensée, un partage de la raison avant même qu’elle ne (se) réfléchisse. On peut douter qu’il existe (au delà du biologique) en dehors des fantasmes et de la construction hétérosexuelle normative, productrice de clivages, ou bien sûr de l’expérience intime. Du sexe biologique qui ne nous est accessible qu’informé par la culture à l’écart social et politique entre les sexes, il y a un saut de dimensions : de l’imaginaire au réel, ou déjà du normatif au vécu. Or c’est en tant que partage de la raison que le sexe marque la citoyenneté et la nation, dont il maintient et reproduit les hiérarchies ; car la subordination des femmes les fonde l’une aussi bien que l’autre.
Le principe de maintien de l’identité, autrement dit – la souveraineté – immobilise. Il opère l’autofondation du propre par le partage de la raison. Les constructions telles que la différence des sexes, la nation, sont instrumentales à cet effet, et interdépendantes. Mais la conservation de la continuité est faite d’interruptions. De sorte que le prix de la communauté (sous l’égide de l’un-ego) est paradoxalement – ce qui sépare. Cette scission est la condition même de la communauté.
La différence des sexes est un tel « premier » différend, constitutif de la communauté et de la nation. Il est inquiétant de le voir continuer à être instrumental aux technologies du pouvoir même dans les conditions nouvelles – celles où la souveraineté fait place à la « gouvernance » dans un monde toujours plus éclaté. Nous sommes désormais dans la mondialisation accomplie. Quel est l’« au-delà » de la souveraineté ? C’est la surabondance de soi, un excès d’ego.
La politique est, sous cet aspect là, passion (une passion de soi-même) et « homodoxie ». Il n’est pas étonnant alors que la sexualité soit un enjeu de pouvoir pouvant aller jusqu’à sacraliser la domination dans de très différents régimes de technologie des pouvoirs. Mais la « différence des sexes », et plus encore le « genre », ne sont qu’une forme – fondamentale, car normative – du partage de la raison (qui traverse tous les régimes de pouvoir) ; ou de son arrêt. Ils sont ontologiquement « faibles », d’où leur caractère rituel, directif, suppléant à leur manque de substance.
Le sexe est une idée forte, constituante de l’« identité » sexuelle comme de toute identité. Il est cependant instrumental en tant que technologie du pouvoir justement, et ceci à tous les niveaux, y compris dans les partitions et balkanisations qui déchirent les esprits, les espaces politiques, les territoires, les corps et les "âmes". C’est ainsi que le lien se fait tout naturellement, dans ce travail, entre sexes/genres et Etats, entre guerres des sexes, guerres civiles ou guerres tout court, puisque la sexuation et le genre sont au cœur de la subjectivation et du politique.
Le sexe/genre est également instrumental de nos jours dans la construction des inquiétants identitarismes racialisants qui font suite – en tant qu’autant de « remèdes » désespérés - à la fragmentation sociale, aux violences, aux guerres et aux migrations de masse opérées par l’économie néolibérale mondiale et l’oubli de la politique.