What is Deleuzean Political Philosophy?

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Was Deleuze a political philosopher or does his work, including the books coauthored with Guattari, offer a Deleuzian political philosophy? Deleuze himself clearly thought so. In a 1990 interview with Antonio Negri, “Control and Becoming,” he commented that “Anti-Oedipus was from beginning to end a work of political philosophy” (Deleuze 1990, 230; 1994, 170). Others disagree. A recent survey of the secondary literature by Jeremy Gilbert identifies two recent books which answer these questions with a resounding “No”: Philippe Mengue’s Deleuze et la question de la democratie (2003) and Peter Hallward’s Out of this World: Deleuze and the Philosophy of Creation (2006). In fact, both Mengue and Hallward waver between denying that Deleuze is a political philosopher and asserting that he is the wrong kind of political philosopher. Gilbert summarises their respective conclusions in the following terms: “Deleuze is a mystic, a nostalgist for elitist modes of avant-gardism which have no purchase on the present, at best an implicit conservative whose romanticism leaves no scope for rational calculation or collective action” (Gilbert 2010, 10).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-126
Number of pages12
JournalCrítica Contemporánea. Revista de Teoría Política
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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