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Metapolitics (sometimes written meta-politics) is metalinguistic talk about politics; a political dialogue about politics itself. In this mode, metapolitics takes on various forms of inquiry, appropriating to itself another way toward the discourse of politics and the political. It assumes a self-conscious role of mediating the analytic, synthetic, and normative language of political inquiry and politics itself.

Contemporary views[edit]

By ‘metapolitics’ I mean whatever consequences a philosophy is capable of drawing, both in and for itself, from real instances of politics as thought. Metapolitics is opposed to political philosophy, which claims that since no such politics exists, it falls to philosophers to think ‘the’ political.

Alain Badiou, April 1998[1]

Two important contemporary thinkers in the field of metapolitics are Alain Badiou and Jacques Rancière. Discussing Badiou's Metapolitics, Bruno Bosteels asserts that:

“Badiou argues against the tradition of political philosophy, which he associates with the likes of Hannah Arendt and Claude Lefort, by proposing to think not of ‘the political’ (le politique) but of ‘politics’ (la politique) as an active form of thinking, or thought-practice, in its own right. He then goes on to evaluate the proximity of this proposal for a ‘metapolitical’ orientation to the work of his teacher Louis Althusser and his contemporaries Jacques Rancière and Sylvain Lazarus, before offering case studies on the concepts of democracy, justice and Thermidoreanism.”[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Badiou, Alain (2005). Metapolitics. Translated by Jason Barker. London & New York: Verso. pp. xxxix. ISBN 1-84467-035-X.
  2. ^ Excerpt from: Bosteels, Bruno. Philosophy for Militants. Verso, 2012.

Further reading[edit]

  • Carlo Gambescia, Metapolitica. L’altro sguardo sul potere, Edizioni Il Foglio Letterario 2009, ISBN 978-8876062476.
  • Carlo Gambescia, Trattato di metapolitica, Edizioni Il Foglio, 2023, 2 voll.: - vol. I. Storia, concetti  e metodo, ISBN 978-8876069819; - vol. II. Laboratorio storico, ISBN 978-8876069666.

External links[edit]