was born in Avallon (France) in 1942.
He graduated at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the Sorbonne in Paris, later took his PhD from the University of Nijmegen (Netherlands) and has an Habilitation from Université de Paris I.
He has been teaching at the Universities of Algiers, Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne), Leiden, Nanterre (Paris 10). He is now Emeritus Professor of Moral and Political Philosophy at the University of Paris 10 Nanterre and Distinguished Professor of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine (USA). He is also teaching seminars at the Centro Franco-Argentino de Altos Estudios de la Universidad de Buenos-Aires (Argentina) and the Center for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University of New-York.
He is author or co-author of numerous books including Reading Capital (with Louis Althusser) (1965), On the Dictatorship of the Proletariat (1976), Race, Nation, Class. Ambiguous Identities (Verso, 1991, with Immanuel Wallerstein), Masses, Classes, Ideas (Routledge, 1994), The Philosophy of Marx (Verso 1995), Spinoza and Politics (Verso 1998), Politics and the Other Scene (Verso, 2002), We, the People of Europe? Reflections on Transnational Citizenship (Princeton, 2004). He is also a contributor of the Dictionnaire Européen des Philosophies (sous la direction de Barbara Cassin, 2004). Forthcoming are Extreme Violence and the Problem of Civility (The Wellek Library Lectures 1996), and Citoyen Sujet, Essais d'anthropologie philosophique (Presses Universitaires de France).
Etienne Balibar is a member of Ligue des Droits de l’Homme (Paris), with a particular interest in the rights of migrants and asylum seekers. He is co-founder of Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace and acting chair of Association Jan Hus France.