Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire
Faculty Bookwatch Publication
Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri
On November 4, 2010, the Franklin Humanities Institute and Duke University Libraries hosted a Faculty Bookwatch Panel on Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri's trilogy Empire, Multitude, and Commonwealth (Harvard University Press, 2001; Penguin Random House, 2005; Harvard University Press, 2011). Panelists included Michael Denning (English, Yale), Lawrence Grossberg (Communication, UNC-Chapel Hill), Wahneema Lubiano (African & African American Studies, Duke), and Fred Moten (English, Duke, now at UC-Riverside).
In their international bestseller Empire, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri presented a grand unified vision of a world in which the old forms of imperialism are no longer effective. But what of Empire in an age of “American empire”? Has fear become our permanent condition and democracy an impossible dream? Such pessimism is profoundly mistaken, the authors argue. Empire, by interconnecting more areas of life, is actually creating the possibility for a new kind of democracy, allowing different groups to form a multitude, with the power to forge a democratic alternative to the present world order. Exhilarating in its optimism and depth of insight, Multitude consolidates Hardt and Negri’s stature as two of the most important political philosophers at work in the world today.