Étienne Balibar has surely written some fine and interesting things.
Just a quick follow-up to the post below. In poking around for Martti Koskenniemi's review of Borradori's book, I came across a fascinating talk he later gave: Martti Koskenniemi: International Law in Europe: Between Tradition and Renewal [pdf]. (Koskenniemi is also the editor of this.) An excerpt from the talk:
Before I continue, let me state my conclusion. The fact that international law is a European language does not even slightly stand in the way of its being capable of expressing something universal. For the universal has no voice, no authentic representative of its own. It can only appear through something particular; only a particular can make the universal known. A danger and a hope are involved. The danger is that of mistaking one's preferences and interests as one's tradition–and then thinking these a universal, a mistake we Europeans have often made. Therefore, I will suggest that we should take much more seriously the critiques of international law that point to its role as a hegemonic technique. Once that critique has been internalised, however, I want to point to its limits. If the universal has no representative of its own, then particularity itself is no scandal. The question would then be, under what conditions might a particular be able to transcend itself? What particular politics might we have good reason to imagine as a politics of universal law?
Elsewhere, in response to the supplement, Ben Wolfson points to a fascinating essay in this book by Jonathan Z. Smith entitled, "Religion, Religions, Religious," most of which you may find by searching within for, say, "any house of worship," beginning on page 269.
And in other (unsuprising) news, Pussy "President" in Chief gets severely rattled by a little old lady and stays rattled, practically foaming at the mouth. For the billionth time, God help us. Bush has quite obviously met his "philosophy" equal in fundamentalist Islam, and he is losing. Favorite line, from the waxing "philosophical" part: "And history has proven that democracies don't go to war!" "What kind of mindset is it... that questions?...uh, Democracy is...is based upon, um...is a universal...is a belief." And et cetera.
Why should we care when Bush, being pressed for actual thought, blows bubbles out his ass? Because it proves the world's only military superpower is in the hands of only an ass with no thoughts and only beyond-facile "beliefs", that's why.