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Michael Hardt

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Title: Michael Hardt  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Antonio Negri, Globalization, Information society, Commonwealth (book), Empire (Negri and Hardt book)
Collection: 1960 Births, 20Th-Century American Writers, 20Th-Century Philosophers, 21St-Century American Writers, 21St-Century Philosophers, American Academics, American Communists, American Literary Critics, American Marxists, American Political Philosophers, Autonomism, Duke University Faculty, European Graduate School Faculty, Libertarian Socialists, Living People, Marxist Theorists, People from Bethesda, Maryland, People from Potomac, Maryland, Swarthmore College Alumni, University of Washington Alumni
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Michael Hardt

Michael Hardt
Michael Hardt speaking at the Seminário Internacional Mundo. 2008
Born 1960
Bethesda, Maryland[1] or Washington, D.C.[2][3]
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
School Continental philosophy
Autonomist thought
Queer theory
Main interests
Political philosophy
Literary theory
Notable ideas
Theory of Empire
Michael Hardt speaking at Subversive Festival

Michael Hardt (born 1960) is an American literary theorist and political philosopher. Hardt is best known for his book Empire, which was co-written with Antonio Negri.[3] It has been praised by some as the "Communist Manifesto of the 21st Century".[4]

Hardt and Negri suggest that several forces which they see as dominating contemporary life, such as class oppression, globalization and the commodification of services (or production of affects), have the potential to spark social change of unprecedented dimensions. A sequel, Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire was published in August 2004. It outlines an idea first propounded in Empire, which is that of the multitude as possible locus of a democratic movement of global proportions. The third and final part of the trilogy, Commonwealth, was published in 2009.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Thought 2
  • Occupation movements of 2011–2012 3
  • Publications 4
  • Film appearances 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life and education

Hardt attended Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland. He studied engineering at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania from 1978 to 1983. In college during the 1970s energy crisis, he began to take an interest in alternative energy sources.[2] Talking about his college politics, he said, "I thought that doing alternative energy engineering for third world countries would be a way of doing politics that would get out of all this campus political posing that I hated."

During college, he worked for various solar energy companies.[2] Hardt also participated, after college, in the Sanctuary Movement[2] and later helped establish a project to bring donated computers from the United States and put them together for the University of El Salvador. Yet, he says that this political activity did more for him than it did for the Salvadorans.[2]

In 1983, he moved to Seattle to study comparative literature at the University of Washington.[2] While there, he received an M.A. in 1986 and his PhD in 1990.[5] From there he went to Paris where he met Negri.

Hardt speaks fluent French, Spanish and Italian and is Professor of Literature and Italian at Duke University and a Professor of Philosophy and Politics at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee.[3]


Hardt is concerned with the joy of political life, and has stated, "One has to expand the concept of love beyond the limits of the couple."[6] The politics of the multitude is not solely about controlling the means of productivity or liberating one's own subjectivity. These two are also linked to love and joy of political life and realizing political goals.

Hardt does not consider teaching a revolutionary occupation, nor does he think the college is a particularly political institution. "But thinking of politics now as a project of social transformation on a large scale, I'm not at all convinced that political activity can come from the university."[7]

Hardt says visions of a public education and equal and open access to the university are gradually disappearing: the "war on terror" has promoted only limited military and technological knowledges, while the required skills of the biopolitical economy, "the creation of ideas, images, code, affects, and other immaterial goods" are not yet recognized as the primary key to economic innovation.[8]

Many of Hardt's works have been co-written with Antonio Negri.

Occupation movements of 2011–2012

In May 2012 Hardt and Negri self-published an electronic pamphlet on the occupation and encampment movements of 2011-2012 called Declaration that argues the movement explores new forms of democracy.


  • "The Withering of Civil Society".  
  • "Prison Time".  
  • "Affective Labor".  
  • "Jefferson and Democracy".  
  • "How to Write with Four Hands".  

Film appearances


  1. ^ Conversations with History( – Conversation with Michael Hardt
  2. ^ a b c d e f Vulliamy, Ed (2001-07-15). "Empire hits back". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  3. ^ a b c Michael Hardt – Faculty page at European Graduate School Biography, Bibliography and Video Lectures. Retrieved May 14, 2009.
  4. ^ "Have Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri Rewritten the Communist Manifesto For the Twenty-First Century?. Retrieved on 2012-04-20.
  5. ^ "Michael Hardt faculty page at Duke University". Retrieved 2007-09-01. 
  6. ^ Michael Hardt. Identity and Difference. Lecture at European Graduate School EGS. 2005
  7. ^ Michael Hardt, Caleb Smith, and Enrico Minardi. "The Collaborator and the Multitude: An Interview with Michael Hardt." The Minnesota Review. no. 61-62. 2004.
  8. ^ Hardt, Michael. "US education and the crisis." European Graduate School. December 1, 2010. (English).

External links

  • Michael Hardt – Personal webpage
  • Michael Hardt at European Graduate School – Faculty page with Biography, Bibliography and Video Lectures.
  • Michael Hardt at Duke University
  • EmpireFull text of
  • Slavoj Žižek. "Have Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri Rewritten the Communist Manifesto For the Twenty-First Century?" European Graduate School. (2001)
  • Michael Hardt. "Sovereignty" Theory & Event. Volume 5, Issue 4, 2001
  • Michael Hardt. "The Withering of Civil Society" Social Text. No. 45 Winter, 1995. pp. 27–44
  • Michael Hardt. "Porto Alegre – Today's Bandung?" New Left Review. No. 14, March–April 2002
  • Ed Vulliamy. "Empire hits back" The Guardian. July 15, 2010. Profile of Hardt in the Guardian.
  • Interview/podcast with Michael Hardt about what role revolutions have today as spaces for new social creation Radio Web MACBA, 2014.
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