Henri Lefebvre was a Marxist and Existentialist philosopher (see Lefebvre 1946) , a sociologist of urban and rural life and a theorist of the State, of international flows of capital and of social space. Born in 1901 in the south of France, he died in his beloved home region of Haut Pyrenees in the ancient town Navarrenx in 1991. During that period, he witnessed the modernization of French everyday life, the industrialization of the economy and suburbanization of its cities. In the process, the rural way of life of the traditional peasant was destroyed (Ross 1996). Some of the most important elements in the context in which Lefebvre found himself can be listed in chronological order. After his initial schooling on the West coast of France at Brieuc and in Paris, he was profoundly affected by not only the lack of food and heat in occupied Paris but the widespread post World War I malaise of the French populace who felt alienated from the new industrialized forms of work and bureaucratic institutions of civil society in the early 1920s. This spurred him to focus on alienation and led him to the philosophies and social criticism of Marx and Hegel, which in turn paved the route to joining the Parti Communiste Français (PCF). Lefebvre's career was disrupted by the Second World War. his books and manuscripts burnt by the Vichy Regime during the War and he was persecuted for his Communist writings by the post-War authorities. Pushed out the centres of intellectual influence he completed his doctoral thesis on changes in rural France. But when it was published as the La Vallée de Campan (1963) he was lauded as a founder of the study of rural society.
Still an outsider to the Paris establishment he finally obtained a formal university position in Strasbourg in the mid 1950s, identifying with the political avant garde and passing the critique of an earlier generation on to the student movements of the 1960s. He finally moved back to Paris, winning a professorship at new suburban university in Nanterre where he was an influential figure in the 1968 student occupation of the Sorbonne and Left Bank. Nanterre provided an environment in which he developed his critique of the alienation of modern city life which was obscured by the mystifications of the consumerism and the mythification of Paris by the heritage and tourism industries. These critiques of the city were the basis for Lefebvre's investigation of the cultural construction of stereotypical notions of cities, of nature and of regions. Accorded international fame he questioned the over-specialization of academic disciplines and their 'parcellization' of urban issues into many disciplines such as planning, geography, surveying, architecture, sociology and psychology (to name only a few), which dealt with space and other human geography issues. During his international travels from the early 1970s he developed one of the first theories of what came to be referred to as 'globalization'.
The influence of Lefebvre is thus broad and often unrecognized.
One telltale sign of his influence is the appearance of some of his signature-concepts
in left-intellectual discourse. Although not exclusively 'his' of
course, Lefebvre contributed so much to certain lines of inquiry that it
is difficult to discuss notions such as 'everyday life', 'modernity',
'mystification', 'the social production of space', 'humanistic Marxism',
or even 'alienation' from either a left-wing or humanist position without
retracing some of his arguments. Of course these terms predate, Lefebvre
but he was one of the original thinkers who established their importance
for understanding behaviour in the context of everyday modern life.
Against 'mystification', against the banality of the 'metro-bulot-dodo' life of the suburban commuter, Lefebvre proposes that we seize and act-on all 'Moments' of revelation, emotional clarity and self-presence as the basis for becoming more self-fulfilled (l'homme totale - see 1959). This concept of 'Moments' reappears throughout his work as a theory of presence and the foundation of a practice of emancipation. Experiences of revelation, deja-vu sensations, but especially love and committed struggle are examples of Moments. By definition Moments are instances of dis-alienation. They have no duration but can be relived (see Hess 1994). Lefebvre argues that these cannot easily be reappropriated by consumer capitalism and commodified; they cannot be codified. They are 'escape-hatches' from the alienated condition of everyday life which can be experienced unexpectedly, anywhere and at any time. Perhaps ironically for someone lately stereotyped as a theorist of space, Lefebvre can be said to have a form of temporal theory of authenticity based in the 'timelessness' and instantaneity of Moments. Moments become the measuring rod by which the quality of life in different societies is evaluated in his later work (see Harvey 1991).
Even before discovering the work of Hegel, and Marx, Lefebvre's was influenced by Schopenauer to develop a romantic humanism which glorified 'adventure', spontaneity and self-expression. He is called by one German biographer a 'Romantische Revolutionär' (Meyer 1973; Lefebvre et al 1958b). In the mix of students and activists in mid-1920s Paris, Lefebvre was part of a group of 'Philosophes' (including also Nisan, Friedman, and Mandelbrot) who were loosely connected with Gide, and influenced by Surrealist's such as Breton (who was the one who introduced Lefebvre to Hegel and Marx) and Dada-ists such as Tzara. In turn, the 'Philosophes' proto-existentialist rejection of metaphysical solutions in favour of action influenced Sartre and his circle (see Lefebvre 1925; Short 1966; 1979; Trebitsch 1987).
Apart from his work on the young Marx (with Guterman likely doing most of the translation), Lefebvre and Guterman produced a well-timed Introduction' to Hegel (1938) which coincided with Kojève's influential lectures on his 'anthropological' interpretation of Hegelianism. The first inter-war attempt at an anti-fascist reading of Nietzsche (1939a) and a rigorous critique of National Socialism and nationalism followed. But it was Lefebvre's Marxist primer on the theory of Dialectical Materialism (1967) which made him internationally famous as a Marxist theorist, despite the disapproval and destruction of a more existentialist manuscript on everyday life by the PCF censor. By the end of the Second World War despite participating in the Resistance and nearly starving in 1944-45, he had a more sociological critique of everyday life ready for publication.
The spoils and fame from the international media interest in existential philosophy caused a long-running dispute between Lefebvre and Sartre through the 1940s up until a reconciliation in which they both recognized each other's influence on themselves. Lefebvre's attacks on Sartre's Being and Nothingness (1958) had been goaded-on by the PCF who feared the latter's influence (Lefebvre 1950b). When Lefebvre acknowledged Sartre's status, and Sartre acknowledged using Lefebvre's dialectical method, Lefebvre himself was attacked and decisively excluded from the PCF (Lefebvre 1958a; Poster 1975; Lefebvre 1975b).
Perhaps most interesting is the extension of this critique from the arena of everyday life and relations between the household and society at large into a full-blown analysis of urban life (Trebitsch 1991). Lefebvre does this by drawing on his collaboration with the Situationniste International (SI) in the early 1960s. This took the form of reading group discussions on the Paris Commune which Lefebvre published as La Proclamation de la Commune (1965b). The Commune - an uprising and direct democracy of workers in inner Paris - involved the occupation of key symbolic sites in Paris (Lefebvre 1969). It took the form of an extended festival, a Mardi gras that overflowed the bounds of social regulation to the extent that it became a 'revolutionary festival' (Ross 1988). Lefebvre later examined the work of Bakhtin, but his approach is distinctive in that he focuses on the revolutionary potential of play, in parallel with the ideas of Lyotard (libidinal economy - see Kleinspehn 1975) and of Deleuze and Guattari (desire as a productive force) (Lefebvre and Regulier 1978a, see Lefebvre 1988). Lefebvre coathored work and interviews with Kolakowski on 'Evolution or Revolution' (1974) which awaits comparison with the opposed work of Sorokin on the sociology of revolutions. This unique idea was later put into practice by Lefebvre's seminar students at Nanterre, who led the occupation of the Sorbonne and much of Paris in May 1968. Every person has a 'right to the city' (1968a) - that is, to the city understood as the pre-eminent site of social interaction and exchange, which Lefebvre refers to as 'social centrality'. Lefebvre analysed the impact of changing social relations and economic factors under capitalism upon the quality of access and participation in the urban milieu. This interaction should not degenerate into commodified spectacles or into simply 'shopping' but should be the social form of self-presence in which individuals enjoy the right of association into collectives and self-determination.
His important definition of the city was never properly absorbed by urban theorists. What is 'the urban', he asked? The urban is not a certain population, a geographic size, or a collection of buildings. Nor is it a node, a transhipment point or a centre of production. It is all of these together, and thus any definition must search for the essential quality of all of these aspects. Lefebvre understands the urban from this phenomenological basis as an Hegelian form but this is not to say that he is simply phenomenologist. Like social space, the urban is a 'concrete abstraction' ('It is concrete in having a given substance, and still concrete when it becomes part of our activity, by resisting or obeying it... It is abstract by virtue of its definite, measurable contours, and also because it can enter into a social existence...and become the bearer of a whole series of new relations...' (Lefebvre 1968f:119 [1939b])) The urban is social centrality, where the many elements and aspects of capitalism intersect in space despite often merely being part of the place for a short time, as is the case with goods or people in transit. 'City-ness' is the simultaneous gathering and dispersing of goods, information and people. Some cities achieve this more fully than others - and hence our own perceptions of some as 'great cities' per se.
After the first set of works explicitly concerned with urban struggles and the experience of May '68, Production of Space (1991c, first published 1974) forms the keystone of the all-important 'second phase' of Lefebvre's analysis of the urban which began around 1972 (see Lefebvre 1996; Kofman and Lebas 1996). This later phase deals with social space itself and the 'planetary' or global. As argued in Production of Space and restated later in De l'Etat (Vol 4 1978b) Lefebvre moved his analysis of 'space' from the old synchronic order of discourses 'on' space (archetypically, that of 'social space' as found in sociological texts on 'territoriality' and social ecology) to the manner in which understandings of geographical space, place landscape, and property is cultural and thereby has a history of change. Rather than discussing a particular theory of social space, he examined struggles over the meaning of space and considered how relations across territories were given cultural meaning. In the process, Lefebvre attempted to establish the presence of a 'lived' experience and understanding of geographical space alongside the hegemonic theories of space promulgated by disciplines such as philosophy or geography or urban planning or the everyday attitude which ignored the spatial altogether. Thus a large portion of Production of Space was devoted to developing a radical phenomenology of space as the humanistic basis from which to launch a critique of the denial of individuals' and communities' 'rights to space'. In capitalist societies, for example, geographical space is 'spatialized' as lots. Land is always owned by someone. Hence a privatized notion of space anchors the understanding of property which is a central cultural feature of capitalist societies.
Historical notions of space are analysed on three axes. These three aspects are explained in different ways by Lefebvre - simplified for the purpose of introducing them, we might say that the 'perceived space' ('le perçu') of everyday social life and commonsensical perception blends popular action and outlook but is often ignored in the professional, and theoretical 'conceived space' ('le conçu') of cartographers, urban planners, or property speculators. Nonetheless, the person who is fully human (l'homme totale) also dwells in a 'lived space' ('le vecu') of the imagination and Moments which has been kept alive and accessible by the arts and literature. This 'third' space not only transcends but has the power to refigure the balance of popular 'perceived space' and the 'conceived space' of arrogant professionals and greedy capitalists.
This sphere offers complex re-coded and even de-coded versions of lived
spatialisations, veiled criticism of dominant social orders and of the
categories of social thought often expressed in aesthetic terms as symbolic
resistance. Lefebvre cites Dada, the work of the Surrealists, and
particularly the works of René Magritte as examples of art, literary
comment and fantasy regarding other, possible, spatialisations. Also
included in this aspect are clandestine and underground spatial practices
which suggest and prompt alternative (revolutionary) restructurings of
institutionalised discourses of space and new modes of spatial praxis,
such as that of squatters, illegal aliens, and Third World slum dwellers,
who fashion a spatial presence and practice outside of the norms of the
prevailing (enforced) social spatialisation. For example in many
countries, inequitous property ownership often privileges absentee landlords
over landless peasants. Lefebvre calls this,
space as directly lived through its associated images and symbols, and hence the space of "inhabitants" and "users"... This is the dominated...space which the imagination seeks to change and appropriate. It overlays physical space, making symbolic use of its objects. Thus representational spaces may be said...to tend towards more of less coherent systems of non-verbal symbols and signs (1991c:39).
Signs? Nicholson-Smith's English translation (1991c) chooses the odd phrase 'representational spaces' rather than the literal translation, 'spaces of representation'. This translation of the text (and every translation is also an interpretation) brings out the importance of Lefebvre's thinking at this time about the semiotics of metaphor and metonymy and the entire mechanics of representation through a sign system. The text is strewn with the debris of near-forgotten theories of linguistic and semiotics. It would seem more obvious to tie the problem of 'lived space' to spatial practice, rather than the social imaginary. However, referring to his Nietzschean ideal of the 'total person', he is interested here in the 'fully lived', pre-conscious and authentic shards of spatiality which animate people, provide meaning to the entire assemblage of lives and spatialisations.
Lefebvre dictated his books, and avoided editing, leaving inconsistencies which are also clues to a troubling problem which continued to haunt Lefebvre - the paradox of an almost impassable gulf between the sign and any authentic reality. This gulf left even the 'total person' either alienated from their nomothetic world or, in a state of inarticulate and incoherent union and bliss, which could not be represented, and thus could hardly be expected to serve as a libidinal, mobilizing force for social change, as he and others had hoped might happen during the Occupation of the Sorbonne in May 1968. This paradox would drive Lefebvre back to reassess the work of Nietzsche after the completion of Production de l'espace (1991c; 1975a).
Lefebvre's tripartitite division is Christian and originates in Catholic mysticism - a hint that Lefebvre preserved his own 'third' element in a dialectic alongside of Marxist theory and PCF praxis (see Shields 1999). The division of the popular against the professional echos Lefebvre's contact with the Front Popular and grassroots Communist activism (often via his spouses, of which there were several) and the experience of 1960s and 1970s city planning battles as neighbourhood communities faced 'slum clearance' moves by planners and 'redevelopment' for others with the ability to pay, by speculators. The privilege granted to art is consistent with his affiliations with artistic and political avant gardes such as the Surrealists and Situationists. The three axes or aspects of space are the elements of a 'triple dialectic' (dialectique de triplicité - the details of which Lefebvre does not sketch). The shifting balance between these forces defines what I have referred to as the historical 'spatialisation' of an era (Shields 1999; 1990).
A triple dialectic short-circuits any tendencies to reduce this along the lines of a base-superstructure dualism (or economy-culture; or production-consumption; or action-thought) , making it difficult to think in terms other than a dialectical juxtaposition. The multidimensional thesis is in direct contrast to the more customary reduction of space to part of the trinity: production, consumption, and exchange (as in Castells 1977). In addition to these three, common in political economic analyses of space, Lefebvre argues that space, or spatialisation as I have suggested it is best translated, is a fourth and determining realm of social relations in which the production and deployment of wealth and surplus value takes place. The spatial, may be seen to be an abiding concept in cultural regimes of socio-economic hierarchies (implemented through physical spatial division), and an indicator of socio-economically consistency, compatibility or continuity of privilege, class, and practice. Furthermore, Lefebvre's three-part dialectic is one in which there seems to be little temporal progression from contradiction to synthesis it appears to be more spatial, with elements that coexist in a tension which is only broken occasionally Lefebvre's 'third' element which transfigures, reinterprets or recodes an historical 'settlement' of forces.
This idea of historical spatialisations is the basis for a 'transcoding' of Marx's Grundrisse into spatial terms (Jameson 1991). A history of 'modes of production of space' emerges which completes Marx's vision of successive historical of modes of production in urban, environmental and attitudinal terms. A true Communist revolution must not only change the relationship of labourers to the means of production, but also create a new spatialisation - shifting the balance away from the 'conceived space' of which private property, city lots and the surveyor's grid are artifacts. Embracing the 'lived space' of avant gardes is a device for harnessing its reinvigorating potential and redirecting the 'perceived space' of everyday practice in a new manner. This theory provides an early bridge from Marxist thought to environmentalism. Lefebvre was particularly influential on the formative positions of the German Green Party.
The work on the city and on other scales of space is the reason Lefebvre's
work has remained important in the English-speaking world - not his once
prominent role as the Father of the Dialectic, nor the lost history of
his contributions to passing the idea of a personal, revolution of everyday
life from the Dadaist of the 1920s to the student countercultures of the
60s and the 1980s British punks and anarchists (Home 1988; Plant 1992).
'Rediscovered' by geographers such as Ed Soja (1989, 1996), Neil Smith
(1984), sociologists such as Mark Gottdiener (1985), and cultural theorists
such as Frederic Jameson, Lefebvre spent part of 1983 in California.
During this trip, an enduring connection to contemporary social critics
of all stripes was made and a final relay was closed in the extensive circuit
of intellectual transfers which Lefebvre effected.
This system of space operates at all scales. At the most personal, we think of ourselves in spatialised terms, imagining ourselves as an ego contained within an objectified body. People extend themselves - mentally and physically - out into space much as a spider extends its limbs in the form of a web. We become as much a part of these extensions, as they are of us. Arrangements of objects, work teams, landscapes and architecture are the concrete instances of this spatialisation. Equally, ideas about regions, media images of cities and perceptions of 'good neighbourhoods' are other aspects of this space which is necessarily produced by each society as it makes its mark on the Earth.
What is the use of such an 'unpacking' of the production of the spatial?
Lefebvre uses the changing types of historical space to explain why capitalistic
accumulation did not occur earlier, even in those ancient economies which
were commodity and money-based, which were committed to reason and science,
and which were based in cities (see Merrifield 1993). One well-known
explanation is that slavery stunted the development of wage-labour.
He finds this unconvincing. No: it was a secular space, itself commodified
as lots and private property, quantified by surveyors and stripped of the
old local gods and spirits of place, that was necessary. 'What exactly
is the mode of existence of social relationships?' asks Lefebvre in his
typically dialectical style.
The study of space offers an answer according to which the social relations of production have a social existence to the extent that they have a spatial existence; they project themselves into a space, becoming inscribed there, and in the process producing that space itself. Failing this, these relations would remain in the realm of 'pure' abstraction - that is to say, in the realm of representations and hence of ideology: the realm of verbalism, verbiage and empty words (1991c:129).
As well as being a product of cultures, space is a medium - and the changing way we understand, practice and live in terms of our space provides clues to how our capitalist world of nation-states is giving way to a unanticipated geopolitics - a new sense of our relation to our bodies, world and planets as a changing space of distance and difference.
In this analysis, Lefebvre broadened the concept of production to 'social production' (unaware of social constructivist theories that had been developed by non-Francophone writers such as Berger and Luckman or by Garfinkel). Contemporaneously with Poulanzas in the mid 1970s he later refined his analysis with an assessment of the role of the State. This included his interest in the changing historical geography of capitalism and the globalization of socioeconomic relations. It must not be forgotten, however, that this was also a turn to rhythm and to space-time (Lefebvre and Régulier-Lefebvre 1985). Beyond The Production of Space stretched a decade and a half of further publishing, including his posthumous book Rhythmanalyse (Lefebvre and Régulier-Lefebvre 1985; 1992). In addition he attempted a rapprochement of Marx, Hegel, Nietzsche (1975a) which would extend Marxism to what he called a 'metaphilosophy' (1965a). However, Lefebvre's spatial dialectic is perhaps his most intriguing contribution.
A theoretical spatialisation of the dialectic is not, however, pursued by Lefebvre himself. He remains in the classical Hegelian mode. Nor is it fully clarified in the secondary literature, for example, Soja's work, which draws on some theorists of alterity (1996). Nonetheless, we can grasp through Lefebvre a legacy which lies beyond even his own accomplishments. We might attribute this to the dialectical style of his texts - to their excess - to the way they continue to ask pertinent questions which rise above even Lefebvre's answers.
In Hegel's view, 'affirmation' is undifferentiated in itself and thus a homogeneous entity, unknowable because lacking in any difference. In this sense it is a purely spatial concept, similar in all respects to an undifferentiated field of in which no single point or element stands out. Dialectical negation introduces time - the negation of space, in the form of the punctum, the point or instant (the most elementary of temporal concepts). Aufhebung, Negation of this negation, must subsume both the spatial field and the point which is pure difference in itself. For Hegel, this takes place by means of the spatialisation of the point itself, drawing it into a line, trajectory, or flow, movement and passage. In the Hegelian scheme, we could say that the third term is analogous to historical 'progress'. Even if this oversimplifies Hegel, it allows us to illustrate the distinctiveness of Lefebvre's proposal which is it introduce a third element - 'the lived', Moments, jokes - which allows the intrusion of a horizon or 'outside', a 'beyond' or otherness. This element is always constitutively distinct from the original binary of field and point, or affirmation and negation. In effect the shift is from '(1) affirmation (2) negation (3) negation of the negation (synthesis)' to a new and little explored formula 'affirmation-negation-otherness-synthesis'.
Soja tentatively envisions this as not 'an additive combination of its
binary antecedents but rather...a disordering, deconstruction, and tentative
reconstitution of their presumed totalisation producing an open alternative
that is both similar and strikingly different.' What he derives from
Lefebvre's 'differentialist'position (1971a; 1980; 1981b; Lefebvre with
Latour and Combes 1991b) as 'Thirding', 'decomposes the dialectic
through an intrusive disruption that explicitly spatializes dialectical
reasoning.... [it] produces what might best be called a cumulative
trialectics that is radically open to additional othernesses, to a continued
expansion of spatial knowledge (Soja 1996:61).
The dialectic thus emerges from time and actualizes itself, operating now, in an unforeseen manner, in space. The contradictions of space, without abolishing the contradictions which arise from historical time, leave history behind and transport these old contradictions, in a worldwide simultaneity, onto a higher level (Lefebvre 1991c: 129).
Lefebvre seems to have produced a 'both-and' vision of the dialectic. 'Both-and' could be restated as more precisely 'both' (both affirmation and negation) plus 'and' (the third, otherness). He reintegrates within the structure of the dialectic Nietzsche's concept of an irreducible tension,'Uberwinden', which is not simply superceded (an interest of Lefebvre's that dates back to the 1930s). This presents the possibility of fixing the dialectic as a counterposed assemblage of three terms which are mutually supporting and mutually parasitical for their status within the dialectic. Only the synopsis, delivered out of the dialectical analysis - and not a part of the dialectic proper - gives the possibility of an overarching synchronic synthesis. By opening a position for alterity, otherness is brought into the dialectical schema without being reduced to the logic of the 'other' as merely a straightforward 'negation' of self, of thesis - of affirmation.
Avoiding a simple base-superstructure dualism was Lefebvre's prime concern. After the failure of the student occupations of May 68, he was eclipsed by Louis Althusser's PCF-sponsored 'Scientific Marxism' in which the base-superstructure division was a privileged element of a structural analysis of the repressive forces and institutions of capitalist states (Zimmerman 1975) . Ironically, Lefebvre first became well known to English-speaking theorists through the critiques of his work by Althusserians, such as Manuel Castells, whom, in The Urban Question, criticized Lefebvre's urban works for their vagueness and anti-structuralist bias (1977;. Martins 1983:166; Gottdiener 1985; see Lefebvre 1971b).
By contrast, Lefebvre's 'Humanistic Marxism' emphasized the humanistic understanding of alienation as Marx's motivating concept, explored in the economic sphere using the tools of historical materialism and dialectics. By emphasizing the importance of dialectical materialism, he became the quintessential Marxist methodologist and logician (see 1947). He argued that Marxism was incomplete as long as it remained applied primarily to the economic rather than to all aspects of social life, and the task of twentieth-century Marxism was to extend this application of dialectical materialism beyond the economic, and also reflexively onto Marxist theory and politics.
It is therefore surprising that, given his interest in nationalism, in urbanism, in the closing ties of the global economy, and his activism in French debates concerning the independence of French Morocco and of Algeria, he did not foresee the emerging politics of multiculturalism and the problems of France's ethnic ghettos. Lefebvre has little to say on the question of discrimination, or on 'insiders and outsiders' and the ethics of their relationships. He tends to conceive of the state as a once-authentic instrument of a single people which has been seized by the capitalist class for itself.
There are important parallels between the work of Lefebvre and Lukacs,
Adorno and Marcuse which have not been extensively explored in the scholarship
on twentieth-century neo marxisms. If Lefebvre moved beyond the economic,
and broadened the notion of production and the dialectic, but Lefebvre
remains on the modernist terrain of problems concerning state-society relations.
Ion Lefebvre's late work there is no horizon of ethnic, racial and sexual
Others, relations of colonial domination, and no sustained engagement with
the environmental movement. In part this is a result of timing -
his active authorship dwindled in the early 1980s. His contribution
was provide a series of open texts, studded with not only insights but
unresolved and probing questions, and marked by a faith in peoples' intuition
and willingness to act. Lefebvre was a 'conducting wire' of ideas
and accumulated experience from generation to generation of the European
avant garde (Hess1988; Marcus 1989). Those ideas electrified not
one generation, but a century on the Left, and made their mark far an wide
outside of France. Even where he is not quoted directly, facing from
memory, Henri Lefebvre left a legacy of coherence and radicality
to utopian humanism.
1925 'Positions d'attaque et de défense du nouveau mysticisme', Philosophies 5-6 (March). pp. 471-506. (Philosophy. Pt. 2 of the 'Philosophy of Consciousness' project on being, consciousness and identity originally proposed as a thesis topic to Leon Brunschvicg)
1934 with Norbert Guterman, Morceaux choisis de Karl Marx, Paris: NRF. (numerous reprintings).
1936 with Norbert Guterman, La Conscience mystifiée, Paris: Gallimard (new ed. Paris: Le Sycomore, 1979).
1937 Le nationalisme contre les nations, ('Preface' by Paul Nizan)
Paris: Editions sociales internationales. (Reprinted, Paris: Méridiens-Klincksliek
1988, Collection 'Analyse institutionnelle', 'Présentation' M. Trebitsch,
'Postface' Henri Lefebvre).
1938 with Norbert Guterman, Morceaux choisis de Hegel, Paris: Gallimard (3 reprintings 1938-1939, reprinted Collection 'Idées', 2 Vols. 1969).
1939a Nietzsche, Paris: Editions sociales internationales.
1946 L'Existentialisme, Paris: Editions du Sagittaire.
1947 Logique formelle, logique dialectique Vol. 1 of A la lumière du matérialisme dialectique Written in 1940-41 (2nd volume censored see 1940). Paris: Editions sociales
1950b 'Knowledge and Social Criticism', Philosophic Thought in France and the USA Albany N.Y.: N.Y.; State University of New York Press. pp. 281-300. (2nd ed. 1968).
1958a Problèmes actuels du marxisme, Paris: Presses universitaires de France; 4th edition, 1970, Collection 'Initiation philosophique'
1958b (with Lucien Goldmann, Claude Roy, Tristan Tzara) 'Le romantisme révolutionnaire', Le Romantisme révolutionnaire Paris: La Nef.
1961 Critique de la vie quotidienne II, Fondements d'une sociologie de la quotidienneté, Paris: L'Arche
1963 La vallée de Campan - Etude de sociologie rurale,
Paris: Presses Universitaires de France
1965a Métaphilosophie, 'Envoi' by Jean Wahl, Paris: Editions de Minuit, Collection 'Arguments'
1965b La Proclamation de la Commune, Paris: Gallimard, Collection 'Trente Journées qui ont fait la France'
1968a Le Droit à la ville, Paris: Anthropos (2nd ed. Paris: Ed. du Seuil, Collection 'Points'
1968b La vie quotidienne dans le monde moderne, Paris: Gallimard, Collection 'Idées'
1968d Sociology of Marx, N. Guterman trans. of 1966c, New York: Pantheon.
1968c Dialectical Materialism, J. Sturrock trans., London: Cape
1969 The Explosion: From Nanterre to the Summit, Paris: Monthly Review Press. Originally published 1968.
1970 La révolution urbaine Paris: Gallimard, Collection 'Idées'
1971a Le manifeste différentialiste, Paris: Gallimard, Collection 'Idées'
1971b Au-delà du structuralisme, Paris: Anthropos.
1974 with Leszek Kolakowski 'Evolution or Revolution', F. Elders ed. Reflexive Water: The Basic Concerns of Mankind, London: Souvenir. pp. 199-267.
1975a Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, ou le royaume des ombres, Paris: Tournai, Casterman. Collection 'Synthèses contemporaines'
1975b Le temps des méprises: Entretiens avec Claude Glayman, Paris: Stock
1978a with Catherine Régulier La révolution n'est plus ce qu'elle était, Paris: Editions Libres-Hallier (German trans. Munich, 1979).
1978b Les contradictions de l'Etat moderne, La dialectique de l'Etat, Vol. 4 of 4 De 1'Etat, Paris: UGE, Collection '10/18'
1980 La présence et l'absence, Paris: Casterman
1981a Critique de la vie quotidienne, III. De la modernité au modernisme (Pour une métaphilosophie du quotidien) Paris: L'Arche
1981b De la modernité au modernisme: pour une métaphilosophie du quotidien, Paris: L'Arche Collection 'Le sens de la marché'.
1985 with Catherine Régulier-Lefebvre, 'Le projet rythmanalytique,' Communications 41. pp. 191-199.
1988 'Toward a Leftist Cultural Politics: Remarks Occasioned by the
Centenary of Marx's Death', D. Reifman trans., C.Grossberg and L.Nelson
eds. Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, Urbana: University of Illinois
Press.; New York: Macmillan. pp. 75-88.
1991a The Critique of Everyday Life, Volume 1, John Moore trans., London: Verso. Originally published 1947.
1991b with Patricia Latour and Francis Combes, Conversation avec Henri Lefebvre, P. Latour and F. Combes eds., Paris: Messidor, Collection 'Libres propos'
1991c The Production of Space, N. Donaldson-Smith trans., Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Originally published 1974.
1992 with Catherine Regulier-Lefebvre Eléments de rythmanalyse: Introduction à la connaissance des rythmes, Preface by René Lorau, Paris: Ed. Syllepse, Collection 'Explorations et découvertes'
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