Slavoj Žižek (pronounced [ˈslavoj ˈʒiʒɛk]; born 21 March 1949) is a Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic working in the traditions of Hegelianism, Marxism and Lacanian psychoanalysis. He has made contributions to political theory, film theory and theoretical psychoanalysis.
Žižek is a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and a professor at the European Graduate School. He has been a visiting professor at, among others, the University of Chicago, Columbia University, London Consortium, Princeton University, New York University, The New School, the University of Minnesota, the University of California, Irvine and the University of Michigan. He is currently the International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London and president of the Society for Theoretical Psychoanalysis, Ljubljana.
Žižek uses examples from popular culture to explain the theory of Jacques Lacan and uses Lacanian psychoanalysis, Hegelian philosophy and Marxist economic criticism to interpret and speak extensively on immediately current social phenomena, including the current ongoing global financial crisis. In a 2008 interview with Amy Goodman on the New York City radio show Democracy Now! he described himself as a "communist in a qualified sense" and in another appearance on the show in October 2009 he described himself as a "radical leftist".
It was not until the 1989 publication of his first book written in English, The Sublime Object of Ideology, that Žižek achieved international recognition as a social theorist. Since then, he has continued to develop his status as a confrontational intellectual.
He writes on many topics including subjectivity, ideology, capitalism, fundamentalism, racism, tolerance, multiculturalism, human rights, ecology, globalization, the Iraq War, revolution, utopianism, totalitarianism, postmodernism, pop culture, opera, cinema, political theology, and religion.