What is an Assemblage?


The concept of assemblage plays a crucial role in the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. In a 1980 interview with Catherine Clément, Deleuze describes their invention of the concept of the assemblage as the “general logic” at work in A Thousand Plateaus. However, despite its thirty years of influence on political theory, this “general logic of the assemblage” still remains obscured by the fact that Deleuze and Guattari never formalized it as a theory per se, but largely used it ad hoc throughout their work. This fact continues to pose problems for theorists today who wish to deploy something like a theory of assemblages, but also admit, as Manuel DeLanda does, that Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of the assemblage “hardly amounts to a fully fledged theory” (DeLanda 3). This position allows DeLanda to relegate “Deleuzian hermeneutics” to the footnotes and focus on developing his own “neo-assemblage” theory, “not strictly speaking Deleuze’s own” (DeLanda 4).

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