Giorgio Agamben

Giorgio Agamben

Overview
Giorgio Agamben is an Italian political philosopher best known for his work investigating the concepts of the state of exception
State of emergency
A state of emergency is a governmental declaration that may suspend some normal functions of the executive, legislative and judicial powers, alert citizens to change their normal behaviours, or order government agencies to implement emergency preparedness plans. It can also be used as a rationale...

 and homo sacer
Homo sacer
Homo sacer is a figure of Roman law: a person who is banned, may be killed by anybody, but may not be sacrificed in a religious ritual....

.

Agamben teaches at the Università IUAV di Venezia
University Iuav of Venice
Iuav University of Venice is a university located in Venice, northern Italy. It was founded in 1926 and is organized in 3 faculties....

, the Collège International de Philosophie
Collège international de philosophie
The Collège international de philosophie , located in Paris' 5th arrondissement, is a tertiary education institute placed under the trusteeship of the French government department of research and chartered under the French 1901 Law on associations...

 in Paris, and the European Graduate School
European Graduate School
The European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland is a privately funded graduate school founded by the non-profit European Foundation of Interdisciplinary Studies. Its German name is Europäische Universität für Interdisziplinäre Studien...

 in Saas-Fee, Switzerland; he previously taught at the University of Macerata
University of Macerata
The University of Macerata is a university located in Macerata, Italy. It was founded in 1290 and is organized in 7 Faculties.-Organization:These are the 7 faculties in which the university is divided into:* Faculty of Communication Sciences...

 and at the University of Verona
University of Verona
The University of Verona is a university located in Verona, Italy. It was founded in 1982 and is organized in 8+2 Faculties.-History:In Verona, at the beginning of the 1950s, a group of Catholic intellectuals established the "Ludovico Antonio Muratori" Free High School of Historical Science...

, both in Italy. He also has held visiting appointments at several American universities, from the University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

, to Northwestern University
Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Northwestern has eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools offering 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees....

, Evanston
Evanston, Illinois
Evanston is a suburban municipality in Cook County, Illinois 12 miles north of downtown Chicago, bordering Chicago to the south, Skokie to the west, and Wilmette to the north, with an estimated population of 74,360 as of 2003. It is one of the North Shore communities that adjoin Lake Michigan...

, and at Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf.

Agamben received the Prix Européen de l'Essai Charles Veillon in 2006.

Agamben was educated at the University of Rome
University of Rome La Sapienza
The Sapienza University of Rome, officially Sapienza – Università di Roma, formerly known as Università degli studi di Roma "La Sapienza", is a coeducational, autonomous state university in Rome, Italy...

, where he wrote an unpublished thesis on the political thought of Simone Weil
Simone Weil
Simone Weil , was a French philosopher, Christian mystic, and social activist.-Biography:Weil was born in Paris to Alsatian agnostic Jewish parents who fled the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine to Germany. She grew up in comfortable circumstances, and her father was a doctor. Her only sibling was...

.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Giorgio Agamben'
Start a new discussion about 'Giorgio Agamben'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Giorgio Agamben is an Italian political philosopher best known for his work investigating the concepts of the state of exception
State of emergency
A state of emergency is a governmental declaration that may suspend some normal functions of the executive, legislative and judicial powers, alert citizens to change their normal behaviours, or order government agencies to implement emergency preparedness plans. It can also be used as a rationale...

 and homo sacer
Homo sacer
Homo sacer is a figure of Roman law: a person who is banned, may be killed by anybody, but may not be sacrificed in a religious ritual....

.

Agamben teaches at the Università IUAV di Venezia
University Iuav of Venice
Iuav University of Venice is a university located in Venice, northern Italy. It was founded in 1926 and is organized in 3 faculties....

, the Collège International de Philosophie
Collège international de philosophie
The Collège international de philosophie , located in Paris' 5th arrondissement, is a tertiary education institute placed under the trusteeship of the French government department of research and chartered under the French 1901 Law on associations...

 in Paris, and the European Graduate School
European Graduate School
The European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland is a privately funded graduate school founded by the non-profit European Foundation of Interdisciplinary Studies. Its German name is Europäische Universität für Interdisziplinäre Studien...

 in Saas-Fee, Switzerland; he previously taught at the University of Macerata
University of Macerata
The University of Macerata is a university located in Macerata, Italy. It was founded in 1290 and is organized in 7 Faculties.-Organization:These are the 7 faculties in which the university is divided into:* Faculty of Communication Sciences...

 and at the University of Verona
University of Verona
The University of Verona is a university located in Verona, Italy. It was founded in 1982 and is organized in 8+2 Faculties.-History:In Verona, at the beginning of the 1950s, a group of Catholic intellectuals established the "Ludovico Antonio Muratori" Free High School of Historical Science...

, both in Italy. He also has held visiting appointments at several American universities, from the University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

, to Northwestern University
Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Northwestern has eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools offering 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees....

, Evanston
Evanston, Illinois
Evanston is a suburban municipality in Cook County, Illinois 12 miles north of downtown Chicago, bordering Chicago to the south, Skokie to the west, and Wilmette to the north, with an estimated population of 74,360 as of 2003. It is one of the North Shore communities that adjoin Lake Michigan...

, and at Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf.

Agamben received the Prix Européen de l'Essai Charles Veillon in 2006.

Biography


Agamben was educated at the University of Rome
University of Rome La Sapienza
The Sapienza University of Rome, officially Sapienza – Università di Roma, formerly known as Università degli studi di Roma "La Sapienza", is a coeducational, autonomous state university in Rome, Italy...

, where he wrote an unpublished thesis on the political thought of Simone Weil
Simone Weil
Simone Weil , was a French philosopher, Christian mystic, and social activist.-Biography:Weil was born in Paris to Alsatian agnostic Jewish parents who fled the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine to Germany. She grew up in comfortable circumstances, and her father was a doctor. Her only sibling was...

. Agamben participated in Martin Heidegger's
Martin Heidegger
Martin Heidegger was a German philosopher known for his existential and phenomenological explorations of the "question of Being."...

 Le Thor seminars (on Heraclitus
Heraclitus
Heraclitus of Ephesus was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, a native of the Greek city Ephesus, Ionia, on the coast of Asia Minor. He was of distinguished parentage. Little is known about his early life and education, but he regarded himself as self-taught and a pioneer of wisdom...

 and Hegel) in 1966 and 1968. In the 1970s, he worked primarily on linguistics, philology, poetics, and topics in medieval culture. During this period, Agamben began to elaborate his primary concerns, although their political bearings were not yet made explicit. In 1974–1975 he was a fellow at the Warburg Institute
Warburg Institute
The Warburg Institute is a research institution associated with the University of London in central London, England. A member of the School of Advanced Study, its focus is the study of the influence of classical antiquity on all aspects of European civilisation.-History:The Institute was founded by...

, University of London
University of London
-20th century:Shortly after 6 Burlington Gardens was vacated, the University went through a period of rapid expansion. Bedford College, Royal Holloway and the London School of Economics all joined in 1900, Regent's Park College, which had affiliated in 1841 became an official divinity school of the...

, due to the courtesy of Frances Yates
Frances Yates
Dame Frances Amelia Yates DBE was a British historian. She taught at the Warburg Institute of the University of London for many years.She wrote extensively on the occult or Neoplatonic philosophies of the Renaissance...

, whom he met through Italo Calvino
Italo Calvino
Italo Calvino was an Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy , the Cosmicomics collection of short stories , and the novels Invisible Cities and If on a winter's night a traveler .Lionised in Britain and the United States,...

. During this fellowship, Agamben began to develop his second book, Stanzas (1977).

Agamben was close to the poets Giorgio Caproni
Giorgio Caproni
Giorgio Caproni was an Italian poet, literary critic and translator, especially from the French.Caproni left Livorno at the age of ten to complete his primary studies in Genoa, where he studied first music, then literature, and where he wrote his first poems...

 and José Bergamín
José Bergamín
José Bergamín Gutiérrez was a Spanish writer, essayist, poet, and playwright. His father served as president of the canton of Málaga; his mother was a devout Catholic...

, and to the Italian novelist Elsa Morante
Elsa Morante
Elsa Morante was an Italian novelist, perhaps best known for her novel La storia .-Biography:...

, to whom he devoted the essays "The Celebration of the Hidden Treasure" (in The End of the Poem) and "Parody" (in Profanations). He has been a friend and collaborator to such eminent intellectuals as Pier Paolo Pasolini
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Pier Paolo Pasolini was an Italian film director, poet, writer, and intellectual. Pasolini distinguished himself as a poet, journalist, philosopher, linguist, novelist, playwright, filmmaker, newspaper and magazine columnist, actor, painter and political figure...

 (in whose The Gospel According to St. Matthew
The Gospel According to St. Matthew
The Gospel According to St. Matthew may refer to:* Gospel of Matthew, one of the four Gospel accounts of the New Testament in the Bible.* The Gospel According to St. Matthew , a 1964 Italian film based on the Gospel, directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini....

he played the part of Philip
Philip the Apostle
Philip the Apostle was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. Later Christian traditions describe Philip as the apostle who preached in Greece, Syria, and Phrygia....

), Italo Calvino
Italo Calvino
Italo Calvino was an Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy , the Cosmicomics collection of short stories , and the novels Invisible Cities and If on a winter's night a traveler .Lionised in Britain and the United States,...

 (with whom he collaborated, for a short while, as counsellor of the publishing house Einaudi
Einaudi
Einaudi may refer to;*Giulio Einaudi , an Italian publisher**Giulio Einaudi editore, now an imprint of Arnoldo Mondadori Editore*Luigi Einaudi , an Italian politician*His son Mario Einaudi , an Italian political scientist...

 and developed plans for a journal), Ingeborg Bachmann
Ingeborg Bachmann
Ingeborg Bachmann was an Austrian poet and author.-Biography:Bachmann was born in Klagenfurt, in the Austrian state of Carinthia, the daughter of a headmaster. She studied philosophy, psychology, German philology, and law at the universities of Innsbruck, Graz, and Vienna...

, Pierre Klossowski
Pierre Klossowski
Pierre Klossowski was a French writer, translator and artist. He was the eldest son of the artists Erich Klossowski and Baladine Klossowska, and his younger brother was the painter Balthus.-Life:...

, Guy Debord
Guy Debord
Guy Ernest Debord was a French Marxist theorist, writer, filmmaker, member of the Letterist International, founder of a Letterist faction, and founding member of the Situationist International . He was also briefly a member of Socialisme ou Barbarie.-Early Life:Guy Debord was born in Paris in 1931...

, Jean-Luc Nancy
Jean-Luc Nancy
Jean-Luc Nancy is a French philosopher.Nancy's first book, published in 1973, was Le titre de la lettre , a reading of the work of French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, written in collaboration with Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe...

, Jacques Derrida
Jacques Derrida
Jacques Derrida was a French philosopher, born in French Algeria. He developed the critical theory known as deconstruction and his work has been labeled as post-structuralism and associated with postmodern philosophy...

, Antonio Negri
Antonio Negri
Antonio Negri is an Italian Marxist sociologist and political philosopher.Negri is best-known for his co-authorship of Empire, and secondarily for his work on Spinoza. Born in Padua, he became a political philosophy professor in his hometown university...

, Jean-François Lyotard
Jean-François Lyotard
Jean-François Lyotard was a French philosopher and literary theorist. He is well known for his articulation of postmodernism after the late 1970s and the analysis of the impact of postmodernity on the human condition...

 and others.

His strongest influences include Martin Heidegger
Martin Heidegger
Martin Heidegger was a German philosopher known for his existential and phenomenological explorations of the "question of Being."...

 and Walter Benjamin
Walter Benjamin
Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin was a German-Jewish intellectual, who functioned variously as a literary critic, philosopher, sociologist, translator, radio broadcaster and essayist...

. Agamben edited Benjamin's collected works in Italian translation until 1996, and viewed Benjamin's thought as "the antidote that allowed me to survive Heidegger." In 1981, Agamben discovered several important lost manuscripts by Benjamin in the archives of the Bibliothèque nationale de France
Bibliothèque nationale de France
The is the National Library of France, located in Paris. It is intended to be the repository of all that is published in France. The current president of the library is Bruno Racine.-History:...

. Benjamin had left these manuscripts to Georges Bataille
Georges Bataille
Georges Bataille was a French writer. His multifaceted work is linked to the domains of literature, anthropology, philosophy, economy, sociology and history of art...

 when he fled Paris shortly before his death. The most relevant of these to Agamben's own later work were Benjamin's manuscripts for his theses On the Concept of History. Agamben has engaged since the nineties in a debate with the political writings of the German jurist Carl Schmitt
Carl Schmitt
Carl Schmitt was a German jurist, philosopher, political theorist, and professor of law.Schmitt published several essays, influential in the 20th century and beyond, on the mentalities that surround the effective wielding of political power...

, most extensively in Agamben's study State of Exception (2003). His recent writings also elaborate on the concepts of Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault , born Paul-Michel Foucault , was a French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas...

, whom he calls "a scholar from whom I have learned a great deal in recent years".

Agamben's political thought was originally founded on his readings of Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

's Politics, Nicomachean Ethics, and treatise On the Soul, as well as the exegetical traditions concerning these texts in late antiquity and the Middle Ages. In his later work, Agamben intervenes in the theoretical debates following the publication of Nancy's essay La communauté désoeuvrée (1983), and Maurice Blanchot
Maurice Blanchot
Maurice Blanchot was a French writer, philosopher, and literary theorist. His work had a strong influence on post-structuralist philosophers such as Jacques Derrida.-Works:...

's response, La communauté inavouable (1983). These texts analyzed the notion of community
Community
The term community has two distinct meanings:*a group of interacting people, possibly living in close proximity, and often refers to a group that shares some common values, and is attributed with social cohesion within a shared geographical location, generally in social units larger than a household...

 at a time when the European Community was under debate. Agamben proposed his own model of a community which would not presuppose categories of identity in The Coming Community (1990). At this time, Agamben also analyzed the ontological condition and "political" attitude of Bartleby (from Herman Melville
Herman Melville
Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick and the posthumous novella Billy Budd....

's short story) – a scrivener who does not react, and "prefers not" to write.

In the Homo Sacer series, Agamben responds to Hannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt was a German American political theorist. She has often been described as a philosopher, although she refused that label on the grounds that philosophy is concerned with "man in the singular." She described herself instead as a political theorist because her work centers on the fact...

's and Foucault's studies of totalitarianism and biopolitics. Since 1995 he has been best known for this ongoing project, the volumes of which have been published out of order, and which currently includes :
  • Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (1995),
  • State of Exception. Homo Sacer II, 1 (2003),
  • The Kingdom and the Glory: For a Theological Genealogy of Economy and Government. Homo Sacer II, 2 (2007),
  • The Sacrament of Language: An Archaeology of the Oath. Homo Sacer II, 3 (2008),
  • Remnants of Auschwitz: The Witness and the Archive. Homo Sacer III (1998).


In the projected final volume of the series, Agamben intends to address "the concepts of forms-of-life and lifestyles." "What I call a form-of-life," he explains, "is a life which can never be separated from its form, a life in which it is never possible to separate something like bare life. [...] [H]ere too the concept of privacy comes in to play."

Work


In The Coming Community (1993), Giorgio Agamben writes:
This reduction of life to 'biopolitics' is one of the main threads in Agamben's work, in his critical conception of an homo sacer, reduced to 'bare life', and thus deprived of any rights. Agamben's concept rests on a crucial distinction in Greek between 'bare life' (la vita nuda, Gk.ζωή: zoê) and 'a particular mode of life' or 'qualified life.' In Part III, section 7 of Homo Sacer, “The Camp as the 'Nomos' of the Modern”, he evokes the concentration camps of World War II. “The camp is the space that is opened when the state of exception begins to become the rule.” Agamben says that "What happened in the camps so exceeds (is outside of) the juridical concept of crime that the specific juridico-political structure in which those events took place is often simply omitted from consideration." The conditions in the camps were "conditio inhumana," and the incarcerated somehow defined outside the boundaries of humanity, under the exception laws of Schutzhaft. Where law is based on vague, unspecific concepts such as "race" or "good morals," law and the personal subjectivity of the judicial agent are no longer distinct.

“In United States criminal law, people accused of committing crimes cannot be compelled to incriminate themselves verbally, but can be compelled to incriminate themselves physically.”
In the process of creating a state of exception these effects can compound. In a realized state of exception, one who has been accused of committing a crime, within the legal system, loses the ability to use his voice and represent themselves- the individual has can not only be deprived of their citizenship, but also of any form of agency over their own life. “Agamben identifies the state of exception with the power of decision over life.” Within the state of exception, the distinction between bios(citizen) and zoe(homo sacer) is made by those with judicial power. For example, Agamben would argue that Guantánamo Bay exemplifies the concept of 'the state of exception' in the United States following 9–11.

Agamben mentions that basic universal human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 of Taliban individuals while captured in Afghanistan and sent to Guantanamo Bay in 2001 were negated by US laws. In reaction to the removal of their basic human rights, detainees of Guantánamo Bay prison went on hunger strikes. Within a state of exception, when a detainee is placed outside of the law, he is according to Agamben, reduced to 'bare life' in the eyes of the judicial powers. Here, one can see why such measures as hunger strikes can occur in such places as prisons. Within the framework of a system that has deprived the individual of power, and their individual basic human freedoms, the hunger strike can be seen as a weapon or form of resistance. “The body is a model which can stand for any bounded system. Its boundaries can represent any boundaries which are threatened or precarious.” Within a state of exception the boundaries of power are precarious and threaten to destabilize not only the law, but one’s humanity, as well as their choice of life or death. Forms of resistance to the extended use of power within the state of exception as suggested in Guantánamo Bay prison also operate outside of the law. In the case of the hunger strike, the prisoners were threatened and endured force feeding not allowing them to die. During the hunger strikes at Guantánamo Bay prison, accusations and founded claims of forced feedings began to surface in the autumn of 2005. In February 2006, The New York Times reported that prisoners were being force fed in Guantánamo Bay prison and in March 2006, more than 250 medical experts, as reported by the BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4790742.stm|BCC, voiced their opinions of the forced feedings stating that this was a breach of the government’s power and was against the rights of the prisoners.

The Coming Community (1993)


In The Coming Community, published in Italian in 1990 and English translation by longtime admirer Michael Hardt
Michael Hardt
Michael Hardt is an American literary theorist and political philosopher perhaps best known for Empire, written with Antonio Negri and published in 2000...

 in 1993, Agamben describes the social and political manifestation of his philosophical thought. The beauty and brevity of the text is augmented by the book layout, filled with design, white space and random dots. Employing diverse short essays he describes the nature of “whatever singularity” as that which has an “inessential commonality, a solidarity that in no way concerns an essence”. It is important to note his understanding of “whatever” not as being indifference but based on the Latin translation of “being such that it always matters”

He starts off by describing “The Lovable”
Following the same trend, Agamben employs, among others, the following to describe the “watershed of whatever”:
  • Example – Particular and Universal
  • Limbo – Blessed and Damned
  • Homonym – concept and idea
  • Halo – Potentiality and Actuality
  • Face – common and proper, genus and individual
  • Threshold – inside and outside
  • Coming Community – State & Non-state (humanity)


Other themes addressed in The Coming Community include the commodification of the body, evil, and the messianic.

Unlike other continental philosophers he does not reject the age-old dichotomies of subject – object, potentiality – actuality etc. outright, but rather turns them inside-out, pointing out the zone where they become indistinguishable.
The political task of humanity, he argues, is to expose the innate potential in this zone of indistinguishability. And although criticised as dreaming the impossible by certain authors , he nonetheless shows a concrete example of whatever singularity acting politically:

Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (1998)



In his main work "Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life" (1998), Giorgio Agamben analyzes an obscure figure of Roman law
Roman law
Roman law is the legal system of ancient Rome, and the legal developments which occurred before the 7th century AD — when the Roman–Byzantine state adopted Greek as the language of government. The development of Roman law comprises more than a thousand years of jurisprudence — from the Twelve...

 that poses some fundamental questions to the nature of law and power
Power (sociology)
Power is a measurement of an entity's ability to control its environment, including the behavior of other entities. The term authority is often used for power perceived as legitimate by the social structure. Power can be seen as evil or unjust, but the exercise of power is accepted as endemic to...

 in general. Under the Roman Empire, a man who committed a certain kind of crime was banned from society and all of his rights as a citizen
Citizenship
Citizenship is the state of being a citizen of a particular social, political, national, or human resource community. Citizenship status, under social contract theory, carries with it both rights and responsibilities...

 were revoked. He thus became a "homo sacer
Homo sacer
Homo sacer is a figure of Roman law: a person who is banned, may be killed by anybody, but may not be sacrificed in a religious ritual....

"
(sacred man). In consequence, he could be killed by anybody—while his life on the other hand was deemed "sacred", so he could not be sacrificed in a ritual ceremony.

Roman law no longer applied to someone deemed a Homo sacer, although they would remain "under the spell" of law. Agamben defines it as "human life...included in the juridical order solely in the form of its exclusion (that is, of its capacity to be killed)". Homo sacer was therefore excluded from law itself, while being included at the same time. This figure is the exact mirror image of the sovereign
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 (Basileus
Basileus
Basileus is a Greek term and title that has signified various types of monarchs in history. It is perhaps best known in English as a title used by the Byzantine Emperors, but also has a longer history of use for persons of authority and sovereigns in ancient Greece, as well as for the kings of...

) – a king, emperor, or president – who stands, on the one hand, within law (so he can be condemned, e.g., for treason, as a natural person) and outside of the law (since as a body politic
Body politic
A polity is a state or one of its subordinate civil authorities, such as a province, prefecture, county, municipality, city, or district. It is generally understood to mean a geographic area with a corresponding government. Thomas Hobbes considered bodies politic in this sense in Leviathan...

 he has power to suspend law for an indefinite time).

Giorgio Agamben draws on Carl Schmitt's definition of the Sovereign as the one who has the power to decide the state of exception (or justitium
Justitium
Justitium is a concept of Roman law, equivalent to the declaration of the state of emergency. It was usually declared following a sovereign's death, during the troubled period of interregnum, but also in case of invasions...

), where law is indefinitely "suspended" without being abrogated. But if Schmitt's aim is to include the necessity of state of emergency under the rule of law, Agamben on the contrary demonstrates that all life cannot be subsumed by law. As in Homo sacer, the state of emergency is the inclusion of life and necessity in the juridical order solely in the form of its exclusion.

Since its origins, Agamben notes, law has had the power of defining what "bare life" (zoe, as opposed to bios: qualified life) is by making this exclusive operation, while at the same time gaining power over it by making it the subject of political control. The power of law to actively separate "political" beings (citizens) from "bare life" (bodies) has carried on from Antiquity
Ancient history
Ancient history is the study of the written past from the beginning of recorded human history to the Early Middle Ages. The span of recorded history is roughly 5,000 years, with Cuneiform script, the oldest discovered form of coherent writing, from the protoliterate period around the 30th century BC...

 to Modernity
Modernity
Modernity typically refers to a post-traditional, post-medieval historical period, one marked by the move from feudalism toward capitalism, industrialization, secularization, rationalization, the nation-state and its constituent institutions and forms of surveillance...

 – from, literally, Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

 to Auschwitz. Aristotle, as Agamben notes, constitutes political life via a simultaneous inclusion and exclusion of "bare life": as Aristotle says, man is an animal born to life (zen), but existing with regard to the good life (eu zen)
Eudaimonia
Eudaimonia or eudaemonia , sometimes Anglicized as eudemonia , is a Greek word commonly translated as happiness or welfare; however, "human flourishing" has been proposed as a more accurate translation...

 which can be achieved through politics. Bare life, in this ancient conception of politics, is that which must be transformed, via the State, into the "good life"; that is, bare life is that which is supposedly excluded from the higher aims of the state, yet is included precisely so that it may be transformed into this "good life". Sovereignty, then, is conceived from ancient times as the power which determines what or who is to be incorporated into the political body (in accord with its 'bios') by means of the more originary exclusion (or exception) of what is to remain outside of the political body—which is at the same time the source of that body's composition ('zoe'). According to Agamben, biopower
Biopower
Biopower was a term coined by French Social theorist and philosopher Michel Foucault it refers to the practice of modern states and their regulation of their subjects through "an explosion of numerous and diverse techniques for achieving the subjugations of bodies and the control of populations." ...

, which takes the bare lives of the citizens into its political calculations, may be more marked in the modern state, but has essentially existed since the beginnings of sovereignty in the West, since this structure of ex-ception is essential to the core concept of sovereignty.

Agamben would continue to expand the theory of the state of exception first introduced in "Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life", ultimately leading "State of Exception" in 2005. During 2003, he delivered a lecture at European Graduate School
European Graduate School
The European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland is a privately funded graduate school founded by the non-profit European Foundation of Interdisciplinary Studies. Its German name is Europäische Universität für Interdisziplinäre Studien...

 describing the eclipse that politics has undergone. Instead of leaving a space between law and life, the space where human action is possible, the space that used to constitute politics, he argues that politics has “contaminated itself with law” in the state of exception. Because “only human action is able to cut the relationship between violence and law”, it becomes increasingly difficult within the state of exception for humanity to act against the State.

State of Exception (2005)


In this book, Agamben traces the concept of 'state of exception
State of exception
State of Exception may mean:* State of exception* State of Exception , a book written by Giorgio Agamben...

' (Ausnahmezustand) used by Carl Schmitt
Carl Schmitt
Carl Schmitt was a German jurist, philosopher, political theorist, and professor of law.Schmitt published several essays, influential in the 20th century and beyond, on the mentalities that surround the effective wielding of political power...

 to Roman justitium
Justitium
Justitium is a concept of Roman law, equivalent to the declaration of the state of emergency. It was usually declared following a sovereign's death, during the troubled period of interregnum, but also in case of invasions...

and auctoritas
Auctoritas
Auctoritas is a Latin word and is the origin of English "authority." While historically its use in English was restricted to discussions of the political history of Rome, the beginning of phenomenological philosophy in the twentieth century expanded the use of the word.In ancient Rome, Auctoritas...

. This leads him to a response to Carl Schmitt's definition of sovereignty as the power to proclaim the exception .

Giorgio Agamben’s text State of Exception investigates the increase of power structures governments employ in supposed times of crisis. Within these times of crisis, Agamben refers to increased extension of power as states of exception, where questions of citizenship and individual rights can be diminished, superseded and rejected in the process of claiming this extension of power by a government. Agamben explores the effect of the state of exception on the individual by looking at the ideas of bios
Bios
Bios or BIOS may refer to:*English transliteration of the ancient Greek term for life, , giving rise to the common prefix bio-, as in biology*BIOS, the Basic Input/Output System firmware of an IBM PC-compatible computer...

and zoe
Zoe
Zoe or Zoey may refer to:-People:* Zoe , an indigenous tribe of the Brazilian Amazon* Zoe Zaoutzaina, Byzantine empress* Zoe Karbonopsina, Byzantine empress* Zoe , Empress of the Byzantine Empire with co-rulers 1028–1050.-Music:...

.

The state of exception invests one person or government with the power and voice of authority over others extended well beyond where the law has existed in the past. “In every case, the state of exception marks a threshold at which logic
Logic
In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

 and praxis blur with each other and a pure violence without logos claims to realize an enunciation without any real reference" (Agamben, pg 40). Agamben refers a continued state of exception to the Nazi state of Germany under Hitler’s rule. “The entire Third Reich can be considered a state of exception that lasted twelve years. In this sense, modern totalitarianism can be defined as the establishment, by means of the state of exception, of a legal civil war that allows for the physical elimination not only of political adversaries but of entire categories of citizens who for some reason cannot be integrated into the political system" (Agamben, pg 2).

The political power over others acquired through the state of exception, places one government – or one form or branch of government – as all powerful, operating outside of the laws. During such times of extension of power, certain forms of knowledge shall be privileged and accepted as true and certain voices shall be heard as valued, while of course, many others are not. This oppressive distinction holds great importance in relation to the production of knowledge. The process of both acquiring knowledge, and suppressing certain knowledge, is a violent act within a time of crisis.

Agamben’s State of Exception investigates how the suspension of laws within a state of emergency or crisis can become a prolonged state of being. More specifically, Agamben addresses how this prolonged state of exception operates to deprive individuals of their citizenship. When speaking about the military order issued by President George W. Bush on 13 November 2001, Agamben writes, “What is new about President Bush’s order is that it radically erases any legal status of the individual, thus producing a legally unnamable and unclassifiable being. Not only do the Taliban captured in Afghanistan not enjoy the status of POW’s as defined by the Geneva Convention, they do not even have the status of people charged with a crime according to American laws" (Agamben, pg 3). Many of the individuals captured in Afghanistan were taken to be held at Guantánamo Bay without trial. These individuals were termed as “enemy combatants.” Until 7 July 2006, these individuals had been treated outside of the Geneva Conventions by the United States administration.

Auctoritas, "charisma" and Führertum doctrine


Agamben shows that auctoritas and potestas
Potestas
Potestas is a Latin word meaning power or faculty. It is an important concept in Roman Law.-Origin of the concept:The idea of potestas originally referred to the power, through coercion, of a Roman magistrate to promulgate edicts, give action to litigants, etc. This power, in Roman political and...

are clearly distinct – although they form together a binary system". He quotes Mommsen
Theodor Mommsen
Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen was a German classical scholar, historian, jurist, journalist, politician, archaeologist, and writer generally regarded as the greatest classicist of the 19th century. His work regarding Roman history is still of fundamental importance for contemporary research...

, who explains that auctoritas is "less than an order
General order
In militaries, a general order is a published directive, originated by a commander, and binding upon all personnel under his command, the purpose of which is to enforce a policy or procedure unique to his unit's situation which is not otherwise addressed in applicable service regulations, military...

 and more than an advice".

While potestas derives from social function, auctoritas "immediately derives from the patres personal condition". As such, it is akin to Max Weber
Max Weber
Karl Emil Maximilian "Max" Weber was a German sociologist and political economist who profoundly influenced social theory, social research, and the discipline of sociology itself...

's concept of charisma
Charismatic authority
The sociologist Max Weber defined charismatic authority as "resting on devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism or exemplary character of an individual person, and of the normative patterns or order revealed or ordained by him." Charismatic authority is one of three forms of authority laid out...

. This is why the tradition ordered, at the king's death, the creation of the sovereign’s wax-double in the funus imaginarium, as Ernst Kantorowicz
Ernst Kantorowicz
Ernst Hartwig Kantorowicz was a German-Jewish historian of medieval political and intellectual history, known for his 1927 book Kaiser Friedrich der Zweite on Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, and in particular The King's Two Bodies .Kantorowicz was born in Posen to a wealthy, assimilated...

 demonstrated in The King's Two Bodies (1957). Hence, it is necessary to distinguish two bodies of the sovereign in order to assure the continuity of dignitas (term used by Kantorowicz, here a synonym of auctoritas). Moreover, in the person detaining auctoritas – the sovereign – public
Public
In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individuals, and the public is the totality of such groupings. This is a different concept to the sociological concept of the Öffentlichkeit or public sphere. The concept of a public has also been defined in political science,...

 life and private
Privacy
Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively...

 life have become inseparable. Augustus
Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

, the first Roman emperor who claimed auctoritas as the basis of princeps
Princeps
Princeps is a Latin word meaning "first in time or order; the first, chief, the most eminent, distinguished, or noble; the first man, first person."...

status in a famous passage of Res Gestae, had opened up his house to public eyes.

The concept of auctoritas played a key-role in fascism and Nazism
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

, in particular concerning Carl Schmitt
Carl Schmitt
Carl Schmitt was a German jurist, philosopher, political theorist, and professor of law.Schmitt published several essays, influential in the 20th century and beyond, on the mentalities that surround the effective wielding of political power...

's theories, argues Agamben:
Thus, Agamben opposes Foucault's concept of "biopolitics
Biopolitics
The term "biopolitics" or "biopolitical" can refer to several different yet often compatible concepts.-Definitions:# In the work of Michel Foucault, the style of government that regulates populations through "biopower" .# In the works of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, anti-capitalist insurrection...

" to right (law), as he defines the state of exception, in Homo sacer, as the inclusion of life by right under the figure of ex-ception, which is simultaneously inclusion and exclusion. Following Walter Benjamin's lead, he explains that our task would be to radically differentiate "pure violence" from right, instead of tying them together, as did Carl Schmitt.

Agamben concludes his chapter on "Auctoritas and potestas" writing:
Agamben’s thoughts on the state of emergency leads him to declare that the difference between dictatorship and democracy is thin indeed, as rule by decree became more and more common, starting from World War I and the reorganization of constitutional balance. Agamben often reminds that Hitler never abrogated the Weimar Constitution
Weimar constitution
The Constitution of the German Reich , usually known as the Weimar Constitution was the constitution that governed Germany during the Weimar Republic...

: he suspended it for the whole duration of the 3rd Reich with the Reichstag Fire Decree
Reichstag Fire Decree
The Reichstag Fire Decree is the common name of the Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State issued by German President Paul von Hindenburg in direct response to the Reichstag fire of 27 February 1933. The decree nullified many of the key civil liberties of German...

, issued on 28 February 1933. Indefinite suspension of law is what characterizes the state of exception. Thus, Agamben connects Greek political philosophy through to the concentration camps of 20th century fascism, and even further, to detainment camps in the likes of Guantanamo Bay
Guantanamo Bay detainment camp
The Guantanamo Bay detention camp is a detainment and interrogation facility of the United States located within Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba. The facility was established in 2002 by the Bush Administration to hold detainees from the war in Afghanistan and later Iraq...

 or immigration detention centers, such as Bari
Bari
Bari is the capital city of the province of Bari and of the Apulia region, on the Adriatic Sea, in Italy. It is the second most important economic centre of mainland Southern Italy after Naples, and is well known as a port and university city, as well as the city of Saint Nicholas...

, Italy, where asylum seekers have been imprisoned in football stadiums. In these kinds of camps, entire zones of exception are being formed: the state of exception becomes a status under which certain categories of people live, a capture of life by right. Sovereign law makes it possible to create entire areas in which the application of the law itself is held suspended, which is the basis of Bush administration
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

's definition of an "enemy combatant"
Unlawful combatant
An unlawful combatant or unprivileged combatant/belligerent is a civilian who directly engages in armed conflict in violation of the laws of war. An unlawful combatant may be detained or prosecuted under the domestic law of the detaining state for such action.The Geneva Conventions apply in wars...

.

Interregnum, justitium and nomos empsuchos (the sovereign as "living law")


In the chapter preceding "Auctoritas and potestas", Agamben advances an explanation of the transformation of justitium, a technical term referring to the state of exception, declared to cope with tumultus state (rebellion, uprising, riots...), at the end of the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

, into a term simply referring to the mourning of the sovereign's death during interregnum
Interregnum
An interregnum is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organization, or social order...

periods:
The first formulation of the thesis according to which "the sovereign is a living law" found its first formulation on the treatise "On law and justice" by pseudo-Archytas
Archytas
Archytas was an Ancient Greek philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, statesman, and strategist. He was a scientist of the Pythagorean school and famous for being the reputed founder of mathematical mechanics, as well as a good friend of Plato....

, conserved by Stobaeus
Stobaeus
Joannes Stobaeus , from Stobi in Macedonia, was the compiler of a valuable series of extracts from Greek authors. The work was originally divided into two volumes containing two books each...

 with Diotogene's treatise on sovereignty. It is the first attempt to conceive a form of sovereignty completely enfranchised from laws, being itself the source of legitimacy. This theory must be radically distinguished from natural rights
Natural rights
Natural and legal rights are two types of rights theoretically distinct according to philosophers and political scientists. Natural rights are rights not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable...

 theory or Antigone
Antigone
In Greek mythology, Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta, Oedipus' mother. The name may be taken to mean "unbending", coming from "anti-" and "-gon / -gony" , but has also been suggested to mean "opposed to motherhood", "in place of a mother", or "anti-generative", based from the root...

's appeal to the "eternal and unwritten laws" by which even monarchs must abide, as it is a theory of sovereignty (in fact, it is quite the reverse of Antigone's rebellion).

Pseudo-Archytas distinguished the sovereign (basileus
Basileus
Basileus is a Greek term and title that has signified various types of monarchs in history. It is perhaps best known in English as a title used by the Byzantine Emperors, but also has a longer history of use for persons of authority and sovereigns in ancient Greece, as well as for the kings of...

), who is the law, from the magistrate
Magistrate
A magistrate is an officer of the state; in modern usage the term usually refers to a judge or prosecutor. This was not always the case; in ancient Rome, a magistratus was one of the highest government officers and possessed both judicial and executive powers. Today, in common law systems, a...

 (archōn
Archon
Archon is a Greek word that means "ruler" or "lord", frequently used as the title of a specific public office. It is the masculine present participle of the verb stem ἀρχ-, meaning "to rule", derived from the same root as monarch, hierarchy, and anarchy.- Ancient Greece :In ancient Greece the...

), who limits himself to observing the law. "Identification between law and sovereign has as consequence, writes Agamben, the scission of law into a "living" law (nomos empsuchos), hierarchically superior, and a written law (gramma), which is subordinate to the first one". He then quotes A. Delatte's Essais sur la politique pythagoricienne (Paris, 1922), himself quoting the pseudo-Archytas:
"I say that all communities are composed of an archōn (the magistrate who commands), a commanded one, and, as tierce party, laws. Among those ones, the living one is the sovereign (ho men empsuchos ho basileus), and the inanimate one is the letter (gramma). Law is the first element, the king is legal, the magistrate accorded to law, the commanded free and all of the city happy; but, in case of corruption ("dévoiement"), the sovereign is a tyrant
Tyrant
A tyrant was originally one who illegally seized and controlled a governmental power in a polis. Tyrants were a group of individuals who took over many Greek poleis during the uprising of the middle classes in the sixth and seventh centuries BC, ousting the aristocratic governments.Plato and...

, the magistrate is not accorded to law and the community is unhappy."

Criticism of US response to "9–11"


Giorgio Agamben is particularly critical of the United States' response to 11 September 2001, and its instrumentalization as a permanent condition that legitimizes a "state of exception
State of exception
State of Exception may mean:* State of exception* State of Exception , a book written by Giorgio Agamben...

" as the dominant paradigm for governing in contemporary politics. He warns against a "generalization of the state of exception" through laws like the USA PATRIOT Act
USA PATRIOT Act
The USA PATRIOT Act is an Act of the U.S. Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001...

, which means a permanent installment of martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 and emergency powers. In January 2004, he refused to give a lecture in the United States because under the US-VISIT he would have been required to give up his biometric information, which he believed stripped him to a state of "bare life" (zoe) and was akin to the tattooing that the Nazis did during World War II.

However, Agamben's criticisms target a broader scope than the US "war on terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

". As he points out in State of Exception (2005), rule by decree
Rule by decree
Rule by decree is a style of governance allowing quick, unchallenged creation of law by a single person or group, and is used primarily by dictators and absolute monarchs, although philosophers such as Giorgio Agamben have argued that it has been generalized since World War I in all modern states,...

 has become common since World War I in all modern states, and has been since then generalized and abused. Agamben points out a general tendency of modernity, recalling for example that when Francis Galton
Francis Galton
Sir Francis Galton /ˈfrɑːnsɪs ˈgɔːltn̩/ FRS , cousin of Douglas Strutt Galton, half-cousin of Charles Darwin, was an English Victorian polymath: anthropologist, eugenicist, tropical explorer, geographer, inventor, meteorologist, proto-geneticist, psychometrician, and statistician...

 and Alphonse Bertillon
Alphonse Bertillon
Alphonse Bertillon was a French police officer and biometrics researcher who created anthropometry, an identification system based on physical measurements. Anthropometry was the first scientific system used by police to identify criminals. Before that time, criminals could only be identified...

 invented "judicial photography" for "anthropometric identification", the procedure was reserved to criminals; to the contrary, today's society is tending toward a generalization of this procedure to all citizens, placing the population under permanent suspicion and surveillance
Surveillance
Surveillance is the monitoring of the behavior, activities, or other changing information, usually of people. It is sometimes done in a surreptitious manner...

: "The political body thus has become a criminal body". And Agamben notes that the Jews deportation in France
Vichy France
Vichy France, Vichy Regime, or Vichy Government, are common terms used to describe the government of France that collaborated with the Axis powers from July 1940 to August 1944. This government succeeded the Third Republic and preceded the Provisional Government of the French Republic...

 and other occupied countries was made possible by the photos taken from identity cards. Furthermore, Agamben's political criticisms open up in a larger philosophical critique
Critique
Critique is a method of disciplined, systematic analysis of a written or oral discourse. Critique is commonly understood as fault finding and negative judgement, but it can also involve merit recognition, and in the philosophical tradition it also means a methodical practice of doubt...

 of the concept of sovereignty itself, which he explains is intrinsically related to the state of exception.

Further reading

  • Calarco, Matthew and Steven DeCaroli, eds. Giorgio Agamben: Sovereignty and Life. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2007.
  • Clemens, Justin
    Justin Clemens
    Justin Clemens is an Australian philosopher, translator, social critic, and poet. He is primarily known today for his work on Alain Badiou as an editor, translator, and scholar writing, speaking, and lecturing on the impact of Badiou's thought in this contemporary juncture.A former instructor in...

    , Nicholas Heron, and Alex Murray, eds. The Work of Giorgio Agamben: Law, Literature, Life. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008.
  • de la Durantaye, Leland. Giorgio Agamben: A Critical Introduction. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2009.
  • Derrida, Jacques
    Jacques Derrida
    Jacques Derrida was a French philosopher, born in French Algeria. He developed the critical theory known as deconstruction and his work has been labeled as post-structuralism and associated with postmodern philosophy...

    . The Beast and the Sovereign, Volume 1. Ed. Michel Lisse, Marie-Louise Mallet, and Ginette Michaud. Trans. Geoff Bennington. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009. 91-96, 315-334.
  • Dickinson, Colby. Agamben and Theology. London and New York: T&T Clark International, 2011. [Forthcoming.]
  • Geulen, Eva. Giorgio Agamben zur Einführung. Hamburg: Junius Verlag, 2005.
  • Kishik, David. The Power of Life: Agamben and the Coming Politics. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2011. [Forthcoming.]
  • LaCapra, Dominick
    Dominick LaCapra
    Dominick LaCapra is an American-born European historian and the Bryce and Edith M. Bowmar Professor of Humanistic Studies at Cornell University.-Career:LaCapra received his B.A. from Cornell and his Ph.D. from Harvard...

    . "Approaching Limit Events: Siting Agamben". In History in Transit: Experience, Identity, Critical Theory. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004. 144-194.
  • Mills, Catherine. The Philosophy of Giorgio Agamben. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2009.
  • Murray, Alex. Giorgio Agamben. London and New York: Routledge, 2010.
  • Murray, Alex and Jessica Whyte. The Agamben Dictionary. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2011. [Forthcoming.]
  • Norris, Andrew, ed. Politics, Metaphysics, and Death: Essays on Giorgio Agamben’s Homo Sacer. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005.
  • Ross, Alison, ed. The Agamben Effect. A special issue of the South Atlantic Quarterly, Volume 107, Number 1, Winter 2008.
  • Wall, Thomas Carl. Radical Passivity: Lévinas, Blanchot, and Agamben. New York: State University of New York Press, 1999.
  • Watkin, William. Literary Agamben: Adventures in Logopoiesis. London and New York: Continuum, 2010.
  • Zartaloudis, Thanos. Giorgio Agamben: Power, Law and the Uses of Criticism. London and New York: Routledge, 2010.

See also


  • Agamben's explanation of Auctoritas
  • Agamben's response to Carl Schmitt's definition of sovereignty as the power to decide state exception
  • Basileus
    Basileus
    Basileus is a Greek term and title that has signified various types of monarchs in history. It is perhaps best known in English as a title used by the Byzantine Emperors, but also has a longer history of use for persons of authority and sovereigns in ancient Greece, as well as for the kings of...

  • Homo sacer
    Homo sacer
    Homo sacer is a figure of Roman law: a person who is banned, may be killed by anybody, but may not be sacrificed in a religious ritual....

  • Interregnum
    Interregnum
    An interregnum is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organization, or social order...

  • Justitium
    Justitium
    Justitium is a concept of Roman law, equivalent to the declaration of the state of emergency. It was usually declared following a sovereign's death, during the troubled period of interregnum, but also in case of invasions...

  • Unlawful combatant
    Unlawful combatant
    An unlawful combatant or unprivileged combatant/belligerent is a civilian who directly engages in armed conflict in violation of the laws of war. An unlawful combatant may be detained or prosecuted under the domestic law of the detaining state for such action.The Geneva Conventions apply in wars...

    s

External links


French


Italian

filosofico.net Italian page dedicated to Agamben

Hebrew

  • Review of State of Exception, Yehouda Shenhav, Sfarim Haaretz
    Haaretz
    Haaretz is Israel's oldest daily newspaper. It was founded in 1918 and is now published in both Hebrew and English in Berliner format. The English edition is published and sold together with the International Herald Tribune. Both Hebrew and English editions can be read on the Internet...

    , 23.11.2005.