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State of Exception


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About the Author

Giorgio Agamben is professor of aesthetics at the University of Verona. He is the author of ten previous books, including the prequel to this one, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life. Kevin Attell is a writer and translator living in Berkeley, California. He is the translator of Agamben's The Open: Man and Animal.


The impact of Agamben's thought since the publication of the first volume of Homo Sacer . . . has been immense not merely in the field of continental philosophy but also in political and legal theory, sociology, and in literary and cultural studies.--M. Canstantinou and M. Margaroni "Continental Philosophy"
State of Exception is a timely and compelling inquiry into the capacity of state power to withdraw the guarantees of legal protection and entitlement, at once abandoning its subjects to the violent whims of law and intensifying state power. Not to be conceived as merely occasional and conditional, invocations of a state of exception have come to constitute the basis of modern state power. Agamben deftly considers the historical and philosophical implications of this power, offering a brilliant consideration of 'life' and its tense relation to normativity. This is an erudite and provocative book that calls for us to 'stop the machine' and break the violent hold that law lays upon life.

--Judith Butler "Judith Butler, author of Precarious Life: Powers of Violence and Mourning" (8/6/2004 12:00:00 AM)

State of Exception is an impressive and disquieting meditation on the state of the democratic institutions by which political power is organised in the West. Written in a simple and lucid language, this is an erudite, meticulous, and precise examination of the long and complex history of the ideological framework underpinning the present obsession with the state of exception as the 'new form-of-state' as it obtains at least in the USA and UK.--Tony Simoes da Silva "International Journal of Baudrillard Studies" (7/1/2005 12:00:00 AM)
When a conservative member of the U.S. Congress recently designated the Guantanamo prisoners as 'those who were missed by the bombs' and thus forfeited their right to live, he almost literally evoked Agamben's notion of homo sacer, a man reduced to bare life no longer covered by any legal or civil rights. What you hold in your hands is simply the book for all those who do not see in 9/11 a mere pretext for patriotic mobilization, but an impetus for a deeper reflection on where we stand today with regard to the very fundamentals of our civilization.--Slavoj Zizek "Slavoj Zizek, author of Iraq: The Borrowed Kettle" (8/6/2004 12:00:00 AM)

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