This article revisits Agamben's concept of 'state of exception'. It argues that the postmodern state of exception is exercised not through the suspension of law, as Agamben suggests and as was the case with modern sovereignty, but through the counterfeiting of legality. The counterfeiting of law, which corrupts its meaning, is part of the broader 'corruption of sign' in the postmodern political-cultural economy. The article first details an extended case of counterfeiting of legality in the practices of business raiding, commonly termed reiderstvo, in Russia. It then describes and analyzes the main features of what I call the 'corrupt state of exception' in Russia. The article concludes with a few remarks on the paradigmatic nature of the state of exception in Russia and its consequences for legal and political anthropology.
Agamben in the Light of Putin
The Israeli Television Series Fauda
Nurith Gertz and Raz Yosef
Agamben (1998: 17–18) discusses this phenomenon of the ‘state of exception’—that of the individual whom the law both contains and abandons at the same time. Agamben asserts that in a state of exception, which is considered a state of emergency, the lives
African immigrants in twentieth-century Spain and Indians in nineteenth-century Ecuador
The article simultaneously explores three lines of reflection and analysis woven around the comparative reverberations (in space and time) between citizenship and the administration of populations (states of exception) in the Republic of Ecuador during the nineteenth century and the Kingdom of Spain in the twenty century. The first thread tries to answer the question whether it is possible for concepts generated in a country of the Global South to be used usefully in analyzing a different Northern reality, inverting the usual direction in the flows of transfer and importation of “theory.“ The second theme of comparative reverberation explores a network of concepts concerning the citizenship of common sense and the administration of populations, that is the “back-patio“ aspect of citizenship, particularly its historical formation in the domination of populations in the Republic of Ecuador during the nineteenth century. It is centered on the process of identification in the daily exchanges between interpares citizens and extrapares non-citizens. The last section involves testing concepts forged in the author's studies of Ecuadorian history for their utility in analyzing the current situation of modern sub-Saharan immigrants in Spain (using concrete examples), and their reclusion to the private sphere in spaces of exception and abandonment. Here, the article concentrates on the difference between the public administration of populations and the private administration of citizens. The article uses documentary material relating to nineteenth-century Ecuador and twentieth-century Spain and Senegal.
Reflections on Violence in the 'War on Terror'
Saul Newman and Michael P. Levine
The authors argue that the 'war on terror' marks the ultimate convergence of war with politics, and the virtual collapse of any meaningful distinction between them. Not only does it signify the breakdown of international relations norms but also the militarization of internal life and political discourse. They explore the 'genealogy' of this situation firstly through the notion of the 'state of exception'—in which sovereign violence becomes indistinct from the law that is supposed to curtail it—and secondly through Foucault's idea that politics is essentially a form of warfare. They suggest that these two ways of approaching the question of violence can only be understood through a racist dimension, which forms the hidden underside of the 'war on terrorism'. In other words, our contemporary situation is characterized by the mobilization not only of fundamentalist and conservative ideologies, but, increasingly, racial antagonisms and prejudices directed towards the Muslim other.
Critical Notes on Agamben’s Political Messianism
the true purpose of the law is to dissolve itself in its positive form. The Antinomian (State of) Exception Although Agamben avoids the standard supersessionist gesture of playing matter off against spirit and the particular against the universal, I
Inquiring the Relationship between Exception and Democracy
’ Dictatorship of Schmitt and Rossiter Giorgio Agamben’s seminal work State of Exception identifies the archetype of modern exceptionalism in the figure of the iustitium in the Roman constitution. In the ancient republic, the iustitium provided the state
Nonrecording states between legibility and looking away
Barak Kalir and Willem van Schendel
, as undeserving, undesired, and unproductive. In this light, we should perhaps consider the possibility that the “state of exception” ( Agamben 2005 ) has by now become part and parcel of how central states manage ever more groups of people in their
How Liberians Responded to the Ebola Epidemic Containment Measures
-control measure ( McLean 2014 ); its use entails a period of total suspension of social, religious, economic and ordinary political activities. Philosopher Giorgio Agamben’s (2003) definition of a ‘state of exception’ seems to grasp at once all implications of
Optics of regulation and control
Ieva Jusionyte and Daniel M. Goldstein
is also “the basis for a new kind of power: the ability to create new realities” (2010: 454). This power takes form, under the state of exception, in invisible places such as “camps” and “black sites”—prisons in unknown locations, operating outside
Ken Stein, Yael Berda, Galia Golan, Pnina Peri, Yuval Benziman, Dalia Gavriely-Nuri, Muzna Awayed-Bishara and Aziza Khazzoom
, sparked by philosopher Giorgio Agamben’s (2005) work on the ‘state of exception’. Interest in both Carl Schmitt’s (1985 , 2003 ) and Hannah Arendt’s (1973) legal and political theories of emergency flowered to produce new insights that linked