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Giorgio Agamben

(1942–) Italianphilosopher best known for his concept of homo sacer. Agamben studied at the University of Rome, completing a doctorate on the political thought of Simone Weil. In ...

sovereignty

sovereignty   Reference library

The New Oxford Companion to Law

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Law
Length:
1,250 words

...But the capacities of a totalizing sovereign power have not vanished. The most influential contemporary accounts of sovereignty have observed that sovereign authority is constituted through the abandonment of a life that would ordinarily be subject to legal protection. Giorgio Agamben in Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life ( 1998 ) has elaborated how the ‘camp’ is the paradigm of modern sovereignty. In the camp, the hollowness of the sacredness of life associated with the elevation of the ‘human’ above the ‘animal’ is exposed. Life is rendered...

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