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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 ...

homo sacer

homo sacer   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
119 words

...outside the law, whose life is deemed of no value and who may therefore be killed with impunity. Meaning ‘sacred man’ in Latin, the term originally referred to certain categories of person under Roman law. In recent years it has been elaborated by Italian political theorist Giorgio Agamben to explore the ways in which sovereign power relegates some persons to states of ‘bare life’, i.e. exposed to violence. Geographers interested in prisons, immigrant detention centres, and sites of extreme state violence have used and reflected on this concept ( see ...

sovereignty

sovereignty   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
862 words

...at Guantánamo Bay or, more generally, the detention of asylum-seekers in offshore locations, there is growing interest in the idea of sovereignty not as the source of law but as the power to suspend law. Following the ideas of German jurist and philosopher Carl Schmitt, Giorgio Agamben has explored the idea of the ‘state of exception’, often associated with national states of emergency. This can be extended to spaces of exception, sites where legal protections are withheld ( see homo sacer ). Further reading Agnew, J. (2005), ‘Sovereignty regimes:...

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