Agamben's geographies of modernity

Claudio Minca*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

109 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper examines the geographical underpinnings of Giorgio Agamben's theory of sovereign power. Reflecting on Agamben's attempt in developing a unified theory of power, I highlight the eminently spatial nature of two of the key concepts that mark his argument: the structure of the ban and the camp as a paradigm of modern politics. In particular, I analyse how the spatialisation of biopolitics finds in the camp the ideal site for the definition of endless caesurae in the body of the nation, and for the definition of population as a merely spatial concept. I claim, therefore, that the biopolitical state machine activated by the recent war on terror is not only an autopoietic machine, but that it is also at the origin of new geographies of exception that are imposing a new nomos on global politics: a nomos within which decision is produced by a permanent state of exception, and where law exists only through its endless strategic (dis)application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-97
Number of pages20
JournalPolitical Geography
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Agamben
  • Ban
  • Camp
  • History of geography
  • Sovereign power
  • Space of exception

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