9780810124417

Of Death and Dominion : The Existential Foundations of Governance

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780810124417

  • ISBN10:

    0810124416

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-11-21
  • Publisher: Northwestern Univ Pr
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Summary

Death is the opposite not of life, but of power. And as such, Mohammed Bamyeh argues in this original work, death has had a great and largely unexplored impact on the thinking of governance throughout history, right down to our day. InOf Death and DominionBamyeh pursues the idea that a deep concern with death is, in fact, the basis of the ideological foundations of all political systems. Concentrating on four types of political systemspolis, empire, theocracy, and modern mass society systemsBamyeh shows how each follows a specific strategy designed to pit power against the equalizing specter of death. Each of these strategiesconsolation, expansion, preparation, and repressionproduces a certain style of political behavior, as well as particular psychic traumas. In making his argument, Bamyeh revisits a wide range of empirical and theoretical discussions in existentialist philosophy, psychoanalysis, comparative historical sociology, literary studies, and anthropology. By demonstrating how schemes of power are by definition also schemes for defying deathdespite their claims to the contraryhis book encourages us to think of a new style of politics, one oriented toward life.

Author Biography

Mohammed A. Bamyeh is a professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of The Ends of Globalization and The Social Origins of Islam: Mind, Economy, Discourse and the editor of Palestine America.

Table of Contents

Foreword
Consolations
Imperium
Preparations
Forgetting
Last Words: Death and Difference
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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