Agamben and Politics A Critical Introduction

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-05-01
  • Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
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Tracing how the logic of inoperativity works in the domains of language, law, history and humanity, Agamben and Politics systematically introduces the fundamental concepts of Agamben's political thought and a critically interprets his insights in the wider context of contemporary philosophy.

Agamben's commentators and critics tend to focus on his powerful critique of the Western political tradition in the Homo Sacer series. But this narrow focus serves to obscure the overall structure of Agamben's political thought, which is neither negative nor critical but affirmative. Sergei Prozorov brings out the affirmative mood of Agamben's political thought, focusing on the concept of inoperativity, which has been central to Agamben's work from his earliest writings.

Author Biography

Sergei Prozorov is University Lecturer in World Politics and Academy of Finland Research Fellow at the Department of Political and Economic Studies, University of Helsinki.

He is the author of six monographs, the most recent being Ontology and World Politics and Theory of the Political Subject, and numerous journal articles on political philosophy and international relations.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. All's Well That Ends Well: Agamben's Comic Politics
What is a Mood?
Taking Leave of Tragedy
Kafka and the Apparatuses of Tragedy
The Limbo

Chapter 2. The Sabbatical Animal: The Politics of Inoperativity
The Worklessness of Man
Inoperative Potentiality
Play and Profanation
The Empty Throne

Chapter 3. Speaking the Unspeakable: Inoperative Language
The Thing Itself
The Voice
Whatever Being
Generic Universality
The Thick of It

Chapter 4. How to Play with the Law: Inoperative Statehood
Biopolitics: Old or New?
The Sovereign Ban
State of Nature
Abandoned Life
Towards a Real State of Exception

Chapter 5. The Time of the End: Inoperative History
The End of History Revisited
The Workless Slave
The Snob and the Messiah
Destruction and Subtraction
As Not
Removing the Katechon

Chapter 6. Outside of Being: Inoperative Humanity
Problematizing the Human
The Anthropological Machine
The Saved Night
Being with Animals

Conclusion: An Optimist Against All Odds

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