Sovereignty in Ruins

A Politics of Crisis

Book Pages: 360 Illustrations: 2 illustrations Published: April 2017

Law, Politics > Political Theory, Theory and Philosophy

Featuring essays by some of the most prominent names in contemporary political and cultural theory, Sovereignty in Ruins presents a form of critique grounded in the conviction that political thought is itself an agent of crisis. Aiming to develop a political vocabulary capable of critiquing and transforming contemporary political frameworks, the contributors advance a politics of crisis that collapses the false dichotomies between sovereignty and governmentality and between critique and crisis. Their essays address a wide range of topics, such as the role history plays in the development of a politics of crisis; Arendt's controversial judgment of Adolf Eichmann; Strauss's and Badiou's readings of Plato's Laws; the acceptance of the unacceptable; the human and nonhuman; and flesh as a biopolitical category representative of the ongoing crisis of modernity. Altering the terms through which political action may take place, the contributors think through new notions of the political that advance countermodels of biopolitics, radical democracy, and humanity.

Contributors. Judith Butler, George Edmondson, Roberto Esposito, Carlo Galli, Klaus Mladek, Alberto Moreiras, Andrew Norris, Eric L. Santner, Adam Sitze, Carsten Strathausen, Rei Terada, Cary Wolfe


"Recommended." — E. J. Eisenach, Choice

"The essays that George Edmondson and Klaus Mladek have collected in Sovereignty in Ruins linger both for the power of their insights into contemporary life and for the tactics, biopolitical and ethical, that dart below the surface of their critique. Framed by a terrific introduction, Sovereignty in Ruins pushes us to consider other possibilities in lieu of a sovereignty; other possible futures too. Absolutely recommended." — Timothy Campbell, coeditor of Biopolitics: A Reader

Sovereignty in Ruins breaks new paths in political philosophy by seriously reexamining the premises of the biopolitical and sovereignty in the context of late modernity. Presenting work by some of the most prominent thinkers out there, this book's power resides in its engagement with the political impasse of the present. An excellent collection, Sovereignty in Ruins will find a wide audience among contemporary political theorists and thinkers across the humanities." — Thomas Dumm, author of My Father's House: On Will Barnet's Painting


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

George Edmondson is Associate Professor of English at Dartmouth College and the author of The Neighboring Text: Chaucer, Boccaccio, Henryson.

Klaus Mladek is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and German Studies at Dartmouth College and the editor of Police Forces: A Cultural History of an Institution.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  vii
Introduction: Sovereignty Crises / George Edmondson and Klaus Mladek  1
Part I. Ruination and Revolution
1. Natural History: Toward a Politics of Crisis / George Edmondson and Klaus Mladek  21
Part II. Italian Affirmations
2. Left and Right: Why They Still Make Sense / Carlo Gailli  63
3. Politics in the Present / Roberto Esposito  100
4. Cujusdam nigri & scabiois Brasiliani: Rancière and Derrida / Alberto Moreiras  125
5. Pasolini's Acceptance / Rei Terada  144
Part III. The Endgames of Sovereignty
6. Reopening the Plato Question / Adam Sitze  173
7. The Royal Remains: The People's Two Bodies and the Endgames of Sovereignty / Eric L. Santner  201
8. Arendt: Thinking Cohabitation and the Dispersion of Sovereignty / Judith Butler  220
9. Beyond the State of Exception: Hegel on Freedom, Law, and Decision / Andrew Norris  239
10. Humans and (Other) Animals in a Biopolitical Frame / Cary Wolfe  273
11. Thing-Politics and Science / Carsten Strathausen  292
Bibliography  319
Contributors  341
Index  343
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-6317-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-6302-6
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