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Community and The Third Person in Esposito and Agamben

Frost, Tom (2022) Community and The Third Person in Esposito and Agamben. Journal of Italian Philosophy, 5 . pp. 43-68. ISSN 2515-6039. (KAR id:102859)


This paper considers the thought of Giorgio Agamben and Roberto Esposito, leading contemporary thinkers of biopolitics, and contrast their writings on community. Part of this analysis considered the respective roles immunity has in each philosopher’s thought. In between the start of my writing and my finishing the final version of this essay, the COVID-19 pandemic struck. The pandemic has brought into sharp focus Esposito’s writings on immunity and Agamben’s views on biopolitics. Both Agamben and Esposito start from the point that the world today is in a state of crisis. Human rights abuses, wars, torture, global heating, totalitarian states, economic crises, political turmoil and more – all exist in the world today. Bird and Short state that “increasingly no single crisis can be seen to function independently of others”. But what this means is that today there is nothing that can be isolated, instituted, immunised, as something apart, something that might be considered proper only to itself. What is ‘proper’ is one’s own. The world appears as the sustained crisis of the proper. Agamben and Esposito seek to reconfigure community beyond the proper, and both tie the crisis of the proper to biopolitics.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Agamben; Esposito; immunity; democracy; biopolitics
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
J Political Science > JC Political theory
K Law
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
Funders: University of Leicester (
Depositing User: Tom Frost
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2023 16:14 UTC
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 09:41 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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