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Form of life: Agamben and the biopolitical dimension of sovereignty and law

Fusco, Gian Giacomo (2017) Form of life: Agamben and the biopolitical dimension of sovereignty and law. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:66829)

Language: English

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Giorgio Agamben's work is a constant presence in the current critical debate over sovereign power, law and politics. With the more than two decades long series Homo sacer, he has traversed the borders of academic disciplines, providing renewed sources of inquiry for the orientation before the contemporary widespread and violent biopolitical-economic administration of life. This research project investigates some of the central themes of the critical account of legal and political thought that Agamben has offered in his works. The eight chapters composing this thesis are conceived as specific theoretical paths through Agamben's oeuvre, which in their autonomy and mutual interaction aim at offering a, hopefully, meaningful contribution to the field of continental legal philosophy.

This work, thus, is structured in two parts. The first part has been organised around Agamben's engagement with the question of sovereign power. Rather than focusing on the problems of the state of exception or the camp - given that the critical literature on such topics is more than abundant - I proceed with the analysis of sovereignty, as a "normalising power", in its relation to life and the idea of government. The second part of the thesis, instead, has been devoted to the disentanglement of the

concept of the "form of life". A form of life is a life that has been put-in-form, actualised in a given (legal or social) institution, and trapped under the yoke of sovereign power. While the tone and the plane of analysis of the two parts could be sometimes divergent, they intersect on a central point: sovereignty as the power to establish the criteria of normality of the political community, to decide on the forms of life that are "inside or outside" the legal and political order. Sovereignty, in this regard, lays down, from time to time, the limits of the social and political life of the state, and in doing so, decide which forms of "life" are a part of it (and thus worthy of protection), and which are excluded.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Zartaloudis, Thanos
Thesis advisor: Parsley, Connal
Uncontrolled keywords: Agamben, Sovereignty, Law, Form of life, biopolitics
Subjects: K Law
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2018 10:10 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:54 UTC
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