States of Exception: Law, History, Theory, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

States of Exception

Law, History, Theory, 1st Edition

Edited by Cosmin Cercel, Gian Giacomo Fusco, Simon Lavis


232 pages

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Hardback: 9780367077167
pub: 2020-07-16
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This book addresses the relevance of the state of exception for the analysis of law; whilst reflecting on the deeper symbolic and jurisprudential significance of the coalescence between law and force.

The concept of the state of exception has become a central topos in political and legal philosophy as well as in critical theory. The theoretical apparatus of the state of exception sharply captures the uneasy relationship between law, life and politics in the contemporary global setting, while also challenging the comforting narratives that uncritically connect democracy with the tradition of the rule of law. Drawing on critical legal theory, continental jurisprudence, political philosophy and history, this book explores the genealogy of the concept of the state of exception and reflects on its legal embodiment in past and present contexts – including Weimar and Nazi Germany, contemporary Europe and Turkey. In doing so, it explores the disruptive force of the exception for legal and political thought, as it recuperates its contemporary critical potential.

The book will be of interest to students and scholars in the field of jurisprudence, philosophy and critical legal theory.

Table of Contents

Foreword (Thanos Zartaloudis) Introduction Part 1 History 1. "Through a Glass, Darkly": Law, History and the Frontispiece of the Exception (Cosmin Sebastian Cercel) 2. The Exception of the Norm: Nazi Law as the "Paradigm of everyday life" (Simon Lavis) 3. Norm and Exception: From Political Theology to Political Economy (Dimitrios Kivotidis) Part 2 Theory 4. Beyond The Exception: Law, Revolution and the Coming Community (Tormod Otter Johansen) 5. Agamben with Marx: a Necessary but rather Unlikely Encounter (Alex Cistelecan) 6. Agamben and Marxism on the State and Civil War (Daniel McLoughlin) 7. Migration and Crisis. The Exceptionality of the Norm (Dana Domsodi) Part 3 Law 8. A State in Anomie: An Analysis of Modern Turkey’s States of Exception (Ceylan Begüm Yıldız) 9. Beyond "the Most Serious Suspension of Rights" of Genoa: Violence, Anomie and Force of Law (Sara Raimondi) 10. The Other Side of Exception: Sovereignty, Modernity and International Law (Przemyslaw Tacik) 11. On Exception, Fiction and The Performativity of Law (Gian-Giacomo Fusco) Conclusion by the editors

About the Editors

Dr Cosmin Cercel is Assistant Professor in Law at the University of Nottingham. He is the author of Towards a Jurisprudence of State Communism: Law and the Failure of Revolution (Routledge: 2017).

Dr Gian-Giacomo Fusco is Lecturer in Law at the University of Kent.

Dr Simon Lavis is Lecturer in Law at the Open University.

About the Series

Law and Politics

Continental Perspectives

A core legacy of the Continental juridico-political tradition is the methodological commitment to the idea that law and politics are inextricably tied to one another. On the one hand, law has to be studied in the light of the concrete political dynamics, social forces, and societal movements that make law what it is. On the other hand, the analysis of political processes should be coupled with the study of the legal techniques through which politics exerts its effects on social reality.
The series aspires to promote works that use the nexus 'law & politics' as a prism that allows understanding societal dynamics beyond the deep-seated borders separating purely legal from purely political methodologies. It welcomes theoretically informed and empirically grounded analyses that foster the development of theory in the study of juridico-political processes.

The qualifier 'Continental' signifies not so much a geographical or socio-historical feature as a methodological one. The approach that the series aims to promote, regardless of the nationality of prospective authors, materializes at the intersection between the vocabularies and methodologies of legal and political theories. In other words, the starting point of this approach is that the interplay between legal and political processes provides a precious lens to observe and comprehend contemporary societal phenomena.

More specifically, submissions exploring the following themes are welcomed:

  • The relationship between the legal and the political spheres from a theoretical, historical and/or empirical point of view.
  • The transformation of sovereignty.
  • The transformation of the state and the rise of non-state political and organizational structures that break the ties with modern statehood.
  • Exceptionalism and emergency at the domestic and/or the global level.
  • The downfall of conventional juridico-political binaries: public/private, state/civil society, domestic/international, religious/secular and others.
  • Current transformations of formal constitutions and the separation of powers.
  • Issues related to the increasing spread of legal pluralism and global legal pluralism.
  • Strategies and politics of legal elites and the new role of judicial bodies both nationally and internationally.
  • Analyses of key Continental authors who have brought to light the materiality of the law, such as Giorgio Agamben, Hannah Arendt, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Marcel Gauchet, Antonio Gramsci, Jurgen Habermas, Reinhart Koselleck, Antonio Negri, Carl Schmitt and others.
  • Analyses of key Continental "classics" whose voice is unheard or underrepresented in the Anglophone academic and publishing environment, such as Walter Benjamin, Leon Duguit, Georges Gurvitch, Maurice Hauriou, Hermann Heller, Georg Jellinek, Ernst Junger, Costantino Mortati, Georges Renard, Santi Romano, Rudolf Smend, Simone Weil and others.

This interdisciplinary series welcomes monographs and edited volumes that engage with the conceptual and empirical questions detailed above and discussions of how the contamination of jurisprudential and theoretical-political approaches helps illuminate current national and global processes.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Constitutional
LAW / Jurisprudence
LAW / Essays
LAW / Judicial Power
PHILOSOPHY / Political
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / Judicial Branch