This book questions what sovereignty looks like when it is de-ontologised; when the nothingness at the heart of claims to sovereignty is unmasked and laid bare. Drawing on critical thinkers in political theology, such as Schmitt, Agamben, Nancy, Blanchot, Paulhan, The Politics of Nothing asks what happens to the political when considered in the frame of the productive potential of the nothing? The answers are framed in terms of the deep intellectual histories at our disposal for considering these fundamental questions, carving out trajectories inspired by, for example, Peter Lombard, Shakespeare and Spinoza. This book offers a series of sensitive and creative reflections that suggest the possibilities offered by thinking through sovereignty via the frame of nihilism.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Culture, Theory and Critique.
1. Introduction: The Negativity of Sovereignty, Now Clare Monagle and Dimitris Vardoulakis 2. A Sovereign Act of Negation: Schmitt’s Political Theology and its Ideal Medievalism Clare Monagle 3. Enmity and Culture: The Rhetoric of Political Theology and the Exception in Carl Schmitt Jürgen Fohrmann 4. The Sovereign Without Domain: Georges Bataille and the Ethics of Nothing Charles Barbour 5. The Ends of Stasis: Spinoza as a Reader of Agamben Dimitris Vardoulakis 6. The Late Althusser: Materialism of the Encounter or Philosophy of Nothing? Warren Montag 7. Naming the Nothing: Nancy and Blanchot on Community Ian James 8. Next to Nothing: Jean Paulhan’s Gamble Anna-Louise Milne