The Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought, Goldsmiths University of London

Research Centre run jointly between the Departments of Sociology and English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths University, London

Giorgio Agamben’s Political Paradigm. Notes on Stasis.

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A Contribution by Alberto Toscano (based on CPCT’s “The Ends of Homo Sacer” event from November 2015) to Homo Sacer: A Blog Series at Stanford University Press. 


Read the full article here

Excerpt: From the vantage of the overall montage of the Homo Sacer series, the slim volume Stasis: Civil War as a Political Paradigm would appear to be at once peripheral and interstitial. Unlike any of the other volumes, it consists of two public lectures, rather than a newly crafted text. These lectures were delivered in October 2001 at Princeton, giving their reference to global terrorism a curiously diffracted and belated, though topical, echo. Stasis is situated between State of Exception (2.1) (a concept that is explicitly, if briefly, tied to civil war), and The Sacrament of Language (2.3) and a decimal point away from The Kingdom and the Glory (2.4), with which it entertains more tenuous links: its treatment of the thresholds between oikos and polis prepare possible interrogations on what becomes of these with the Patristic introduction of oikonomia, of divine management, while the tantalising foray into Hobbesian eschatology opens up a different avenue into a critique of the theocratic imagination, and resonates with a passing mention of Hobbes on the oath in Sacrament. Stasis was also published in Italian a few months after the final volume with which Agamben “abandons” the project, The Use of Bodies.

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