Accepted Paper:

The new life of sovereignty  


Duško Petrović (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb)

Paper short abstract:

Leaning on Agamben's concept of the normalized state of exception, the paper will investigate the new life of sovereignty. The analytical focus will move from the theory of sovereignty to ethnographical material and back.

Paper long abstract:

Drawing on Carl Shmitt's concept of sovereignty as s point of indistinction between normal state (valid legal order) and the state of exception (as suspension of legal order), the paper will analyze Agamben's concept of the normalized state of exception on several levels. The paper will try to show, firstly that the normalization of the state of exception is the effect of an ongoing process of globalization and the so called 'postmodern condition'; secondly, How sovereignty (as point of indistinction between normal state and state of exception) is restored in everyday state policies and practices (security controls, border controls, wars indistinguishable from police activity, continuous exercise of violence etc.); thirdly, the dominant view of the Other and others as a threat to security and life on the example of ethnographically and anthropologically well documented cases of institutional policies and public attitudes toward immigrants, foreigners, asylum seekers. At the end, it will put into question the political and the philosophical concept of sovereignty.

Panel W076
Anxious sovereignties