Catastrophe and Redemption: The Political Thought of Giorgio by Jessica Whyte

By Jessica Whyte

Offers a awesome new interpreting of Agamben’s political notion and its implications for political motion within the present.

Challenging the regularly occurring account of Agamben as a pessimistic philosopher, Catastrophe and Redemption proposes a studying of his political concept within which the redemptive component to his paintings isn't really a curious apart yet as a substitute is key to his undertaking. Jessica Whyte considers his serious account of up to date politics—his argument that Western politics has been “biopolitics” for the reason that its inception, his critique of human rights, his argument that the nation of exception is now the norm, and the paradigmatic importance he attributes to the focus camp—and indicates that it really is in the course of those catastrophes of the current that Agamben sees the opportunity of a kind of profane redemption. Whyte outlines the significance of potentiality in his try to formulate a brand new politics, examines his relation to Jewish and Christian strands of messianism, and interrogates the recent types of praxis that he situates inside of modern commodity tradition, taking Agamben’s proposal as a decision for the construction of latest political forms.

“One of the book’s strengths is to bare the fundamental bond among sovereign strength and political, social, and cultural identities … [a] interesting book.” — Comparative and Continental Philosophy

“…Catastrophe and Redemption bargains an excellent serious evaluation of Agamben’s work.” — Contemporary Political Theory

“…successfully break[s] during the crust of an interpretative computing device round Agamben that has grown lethargic by way of repetition … Whyte’s examining of Agamben is nuanced, and her cognizance to the dynamics of capitalism and the background of political fight supply a huge corrective to a few of his philosophical traits, with out jettisoning insights.” — Law and Critique

“…Whyte identifies key questions to be able to must be requested in an effort to remodel this global. Such questions relate to not easy inequality, hard capitalism’s colonialism of the long run, and developing new kinds of harmony. to handle those concerns, Whyte attracts us to her end that it isn't sufficient to accede to teleological formations of capitalism. We needs to start to boost how you can contest it. This narrow quantity may be noticeable as this kind of name to arms.” — Symposium

Jessica Whyte is Lecturer in Cultural and Social research on the collage of Western Sydney, Australia. She is the coeditor (with Alex Murray) of The Agamben Dictionary.

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Additional info for Catastrophe and Redemption: The Political Thought of Giorgio Agamben (SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy)

Sample text

To begin with the former question, if we return to the United States’ military action in Afghanistan, Agamben’s identification of the entwinement of the biopolitical power to foster life with the sovereign power to kill provides us with a conceptual apparatus that is well suited to theorizing the reconfiguration of the relation between life, politics, and death that leads to the grotesque scenario of war planes dropping cluster bombs and food packages. On the other hand, he provides little of the analytical attention to the specific practices and events that constituted this shift that played a crucial role in Foucault’s detailed genealogical account of the historical development of biopolitics.

96 This means politics ceases to be a specific activity—the pursuit of the good life—and comes to be conceived as existing for the sake of life itself, for the protection of natural life. Unlike Arendt, Agamben pays no attention to the role of the struggles of the poor in politicizing life itself, and thereby destabilizing the categories of classical political thought. Arendt makes clear the disastrous consequences she sees in the reversal of classical politics, through which the poor enter the political process.

44 Situating Agamben’s thought in relation to Foucault’s allows us to identify more clearly the specific features of the former’s account of biopolitics. The consequence of Agamben’s argument that politics has always been biopolitics is that sovereignty and biopolitics are co-extensive. 47 What is at stake in this distinction? And what are its implications for political action in the present? ”48 The difficulty of this task, he remarks, is evidenced by a lacuna in the work of two great thinkers: Foucault and Arendt.

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