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Imperatives without imperator

Schütz, Anton (2009) Imperatives without imperator. Law and Critique 20 (3), pp. 233-243. ISSN 0957-8536.


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Schmitt’s theologisation of sovereignty has been subjected, 50 years later, to a ‘quarter turn’ by Foucault’s move from issues of domination to issues of government. After a further 30 years, radicalising Foucault, Agamben’s archaeology of economy adds another ‘quarter turn’: the structure that emerges once the old European conjugality of facticity and validity, of praxis and being, emptied of all bonds, links, and loops, gives way to the bare opposition ‘bipolarity’. The new constellation provides the old legal-theoretical (kelsenian) problem of rules unsuspended from a ruler who would authorise them, with a new, unexpected, political content and with a change of epistemic paradigm. Abstract from publisher website at:

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Special issue on Giorgio Agamben: Law and Thought. This is an author-produced version of a paper published by Springer Verlag. 2009 © Copyright Springer Verlag. The original publication is available at:
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Agamben, Benjamin, bipolarity, Foucault, Kelsen, Luhmann, oikonomia, performance, power, precariousness, Schmitt
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Law
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2009 15:57
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2016 08:47

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