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Agamben and Radical Politics

Edited by Daniel McLoughlin

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12 essays on Giorgio Agamben’s thinking about economy and government, revolt and revolution

Giorgio Agamben’s analysis of sovereignty was profoundly influential for critical theory as it grappled with issues of security and state violence in the wake of 11 September 2001. But what does his work have to say in an age characterised by financial crisis and political revolts? The 12 essays in this volume provide new perspectives on economy and political action by analysing Agamben’s recent work on government, his account of a non-statist politics and his relationship to the revolutionary tradition. It includes a new essay by Agamben himself, entitled ‘Capitalism as Religion’.

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Introduction: Agamben and Radical Politics, Daniel Mcloughlin
1. Capitalism as Religion, Giorgio Agamben
2. Glory, Spectacle, and Inoperativity: Agamben’s Praxis of Theoria, Mathew Abbott
3. On Property and the Philosophy of Poverty, Simone Bignall
4. ‘Man Produces Universally’: Praxis and Production in Agamben and Marx, Jessica Whyte
5. Liturgical Labor: Agamben and the Post-Fordist Spectacle, Daniel McLoughlin
6. An alogical space of genetic reintrication: Notes on an Element of Giorgio Agamben’s Method, Justin Clemens
7. Zoē aiōniōs: Giorgio Agamben and the Critique of Katechontic Time, Nicholas Heron
8. Agamben, Badiou, and Affirmative Biopolitics, Sergei Prozorov
9. Form-of-life and Antagonism: Homo Sacer and Operaismo, Jason E. Smith
10. What is a Form-of-Life?: Giorgio Agamben and the Practice of Poverty, Steven DeCaroli
11. Law and Life beyond Incorporation: Agamben, Highest Poverty, and the Papal Legal Revolution, Miguel Vatter.

About the Author

Daniel McLoughlin is Senior Lecturer in the Law School at the University of New South Wales. He has published extensively on Agamben in journals including Angelaki, Theory & Event, Law and Critique and Law, Culture and the Humanities.


This is an ambitious and comprehensive collection of essays that cover a neglected aspect of the work of the philosopher Giorgio Agamben. In addition, it focuses on the work that followed Homo Sacer and in which ‘economy’ and resistance increasingly figure. The text is aimed at final year and graduate students as well as specialists in the field. I think it offers an excellent range of essays accessible to the serious student as well as the specialist.

- Michael Dillon, Lancaster University

Agamben has undoubtedly been one of the most influential thinkers of the last decade or so. What I find particularly important in this book is the fact that it clearly delivers the sense that the Agambenian project is not over but, on the contrary, that the Italian philosopher, albeit in continuity with his past work, has opened new lines of thought that may help us ‘thinking the present’. When reading the essays composing this volume, one is left with a clear feeling that the ‘Agamben effect’ and its related debates have moved on, well beyond the initial stages of the homo sacer project.

- Claudio Minca, Wageningen University, Contemporary Political Theory
Agamben and Radical Politics represents an important and well-executed effort in the field of political theory and deserves praise for its relevance and political timeliness regardless of the inherent untimeliness that generally characterizes Agamben’s thought. The collection is, moreover, skillfully organized on a thematic level and the majority of the contributors present their arguments in such a way as to make them accessible even to readers unfamiliar with the inner workings of Agamben’s philosophical corpus. In the face of growing contemporary challenges, Agamben and Radical Politics endeavors to set the stage for a possible reconfiguration of the conceptual foundation of our institutions and prevailing paradigms. This reorientation is essential for the urgent cultivation new modes and practices of resistance to the global hegemony and ceaseless violence of our current economic and political order.
- Jared C. Bly, Villanova University, Society + Space

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