Sovereignty, security and the exception

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


This chapter explores the relevance of concepts such as bare life or homo sacer, zone of indistinction, the state of exception and sovereign power that have been popularized by the work of Giorgio Agamben and the scholarly debate around them. It situates an exploration of these concepts by drawing from examples about their relevance and application to sovereignty in International Relations, the camp, US foreign policy, and the 2020-2021 novel coronavirus pandemic among other things. It reviews the need for a reassessment of these contributions of Agamben (and those applying his work) in light of his controversial statements about Western states’ handling of the pandemic. It concludes that uncovering the exception and its operations requires that we not dismiss out of hand arguments that have enabled us to grasp its construction and production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRoutledge International Handbook of Contemporary Social and Political Theory
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781000427165
ISBN (Print)9780367629090
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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