Agamben and Colonialism by Marcelo Svirsky, Simone Bignall

By Marcelo Svirsky, Simone Bignall

Svirsky and Bignall gather major figures to discover the wealthy philosophical linkages and the political issues shared by way of Agamben and postcolonial concept. Agamben's theories of the 'state of exception' and 'bare lifestyles' are located in serious relation to the lifestyles of those phenomena within the colonial/postcolonial international.

Features a world set of specialist participants who technique postcolonial feedback from an interdisciplinary perspectiveo offers with colonial and postcolonial concerns in Russia, Israel and Palestine, Africa the Americas, Asia and Australiao bargains new insights on colonial exclusion, racism and postcolonial democracyo A well timed intervention to debates in poststructuralist, postcolonial and postmodern reviews for college kids of politics, serious thought and social & political philosophy

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Similarly to the analysis of the logic of bespedel in terms of the suspension of the historical process in the aftermath of the demise of socialism, Benjamin's point of departure in his Origin of German Tragic Drama is the transformation in the perception of history during the Baroque period, whereby the eschatological dimension was blocked and the historical world was perceived as ‘nature deprived of grace5 (Benjamin 2003: 81). In this world of history-as-nature, transcend­ ence is emptied of any possible content but remains present as an ‘ultimate heaven5, a ‘vacuum5that is capable of one day ‘destroying the world with catastrophic violence5 (81).

Notes A previous version of this essay first appeared in Hebrew in Theory and Criticism, 29(Fall) 2006: 205-18 and is reproduced with permission of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. 1. Hardt and Negri (2004) suggest that the institutionalisation of the exception as a global paradigm is based on the juxtaposition of two traditions: the exception in German legal thought and the American ideology of exceptionalism. 2. Palestinians comprise 15 per cent of the Israeli population after the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the 1948 war and thereafter.

In the absence of any positive project in the post-Soviet condition of the resump­ tion of internal decolonisation, authority in postcommunist Russia manifests itself through a redoubling of its own power, as the power of those who hold power or, to use Andrei Fursov5s (1991) fortunate neologism, as cratocracy. Thus, rather than view the contemporary regime in terms of plenitude of power in its sover­ eign majesty, we should rather approach it as an effect of a radical kenosis of power, whereby it is split between its own unproductive glorification and its degradation into brute violence.

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