Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics) Paperback – April 1, 1998
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Original Language: Italian --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.
Top Customer Reviews
Reviving a forgotten subject of ancient Roman law, Agamben defines the homo sacer (sacred man) as a political unit that can be killed but not sacrificed. Anybody can terminate the life of the sacred man with impunity, and no worth can be conferred upon his being through a ritualistic sacrifice. Although the sacred man is not actually deceased, he inhabits an indeterminate ground between life and death because homicide laws do not apply to him. He lives a virtual death. His "being-toward-death" is not only ontologically implicit but juridically authorized.
The figure that completes this grim picture is the sovereign, who may at any time call for a "state of exception." That is, he may suspend the laws of the land and thus produce a collective of sacred men who occupy a threshold between nature and civilization.Read more ›
In this is book, Agamben soberly traces the origin of the single most deracinating event in human history: the Holocaust. Soberly, because Agamben sees the Holocaust not as an anomaly, but as an unavoidable consequence given the political origin of the West. But this book is not so much about the Holocaust per se, but about the various historical interventions concerning the notion of the Sovereign that wove the matrix of Western politics into what it became capable of in the 20th century.
The locus of Agamben's view of modernity is the (concentration) camp. Agamben stresses the fact that the camp is not only a place where the unspeakable takes place but more importantly and fundamentally where a human being is stripped "Naked", stripped of 'bios' and exposed as mere 'zoe', such that anything--including the unspeakable--CAN be done to him since nothing could be considered a criminal act. The camp, according to Agamben, is "the space that opens up when the state of exception starts to become the rule."
Agamben argues that the camp is the new biopolitical NOMOS of the planet by connecting the dots that Carl Schmitt first drew but left unconnected. Closer to the homefront, Agamben's meditation ultimately takes us to see the totalitarian implications behind those "gated communities" in the US today, and the impossibility of dying without the State's approval. If a good life is hinged on the hope of a good death, should the State define and decide who shall get "good death" (euthanasia)?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've been looking for this book for a while. What a great price!Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Avant-Garde Politician: Leaders for a New Epoch
This is an important book making striking points, though it is dominated by an exaggerated view of "biopolitics. Read more
It's unsurprising that Homo Sacer is Giorgio Agamben's best known work. As a study into the nature of sovereignty in the modern age - and more! - it's awfully good. Read morePublished 16 months ago by StreetlightReader
A very frightening book when you understand the concept. Reading about how the old monarchies and oppressive regimes actually had strict limits on their power, in that they had... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Bookworm64
This was a required text for a class I took a long time ago in my undergraduate work. At first I was a little apprehensive but as I read more and wrote more I began to really enjoy... Read morePublished 23 months ago by D. Pool
Someone said that this book was one of the greatest things one has read in the year. I took a look at the subject and decided to try it, because it seemed interesting! Read morePublished on June 4, 2013 by Adam V. N. Brandizzi
A brilliant, probing, though methodologically suspect work of political ontology that seeks to interrogate the origins and causes of biopolitics in the modern world. Read morePublished on November 8, 2012 by Steiner
Although this is one of the more important books on sovereignty & biopolitics to come out in the last 30 years, Agamben's writing is needlessly incomprehensible. Read morePublished on September 3, 2012 by alligator