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An Investigation on the Concept ’Homo Sacer’in the Thought of Giorgio Agamben

Author: YaoYunFan
Tutor: WangMinAn
School: Beijing Foreign Studies University
Keywords: Homo Sacer Biopolitics Economy Sovereignty Government
CLC: B089
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2013
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In the dissertation, the author intends to map out the logic structure of the concept:Homo Sacer which was proposed by Giorgio Agamben, with a clarification of the historical evolution of the concept’s meaning in Agamben’s thought. The result eventually leads to an elucidation of the center points of Giorgio Agamben’s political thought.The whole dissertation is divided into five chapters, the first of which is an introduction and the last one is a conclusion. In the first chapter, the author both synthesizes the current studies on Giorgio Agamben and outlines the order of the arguments, then in the second chapter, the whole discussion is concentrated on the logic structure of the concept Homo Sacer with a final conclusion that the Homo Sacer is the alternative name of the sovereignty. The third Chapter’s focus is the inner determination of Homo Sacer as the relation of life and the political. The chapter pointed out that the innate content of the formal structure of Homo Sacer is the bare life, whose emergence began on Ancient Greek with a change in the era of Ancient Rome and the whole middle age in Western Europe.The fourth chapter is the chronicle development of the former one.The whole chapter aims at describing the Homo Sacer producing apparatus conditioned by the contradictory relations between the Sovereignty and the Government in the modern nation-state.The article finally points out the inner tension between theory of the popular sovereignty and the theory of liberal human right that represented in the concept Homo Sacer, which leads to an impasse of modern political philosophy in the context of the era of globalization. The author concluded that only imaginative utopia and biopolitical critic can overcome the impasse.

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