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Nomarchy: on the rule of law and authority in Giorgio Agamben and Aristotle

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This article suggests that the current rise of the rule of law as a mobilising political principle may be understood as a response to contemporary anxiety about authority. It also argues that the recent increase in states of emergency is complemented by an expansive legalism. First, the paper reviews Giorgio Agamben's description of legal expansion through states of emergency (or 'exception') dictated by a language of fear. Second, in a philological inquiry, it accompanies the 'founding father' of the rule of law, Aristotle, in his discussion of law's sovereignty. The core question posed by Aristotle — regarding the inquiry into the ideal relationship between law and its administration — remains unresolved in his Politics. Finally, the analysis is grounded in judicial responses to states of emergency. In recent case law, the courts both facilitate the production of emergency regimes and provide a locus for contestation of their parameters.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/25600/

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