This book addresses the relevance of the state of exception for the analysis of law, while reflecting on the deeper symbolic and jurisprudential significance of the coalescence between law and force.

The concept of the state of exception has become a central topos in political and legal philosophy as well as in critical theory. The theoretical apparatus of the state of exception sharply captures the uneasy relationship between law, life and politics in the contemporary global setting, while also challenging the comforting narratives that uncritically connect democracy with the tradition of the rule of law. Drawing on critical legal theory, continental jurisprudence, political philosophy and history, this book explores the genealogy of the concept of the state of exception and reflects on its legal embodiment in past and present contexts – including Weimar and Nazi Germany, contemporary Europe and Turkey. In doing so, it explores the disruptive force of the exception for legal and political thought, as it recuperates its contemporary critical potential.

The book will be of interest to students and scholars in the field of jurisprudence, philosophy and critical legal theory.

chapter |12 pages


Untimely considerations on the state of exception
ByGian Giacomo Fusco, Cosmin Cercel, Simon Lavis

part Part 1|104 pages

Law, theory and the logic of the exception

chapter 1|19 pages

Exception, fiction, performativity

ByGian Giacomo Fusco

chapter 2|20 pages

‘Through a glass, darkly’

Law, history and the frontispiece of the exception
ByCosmin Cercel

chapter 3|19 pages

The other side of the exception

Sovereignty, modernity and international law
ByPrzemysław Tacik

chapter 4|19 pages

Minor law

Notes towards a revolutionary jurisprudence
ByTormod Otter Johansen

chapter 5|25 pages

The exception of the norm in the Third Reich

(Re)reading the Nazi constitutional state of exception
BySimon Lavis

part Part 2|86 pages

Histories of exception

chapter 6|21 pages

‘Norm’ and ‘exception’

From the Weimar Republic to the Nazi state form
ByDimitrios Kivotidis

chapter 7|27 pages

‘Our Fatherland has found itself on the verge of an abyss’

Poland’s 1981 martial law, or the unexpected appearance of the state of exception under actually existing socialism 1
ByRafał Mańko

chapter 8|17 pages

A state in anomie

An analysis of modern Turkey’s states of exception
ByCeylan Begüm Yıldız

chapter 9|19 pages

Beyond ‘the most serious suspension of rights’ of Genoa

Violence, anomie and force (of law)
BySara Raimondi

chapter |9 pages

Afterword: Emergencies, exceptions, legalities

ByDavid Fraser