Regimes of rule

Who is authorized to exert what authority and who has dominion over what domain?

Since my current research project focuses on the tragedy of revolution in modern drama, I am especially interested in questions of rule, such as sovereignty, domination, authority, and power.  Before analyzing revolutionary projects, I want to know against whom and what people (claim to) rebel.  Recently I have benefited from four new splendid books which approach matters of rule from the perspectives of legal theory, intellectual history, political philosophy, and sociology.

The Birth of Nomos(2019) by Thanos Zartaloudis offers a genealogy of this notion by studying a wealth of ancient sources (and their modern commentators, such as Schmitt, Nancy, and Agamben) pertaining to Greek economy, poetry, tragedy, music, philosophy, law and other practices as well as notions of cosmonomy, nomodicy, and autonomy.

The Scaffolding of Sovereignty(2017), co-edited by Benite, Geroulanos, and Jerr, offers an interdisciplinary and global conceptual approach to this notion (which may refer to legal order, the people, or other forces), tracing it from Greek to twentieth-century tragedy, and examining intellectual and aesthetic scaffoldings supporting and enforcing it.

Anarchism(2018), co-edited by Franks, Jun, and Williams, also offers an interdisciplinary and global conceptual approach to this ideology and practice, highlighting its growing importance for the social and human sciences and the arts by mapping key notions of rule as well as assemblages of intersectional organization and resistance.

The Mask and the Flag(2017) by Paolo Gerbaudo offers a thick empirical analysis of activism in the resistance “movements of the squares” that emerged in the 2010s out of anti-austerity global protests, and have been rehearsing practices of participatory citizenism using masks of anarchist horizontalism and flags of left populism.

Valuable books like these collect archival, oral, literary, artistic and other primary sources and cases that document diverse regimes of rule and situate rebellious emergences that have been questioning them.

January 20, 2019

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