Rowman and Littlefield International
Hardback 9781786600387
£80.00 €112.00 $120.00
Ebook 9781786600400
£24.99 €34.99 $38.99
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In this important new book, Daniel Loick argues that in order to become sensible to the violence imbedded in our political routines, philosophy must question the current forms of political community – the ways in which it organizes and executes its decisions, in which it creates and interprets its laws – much more radically than before. It must become a critical theory of sovereignty and in doing so eliminate coercion from the law.

The book opens with a historical reconstruction of the concept of sovereignty in Bodin, Hobbes, Rousseau, and Kant. Loick applies Adorno and Horkheimer’s notion of a ‘dialectic of Enlightenment’ to the political sphere, demonstrating that whenever humanity deemed itself progressing from chaos and despotism, it at the same time prolonged exactly the violent forms of interaction it wanted to rid itself from. He goes on to assemble critical theories of sovereignty, using Walter Benjamin’s distinction between ‘law-positing’ and ‘law-preserving’ violence as a terminological source, engaging with Marx, Arendt, Foucault, Agamben and Derrida, and adding several other dimensions of violence in order to draw a more complete picture. Finally, Loick proposes the idea of non-coercive law as a consequence of a critical theory of sovereignty.
Preface, Axel Honneth / Preface to the English Edition / Introduction / Part I: Traditional Theories of Sovereignty / 1. Orientation and Order: The Original Usurpation / 2. Binding and Blinding: Rhetorics of Obligation / 3. Dividing and Presiding: Autonomy as Heteronomy / 4. Internalizing and Internationalizing: Subordinant Sovereignty / 5. Ironies of the Politics / Part II: Critical Theories of Sovereignty / 6. The Critique of Law-Positing Violence / 7. The Critique of Law-Preserving Violence / 8. The Critique of Law-Withholding Violence / 9. The Critique of Law-Interpreting Violence / 10. The Critique of Law-Splitting Violence / 11. Law-Replacing Violence / Part III: Critical Theory Without Sovereignty / 12. Law Without Coercion / 13. Commandment Without State / 14. Participation and Dissidence: Consequences of a Critical Theory of/without Sovereignty / Bibliography / Index
Daniel Loick is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany. He is the author and editor of several books published in German.