Theory. Utopia. Empathy. Ephemeral arts – EST. 1990 – ATHENS LONDON NEW YORK

NECROPOLITICS by Achille Mbembe

in Theory

How do contemporary forms of subjugation of life to the power of death (necropolitics) profoundly reconfigure the relation between resistance, sacrifice, and terror? This essay assumes that the ultimate expression of sovereignty resides, to a large degree, in the power and the capacity to dictate who may live and who must die. Hence, to kill or to allow to live constitute the limits of sovereignty, its fundamental attributes. To exercise sovereignty is to exercise control over mortality and to define life as the deployment and manifestation of power.

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