Empire's New Clothes: Reading Hardt and Negri

Empire's New Clothes: Reading Hardt and Negri

Jodi Dean, Paul Passavant

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 0415935555

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Since its publication last year, Empire has come to dominate the academic world, stimulating debate and discussion throughout the humanities, social sciences, and into the mainstream media. The New York Times made outrageous claims about its importance, pointing to the "scholarly commotion" it has caused, and suggesting a book like this comes along only "once every decade or so" (July 7, 2001). Translation rights to Empire have been sold in ten countries already and the question has been raised whether Michael Hardt, one of the two authors, is the next Jacques Derrida. A new theoretical idea has been hitched to the voguish concern over globalization, and Empire describes the new form of sovereignty that has emerged under conditions of globalization ("Empire" ) ; delivers an account of a new emancipatory subject (the "multitude" ) ; and advances a set of empirical claims about the terrain of the processes that have come to be understood as "globalization." It's also a manifesto of sorts for the revolution in an age of globalization. With pieces by Slavoj Zizek, Ernesto Laclau, and others, Empire's New Clothes addresses Empire in all its complexity, that is, as a work of legal and political theory that diagnoses our era and urges liberatory action. More precisely, it will set the outlines of the debate as it is emerging around the claims of Empire. Ruth Bachman, University of British Columbia Malcom Bull, Oxford (and the original London Review of Books reviewer) Peter Fitzpatrick, University of London Sundhya Pah

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—Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire This collection of critical responses to Empire was first discussed in conversations emerging from panels organized on Empire and on law and globalization at the Law and Society Association Annual Meetings held in Budapest, Hungary, in July of 2001, and at the Critical Legal Conference held at the University of Kent in Canterbury, Great Britain, in early September 2001 (where Antonio Negri took questions via video hookup from Italy). Hence the formation of

89–107. Passavant, No Escape, 103–105. For an extended discussion of this question, see Passavant, No Escape. Antonio Negri, Insurgencies, trans. Maurizia Bascagli (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999), 1, quoting Georges Burdeau, Traité de sciences politiques, vol. 4 (Paris: Librairie Générale de Droit et de Jurisprudence, 1983). Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, trans. George Bull (New York: Penguin Books, 1981), 133–134. Antonio Gramsci, The Modern Prince, trans. Louis Marks (New

going beyond nation but also as thriving in nation’s deliquescence. There is, THE IMMANENCE OF EMPIRE 45 however, an alternative to the opposition between the global rampant and the reduction of the global to the powers of nations. The contention between the global and the national is impelled by a false opposition between them. It takes place in terms of a straitened “territorial” idea of the nation. The modern nation is not just the particular nation of “blood and soil.” It is also nation as

sharp divide between its modern and postmodern forms, however, produces difficulties for Hardt’s and Negri’s analysis of Empire and of the place of coercion in our allegedly postcolonial and postimperial world.2 In particular, it leads to a misleading analysis of the nature and distribution of power, thus rendering effective political action less likely. As a corrective, we offer an alternative representation of the contemporary world, one that makes central the internationalization of the state.

Africa Works: Disorder as Political Instrument (Oxford: James Currey, 1999). 20. William Reno, “Sierra Leone: Weak States and the New Sovereignty Game,” in The African State at a Critical Juncture, eds. Villalón and Huxtable. 21. Kevin C.Dunn, “MadLib #32: The (blank) African State: Rethinking the Sovereign State in International Relations Theory,” in Africa’s Challenge to International Relations Theory, eds. Dunn and Shaw. 22. Crawford Young and Thomas Turner, The Rise and Decline of the Zairian

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