Office and Agamben's Genealogy of Economy and Government

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Abstract

This paper locates Giorgio Agamben’s book Opus Dei in his larger Homo Sacer project and particularly a series of genealogical and archaeological studies within it. It argues for a disenchanted and dispersed reading of Agamben’s approach to office as a resource for concerns that are germane to cultural and political sociology and that are irreducible to Heideggerian metaphysics. This reading foregrounds methodological questions of genealogy and archaeology (and hence Agamben’s relation to Foucault), religious liturgy and political practice, and the theory of the priesthood as a paradigm for office. More broadly, Agamben’s work on office is shown to bear upon questions of the constitution of sovereignty and government as forms of power, on different forms of rationalisation, and themes of secularisation and modernity found in classical sociology and intellectual history.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology
Volume4
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)200-222
Number of pages23
ISSN2325-4823
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Agamben
  • Office
  • Genealogy
  • Archaeology
  • Weber
  • Foucault

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