You are invited to a workshop presentation of Prof. Dimitris Vardoulakis’s new book:
Stasis Before the State: Nine Theses on Agonistic Democracy
(Fordham University Press, 2017)
This book critiques the relation between sovereignty and democracy. Across nine theses, Vardoulakis argues that sovereignty asserts its power by establishing exclusions: the sovereign excluding other citizens from power and excludes refugees and immigrants from citizenship. Within this structure, to resist sovereignty is to reproduce the logic of exclusion characteristic of sovereignty.
In contrast to this “ruse of sovereignty,” Vardoulakis proposes an alternative model for political change. He argues that democracy can be understood as the structure of power that does not rely on exclusions and whose relation to sovereignty is marked not by exclusion but of incessant agonism.
The term stasis, which refers both to the state and to revolution against it, offers a tension that helps to show how the democratic imperative is presupposed by the logic of sovereignty, and how agonism is more primary than exclusion. In elaborating this ancient but only recently recovered concept of stasis, Vardoulakis illustrates the radical potential of democracy to move beyond the logic of exclusion and the ruse of sovereignty.
The Talk will take place on:
Thursday, October 26, 2017, 4-6 p.m.
4357 Bunche Hall
Dimitris Vardoulakis is Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Western Sydney University in Australia. He is the author of The Doppelgänger: Literature’s Philosophy (Fordham UP, 2010), Sovereignty and its Other: Toward the Dejustification of Violence (Fordham UP, 2013), Freedom from the Free Will: On Kafka’s Laughter (SUNY Press, 2016), and Stasis Before the State: Nine Theses on Agonistic Democracy (Fordham UP, 2017). He has also edited or co-edited numerous books, including Spinoza Now (U of Minnesota Press, 2011) and Sparks Will Fly: Benjamin and Heidegger (SUNY Press, 2015). He is the director of “Thinking Out Loud: The Sydney Lectures in Philosophy and Society.”
The UCLA Program in Experimental Critical Theory
The UCLA Political Theory Workshop