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The Normality of the Exception in Democracy's Empire

Peter Fitzpatrick and Richard Joyce
Journal of Law and Society
Vol. 34, No. 1, Democracy's Empire: Sovereignty, Law, and Violence (Mar., 2007), pp. 65-76
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Cardiff University
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4129581
Page Count: 12
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The Normality of the Exception in Democracy's Empire
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Abstract

The motif is one of inversion. In its received mode, the exception - the exceptional decision suspending the normal legal order - generates both the sovereign and the law. Here, on the contrary, the exception is found to be of the 'normal' law and, thus endowed, law goes to constitute the sovereign. This normality of the exception is then matched with the sovereign claim of democracy's empire. That empire is thence shown to have an oxymoronic quality, democracy and its constituent law being conducive to empire yet ultimately opposed to it. The empire of the United States of America provides a 'case'.

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