Agamben, Postcoloniality, and Sovereignty in South Korea

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This paper examines modern Korean politics through the framework of Giorgio Agamben's theories of sovereign power, bare life, and the state of exception. Though his political analysis draws from the European history, we contend that the nature of his method attests to the possibility of analogical examples in non-Western places. Thus, we argue that a postcolonial encounter with Agamben may enrich our understanding of sovereignty and political geography. In the Korean context, such an analysis needs to consider that sovereign power has been shaped by the itineraries of colonialism and empire. Korea's political space is deeply marked by the legacy of Japanese colonialism, the imperial interventions by the U.S., and the division of the peninsula. Thus, Korea offers a valuable lens through which to read Agamben's critique of sovereignty. Our paper offers such a reading to argue that a state of exception functions as the underlying nomos for postcolonial Korea.
Publisher
BLACKWELL PUBLISHING
Issue Date
2014-06
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Keywords

HOMO-SACER; EXCEPTION

Citation

ANTIPODE, v.46, no.3, pp.650 - 668

ISSN
0066-4812
DOI
10.1111/anti.12070
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/207038
Appears in Collection
HSS-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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