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An Archaeology of the Political : Regimes of Power from the Seventeenth Century to the Present

By: Palti, Elias

Part of the Columbia Studies in Political Thought / Political History series
0231179936 / 9780231179935
Paperback / softback
Published 05/05/2020
United States
152 x 229 mm 264 pages, 6 b&w photographs and 4 figures
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In the past few decades, much political-philosophical reflection has been dedicated to the realm of "the political." Many of the key figures in contemporary political theory-Jacques Ranciere, Alain Badiou, Reinhart Koselleck, Giorgio Agamben, Ernesto Laclau, and Slavoj i ek, among others-have dedicated themselves to explaining power relations, but in many cases they take the concept of the political for granted, as if it were a given, an eternal essence. In An Archaeology of the Political, Elias Jose Palti argues that the dimension of reality known as the political is not a natural, transhistorical entity.

Instead, he claims that the horizon of the political arose in the context of a series of changes that affirmed the power of absolute monarchies in seventeenth-century Europe and was successively reconfigured from this period up to the present.

Palti traces this series of redefinitions accompanying alterations in regimes of power, thus describing a genealogy of the concept of the political.

Perhaps most important, An Archaeology of the Political brings to theoretical discussions a sound historical perspective, illuminating the complex influences of both theology and secularization on our understanding of the political in the contemporary world.


HBLL Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900, HPCF Western philosophy, from c 1900 -, HPS Social & political philosophy, JPA Political science & theory

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