Traces of the Multitude [E]

Term: Spring 2010

Subject Code: GSOC

Course Number: 5063

Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri conceptualize "World Society" as one world-covering empire, which represents a new global form of sovereignty establishing “a decentered and de-territorialized apparatus of rules” by the fact that it “brings together economic power and political power” to implement “a properly capitalist order” (Hardt/Negri). But within this seemingly impenetrable totality the Multitude emerges, a counterpart to Empire which gains its emancipatory potency through changes in the globalized mode of production. Hardt and Negri make a case for interpreting the Foucauldian notion of "biopolitics" to show the Multitude as “the living alternative that grows within Empire” (Hardt/Negri). On the other hand, one could argue that with this emphasis on biopolitics (combined with Schmittian ideas about law) Hardt and Negri neglect the dialectics of law in world society, thus depriving the Multitude of emancipatory use of juridical struggles.
This seminar deals with the dialectics of law in world society by analyzing world law through the lenses of systems-theory and (post-/neo-) Marxist approaches, strengthening the concept of Multitude. Readings include: Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Michel Foucault, China Miéville, Susan Marks, Hauke Brunkhorst, Niklas Luhmann, Gunther Teubner, B.S. Chimni, Antony Anghie.



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