States of Violence / States of Exception Workshop - Session # 3.

Friday June 7

In 1922, Carl Schmitt advanced his well-known definition that 'Sovereign is he who decides on the exception’ ('Souverän ist, wer über den Ausnahmezustand entscheidet’). Far from being a mere extraordinary constitutional situation, however, Ausnahmezustände expanded considerably during the twentieth century. The difference between exception and norm became indistinct, while the state’s decision to use physical force faced new legitimacy challenges from society. The last session of the seminar series will concentrate on the developments after 1945. Special attention will be given to how the relationship between sovereign power, state violence and society developed in different socio-political systems such as the West European welfare state, Soviet socialism in Eastern Europe or the North American late liberal state.