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Latour and the Passage of Law$
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Kyle McGee

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748697908

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748697908.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 05 April 2020

Politics and Law as Latourian Modes of Existence

Politics and Law as Latourian Modes of Existence

Chapter:
(p.38) 2 Politics and Law as Latourian Modes of Existence
Source:
Latour and the Passage of Law
Author(s):

Graham Harman

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748697908.003.0003

This chapter presents Graham Harman’s assessment of a vital, highly disputed, frequently perplexing contrast, namely that of the trajectories of political and legal enunciation. With an air of clinical detachment, Harman patiently disentangles the mesh of legal obligations and places this strange, non-referential chain into proximity with the political Circle, drawing on the dichotomy of Power Politics and Truth Politics offered in his recent study of Latour’s political philosophy. According to Harman, politics must precede law because it is the charge of politics to collect groups, which may in turn develop a legal order. Similarly, law relies more or less directly on the existence of political authorities – without politics, in other words, law is mere empty, unenforceable, unreliable words. Concluding with an enticing set of questions about the implications of this arrangement for a Latourian international relations theory, Harman’s chapter skilfully demonstrates the promise and the peril of a comprehensive scheme of modes of existence.

Keywords:   Bruno Latour, Political theory, Sovereignty, International relations, Object-oriented philosophy, Modes of existence

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