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Outlaws and SpiesLegal Exclusion in Law and Literature$
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Conor McCarthy

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474455930

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474455930.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 03 August 2021

Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
(p.iii) Outlaws and Spies
Author(s):

Conor McCarthy

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474455930.003.0001

While exclusion from law is often assumed to be an historical phenomenon, the discussion here argues that it is an enduring and important tactic of state power. Such exclusion can occur in two directions – exclusion above the law (as where the state licenses itself or its agents to act with impunity) or exclusion below the law (as where the state excludes an individual or group from the law's protection). This book concerns itself with both, and in doing so, offers readings from two bodies of literature in English not normally read in tandem – the literature of outlawry, and the literature of espionage. This Introduction briefly surveys some influential previous work in this area – in particular Eric Hobsbawm’s notion of the ‘social bandit’ and Giorgio Agamben’s idea of the homo sacer and his related study of the ‘state of exception’ – and sets out the argument to follow.

Keywords:   Outlaws, Spies, Espionage, Homo sacer, State of exception, Eric Hobsbawm, Giorgio Agamben, Jacques Derrida

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