Transcendentalising the state

Spring 2016

How can one radically resist the state, when material and ideological circumstances foreclose a non-statist horizon? To tackle this question, the paper will rely on points of view of communities that know no stateless world, but still reject contemporary state governmentality as such, rather than just this or that government. The paper opens by fleshing out the claim that there is no ‘world’ outside the state. Then it looks into Zapatista resistance, among others, to see how resistance to the state works where there is no independent world from which the state is to be resisted. Next the work of Pierre Clastres and liberation theology is used to set up a model that I call ‘transcendentalisation of the state’ - a form of governmentality that retains the state as constitutive framework, but undermines its power to enforce its authority. The last two sections flesh out this model with case studies from Israel/Palestine and the Euromed civil forum.

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