Sovereign-less subject and the possibility of resistance

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This article explores exclusionary practices of contemporary politics and alternative forms of resistance. It starts off explaining how Giorgio Agamben's theory can be understood in the context of resistance. In so doing, it turns to the arguments put forward by Edkins and Pin-Fat. In their article 'Through the Wire', they identify two forms of resistance. Drawing on Agamben's thought: refusal and the assumption of bare life. This article argues that these two forms are not sufficient for thinking resistance. This is so because of a gap in Agamben's thought and the way Edkins and Pin-Fat read him. In order to explore resistance in a more fruitful way, the article critiques Edkins and Pin-Fat's conclusions on the understanding bare life as a form of resistance; it amends Agamben's account by explaining the move from bare life to whatever being, and ultimately, the article finds whatever being as a fruitful way of understanding resistance on the example of Tiananmen. At the end I conclude that the Tiananmen protest successfully challenged the sovereign power from the position of in-between. © The Author(s), 2009.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-106
Number of pages23
JournalMillennium: Journal of International Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009


  • Resistance
  • Sovereign power
  • Tiananmen


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