Giorgio Agamben has used the notion of the state of exception to describe the United States’ detention camps in Cuba. Agamben argues that the use of the state of exception in the U.S. can be traced back to President Lincoln's suspension of the right of habeas corpus during the Civil War. This paper suggests that this argument obscures more relevant legal and political precedents that can be found in U.S. territorial legal history. Moreover, while Agamben's argument obscures conceptual distinctions between a state of emergency and a state of exception, his argument also provides resources that can expose the limits of liberal interpretations of the relationship between the State, the citizen, and the law.
Venator Santiago, C.R. (2006), "From the insular cases to camp x-ray: Agamben's state of exception and United States territorial law", Sarat, A. (Ed.) Studies in Law, Politics and Society (Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Vol. 39), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 15-55. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1059-4337(06)39002-3Download as .RIS
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