The permanent state of exception in the southern periphery of Europe

Authors

  • Ignasi Bernat Universidad de Girona

Keywords:

State of Exception, permanent crisis, European regime of power, Southern Europe, Estado de excepción, crisis permanente, régimen de poder europeo, sur de Europa

Abstract

The permanent crisis in the southern periphery of Europe has been deep socially, politically and economically. In order to contain it the sovereign power has shown all its majesty. The state of exception has been the mechanism deployed to introduce the political decision within the legal framework. Departing from Agamben’s understanding of this mechanism of power, the paper directs its attention to several dimensions in Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain. That is, the financial crisis, the corporate impunity and the migrants death have been handled to silence the potentia to disrupt the ongoing capitalist and colonial regime of power. Actually, the state of exception has secured the current status quo, but also has intensified the ongoing regime of power. This dispositive is always accompanied by a legitimising discourse which essentialises and otherises these countries. After observing how this mechanism has operated in Southern Europe, the paper turns on discussing how to abandon this regime of power.

La crisis permanente en la periferia sur de Europa ha sido profunda. El estado de excepción ha sido el mecanismo desplegado para introducir la decisión política en el marco jurídico. Partiendo de la interpretación de este mecanismo de poder por parte de Agamben, el artículo se fija en varias dimensiones en Portugal, Italia, Grecia y España. Es decir: la crisis financiera, la impunidad de las grandes empresas y la muerte de migrantes han sido gestionadas para acallar la potentia para perturbar el régimen de poder capitalista y colonial. En realidad, el estado de excepción ha reforzado el status quo, pero también ha intensificado el poder establecido. Este dispositivo siempre viene acompañado de un discurso legitimizador que esencializa y alteriza esos países. Tras observar cómo este mecanismo ha funcionado en el sur de Europa, se propone un debate sobre cómo abandonar ese régimen de poder.

Available from: https://doi.org/10.35295/osls.iisl/0000-0000-0000-0971

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How to Cite

Bernat, I. (2018) “The permanent state of exception in the southern periphery of Europe”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 8(6), pp. 925–949. Available at: https://opo.iisj.net/index.php/osls/article/view/1083 (Accessed: 2 July 2022).