In contrast to this “ruse of sovereignty,” Vardoulakis proposes an alternative model for political change. He argues that democracy can be understood as the structure of power that does not rely on exclusions and whose relation to sovereignty is marked not by exclusion but of incessant agonism.
The term stasis, which refers both to the state and to revolution against it, offers a tension that helps to show how the democratic imperative is presupposed by the logic of sovereignty, and how agonism is more primary than exclusion. In elaborating this ancient but only recently recovered concept of stasis, Vardoulakis illustrates the radical potential of democracy to move beyond the logic of exclusion and the ruse of sovereignty.
About the Author
Dimitris Vardoulakis is Associate Professor and deputy chair of philosophy at Western Sydney University.
Table of Contents
Preamble, or On Agonistic Monism
Constituent power forges the distinction between democracy and sovereignty
Sovereign violence is always justified violence
The different ways in which violence is justified delineate different forms of sovereignty
Sovereignty and the Refugee
Judgment is constitutive of democracy
Judgement establishes the agonistic relation between democracy and sovereignty by dejusti-fying violence
Democratic judgment shows the imbrication of the ontological, the political and the ethical
The Refugee and Resistance to Sovereign Power
Stasis indicates that judgment is the condition of the possibility of the law, or that democracy is the form of the constitution
Stasis, or agonistic monism, names the forms of the relation between democracy and sover-eignty
Stasis underlies all political praxisVardoulak