Salta al contenuto principale
Passa alla visualizzazione normale.


The Concept of Exception: from Politics to Spatial Domain


During the last decade, the concept of the state of exception has branched out from the field of politics into other fields, including planning. Since planning is inseparable from politics and because planning laws are largely influenced by the nature of each political regime. The Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben was inspired by the German philosopher Carl Schmitt and consequently developed a theory of the state of exception. Schmitt pointed out that the context of exception is declared by a sovereign power and he tied this concept with dictatorship. Agamben, however, argues that the state of exception is not a special kind of law, but it is a zone of anomie, where all legal determinations are deactivated (Agamben, 2005: 50). According to Agamben, the state of siege (the state of exception in Agamben’s terminology) has its origins in France during the revolution when the constitution was suspended, and many other states also experienced it during the First World War. Recently, the paradigm of exception does not just occur when a hegemonic power becomes above the law; it also occurs when laws are made in order to suite the desire for control and subjection. From this perspective, the context of exception enhances the centrality of hegemonic power and it can be said that it is incompatible with the principles of justice. Hence, this context significantly raises questions of fundamental rights of citizenship, the right of the space, and spatial justice. Drawing on examples from many contexts around the world, starting from the most obvious cases where the paradigm of exception has been deployed for the purpose of subjection and control such as the case of occupied Palestine, this paper gradually highlights other contexts in which the paradigm of exception has been deployed. The occupying power “Israel” has deployed the model of exception to produce urban and regional confinements (prisons) in which Palestinians have experienced land confiscation, restriction of movement, and inaccessibility to private lands. This study shows that there are other examples of spaces of exception globally, but they have never been produced at the same level of oppression and torture as in the context of occupied Palestine. This study will consider the flow – and multiple declinations - of the ‘state of exception’ model in different contexts, such as the context of refugees and contexts of emergency that are related to different political regimes, Italy included.