Law and Critique

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 107–127 | Cite as

Paradise Lost...: The Meaning of Modernity and the Antinomy of the Law



This essay argues for the centrality of the study of paradoxes of particularity and universality in the interface between law and politics in modernity. Particularly, in order to understand the process of constitution of a political collective and the role of supernumerary elements that re-enter a constituted legal-political system. After introducing the question of paradoxes or antinomies in the relation between law and politics in modernity, the essay engages with current understandings of exceptionalism and the possibility of a leftist or ‘real’ suspension of the law. In order to do so, this essay makes full use of certain theoretical tools developed in anthropological accounts of political and legal processes, and current French-oriented and Latin American political philosophy.


antinomies law and modernity metamorphoses paradoxes powerful bodies public law real suspension of the law re-entry sovereignty state of exception systems transitions 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Law BirkbeckUniversity of London London

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