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Political Spaces and Global War

2010
Author:

Carlo Galli
Adam Sitze, editor
Translated by Elisabeth Fay

Political Spaces and Global War

A disquieting genealogy of globalization by a major contemporary thinker

The first book by Carlo Galli to be translated into English, Political Spaces and Global War offers a provocative genealogy of the global age. By connecting the foundations of classical and modern political thought to the concrete arrangements of geographical space that inform those concepts, Galli reveals globalization to be, qualitatively and quantitatively, an extreme torsion of modern political space.

Carlo Galli’s Political Spaces and Global War offers an extremely valuable analysis of globalization: its opportunities, its risks, and its antinomies. Galli adopts a historical and conceptual approach to explore the complex relationship between globalization and the political categories of modernity, and arrives at a deeply troubling conclusion about the fate of Western civilization.

Roberto Esposito, author of Bios

Political theorists have long debated whether globalization marks a novel form of political and economic order or is simply a reconfiguration of older capitalist and imperialist imperatives. Carlo Galli contends that it is neither; rather, globalization is the development, in a new and destructive direction, of the unstable and precarious equilibrium that constituted modern political space from its very inception.

The first book by Galli, the influential Italian historian of political thought, to be translated into English, Political Spaces and Global War offers a provocative genealogy of the global age. By connecting the foundations of classical and modern political thought to the concrete arrangements of geographical space that inform those concepts, Galli reveals globalization to be, qualitatively and quantitatively, an extreme torsion of modern political space. Central to Galli’s understanding of the fundamental instability of modern political space is that warfare, usually seen as a breakdown in the prevailing order, can no longer be distinguished from politics—globalization is, in effect, a world of war.

Tracing the concept of political space from Greek and Roman philosophy to the post-9/11 period, Galli shows that the modern nation-state, in theory and practice, contains within it the conditions for both its own implosion (into totalitarianism) and explosion (as globalization). To move beyond this crisis, he argues, the logic of modern political space and the national boundaries that define it must be boldly reimagined.

Political Spaces and Global War

Carlo Galli is professor in the Department of Historical Disciplines at the University of Bologna and president of the Gramsci Institute, Emilia-Romagna. He is author of numerous books, most notably Genealogia della politica: Carl Schmitt e la crisi del pensiero politico modemo, reissued in 2010.

Adam Sitze is assistant professor of law, jurisprudence, and social thought at Amherst College.

Elisabeth Fay is completing a PhD in Italian studies at Cornell University. She is the translator of Carlo Galli’s “Carl Schmitt and the Global Age.”

Political Spaces and Global War

Carlo Galli’s Political Spaces and Global War offers an extremely valuable analysis of globalization: its opportunities, its risks, and its antinomies. Galli adopts a historical and conceptual approach to explore the complex relationship between globalization and the political categories of modernity, and arrives at a deeply troubling conclusion about the fate of Western civilization.

Roberto Esposito, author of Bios

Once in a while, a thinker comes along and poses the familiar questions of political theory in a startling new way. Carlo Galli does just that. He relentlessly tracks the political reproduction of space in politics and political theory to show how the modern quest for freedom, equality, democracy, sovereignty, universality and more all turn on a politics of space now effaced by the global war, which despatializes and deinstitutionalizes politics, losing the difference between sky, land, and sea and bringing traditional theaters together “in a war without strategy or frontier.” With this English translation, new readers will discover Galli’s unique voice, illuminated by Adam Sitze, whose useful introduction sets Galli’s work in the context of post 1968 Italian politics and theory.

Bonnie Honig, author of Emergency Politics: Paradox, Law, Democracy

This book offers an intriguing analysis of political spaces that will hopefully be continued in future translations of Galli’s works.

Cambridge Review of International Affairs

A provocative, stimulating text for scholars dwelling on the relationship between the spatial and the political.

Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

Political Spaces and Global War

Contents

Preface to the English Edition
Note on the Text
Editor’s Introduction: A Geneology of the Global Age

Introduction
1. Premodern Political Spaces and Their Crises
2. Some Responses from Political Thought
3. Political Geometries
4. Modern Universals
5. Dialectics and Equilibriums
6. The Twentieth Century: Crisis and Restoration
7. Globalization

Appendix: Global War
Notes
Index