Camps and KIHC : How They Differ.

How does the theorization of KIHC presented by Larsen and Piché in their Canadian Journal of Law and Society article differ from Agamben’s theorization of the camp?

Agamben’s theorization of the camp is that shows as a model that helps understand the extremely sad and degrading life form that some where exposed too. It is an example of sovereign ban over bare life excluding it from the protection of law. It focused mainly on a generalization of normalized states of exception. State of exception is the suspension of law and legal norms. A concentration camp and a detainee at Guantanamo Bay, are examples of people who have ‘bare life’, but they are not recognized as having ethically significant life. They are individuals that can be objected to torture and killed with out questioning.

In the KIHC case it was more of specific circumstances of how things were run and the and the institutionalized policies. KIHC and security certificates are examples of Canada’s national security measures that were taken post September 11th, these were states of exception. For the case of KIHC the concept of counter law brought forward by Richard Ericson, describes the use of laws against law. The institution was able to run within a state of exceptions that would detain these individuals indefinitely.

When looking at Agamben’s state of exception and it being normalized by using the example of camps to hold as a physical space that allows the power to displace the rule of law in order to solve certain problems and comparing it to Larsen and Piche’s state of exception that focuses on institutionalized, I believe that the help of Agamben’s work, and expanding on it with Larsen and Piche’s ideas we tend to explain more about the matter of state of exception. “Organizations are distorted (concentration camps or KIHC) by states of exception carried out under the politics of insecurity.” Larsen and Piché, 2009.


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One response to “Camps and KIHC : How They Differ.

  1. I would note that both texts – Agamben and our CJLS article – utilize the concept of the camp, and that both are ultimately concerned about the nature and implications of spaces and practices of normalized exceptionality.

    In terms of differences, our article on KIHC is informed by the ideas of Butler (on petty sovereigns) and Ericson (on counter-law, which concerns ‘laws against law’ employed according to a precautionary logic). Where it really differs is in its focus on the intersection of ‘exceptional states’ and existing or ‘normal’ bureaucracies and institutions.

    What about the normative argument made in the KIHC article?