Until the end of the world: Girard, Schmitt and the origins of violence

Cerella, Antonio (2015) Until the end of the world: Girard, Schmitt and the origins of violence. Journal of International Political Theory, 11 (1). pp. 42-60. ISSN 1755-0882

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1755088214555457


Where do the origins of violence lie? And in what sense can our global age be defined as apocalyptic? In this article, I aim to compare Schmitt’s and Girard’s theoretical proposals about the origins, containment and diffusion of violence in order to explore the end of the Nomos and of its sacrality. My argument is that the ‘mimetical’ and the ‘political’ offer two complementary and radical visions of the origins of conflict and its containment. This exploration is not an end in itself, but serves to trace an alternative genealogy of world politics, from its tragic beginnings up to the dissolution of the political form in the so-called age of disenchantment. How to reconceptualize the chaotic multitude and undifferentiation triggered by the dynamics of globalization? What political forms will the communities take in the era of virtual liquidity? Analysing the work of Girard and Schmitt might shed some light on these epochal questions.

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