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Parution : 10/2020
Editeur : University Of Chicago Press
ISBN : 978-0-2267-1232-1
Site de l'éditeur

States of Exception in American History

Sous la direction de Gary Gerstle, Joel Isaac

Présentation de l'éditeur

States of Exception in American History brings to light the remarkable number of instances since the Founding in which the protections of the Constitution have been overridden, held in abeyance, or deliberately weakened for certain members of the polity. In the United States, derogations from therule of law seem to have been a feature of—not a bug in—the constitutional system.

The first comprehensive account of the politics of exceptions and emergencies in the history of the United States, this book weaves together historical studies of moments and spaces of exception with conceptual analyses of emergency, the state of exception, sovereignty, and dictatorship. The Civil War, the Great Depression, and the Cold War figure prominently in the essays; so do Francis Lieber, Frederick Douglass, John Dewey, Clinton Rossiter, and others who explored whether it was possible for the United States to survive states of emergency without losing its democratic way. States of Exception combines political theory and the history of political thought with histories of race and political institutions. It is both inspired by and illuminating of the American experience with constitutional rule in the age of terror and Trump.




Gary Gerstle and Joel Isaac


Part One: The Challenge of Carl Schmitt

1 What Is the State of Exception?

Nomi Claire Lazar

2 Negotiating the Rule of Law: Dilemmas of Security and Liberty Revisited

Ewa Atanassow and Ira Katznelson

3 Beyond the Exception

David Dyzenhaus


Part Two: The American Experience with Emergency Powers

4 The American Law of Overruling Necessity: The Exceptional Origins of State Police Power

William J. Novak

5 To Save the Country: Reason and Necessity in Constitutional Emergencies

John Fabian Witt

6 Powers of War in Times of Peace: Emergency Powers in the United States after the End of the Civil War

Gregory P. Downs

7 Was There an American Concept of Emergency Powers? John Dewey, Carl Schmitt, and the Democratic Politics of Exception

Stephen W. Sawyer

8 Charles Merriam and the Search for Democratic Power After Sovereignty

James T. Sparrow

9 Constitutional Dictatorship in Twentieth-Century American Political Thought

Joel Isaac


Part Three: Broadening the Exception

10 Frederick Douglass and Constitutional Emergency: An Homage to the Political Creativity of Abolitionist Activism

Mariah Zeisberg

11 Delegated Governance as a Structure of Exceptions

Elisabeth S. Clemens

12 Spaces of Exception in American History

Gary Gerstle and Desmond King



Gary Gerstle and Joel Isaac

344 pages.  $30.00

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