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Time and World PoliticsThinking the Present$
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Kimberly Hutchings

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780719073021

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719073021.001.0001

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Apocalyptic times

Apocalyptic times

(p.130) 6 Apocalyptic times
Time and World Politics

kimberly Hutchings

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines Virilio's and Agamben's accounts of world politics. Virilio and Agamben, like Arendt and Benjamin, reject historicism and social science, taking them to be two, equally regrettable, sides of the coin of modern hubris. In Virilio's case, the re-thinking of chromos as globalised, infinitely accelerating time provides the key to the interpretation of contemporary world politics, which is a story of decline and potential apocalypse. For Agamben, the present is also identified with a potentially terrible end of history, as the ‘state of exception’ becomes the normal condition for the conduct of global politics. For both thinkers, redressing this parlous situation requires the re-assertion of political time, which Virilio understands in Arendtian terms as the spatial control of chromos, and Agamben in terms of Benjamin's messianic time.

Keywords:   reject historicism, world politics, Agamben, Virilio, chromos, messianic time

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