Law and violence
in Sovereignty and superheroes
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This chapter explores the central claim regarding the sovereign’s monopoly on violence. This monopoly is supposed to produce peace and hence sovereignty is understood to be pacific and yet the sovereign retains an intimate proximity to violence throughout a time of peace, most notable in the capacity to pronounce a death sentence on a criminal. The chapter explores the connection through the work of Robert Cover, Giorgio Agamben and Jacques Derrida, and is primarily focussed on the character of Batman. It examines the law’s violence as well as the proximity of the sovereign to the beast in order to destabilise the division between these supposedly antithetical principles.

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