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The Lama QuestionViolence, Sovereignty, and Exception in Early Socialist Mongolia$
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Christopher Kaplonski

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838560

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838560.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use (for details see www.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 16 October 2018

Technologies of Exception, Governmentality, and the Contingent State

Technologies of Exception, Governmentality, and the Contingent State

(p.26) Chapter 1 Technologies of Exception, Governmentality, and the Contingent State
The Lama Question

Christopher Kaplonski

University of Hawai'i Press

The main argument of the book is that in Mongolia, physical violence and killing was taken up as a measure of last resort, not a show of strength. Two key domains constitute the direct theoretical basis for this book. The first is Agamben’s work on the state of exception and the literature that it has spawned. The second is work in anthropology that rethinks sovereignty and statehood, which sees sovereignty and the state as much more dynamic, contested, and contingent than has previously been the case. This chapter uses this recognition of contingency and vulnerability to expand Agamben beyond a homogenous, unitary understanding of the state of exception and look at multiple ‘technologies of exception’, as well as the ways in which states simultaneously draw on, while appearing to reject, the concept of exception itself. It also explores the boundaries between sovereignty and governmentality and their relation to the exception.

Keywords:   political violence, state of exception, Mongolia, political anthropology, Buddhism, socialism, bare life, governmentality

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