Cover image for Empire
Hardt, Michael.
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Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xvii, 478 pages ; 25 cm
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JC359 .H279 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Imperialism as we knew it may be no more, but empire is alive and well. It is, as the authors demonstrate in this work the new political order of globalisation. It is easy to recognise the contemporary economic, cultural, and legal transformations taking place across the globe but difficult to understand them. Hardt and Negri contend that they should be seen in line with our historical understanding of empire as a universal order that accepts no boundaries or limits. Their book shows how this emerging empire is fundamentally different from the imperialism of Europe dominance and capitalist expansion in previous eras. Rather, today's empire draws on elements of US constitutionalism, with its tradition of hybrid identities and expanding frontiers.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Hardt, an assistant professor of literature and a political scientist (and currently a prison inmate), has produced one of the most comprehensive theoretical efforts to understand globalization. In the author's view globalization can best be seen as a "new global form of sovereignty" in which "sovereignty has taken a new form, composed of a series of national and supranational organizations united under a single logic of rule," namely, "empire." Written from a neo-Marxist perspective, the book is divided into four parts: a descriptive analysis of the present features of globalization, the development of the nation-state, globalization as the latest stage in the historical transformation from imperialism to empire, and the projected fall of empire. Although much of the book recasts and reinterprets modern political and economic evolution to the present and beyond, the final section aims at a prescriptive program of action. Though replete with the discourse of postmodernism, the material is generally quite readable albeit absent much historical detail. Surprisingly for a book with such a broad swath, there is no bibliography, but the sources will be familiar to anyone working in postmodern literature. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates and above. ; Portland State University

Table of Contents

1 The Political Constitution of the Present
1.1 World Order
1.2 Biopolitical Production
1.3 Alternatives within Empire
2 Passages of Sovereignty
2.1 Two Europes, Two Modernities
2.2 Sovereignty of the Nation-State
2.3 The Dialectics of Colonial Sovereignty
2.4 Symptoms of Passage
2.5 Network Power: U.S. Sovereignty and the New Empire
2.6 Imperial Sovereignty Intermezzo: Counter-Empire
3 Passages of Production
3.1 The Limits of Imperialism
3.2 Disciplinary Governability
3.3 Resistance, Crisis, Transformation
3.4 Postmodernization, or The Informatization of Production
3.5 Mixed Constitution
3.6 Capitalist Sovereignty, or Administering the Global Society of Control
4 The Decline and Fall of Empire
4.1 Virtualities
4.2 Generation and Corruption
4.3 The Multitude against Empire