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The Age of Precarity

Endless Crisis as an Art of Government

Dario Gentili



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Verso Books
02 November 2021
Crisis dominates the present historical moment. The economy is in crisis, politics in both its past and present forms is in crisis and our own individual lives are in crisis, made vulnerable by the fluctuations of the labor market and by the undoing of social and political ties we inherited from modernity. Yet, traditional views of crises as just temporary setbacks do not seem to hold any longer; this crisis seems permanent, with no way out and no alternatives on the horizon.

Reconstructing a political genealogy of the term from the Greek world to today's neoliberalism, this book demonstrates that crisis, understood as a choice between revolution and conservation, is a peculiarity of the modern era that does not apply to the present day. However, since its origin, the trope of crisis has proven to be one of the most effective instruments of social discipline and administration. The analytical trajectory followed by this book - which spans from Plato to Hayek, from the juridical and medical science of antiquity to the current technocracy, passing through the weapons of criticism of Marx and Gramsci - finally identifies, following Benjamin and Foucault, precariousness as the form of life that characterizes crisis understood as an art of government. But we still need to answer the question: How can we recreate the possibility of political alternatives?
Imprint:   Verso Books
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 210mm,  Width: 140mm,  Spine: 10mm
Weight:   164g
ISBN:   9781788733809
ISBN 10:   1788733800
Pages:   160
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  Professional and scholarly ,  General/trade ,  ELT Advanced ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Dario Gentili is Associate Professor of Moral Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy, Communication and Performing Arts at Roma Tre University, Italy. His books include Il tempo della storia, Topografie politiche and Italian Theory.

Reviews for The Age of Precarity: Endless Crisis as an Art of Government

Dario Gentili's book on crisis is one of the first genealogies of a concept that nowadays is crucial. Through the rigorous analysis of the term, he captures an uncharted aspect of our contemporary condition. - Roberto Esposito

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