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Terms of the PoliticalCommunity, Immunity, Biopolitics$
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Roberto Esposito

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823242641

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823242641.001.0001

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Freedom and Immunity

Freedom and Immunity

(p.47) Freedom and Immunity
Terms of the Political
Roberto Esposito
Fordham University Press

Chapter 4 unpacks one of the great words of the political lexicon–namely, freedom. Reading freedom through the lens of an etymological analysis of communitas and immunitas, the chapter argues that the more freedom is discussed in political discourse and in the media, the more its truly complex sense escapes us, because it remains entrapped in a subjectivist framework–only an individual can regard freedom as an object to defend or conquer, to possess, or to extend. As long as freedom is confined to what is “proper” rather than “common,” freedom is turned instead into its opposite. Instead, we should think of freedom as that part of community that resists immunization and remains open to difference.

Keywords:   Freedom, Immunity, Political vocabulary, Political philosophy, Democracy, Power, Sovereignty, Gift, Subject, Proper/improper

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