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Chapter 8 takes up Hannah Arendt’s account of the Eichmann trial to derive, from the text’s rhetorical and theatrical dimensions, an imperative regarding the rights of cohabitation. Eichmann, declares Arendt, abrogated a fundamental principle of human rights when he denied that no one has the right to choose with whom to cohabit the earth. Reading that principle in terms of “right” that Arendt elaborates in On Totalitarianism, the “right to have rights,” the chapter reminds us that Arendt’s social right presupposes a plural subject able to put pressure, through its inherent performative power, on the status of the sovereign exception. Asking if we might then rethink the performative more fundamentally, as a dispersion of sovereignty, the chapter interprets the cohabitation on earth and the internal company we keep as two forms of socializing plurality able to guide us beyond the sovereign exception.

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