The Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben is having an increasingly significant impact on Anglo-American political theory. His most prominent intervention to date is the powerful reassessment of modern sovereignty that he has developed in his multi-volume project Homo Sacer. Agamben insists that like the ancient sovereign state, the modern nation-state defines its power through what he calls 'bare life' by deeming individuals outside the bounds of the political community and therefore not fully human. For Agamben, the concentration camp - in which inmates occupy a gray zone that blurs the distinction between life and death - represents the potential state of being for all of humanity. Engaging specifically with Homo Sacer, the essays in this collection draw out and contend with the wide-ranging implications of Agamben's radical and controversial interpretation of modern political life. The contributors include legal scholars, literary critics, political scientists, and philosophers. They consider Agamben's work not only in relation to his major interlocutors - Carl Schmitt, Walter Benjamin, Hannah Arendt, Michel Foucault, and Martin Heidegger - but also in light of the thought of other philosophers and writers, including Plato, Pindar, Herclitus, Descartes, Kafka, Bataille, and Derrida. The essayists' approaches and perspectives are varied, as are their ultimate evaluations of the cogency and accuracy of Agamben's arguments. This volume also includes an essay by Agamben - never before published in English - in which the philosopher considers the relation of Benjamin's "Critique of Violence" to Schmitt's "Political Theology". "Politics, Metaphysics, and Death" is a necessary, multifaceted exposition and evaluation of the thought of one of today's most important political theorists. The contributors to this book include: Giorgio Agamben; Andrew Benjamin; Peter Fitzpatrick; Anselm Haverkamp; Paul Hegarty; Andreas Kalyvas; Rainer Maria Kiesow; Catherine Mills; Andrew Norris; Adam Thurschwell; Erik Vogt; and, Thomas Carl Wall.