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Time of Crisis : Order, Politics, Temporality


  • Petter Narby

Summary, in English

Crises are common and problematic features of contemporary politics. Thought as moments in time when order is undermined by flux and disorder, they entail a normative dislocation allowing for exceptional measures and for the bracketing off of crisis from normality, removing contingency from normality, and confining that done in crisis to crisis. This dissertation examines the concept of crisis in a modern conceptual nexus of order, politics, and temporality and analyses the political possibilities and impossibilities it entails. Paying particular attention to temporality, it argues that crisis assumes a liminal position of Derridean undecidability in this nexus, stabilising and undermining the other concepts and the relations between them. The concept of crisis reflects and constitutes temporal solutions to problems of order and disorder, politics as norm and decision, and time as continuity and now. Crisis also relates these concepts to each other, which implies that if one begins with the problem of order and disorder, norm and decision, continuity and now, one is likely to end up with the temporal problem of crisis. In this capacity, the nexus is related to conceptions of modernity and makes it logical to assume that modernity began with a crisis and will end with a crisis, and that it, therefore, is in constant crisis. But such assumptions, and claims to crises, rely upon the nexus of crisis and reaffirm its foundations. The study does not make any attempt to move beyond, but investigates the underlying assumptions of such aspirations, and how the tensions and paradoxes open possibilities within and beyond this system.

The problem is established through an analysis of how the Greek debt crisis. This is followed by readings of central theoretical texts in three chapters that function both cumulatively and complementarily by investigating (1) what it means to speak of a modern concept of crisis in a modernity thought as a temporal solution to order and disorder, (2) what it means to speak of politics under such conditions, and (3) the appeal in and problems of moving beyond this nexus.

Publishing year





Lund Political Studies



Document type



Lund University


  • Political Science


  • Crisis
  • Exception
  • Order
  • Politics
  • Time
  • Temporality
  • Derrida
  • Deconstruction




  • ISSN: 0460-0037
  • ISBN: 978-91-7623-191-3

Defence date

17 December 2014

Defence time


Defence place

Edens hörsal, Paradisgata 5 H, Lund


  • Kimberly Hutchings (Professor)