“He who has been banned is not, in fact, simply set outside the law and made indifferent to it but rather abandoned by it, that is, exposed and threatened on the threshold in which life and law, outside and inside, become indistinguishable. It is literally not possible to say whether the one who has been banned is outside or inside the juridical order. (This is why in Romance languages, to be “banned” originally means both to be “at the mercy of” and “at one’s own will, freely,” to be “excluded” and also “open to all, free.”) It is in this sense that the paradox of sovereignty can take the form “There is nothing outside the law.” The originary relation of law to life is not application but Abandonment. The matchless potentiality of the nomos, its originary “force of law,” is that it holds life in its ban by abandoning it. This is the structure of the ban that we shall try to understand here, so that we can eventually call it into question”.

Giorgio Agamben HOMO SACER: Sovereign Power and Bare Life