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This title fundamentally rereads Agamben to defend and develop his philosophy as post-Heideggerian political ontology. What if we've been wrong when reading Agamben? The work of the Italian Continental philosopher Giorgio Agamben is usually read in terms of critical theory or traditional political philosophy. Now Mathew Abbott argues that Agamben's thought has been widely misunderstood. Instead, he shows that it engages with political ontology: studying the political stakes of the question of being. It radically reinterprets Agamben's political philosophy, including his concepts of 'bare life' and 'the exception'. It places Agamben's work in its philosophical context, positioning it in relation to Benjamin, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Levinas, Nancy and Wittgenstein. It critiques the category of representation to show the decisive importance of poetry and poetic experience for thinking through political community and to shed light on a number of problems in contemporary political theory.