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The annual conference of the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom in 2011


Borrowed from French stasiologie, coined in 1951 by French jurist, sociologist and politician Maurice Duverger (1917–2014) from stase (stasis) (from Ancient Greek στάσις (stásis, band, company, party; faction)) + -iologie (-ology, indicating the study of a particular subject), because of the way the opposition of political parties tends to prevent governments from making dramatic changes.



stasiology (uncountable)

  1. (political science, rare) The study of political parties. [from 1951.]
    • 1954, Maurice Duverger; Barbara North and Robert North, transl., Political Parties, their Organization and Activity in the Modern State, Methuen & Co.; New York, N.Y.: John Wiley & Sons, translation of Les partis politiques, OCLC 929814951:
      The development of the science of political parties (it could perhaps be called stasiology).
    • 1977, Ranbir Sharma, Party Politics in a Himalayan State, New Delhi: National Publishing House, OCLC 254511138, page v:
      In this study, in the light of latest trends in stasiology, an attempt is made to examine the potential role of political parties in initiating, directing and managing social, economic and political changes in Himachal Pradesh.
    • 1982, J[agdish] C[handra] Johari, “Party Politics”, in Comparative Politics, 3rd rev. and enl. edition, New Delhi: Sterling Publishers, OCLC 11283103, page 318:
      The surprising development in this regard is that, despite all these difficulties, students are engaged in making an empirical study of party politics with the aim of refining the discipline of stasiology.
  2. The process by which a governing body remains static or self-perpetuating due to internal conflict.
    • 1993, Brian Crozier, Free Agent: The Unseen War 1941–1991, London: HarperCollins, →ISBN, page 35:
      His Encounter review (September 1960) included the following prophetic passage about ‘stasiology’: the study of the breakdown or paralysis of the State.
    • 1997, Jacques Derrida; George Collins, transl., “The Phantom Friend Returning (in the Name of ‘Democracy’)”, in Politics of Friendship (Phronesis), London; New York, N.Y.: Verso Books, →ISBN, page 109:
      As for the stasiology evoked therein (which would be working either at the heart of the One, or in the centre of a Trinity or Holy Family), this is a motif which – in different words, in another style and in view of other consequences – could very well describe one of the subterranean but utterly continuous themes of this essay: []
    • 2011, Banu Bargu, “Stasiology: Political Theology and the Figure of the Sacrificial Enemy”, in Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, Robert A. Yelle, and Mateo Taussig-Rubbo, editors, After Secular Law (The Cultural Lives of Law), Stanford, Calif.: Stanford Law Books, →ISBN, page 153:
      The reformulation of the problematic of "political theology" in the form of "stasiology" is significant, for it points to the severing of the political from the question of the state, or the loss of the state's monopoly on the political.
    • 2015, Michael Dillon, “A Political Analytic of Finitude: The Infinity of Finite Government and Rule”, in Biopolitics of Security: A Political Analytic of Finitude (New Security Studies), Abingdon, Oxon.; New York, N.Y.: Routledge, →ISBN, pages 31–32:
      That theorisation exposes how sovereignty – comprised of an originary and ineliminable fracture – institutes the very idea of politics, government and rule as a political stasiology.
    • 2015, Allen Feldman, “Introduction: Enigmatic Dispersals”, in Archives of the Insensible: Of War, Photopolitics, and Dead Memory, Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press, DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226277479.001.0001, →ISBN, page 11:
      Rather than thinking the stasiology of the state on the basis of external war that is interiorized, polemos should be thought on the basis of the stasiology inherent in the sovereign right to be without right.