It is widely recognized that times of national emergency put legality to its greatest test. In such times we rely on sovereign power to rescue us, to hold the danger at bay. Yet that power can and often does threaten the values of legality itself. Sovereignty, Emergency, Legality examines law's complex relationship to sovereign power and emergency conditions. It puts today's responses to emergency in historical and institutional context, reminding readers of the continuities and discontinuities in the ways emergencies are framed and understood at different times and in different situations. And, in all this, it suggests the need to be less abstract in the way we discuss sovereignty, emergency, and legality. This book concentrates on officials and the choices they make in defining, anticipating, and responding to conditions of emergency as well as the impact of their choices on embodied subjects, whether citizen or stranger.