This paper examines Agamben`s criticism of sovereignty and modern democracy in works such as Homo Sacer and State of Exception, and explores the appropriateness of Agamben`s arguments for contemporary states. First, the theoretical conflicts between Benjamin, Schmitt, and Foucault, to whom Agamben owes his theoretical construction, are reviewed. In particular, along with Benjamin, this paper suggests another modelagainst the concept of absolute control of the sovereignty over “bare life”, that is one of the main axes of the arguments in Agamben`s early works. In addition, this paper analyzes Agamben`s criticism in relation to Guy Debord`s spectacular society based on Walter Benjamin`s concept of the Phantasmagorie, which can be interpreted in way other than that of Agamben and Debord. It highlights the positive aspects of image, mass and technology in Benjamin`s ambivalent position on these issues. Following Agamben`s criticism of international politics, which is based on Carl Schmidt`s perspective on the changes to the Jus Publicum Europaeum, this paper compares the transnational dimension of Agamben`s criticism with that of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri in their book, Empire. While Agamben extends the model of the twentieth-century German concentration camp to our understanding of the globalized world in general, Hardt and Negri see historical differences between the transnational relations of NaziGermany and those of the contemporary globalized world. Agamben`s diagnosis of the globalized concentration camp leads to severe criticism of the contemporary transnational orders of economics and politics, but it differs significantly from the views on contemporary globalization expressed by the authors of Empire and by others. These differences in “reading the contemporary” are traced in this paper to the religious philosophy of Agamben, and especially to the paradox of his concept of “the messianic rest”, which transcends the limits of reason. All of Agamben`s homo sacri feature this kind of paradox and thus have a somewhat fictional status. This is why Agamben`s arguments taking the ordinary person as a homo sacer sometimes sound humorous. Nevertheless, his arguments based on a possible reading of the contemporary, could be understood as a strong warning sign of the decay of human rights and democracy, which are falling into crisis behind the visible (readable) world.