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Going Rogue

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Though I do like breaking femurs You can count me with the dreamers Like everybody else, I got a dream… (I’ve got a dream, Tangled) The jig is finally up, politics isn’t running as normal anymore (although ‘the oppressed’ always knew that the ‘state of emergency’ was normal, reminding us that our ‘amazement’ revealed the…

Work in the Era of Anarcho-Capitalism

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This interdisciplinary colloquium, hosted by the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research, starts from the proposition that neo-liberalism has intensified the capital/labour division producing a phenomenon of ‘anarcho-capitalism’, in which the flexibility of work in the “post-industrial” era disguises its impact on working lives. The colloquium is an engagement between law, politics and social theory. Its…

Judith Butler: Performativity

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Key Concept Butler’s notion of ‘performativity’ is most famously associated with her views on gender and is important for critical legal thinkers because performativity is deeply entangled with politics and legality. Her focus on performance has been widely influential because performance and performativity enable discussants to move beyond analyses of legal definition or status to…

Trump, Mair and the Gods that Failed

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 The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, much like the Brexit vote in the UK earlier this year, has been greeted by mainstream commentators with a mixture of vapid incomprehension and shrill, moralistic denouncement. The emptiness of these responses reflect a central problem for liberals, centrists, so-called ‘leftists’ and others in…

The US election & the systematic failure of modern politics

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Should we be surprised by Donald Trump’s new position as President Elect?  According to exit polls, and the weight of media and expert opinion, we should be.  Yet the highly unlikely, if not absolutely impossible, has happened, and with Hillary Clinton’s phone call to the Trump campaign conceding the election, Trump has secured the Presidency…

First Thoughts on Trump

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Just woke up in Beirut to US Brexit surprise. Retitling my lecture this afternoon to WTF?? First thoughts: There are at least 4 big things going on–class, race, global context and gender. 1) Class: The neoliberal governing consensus is collapsing and the elites can not believe it. The polls, pundits and media were wrong all through primary…

Nancy Fraser: Subaltern Counterpublics

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Key Concept Subaltern counterpublics are discursive arenas that develop in parallel to the official public spheres and “where members of subordinated social groups invent and circulate counter discourses to formulate oppositional interpretations of their identities, interests, and needs”.1 Nancy Fraser, coining the term from Gayatri Spivak’s “subaltern”2 and Rita Felski’s “counterpublic”,3 argues that counterpublics are…

Africa in the Dock: On ICC Bias

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The International Criminal Court does not, and cannot, exist outside politics and its activities reflect that. ‘Cheers and chants, tears and embraces, rhythmic stomping and applause’: such was the reaction by diplomats at the close of the Rome Conference in 1998 establishing a statute for the creation of an International Criminal Court (ICC).1 Such wild…

The sharing economy blues

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Tom Slee on Silicon Valley’s anti-regulation revolution It seems like politicians, journalists and pundits are lining up to praise the “innovative” promise of the so-called “sharing economy.” But is there something sinister lurking behind the collaborative facade that so often accompanies rosy assessments of the peer-to-peer online sector? To consider this question, we connected with…

Synesthesia of Law Conference, Princeton, 29 Sept – 1 Oct 2016

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  The Synesthesia of Law conference, a collaboration between Princeton University and Sciences Po Law School, will take place from Sept 29 to Oct 1 at Princeton. We understand the term synaesthesia as a crossing of boundaries, a sensual saturnalia and mixture of the unmixable. Hearing colors, smelling music, sensing law. Synesthesia, we propose, is colorful and…

Movement For Justice (MFJ): Open Letter to Jeremy Corbyn

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Following Jeremy Corbyn’s landslide victory as leader of the Labour Party, MFJ have sent him this open letter… Uniting the struggles against racism and austerity: Amnesty for all immigrants without secure legal status; End immigration detention; Abolish the anti-Muslim Prevent strategy; Stop mass deportation charter flights. You have now won the Labour leadership with increased…

Letter to the Society of Legal Scholars

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On 9th of September the Society of Legal Scholars invited the conservative British politician Michael Gove to address the dinner of its annual conference. In opening his talk, Mr Gove commented: ‘I feel rather like the grand wizard of the KKK giving an address to the AGM of Black Lives Matter.’ On Sunday 11th September,…

A feminist case for Basic Income: An interview with Kathi Weeks

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Katie Cruz: Since you wrote The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries in 2011, the demand for a basic income has received increasing attention from those of us on the Left. But I think what differentiates your work on basic income from much of what has been published is that yours…

When Seeing Isn’t Believing: On Images of Police Brutality

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Our TV screens and social media feeds are saturated with images of police brutality towards African Americans; the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling among the most recent. While visual proof of police violence towards African Americans is not new — as images of the 1935 Harlem race riot reveal — it is now…

CFA: Critical Approaches to Computational Law

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CALL FOR ABSTRACTS Special issue of Computational Culture, a Journal of Software Studies Edited by Simon Yuill Online version of this call: http://computationalculture.net/cfps-events There is a long-standing relationship between the development of modern computing and legal theory and the application of computer systems to legal practice that can be followed through the modelling of legal…

Three Brexit lessons from our work at Kent Law School.

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  We are some of the staff who work at Kent Law School, one of the UK’s leading critical law schools. We value working in a place where people disagree with each other, where diverse colleagues, often from different schools of thought and political convictions, feel a sense of shared belonging, and where our jobs…

Critical Legal Approaches to TTIP: On Method, City University 20 June 2016

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Date: 20 June Time: 5PM Location: A130, College Building, City University London Series: On Global Law, Justice and Regulation Series The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Agreement (TTIP) is understood as one of the most controversial trade deals of all time. The TTIP negotiations appear to have generated substantial fears at national and EU level, as…