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Carl Schmitt: Katechon

Key Concept The concept of the katechon first appears in biblical literature with two hapaxlegomena occurring in the second deutero-Pauline epistle to the Thessalonians: “And now you know what is now restraining him [τὸ κατέχον], so that he may be revealed when his time comes. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but…

Rethinking the University

Counterpress are pleased to announce the publication of Rethinking the University: Structure, Critique, Vocation by Soo Tian Lee. Dr Lee answers questions about his book. You use the theoretical framework of Kojin Karatani as inspiration for Rethinking the University. Can you tell us what specifically attracted you to his thinking? I was first introduced to the…

Law & Critique: Burkini, Bikini & The Female (Un)dressed Body

Continuing our cooperation with Law & Critique, today Giorgia Baldi returns to her article ‘The Burqa Avenger’ (full text available here). In 2004, when Aheda Zanetti created the burkini, a swimsuit that covers the body leaving the face, hands and feet uncovered, its purpose was to increase Muslim women’s agency by allowing them to enjoy…

UNSW PhD Scholarship in Social Movements, Political Activism & Legal Change

Social movements often attempt to address exclusion and inequality by making political claims that rely on legal ideas such as human rights or sovereignty. They also frequently use legal institutions and forms in their political activism, for example, by pursuing legislative change or class actions. This project draws on critical theory to explore the strengths…

Law & Critique: Transitional Justice as ‘Omnus et Singulatim’

Continuing our cooperation with Law & Critique, today we are presenting the work of Josh Bowsher. A full text of the article published in Law & Critique can be viewed here. Our understanding of transitional justice is dominated by an avowedly normative body of scholarship whose allure is rooted in its technocratic promise to solve real…

Law & Critique: Encountering the Past

We are thrilled to be working with Law and Critique, the primary critical legal studies journal. In the coming months we will be featuring blogs from some of their most recently published authors, these will include links to open-access read-only versions of their journal articles. Our first blog comes from Kay Lalor. The full text…

CfP: Criminalising Violent Pasts: Multiple Roots and Forgotten Pathways 1950s-2010s (London South Bank University, 15-16 November 2018)

Over the last half century, discourses and practices connected to the idea that violent or dictatorial pasts should be marked as criminal have proliferated. A variety of actors – from victims groups to social movements, to expert groups such as lawyers, museums specialists and even economists – have contributed to the emergence and circulation of…

Críticas 2: Doing Critical Legal Theory in Latin America, Workshop Birkbeck, 28 April 2018

Sat 28 April 2018: 10:00 – 17:30 BST Room 153, Birkbeck, University Of London, Malet Street, Bloomsbury, WC1E 7HX, United Kingdom Register Here Latin American critical legal theory still remains as the most creative and interesting scholarship for many different motives. Possibly the main reason is that it has always been directed to understanding (or placing) critique in a…

The Proposed Amendment to the South African Constitution: Finishing the Unfinished Business of Decolonisation?

On 27 February 2018, an overwhelming majority of members of South Africa’s National Assembly adopted a motion to begin the process of amending the ‘property clause’ in the constitution. Given the befuddled nature of the present clause, the proposed amendment seeks to clarify and simplify the powers of a hitherto pro-market and thus lackadaisical state…

On Corbyn, Antisemitism and Things Jewish

Yet another episode in the story of Jeremy Corbyn’s antisemitism. This time from 2012, in expressed support for a graffiti artist’s free speech rights after the artist’s painting of white bankers playing monopoly on the backs of the globe’s dispossessed was declared offensive for its racist caricatures of Jews. And as others have said, this…

CfP: Searching for Critical Environmental Law, Workshop Oxford 11 May 2018

Searching for Critical Environmental Law: Theories, Methods, Critiques Call for Papers, Workshop, May 11, 2018 in Oxford Co-organized by Andreas Kotsakis, Oxford Brookes University & Vito De Lucia, UiT Arctic University of Norway   The field of critical environmental law has yet to develop any consistent self-awareness as a set of problematisations, methods and theories of either…

UCU Strike Action – Open Letter

We the undersigned, Call on the UCU national leadership to reconsider its position reached in ACAS negotiations with UUK on the 12th March 2018. The current agreement kicks a serious solution to the pension dispute in the long grass, committing to a three year process of re-evaluation. It further does so at the very moment…

Crises of Constitutionality

A Marxist problematization of the concept of constitutional crisis. Originally published by Legal Form. Republished by permission. What is a constitutional crisis? Can a diverse array of observed phenomena — such as the slow-motion coup in Brazil, the legal and jurisprudential uncertainty that will attend any possible Brexit, or the attempts to consolidate ethnically and religiously…

Giorgio Agamben: Oath

Key Concept Today, the oath seems to us obscure and obsolete. As an enigmatic relic of earlier times, it invokes the authority of sacred and supernatural powers that go beyond the scope of human capabilities, and by doing so it realizes its aim—namely, truth-telling. Since these powers are no longer as effective as they used…