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The Empire Strikes Back: On the recent general strike in Brazil

In a recent review of Alex Cuadros’ 2016 Brazzillionaires: Wealth, Power, Decadence, and Hope in an American Country (astonishingly, yet unsurprisingly, still unpublished in Portuguese and in Brazil) Patrick Iber, writing for the New Republic, declared that ‘if Brazil’s inequality shocks the conscience, we must recognize that, as a global community, we are all Brazil.’…

Brexit is upon us: what is to be done?

To know where we are going we must know how we got here. A long-established online politics forum currently has a thread under the title ‘Creating Lexit: What is to be done?’ A reasonable enough question, and the ‘creating’ admits we are a long way from a left Brexit right now. What struck me strongly…

Coup d’Funk: 2017 Focus on the Funk

  Tectonic shifts in the given order of the world made 2016 a vintage year for the Right. Referendums, elections, soft coups, and quasi-judicial or political processes in the UK, the US, India, the Philippines, Colombia and Brazil amongst others made clear the challenge posed by appeals to nativism in these times of crisis. However,…

CfP: Law and Culture Conference, London 7-8 September 2017

What does it mean to break the world? What is legitimate resistance to state power? When does authority spill over into repression? What happens when a sovereign loses control? What is an anarchic act? Is anarchic thought possible? What is anarchy’s relationship to chaos and disorder? What is its relationship to order and regulation? How…

Call for Streams: Dissents & Dispositions, Melbourne 12–14 December 2017

Tom Nicholson, ‘Towards a Monument to Batman’s Treaty’ (2013) 101 A0 printed sheets, pasted to the wall of the museum, and 3,520 bricks collected from citizens in and around Healesville. Exh.: Future memorials, TarraWarra Museum of Art, 19 October 2013 — 9 February 2014. Photograph Christian Capurro. Courtesy of the artist and Milani Gallery

Dissent and disposition are both relational. To dissent is to disagree and be at variance: to refuse an established order, to diverge from orthodoxy, to oppose, critique, quarrel and rearrange. If political dissent is commonly understood as speaking truth to power, how does this occur, or occur differently, now that power is increasingly dislocated from state forms,…

Governmentality and the Management of the Circulation of ‘Extreme’ Ideas

In October 2016, the University of Sussex published its Freedom of Speech Code of Practice1 and its accompanying External Speakers’ Procedure.2 Like the many recent ‘Freedom of Speech’ or ‘External Speaker’ policies across higher education institutions in the UK, the main objective of these policies is to ensure University compliance with the Counter Terrorism and…

Kent Summer School in Critical Theory, Paris 26 June – 7 July

Kent Law School announces its annual Kent Summer School in Critical Theory (KSSCT), running again this year in Paris, from 26 June to 7 July. The KSSCT offers the opportunity to attend a single two-week intensive seminar with a leading critical thinker. This year, seminars will be held by Professor Timothy Campbell of Cornell University,…

Swedens of the Mind

This article was first published by Wildcat Dispatches: Speaking in Florida on Saturday 18 February, Donald Trump pledged to keep the United States safe from refugees, and pointed to catastrophes unfolding elsewhere as the reason: We’ve got to keep out country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last…

CfP: Mythology of Modern Law, Melbourne 12 May 2017

In the opening sentence of Peter Fitzpatrick’s seminal book, The Mythology of Modern Law, first published in 1992, the claim that “law as a unified entity can only be reconciled with its contradictory existences if we see it as myth” is described as the first chapter’s “suspiciously simple argument”. Few perhaps would regard even that…

CfP: Graphic Justice 2017, London 4–5 July 2017

The intersections of comics and legality represent a burgeoning area of concern within, without, and between legal, cultural, and comics communities. But what directions or distractions do comics bring to the project of justice? Are comics a valuable and important resource, or are they mere entertainment and intellectual amusement? Are comics for fun, rather than…

Seminar: The Moral Rights of Authors in the Age of Cognitive Capitalism, London 14–15 June

True collaboration in philosophy then is a common movement toward a beloved world – whereby we relieve each other in the most advanced outpost, a movement that demands the greatest effort against the resisting element within which we are flying. —Novalis This public seminar will examine moral rights (droit moraux) in terms of the editioning, dissemination, exhibition, and…

Torture Works? Beccaria’s Forgotten Lesson

Power structures and governments will resort to euphemistic labelling in order to sanitize morally reprehensible or illegal behaviour — this is neither new nor surprising.  A textbook example is the G. W. Bush Jr. Administration who tried to immunize inter alia waterboarding against criticism by calling it an ‘enhanced interrogation technique’. The roots of this…

The Control Room: War, Exception, Threat

If the machinery of intelligence-gathering and war is never switched off, then we have truly entered the permanent state of emergency. This 10-minute video essay looks at control rooms in film and television since the 1970s, and identifies an array of technological apparatuses that both manifest and make possible an increasingly distributed kind of sovereignty.…

The American Terrible

Someone recently asked me: if you don’t think Trump is a fascist, what do you think is going to happen? I answered her as truthfully as I could: I don’t know. The fact is: none of us knows. Not even, I suspect, Trump or Steve Bannon. In the course of several argumens and conversations over the…

Spatial Justice and Diaspora: Foreword by Parvathi Raman

Spatial Justice and Diaspora, edited by Emma Patchett and Sarah Keenan, has just been published by Counterpress. We are pleased to republish the following foreword by Parvathi Raman, Chair of the Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies, SOAS. When Emma Patchett and Sarah Keenan asked if I would write a foreword for their new edited volume, Spatial…

CfP: Fascism and the International: The Global Order Yesterday and Tomorrow, 18–20 June 2017

Paper proposals for this workshop on the international dimensions of fascism are warmly invited from scholars, artists and activists working in and across the fields of international law, history, history of art, international relations, postcolonial studies, sociology, anthropology, political theory, geography, feminist studies, queer theory and critical race theory. In light of the recent and…