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Critical Legal Conference 2011 – Having Been Before the Law

In a slight break from our usual style and approach, and to celebrate the great success of the 2011 Critical Legal Conference (organized by the Departments of Law and International Politics at the University of Aberystwyth), criticallegalthinking.com will be posting a number of the papers presented. We hope those of you who could not make it…

Human Dignity and the Incomplete Arab Spring

The political power of a protest movement can be seen by looking at the protest group’s awareness of its own position and the balance of power in which the group finds itself. Another factor is the group’s ability to resist its own integration into the hegemonic order. Protest movements in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Syria…

Capitalist Rioters Don’t Wear Hoodies

Author: Gaston Gordillo (Space and Politics) The global media has been nervously covering two simultaneous forms of destruction: the obliteration of wealth in the financial markets and the destruction of property in the United Kingdom. This destruction involves different actors, objects, temporalities, and spatial scales. The looting by youths in the UK had a short-term…

I’ve Always Supported Tottenham

If you’re tempted to listen to BBC5 this morning for some coverage of the London riots, don’t. I made that mistake and was barraged by racist callers spouting off false facts and being moderated by a patronising school ma’am announcer who consistently referred to those involved in the riots as ‘the hooligans’. When I was…

Good Morning AA+merica

Some quick thoughts on Standard & Poors’ downgrading of the U.S.’s credit rating from the previously bullet-proof AAA to AA+. We can moan about S&P’s miscalculation that led to a US$2tn error, and rigtly note with Paul Krugman1 that S&P may well be the least qualified assessor of financial health after the sub-prime debacle, but…

Law & Its Accidents – Call for Papers

The Melbourne Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory are hosting an interesting workshop on the 15-16th of December, on the relation between the technological apparatus and its accidents. The fourth annual workshop will again bring together higher research students and early career researchers, who in different disciplines and across diverse fields of scholarship, engage with law…

So You Think You’re A Radical?

I’ve always quite liked those essays and pamphlets that have from time to time been put out to confront politically active people with their own behaviour patterns. They tend to have a provocative edge and slightly supercilious note that I will attempt to emulate in this post. Because this one is for people who think…

Common Rights: Humans as Nature, Nature as Human

Humans as Nature: geological forces In an article published in Nature in 2002, Nobel winner chemist Paul J. Crutzen had argued that, given the unprecedented effects of human activities on the global environment, the planet has entered into a new geological era, which he proposes to call Anthropocene[1]. According to him, since industrialization gained steam…

Crises of Multiculturalism (pt 2)

This is the second part of an extract from Alana Lentin and Gavan Titley’s new book, The Crises of Multiculturalism in Europe: Racism in a Neoliberal Age, published in July 2011 by Zed Books. The Les mots sont importants collective points out that opposing the 2004 law does not imply negating the foundational laws of…

Crises of Multiculturalism (pt 1)

This is an extract from Alana Lentin and Gavan Titley’s new book, The Crises of Multiculturalism in Europe: Racism in a Neoliberal Age, published in July 2011 by Zed Books. The extract is taken from chapter 3, ‘Free like me: the polyphony of liberal post-racialism.’ In the mirror, through the looking glass In Veil: Mirror…

The Rise of the Indignants: Greece, Spain and Europe

Backdoor Broadcasting have just put up the podcast of last wednesday’s event at Birkbeck on the recent events in Greece and Spain. The abstract reads: When Stephane Hessel wrote in Time for Outrage!that indignation with injustice should turn to ‘a peaceful insurrection’ perhaps he did not expect that the movement of ‘indignados’ in Spain and ‘aganaktismenoi’…

CLC 2011 – The power of life’s excess (contesting sovereignty from sites that do not exist)

The stream proposes to engage with the contemporary possibilities of resistance to everything that is or that can be associated with sovereignty, power or domination (sovereign power, sovereign practices, sovereign language, sovereign thought and the law of the sovereign) from the places, states and sites of what cannot be represented, known, seen, or governed. In…

CLC 2011 – Time as Technology: Law? Justice? Atomic Fission?

Critical Legal Conference 2011 The relevance of time and temporality seems particularly pertinent for critical legal scholars interested in themes of memory, trauma, forgiveness, and post/colonialism. However, time also plays an important role in cases that are not overtly concerned with “history” as such. For example, ideals of justice are often oriented according to a…

CLC 2011 – The Fetishisation of Man by the Machine

Critical Legal Conference 2011 From a classical perspective, early societies worshipped divinities, pursued grand narratives and ideas, then moved on to fetishising machines and this stage has arguably been succeeded by the fetishisation of man by the machine. In this age of late modernity, the machine transfers its functions onto man, as man has become…

CLC 2011 – Introducing Law (Perspectives and Methods)

Critical Legal Conference 2011 Most law degree courses start with one or more introductory course to law. It is within these courses that students get acquainted with law, where it comes from, what it does and how a legal system is organised and structured. Usually, the focus is on positive law – the existing law…

CLC 2011 – Being Before The Law (Radical Thought in the Age of Technology)

Critical Legal Conference 2011; General Stream Aberystwyth University, September 9 – 11 2011 The theme of this conference invites participants to reflect more profoundly on the fundamental questions faced by radical thought in its confrontation with law. Whilst participants are engaged in a problematization of the present age of technology, of ‘modernity’ or ‘post-modernity’, difficult…

Greek Politics from Below

Few people would want to be in the shoes of Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou these days. Faced with an ostensible mutiny in the ruling social-democrat PASOK party, his worries have been exacerbated by the appearance of an unprecedented, continuous wave of protests in the streets of Athens by thousands of people – who had…