Critical Legal Theory

Interruption: Five Artefacts of International Law (Part II)

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ANZAC in Egypt: Myths, Memories and Movement in the Monumental Imagining of the First World War Charlotte Peevers* The original Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (‘ANZAC’) Memorial at Port Said, Egypt (destroyed during the Suez Crisis of 1956 and replicated in Albany, WA in 1964 and at ANZAC Parade in Canberra in 1968) embodies the…

Homo Sacer: The Last Act (L’Uso dei Corpi)

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Giorgio Agamben has abandoned Homo sacer. By his own admission in the foreword to his book, and having so acknowledged in the first lecture of his 2014 seminar at the European Graduate School, his latest L’uso dei Corpi — forthcoming in English translation as The Usage of Bodies — will be the last chapter of his 20-​year-​long research. Abandoned, he said…

The Hunger Strike of Nikos Romanos

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We are currently witnessing one of the most beautiful and tragic moments of resistance in human history. Please join with us and sign the solidarity statement (link below) alongside educators, artists, philosophers and activists. We have now arrived at the 25th day in the hunger strike of political prisoner Nikos Romanos. He is still alive and fighting…

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

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An oft told tale at the start of international economic law modules is the failure of the Havana Charter of 1946 to establish the International Trade Organisation (ITO). Unlike its sister the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group, the ITO failed to launch. This failure was largely down to the US’s reluctance to…

Legal infrastructure, differentiated space and the spectacle of ‘lawful protest’: The Australian G20 (Safety and Security) Act 2013

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Queensland is this year host to various G20 meetings, most prominently the Finance Ministers’ Meeting that was held in Cairns on 20 & 21 September and next month’s Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane on 15 & 16 November. At a cost of over $450 million, a massive security operation is being coordinated by the Commonwealth Government Taskforce (G20

Demanding the Future: The Right2Water and Another Ireland

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The American abolitionist Frederick Douglass once observed that if you find out ‘just what any people will quietly submit to … you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them’ and that such injustices ‘will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with…

Federation: Notes on the thought of Carl Schmitt

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One of the most thorough and interesting discussions of the relationship between federalism, constitutionalism and democracy is presented by Carl Schmitt in Constitutional Theory (Duke University Press, 2008). A federation of states, or just a federation, is according to Schmitt a curious and structurally contradictory interstate relation, which has to be distinguished from, on the one hand, a confederation…

An Island of Saints and Sadists: Abortion in Ireland

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People often ask me why I write such dark books. You’re such a sunny person, they say. I say: Look around you, what kind of a country do you think you’re living in? Here is a tale of the island of Saints and Sadists. A young woman came to our country for help, for a home, for safety. We call her…

International Law 1914/​2014

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Looking back to mid-​1914 from mid-​2014, it is hard to see beyond the piles of bodies. History barely seems up to the task of grappling with this tumultuous interstice. Perhaps, rather than approaching this interval as a sequence of historical contexts, we might conceive of it – and our relationship to it – in terms of a welter of styles, or…

Should we value academic fashions?

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Fashions come and go, but what about academic or intellectual fashions? Are they like any other, with the same pleasures and limitations? Or should ideas be protected from the vagaries and currencies of what is current? Googling the phrase “academic fashion” produces a lot of hits — almost all address the question of what to wear. Very few…

The Infinity of the Silent Strike

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We know from Burke that it is the noise of the crowd or throng which leads to the expe­ri­ence of the sub­lime. The cacoph­ony of the many, gath­ered in their dis­charged state, draws us like a mag­net. But the crowd in strike has a num­ber of very dif­fer­ent dynam­ics to our open, closed and occu­pa­tion crowds. Let…

Civilisation & the Savage Crowd

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Any­one famil­iar with ‘crowd the­ory’ will have been told repeat­edly that Gus­tave Le Bon is an ori­gin. This asser­tion is quickly masked by obfus­ca­tion. He is not a first, of course, pre­ceded by the his­to­rian Taine and the early crim­i­nol­o­gists Lom­broso and Sighele. But Le Bon is the one who draws these dis­persed though influ­en­tial works together…

The Open Crowd & The Kettle

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Elias Canetti’s Crowds and Power pro­vides a use­ful start­ing point for this project. In it, he iden­ti­fies a wide num­ber of dif­fer­ent crowds. They are deter­mined by the tem­po­ral­ity of their aims, the space in which they man­i­fest them­selves, the ori­en­ta­tion of their activ­ity, the man­ner in which their togeth­er­ness is con­ceived. In fact, the axes of dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion multiply…

About ‘Crowded Sovereignty’

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The crowd is not a technology or a subject of sovereignty. It is neither the ‘agent’ who could take, create or destroy sovereignty; nor a ‘means’ for others to become sovereign. The crowd is remarkable because of its prevalence and excision. It is often there in those paradigmatic moments of sovereignty, but generally maligned and denigrated. This…

A Walk in Yarl’s Wood

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On a fine winter’s day, the first fine day after weeks of storms and rain, I went for a walk in the country. I found myself in a typical English rural landscape, driving down hedge-​lined lanes that grew progressively narrower. A couple of dead badgers lay whitening on the edges of the road. At the gate of a farm the road turned abruptly…