Jurisprudence

Dense Struggle (IV): The Ghostly Real

Photo. 22. IDP marching in the streets of Bogotá and calling the state to fulfill its obligations towards displaced population according to National Law 387/1997: “Displaced population is part of Colombia. Fulfill Law 387” (June, 2009). L. Eslava.

As I mentioned in the last post, one of the most perplexing circumstances that surrounded the appearance of the ghost in the refuge was that it occurred at the precise moment at which the group of IDPs formally entered into the realm of the official. It could have easily occurred earlier, when they were protesting, in…

Dense Struggle (III): The Modern Uncanny

Photo. 16. Arriving for the first time at the refuge(May, 2009). L. Eslava.

In the last two posts I have argued that the longue durée of capitalist modernity has implied an expansion of a material and social global ordering, and that this process is far from being free of emotional forces, even of an uncanny dimension. In my account, this expansion of capitalist modernity — with its patterns of global accumulation, wealth…

Dense Struggle (II): Oh yes, that, our world

Photo. 9. Placard used during a march organized during the IDP’s protest: “The people without housing is asking for its rights”, Bogotá (June, 2009). L. Eslava.

In the preamble of the Communist Manifesto (1848), Marx and Engels made the famous dictum: A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-​spies. History has proven Marx and Engels…

For a Theory of Destituent Power

Kelesidi_Bliss_Watercolour-on-paper_40x40-24ddadf7

A reflection on the destiny of democracy today here in Athens is in some way disturbing, because it obliges to think the end of democracy in the very place where it was born. As a matter of fact, the hypothesis I would like to suggest is that the prevailing governmental paradigm in Europe today is not only…

The Five Extraordinary Features of the Sochi Winter Olympics

Circassians March for No Sochi 2014

Introduction On 7 February 2014, the Sochi Winter Olympics will commence. It is estimated that these games will cost at least US$51 billion — the most expensive in history — costing Russia more than the $40 billion that China spent on the 2008 Summer Olympics. The UK spent some US$15 billion on the Summer Olympics in 2012. Sochi was selected…

Badiou’s Jurisprudence II: ‘We Have Become Simulacra’

Untitled

If freedom, as Deleuze claims, is to engage in jurisprudence, do we not encounter a paradox in the alliance between Alain Badiou and Jacques Vergès? A paradox that strikes at the heart of the colonial and juridical situation of a colonized people? If Vergès institutes a rupture within juridical reason rendering the judgment of an Algerian National Liberation fighter…

Badiou’s Jurisprudence: The Event of Law and The Law of The Event

Verges 3

In a lecture published in the Cardozo Law Review in 2008, Alain Badiou articulates his understanding of Being, Event, and Simulacrum in relationship to Logic and Law. With an incredible power of precision, Badiou reminds his audience of Aristotle’s three main pillars of the process of thought (Identity, non-​contradiction, and the excluded middle), which he then…

The Law of the Commons: Climate Change Protest in Buckfastleigh

Buckfastleigh

On Thursday 17 October the community of Buckfastleigh, South Devon, heard the fate of their town, their livelihoods, the protection of their immediate environment and surrounding ecosystems, presented to them in the much awaited decision of a planning appeal inquiry that took place over the heat of the summer, 25 June – 19 July 2013.1 The planning inquiry was an…

Notes on the Thought of Walter Benjamin: Critique of Violence

violence-solves-everything

“Critique of Violence” (Zur Kritik der Gewalt)1 is notorious for its obscurity, which, at least partly, is due to the impossibility of translating several of the key terms used by Benjamin into English. The immediate encapsulation of the task of a critique of violence conveyed in the German title and the first couple of sentences is…

The Political in the Contract Classroom

pruitt_igoe_collapses

When we started ‘The Public Life of Private Law’ one of the conversations we wanted to have with participants, and with others following the series, was about teaching private law from a critical perspective. In particular, we wanted to think about how those of us who fell into teaching private law through a mixture of necessity and serendipity, but…

The Dark Shores of Europe

document

This was August 2008 at Koraka’s Cape beach in Lesvos. A local farmer told me that he saw a prosthetic leg on the beach. He said that the leg belonged to a boy, around 13 years old, who arrived on a rubber boat with his family. The coastguard were just behind the boat as it was approaching the beach.…

Prisoners’ Hunger Strike in California

PelicanBaySHUExerciseYard

Daletha Hayden hasn’t hugged her son in four years. Since 2009, the only face-​to-​face contact they’ve had has been through thick glass. Even phone calls are not allowed in Tehachapi State Prison’s isolation unit. Despite the separation, she said she has seen the effect solitary confinement has had on him. “He has these bouts of…

Law and The Senses: Symposium, Performance, Phenomenon?

Pietro Paolini - Allegory of the Five Senses

The announcement of the event ‘Law and the Senses’ at the University of Westminster sounded intriguing. The call for papers asked: What is Law’s relationship to senses? In a sense, Law, the anaesthetic par excellence, is constantly engaged in numbing the sense into common sense; manipulating, channelling and controlling the sensible; inserting properties and forbidding contacts; dissimulating violence, regulating sounds…

Suárez and Rouse: Masculinity, Sport and Rape Apologies

Nancy Fouts

As Luis Suárez joined Johan le Roux and Mike Tyson in the annals of sports-​biting history this week, across the water in Northern Ireland Alvin Rouse continues to play in goal for Ballinamallard United Football Club, despite facing three counts of rape, two of sexual assault, one of causing a person to engage in a sexual act…

Abandonment: Notes on the Thought of Jean-​Luc Nancy

Fernand Léger 1942 Dance

In his distinctive concern for etymology, Nancy notes that abandonment contains the semantic unit bandon, which is ‘an order, a prescription, a decree, a permission, and the power that holds these freely at its disposal.’ (Nancy 1993, 44) A ban in this context should be understood as a general proclamation of the sovereign rather than specific prohibition. To abandon, therefore, is…

Jurisfiction: Notes on the Thought of Jean-​Luc Nancy

Jurisprudence

Jean-​Luc Nancy notes three ways that fictions have been associated with law: 1) jurisprudential exercises that require imagining the extent of the applicability of the law, 2) the mysterious ground of the constitution, and 3) in Roman law, the extension of the law to cases it did not cover. (Nancy 156) Beyond this, Nancy demonstrates…