Geographies & Spacialities

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

Brisbane Exclusion Zone

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

International Law 1914/​2014


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…

Cupcake Fascism: Gentrification, Infantilisation and Cake

Eliza Koch

The Cupcake as Object The cupcake is barely a cake. When we think about what “the cake-​like” ideal should be, it is something spongy, moist, characterized by excess, collapsing under its own weight of gooey jam, meringue, and cream. It is something sickly and wet that makes your fingers sticky. The cupcake is none of these…

Patrick McAuslan, or the Yes

Untitled in Tanzania, Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos

Professor Patrick McAuslan passed away on the 11th of January, 2014. I do not know the details of his apparently deteriorating health, or of his death for that matter. I know very basic things about the whole event, and I have chosen to keep it like this. This is because I do not want to close the biggest question…

Letters on Legal Architecture


FIRST LETTER (New York on July 12th 2012) /​/​/​Dear Lucy, I read your essay Archiving Burroughs: Interzone, Law, Self-​Medication with attention and appreciated, as usual, the way you manage to link narrative, law and space all together. I do think however that we should keep this text for a little bit later in our conversation as its…

Human Bodies in Material Space: Editorial of the Journal for Human Rights and the Environment

Embodiment by Eric Franklin

This edition of the Journal of Human Rights and the Environment is dedicated to the greatest struggle of our era – the ongoing – and increasingly urgent – struggle to confront the entrenched and growing violence (both epistemic and physical) of a global order that is rapidly entrenching both human and environmental vulnerability. ‘Business as usual’ is still obdurately committed to the…

The Dark Shores of Europe


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.…

#ACCELERATE MANIFESTO for an Accelerationist Politics


01. INTRODUCTION: On the Conjuncture 1. At the beginning of the second decade of the Twenty-​First Century, global civilization faces a new breed of cataclysm. These coming apocalypses ridicule the norms and organisational structures of the politics which were forged in the birth of the nation-​state, the rise of capitalism, and a Twentieth Century of unprecedented wars.…

Eco-​Technics: Notes on the Thought of Jean-​Luc Nancy

Nancy coins the term eco-​technics to describe the current global politico-​economic conjuncture. Hillis Miller explains: ‘“Eco” comes from the Greek word oikos, the house or home. The prefix “eco-​” is used more broadly now to refer to the total environment within which one or another “living” creature “dwells”’ (Hillis Miller 2012, 66). Thus, at stake…

The Amazon Archipelago

Amazon facility Bad Hersfeld

On Wed­nes­day night prime Ger­man tele­vi­sion chan­nel ARD broad­cast under­cover report­age con­cern­ing the treat­ment of for­eign work­ers at Amazon’s huge dis­tri­bu­tion ware­house near Bad Hersfeld in cent­ral Ger­many. State par­lia­ment­ari­ans called the report “unspeak­able”, “shock­ing”, “bey­ond the pale”, and the Left Party spokes­per­son stated:

“We call on the state gov­ern­ment to carry out promptly and with all at its dis­posal checks of the complainant’s social secur­ity fraud, the use of an appar­ent neo-​Nazi secur­ity com­pany through Amazon and the inhu­mane place­ment in a so-​called ‘resort’”.

Bad Hersfeld backs up against the old bor­der with East Ger­many at the point, the Fulda Gap, which the US determ­ined was the prime stra­tegic entry point for Soviet forces in any inva­sion of Europe. As a con­sequence this wooded up-​country became a back­wa­ter of barbed wire and check­points after the war. It is here that Amazon has had built one of its massive dis­tri­bu­tion centres for Ger­many, and it is here that under­cover report­ers infiltrated.

The Right against the City

Golden Dawn supporters on the streets

“Reclaim our cities”. “Self-​organise”. “Take neighbourhood action”. Consider these slogans for a moment. Sound familiar? Indeed they should, echoing as they do a body of scholarship (e.g. Amin & Thrift, 2005; Butler, 2012; Chatterton, 2010; Dikeç, 2001; Harvey, 2003; Leontidou, 2006, 2010; Marcuse, 2009; Mayer, 2009; Simone, 2005) stemming from Henri Lefebvre’s idea of the Right to the City (Lefebvre, 1996; henceforth RttC). Despite this common origin, interpretations of the Lefebvrian “right” have been most diverse; perhaps his own often-​times abstract writing has inadvertently caused this scholarship to reach outside the confines of his own political allegiance and thought: ten years ago, Mark Purcell (2002) protested that the original RttC notion was more radical than his own concurrent literature would make it appear. But today, a reformist interpretation of Lefebvre might be the least of the worries we are faced with here, on the south-​eastern shore of the Mediterranean that is the Greek territory.

Australian government asked to leave aboriginal community


Just over five years ago, on 21 June 2007, Australia’s then prime minister John Howard announced that rates of child sex abuse in the country’s Northern Territory aboriginal communities were so high that they constituted a national emergency. Drawing on the federal government’s constitutional power to override Territory legislation, and suspending Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act 1975, Howard…

Capturing The Social Sciences: An Experiment in Political Epistemology

Bee Orchid

According to the title that identifies this panel, we are here to enter into a discussion around the productive powers of something called “critical theory”. At first sight, critique and productivity might strike anyone as being opposite terms. Isn’t critique related to a certain form of negativity? To saying “no” to power? And isn’t the demands for capitalistic “productivity” what some of us criticise, or at least attempt to do so?

The title of this panel, however, seems to put such a taken-​for-​granted relationship at risk. “The Productive power of critical theory”– can we think of a productive criticality? or a critical productivity? What might it mean to engage in a form of critical-​productive thought and how might such engagements contribute to challenging and transforming our knowledge-​practices within the social sciences and the humanities? These are some of the questions with which I will attempt to experiment in what follows.

To be sure, these questions are not new, and many researchers and thinkers in the social sciences and the humanities are becoming increasingly interested in them, to the extent that arguably none of the latest so-​called turns within these fields, be it the “ontological turn”, the “practice turn”, the “affective turn” and so on, leave the question of the relation between critique and productivity untouched.

The Guise of Citizenship: Immigration & Liminal Spaces of Legality


Like all obviousnesses, including those that make a word ‘name a thing’ or ‘have a meaning’ (therefore including the obviousness of the ‘transparency’ of language), the ‘obviousness’ that you and I are subjects – and that that does not cause any problems – is an ideological effect, the elementary ideological effect (Althusser, Ideology and the Ideological State Apparatus [117]) I begin with this quote…

Law & Space: Unity & the Multiplication of Law’s Places

carl andre - alcloud

A Workshop hosted by the Oxford Brookes Critical Approaches to Law Research Group — Friday 6th of May 2011 The ordering of space, a derivative of intellectual conceptualism, is an act of violence executed through aesthetic means. (Ronen Shamir, 2001) This workshop brings together a number of different trajectories, disciplines and perspectives to explore the recent turn to geography and spatial…

Geographies of the Kettle: Containment, Spectacle & Counter-​Strategy


“Those who live by the spectacle will die by the spectacle.” Jean Baudrillard The last few weeks of student-​led protests against the ideologically blunt and financially reckless Tory-​Liberal Democrat cuts and the massively short-​sighted, brutal and regressive cuts to third level education in particular may well have marked something of a turning point in modern British…