CRITICAL LEGAL THINKING

LAW AND THE POLITICAL

CRITICAL LEGAL THINKING

LAW AND THE POLITICAL

Marching on Rome: The Return of the Undead

Marching on Rome: The Return of the Undead

In a recent article in The Guardian, John Foot suggested that the extreme right was about to win the general election in Italy and, consequently, the next Prime Minister would be Giorgia Meloni, head of Frattelli D’Italia, a party which has roots in the Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI) which in turn was a direct descendant of Mussolini’s fascist party. She is likely to take power in time for the 100th anniversary of Mussolini’s march on Rome in October 1922.. ‘But let’s be clear,’ he wrote, ‘Meloni is not a fascist. She will not command armies of black-shirted armed groups and she will not look to overturn liberal democracy.’  The distinction between Meloni’s rightwing agenda and that of the 1920s fascists is made clear in this excellent and highly-readable history of the movement. But many actual fascists are waiting in the shadows and many more are addicted to the belief that there were good things to be said about Mussolini. Nostalgia for fascism centres...

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ARTICLES

Marching on Rome: The Return of the Undead

Marching on Rome: The Return of the Undead

In a recent article in The Guardian, John Foot suggested that the extreme right was about to win the general election in Italy and, consequently, the next Prime Minister would be Giorgia Meloni, head of Frattelli D’Italia, a party which has roots in...

read more
Review: On Tyranny and the Global Legal Order

Review: On Tyranny and the Global Legal Order

The language of ‘tyranny’ is undergoing somewhat of a renaissance lately. The election of Donald J. Trump as president of the United Sates awakened liberal fears of democratic decay and tyrannical rule, while many opponents of COVID-related restrictions argued...

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Valerie Kerruish, 1943-2022

Valerie Kerruish, 1943-2022

“Val has left us”, her partner Uwe Peterson wrote recently in an email to a few of us who had known her for a while. Valerie Kerruish was a Tutor, Lecturer and Senior Lecturer at the University of Western Australia from 1965-1992, and an Associate Professor at...

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The Sirens of Ventotene

The Sirens of Ventotene

Once a site of internal exile, the island of Ventotene on Italy's West coast now hosts the Festival Gita Al Faro. Authors invited are asked to produce a short text for the festival. This essay was first presented by the author Chiara Tagliaferri as part of the 2022...

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Justice will not be Televised

Justice will not be Televised

The defamation case filed by the world famous actor Johnny Depp against Amber Heard turned into one of the most watched live TV events of last month, with hundreds of millions single viewers and many commentators and dedicated Youtube streams all around the...

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The Contraction of the West

The Contraction of the West

What Westerners call the West or Western civilization is a geopolitical space that emerged in the 16th century and expanded continuously until the 20th century. On the eve of World War I, about 90% of the globe was Western or Western-dominated: Europe, Russia, the...

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Welcome to the shitshow

Welcome to the shitshow

‘Next time you go to the bathroom, there's a reasonable chance the person in the cubicle next to you is scrolling through Instagram’, reported HuffPost in 2017.  Equally, Wired describe a very near future, in which ‘sensors might be embedded in your toilet bowl....

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Neoliberalism and the Accumulation of Ghost Laws

Neoliberalism and the Accumulation of Ghost Laws

Prudhoe ghost. Many people who have seen the picture believe the apparation has taken the form of a young girl. *Photo: David Wilkin Readers will be familiar with a certain argument for neoliberal government. By the end of the 1970s, we were told, welfare states had...

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Academic Freedom Is Not Freedom of Speech

Academic Freedom Is Not Freedom of Speech

How to do things with academic speech The UK Government’s proposed Bill on Freedom of speech and academic freedom (Higher Education), now before the third reading in the House of Commons, aims to regulate the expression of unpopular or controversial views at...

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The UK, Rwanda, and the Spectacle of Deterrence

The UK, Rwanda, and the Spectacle of Deterrence

On 14th April, it was reported that a deal has been made between the UK and Rwanda to establish a system of off-shore processing for asylum seekers who arrive irregularly to the UK. This means that people who arrive in the UK without a valid visa or permission to...

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Contagious Philosophy: A Review of Viral Critique

Contagious Philosophy: A Review of Viral Critique

Viral Critique is the title of the short and intense book by Andityas Soares de Moura Costa Matos & Francis García Collado, published in English in February 2022 by Counterpress. This is one of those books whose strength is inverse to its size. It...

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A Short History of Just War

A Short History of Just War

Roman Priest (Louvre Museum, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons) Reading British newspapers' commentary on the Ukraine war gives a sense of deja vue. We have a return of the ‘West’, of the ‘Free World’, of the exreme demonisation of the opponent. Commentators are...

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Animal Farm Revisited: A Feminist Allegory

Animal Farm Revisited: A Feminist Allegory

Life on Nettle Farm was not easy. Patrick Arkey was a less than sensitive human farm owner. Still, the animals had tended to stick together, to find common cause in the face of their daily grind. Of course, there were gripes. The pigs sometimes felt their feed was...

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Statement on the war in Ukraine

Statement on the war in Ukraine

By NOMOS: CENTRE FOR INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH ON LAW, CULTURE AND POWER On February 24, 2022, Russia has begun waging war on Ukraine. Fighting is taking place all over Ukraine, civilians are being killed or forced to flee their homes. In just seven days about 800.000...

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OVER A DECADE OF ARCHIVES

On Colonial Universality and other Legal Prerogatives: Reflections on Peter Fitzpatrick’s The Mythology of Modern Law

Following the death of Peter Fitzpatrick this month, we are reposting this series on The Mythology of Modern Law (first published on CLT on 3 August 2018) to mark the 25th anniversary of the book.2017 marked the 25th anniversary of Peter Fitzpatrick’s The Mythology of...

Against Agamben: Is a Democratic Biopolitics Possible?

Giorgio Agamben’s recent intervention which characterizes the measures implemented in response to the Covid-19 pandemic as an exercise in the biopolitics of the ‘state of exception’ has sparked an important debate on how to think of biopolitics. The very...

Law, Reading, and Power: The ‘S’ Joke, Why You Find it Funny and Why I Don’t (with Reply)

A guy walks into a bakery known for making fancy cakes. He says, “I’d like to have a cake shaped like the letter S.” The baker says he can do it, but the cake will be expensive. The man confirms that price is no object. The baker tells him to come back after three...

Law is a Fugue

BWV 895 Law is, metaphorically speaking, a fugue.Desmond Manderson has previously deployed the fugue metaphor to describe the mode with which he would present the aesthetic dimensions of law and justice. Here I am intensifying the metaphor in direct relation to...

Jacques Derrida: Deconstruction

Key Concept Img: Annie Vought | annievought.com Deconstruction by its very nature defies institutionalization in an authoritative definition. The concept was first outlined by Derrida in Of Grammatology where he explored the interplay between language and the...

Cupcake Fascism: Gentrification, Infantilisation and Cake

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...

White Feminist Fatigue Syndrome

In her recent piece in Comment is Free, "How feminism became capitalism's handmaiden - and how to reclaim it” Nancy Fraser draws on her own work in political theory to argue that feminism at best has been co-opted by neoliberalism and at worst has been a...

Decolonizing the Teaching of Human Rights?

According to the new Bolivian constitution, education is "one of the most important functions and primary financial responsibilities of the State”; it is “unitary, public, universal, democratic, participatory, communitarian, decolonizing and of quality” (art. 78, I);...

#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...

Coughing out the Law: Perversity and Sociality around an Eating Table

It was lunchtime at Sydney’s David Jones, Australia’s up-market department store chain. So I headed down to the ‘food floor’. Whenever I have to shop at DJs I try to make sure I go there around midday, precisely so I can go down to the food floor and order the...

Palestinian Resistance: The Political, Social and Human Right of Self-Defense

Once again the bombs are falling on the Gaza Strip, a stretch of territory excised from Palestine proper as a result of continuing illegal and illegitimate actions by Israel. In fact, Gaza has become a closed ghetto, first cut off from Palestine in violation of the...

Punk, Law, Resistance … “I have set my affair on nothing”

1. I, Punk In 1977 I was sixteen. Everything I have to say about punk is coloured by that fact, because sixteen was precisely the right age to be if punk was going to have a decisive impact on you. Because punk was not about your social class, gender or race, it was...

Anonymous & the Discourse of Human Rights

In the last months, we have seen the emergence of ‘Anonymous’. In particular, in the days after the widespread attack on Wikileaks (following their publication of leaked US diplomatic memos) they emerged with a fairly credible threat to take down major global internet...

Power, Violence, Law

Over the last two hundred years, the theory of right, now known as normative jurisprudence, has discovered its vocation in a frantic attempt to legitimise the exercise of power. It carries out this task by declaring that law and power are external to each other...