Registration: The Politics of Legality in a Neoliberal Age, Conference UNSW, 1–2 August 2014

by | 27 May 2014

CapitalismFor anyone in the vicinity, this looks like a brilliant event: The organisers tell us that registration for the event is important. Registration is free and can be done by emailing with the subject line ‘Neoliberalism Symposium’. They say: Please hurry as spaces are limited!

Neo-​liberalism is not simply an eco­nomic theory but a polit­ical philo­sophy that has leg­ality at its core, de­fining it­self against the reg­u­latory state for vi­ol­ating in­di­vidual liberty and ad­voc­ating private prop­erty rights and a cer­tain vision of the rule of law as cru­cial to the func­tioning of cap­it­alist eco­nomies. The rule of law has also been central to the pro­cesses of neo-​liberal glob­al­isa­tion with ‘rule of law pro­mo­tion’ playing a cru­cial role in de­vel­oping mar­kets in the global South. And, while human rights are often used as tools for polit­ical cri­tique and res­ist­ance, the his­torian Samuel Moyn has il­lus­trated that the lan­guage of human rights has col­on­ised polit­ical dis­course since the late 1970s. This is the very same period in which neo-​liberalism has re­struc­tured the re­la­tion­ship between eco­nomy and so­ciety and state, raising the ques­tion of whether there is a re­la­tion­ship between these two phenomena.


Friday 1 August 2014


Staff Common Room, Level 2, Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales

Building F8. See map


8.30-9.00:        Registration and Collection of Name Badges


9.00-9.30         Welcome and Introduction


Daniel McLoughlin (University of New South Wales)


9.30-10.45       Panel 1: The Political Economy of Neoliberalism

Damien Cahill, ‘Embedded Neoliberalism and its Durability’ (University of Sydney)

Rob Nicholls, ‘And so to Bed: Regulatory Regimes as a Mechanism to Embed Neoliberalism’ (University of New South Wales)


10.45-11.15:    Morning Tea


11.15-12.30:    Panel 2: Neoliberalism and State Authority

Anna Yeatman, ‘Neoliberalism and the Question of Authority’ (University of Western Sydney)

Chris Butler, ‘State Power under Authoritarian Neoliberalism’ (Griffith University)


12.30-13.30:    Lunch


13.30-15.15:    Panel 3: Law and Economy in Neoliberal Thought

Jessica Whyte, ‘Governing homo œconomicus: Michel Foucault, Adam Ferguson, and the Providential Logic of Civil Society’ (University of Western Sydney)

Miguel Vatter, ‘Legal Systems and Economic Equilibrium: Hayek vs Becker’ (University of New South Wales)

Paul Patton, ‘Rights, Interests and the Basis of Government’ (University of New South Wales)

15.15-15.45:    Afternoon Tea


15.45-17.00:    Panel 4: Neoliberal Uses of the Rule of Law

Martin Krygier, ‘Trajectories of the Rule of Law: Pre-liberal, Liberal, Neo-, and Non-’ (University of New South Wales)

Melinda Cooper, ‘Postcolonial Family Law – Economic Liberalization, Rule of Law and the Reinvention of Tradition’ (University of Sydney)

Saturday 2 August 2014

Staff Common Room, Level 2, Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales


10.00-11.45:    Panel 5: Law and Neoliberalism in the Global South

Fleur Johns, ‘Power Dispersal in the Work of Milton Friedman and in the Mekong River Basin: Nam Theun II and Xayaburi’ (University of New South Wales)

Javier Couso, ‘Constructing “Privatopia”: The Role of Constitutional Law and Courts in Chile’s Radical Neoliberal Experiment’ (Universidad Diego Portales)

Chepal Sherpa, ‘Theorizing Democratic Legality under Neoliberal Capitalism: India’s Neoliberal Project and the Maoist Alternative’ (Jawaharlal Nehru University)


11.45-12.15:    Morning Tea


12.15-14.00:    Panel 6: Neoliberal Legality Beyond the Nation State

Thomas Biebricher, ‘Understanding the Rise of Juridical Neoliberalism in Europe’ (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt)

Ntina Tzouvala, ‘Neo-liberalism as Legalism: The Rise of the Judiciary and International Trade Law’ (Durham University)

Jothie Rajah, ‘Neo-liberalism and the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index’ (American Bar Foundation)


14.00-15.00:    Lunch


15.00-16.45:    Panel 7: Strange Bedfellows? Human Rights and Neoliberalism

Samuel Moyn, ‘A Powerless Companion: Human Rights in the Age of Neoliberalism’ (Harvard)

Zeynep Kivilcim, ‘Articulating Human Rights Discourse in Local Struggles in a Neoliberal Age’ (Istanbul University)

Ben Golder, ‘The Neoliberal Question: Human Rights, Legal Form, and Political Strategy’ (University of New South Wales)


14.45:              End


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