Being Social: Ontology, Law, Politics

by | 19 Mar 2015

We are pleased to announce that Being Social: Ontology, Law, Politics, edited by Tara Mulqueen and Daniel Matthews, and published by COUNTERPRESS, is now available.

Being Social brings together leading and emerging scholars on the question of sociality in poststructuralist thought. The essays collected in this volume examine a sense of the social which resists final determination and closure, embracing an anxiety and undecidability of sociality, rather than effacing it. Through issues including queer politics, migration, and Guantanamo, recent events such as the occupation of Gezi Park in Istanbul, and theoretical explorations of themes such as writing, law, and democracy, contributors assess how a reconfigured sociality affects thinking and practice in the legal and political realms. With a particular emphasis on Jean-Luc Nancy, whose work brings questions of community to the fore, these essays explore how the consistent ‘unworking’ of sociality informs the tenor and form of political debate and engagement.

Table of Contents

Introduction (Tara Mulqueen & Daniel Matthews)

Part I: Grounds of the Social

1. The Ground of Being Social (Ian James)
2. Being Social in ‘Law and Society’ (Peter Fitzpatrick)
3. The Meaning of Sense (Pieter Meurs and Ignaas Devisch)

Part II: Acts of the Social

4. Being Social Democratically with Jean-Luc Nancy at the Gezi Park Protests (Marie-Eve Morin)
5. The Queer Experience of Singular Finitude (Tara Mulqueen)
6. Labour and Migration in the ‘Suspended Step’ (Anastasia Tataryn)
7. Survival’s Witness: Poetry, Sociality, Community (Patrick Hanafin)
8. On the Law of Originary Sociability or Writing the Law (Daniel Matthews)



Watch Tara and Dan talk about the motivations, inspirations and collaborations behind the book (3 min 6 sec).



This is the first publication by COUNTERPRESS, which was set up in 2013 by those closely involved with Critical Legal Thinking as a ‘counter’ to the privatizing of academic knowledge, the spiralling cost of academic books, the feral profiteering of big academic publishers, the overbearing reliance on copyright, and the unfair access restrictions to learning materials in a world of uneven globalization. Read more about us here.


Being Social is available in paperback from online bookstores. For delivery to UK addresses, you can also order directly from COUNTERPRESS. The e-book can be downloaded under creative commons licence from the title’s webpage:


  1. Just ordered this! Congratulations Tara, Daniel and Counterpress!

    • Thanks Bill.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Join 4,311 other subscribers

We respect your privacy.

Fair access publisher in
critical law and humanities.

Fair access = access according to ability to pay on a sliding scale down to zero.




Submit your article and get read by the largest community of critical legal scholars, with over 4000 subscribers.