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Anthropocene Authoritarianism (Critique in Times of Corona)

There has been much discussion of the biopolitics of the global response to the Coronavirus onCritical Legal Thinking and elsewhere. Many of the pieces have engaged critically with Giorgio Agamben’s interventions, polarising debate.[1]Thus, Karsten Schubert and Panagiotis Sotiris have argued contra Agamben for a ‘democratic biopolitics’ while Tim Christaens has raised the dangers of normalising new…

Crying for Repression: Populist and Democratic Biopolitics in Times of COVID-19.

We live in very Foucauldian times, as the many think-pieces published on biopolitics and COVID-19 show. Yet what is remarkable—biopolitically—about the current situation has gone largely unnoticed: We are witnessing a new form of biopolitics today that could be termed populist biopolitics. Awareness of this populist biopolitics helps illuminate what is needed today: democratic biopolitics.…

International Economic Law & COVID-19

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International economic law (IEL), broadly defined, refers to the rules governing the cross-border movement of goods, people, technology and finance capital, as well as the institutions created to design and enforce such rules. IEL has, over the past three decades, developed exponentially as a field of study, evolving from a sub-field of public international law…

Must Society be Defended from Agamben?

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Many European countries have by now been in lockdown for more than a week. This has given everyone ample time to reflect on our current condition. Many of the world’s leading critical thinkers have shared their thoughts with us through op-eds, blog posts, and so on. Among the more troubling are three opinion pieces Giorgio…

A Corona Utopia in Three Parts

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“This episode of Black Mirror sucks!” The slogan that briefly went viral in the United States after the election of Trump has now acquired an even more infectious, irresistible irony for many in coronavirus-stricken Europe. The fear of loved ones and ourselves getting infected by the inconspicuous threat that is Covid-19 has merged with confusion…

Covid-19 and the Continuity of the Familiar

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The outbreak of Covid-19 is billed as a ‘once in a century event’. It has appeared as the prophesised rupture in our social, economic and political fabric of the world, with the recognition that what follows may not resemble what humanity has become used to. It is posed as a discontinuity in the normality of…

Decolonisation Is Not About Ticking a Box: It Must Disrupt

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As academics in a post-truth world, I believe we have an urgent and important task. In a world where emotional appeals and emotive decision-making are seemingly the norm, academia should be in the business of truth. Rather than lament reality, we should be revealing the reasons for the possibility of our reality and charting a…

Achille Mbembe: Necropolitics

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Key Concept The economic and political management of human populations through their exposure to death has become a global phenomenon. Wars, genocides, refugee “crisis”, ecocide and contemporary processes of pauperization and precarization reveal how increasing masses of individuals are now governed through their direct and indirect exposure to death. In order to unpack those processes,…

Ethics of Tragedy: Dwelling, Thinking, Measuring

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Available in paperback now from online bookshops and as a ‘fair access’ E-book from Counterpress Author: Ari Hirvonen Adjunct Professor in Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory at the University of Helsinki B & W 229 x 152 mm | Perfect Bound on White w/Matte Laminate | 344 pages | Paperback ISBN 978-1-910761-09-0 | E-book…

Digging for Failure

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Dig Station is an idle tapping game, with grinder overtones, produced by C6H6 and available on the Amazon app store. The premise is that you are in control of a station that is digging into the earth’s crust in order to mine resources. You begin simply with a drill: your ‘core drill’, which slowly and…

Hong Kong, or How Social Struggles Can Reinforce the Cartography of Capitalist Enclosure

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If the debates incited by the 2019 Hong Kong Protest Movement, known as the Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill (or Anti-ELAB) Movement, have revolved around conflicting interpretations that favor differently weighted readings of geopolitics and more fundamental questions about the extent to which geopolitics can serve as a reliable index for understanding local insurrection, the bulk…

Law & Humanities Summer School

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The Law and Humanities Summer School is an intensive one-week study programme, to be held at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland, from 15 to 19 June 2020. The school is co-organised by the following partners: Institute for Interdisciplinary Legal Studies – lucernaiuris, University of Lucerne Centre for Law, Arts and Humanities, The Australian National University…

CfP: Afterlives of the Universal

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The Universalist conceptions of humanity that were forged in the Enlightenment revolutionised thinking about human life, its ethics, and its political organisation. Inscribed into the modern declarations that shaped the post-Enlightenment political project, these conceptions paved the way for the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Universalisms remain central to modernity’s legal discourse and are indispensable to…

Dangerous Spaces

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In radical or alternative left movements, the idea of safety is paramount. It is rare to go to a meeting about feminist, anti racist, queer, or otherwise progressive politics without a safe (or safer) spaces policy being presented. This document, whether read aloud or pinned to a wall, is implicitly a contract between participants regarding…

CfStreams: Critical Legal Conference 2020

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 FRANKENLAW COMMUNITY DIVISION MODERNITY Critical Legal Conference 2020 University of Dundee 3-5 September Call for Streams I lived principally in the country as a girl, and passed a considerable time in Scotland. I made occasional visits to the more picturesque parts; but my habitual residence was on the blank and dreary northern shores of the…

Marxist Legal Theory: Dictatorship of the Proletariat

1917 Petrograd Soviet

This is one of a series of key concepts in Marxist legal theory organized in collaboration with our friends at Legal Form: A Form for Marxist Analysis of Law. All articles in this series, including the present one, will appear concurrently on Legal Form and Critical Legal Thinking. The Marxist concept of dictatorship has a different meaning…

Marginalisation of Expertise & Media Bias

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We write as members of the UK academic community. We are deeply concerned by the marginalisation of expertise in the media coverage of the general election. In particular we would like to highlight the lack of attention paid to recent analyses by economists and employment lawyers in relation to the possibilities that the Labour Manifesto presents…

Prácticas Constituyentes / Practicing Constitutionalism, Universidad Diego Portales, 17-18 December 2019

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Coloquio Internacional «Prácticas Constituyentes: Constituciones, imaginarios políticos y formas democráticas de vida» Núcleo de Teoría Social UDP, junto con el Janey Program in Latin American Studies de la The New School for Social Research y el Centro de Investigación en Teoría Política y Socia de la Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, organizan el Coloquio Internacional «Practicas Constituyentes: Constituciones,…