CRITICAL LEGAL THINKING

LAW AND THE POLITICAL

CRITICAL LEGAL THINKING

LAW AND THE POLITICAL

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 universities. The Bill has come at the back of the increasingly polarized debates about what kind of speakers should (or should not) be invited to speak (‘platformed) in academic environments. Neither the question nor controversies around it are new or unique to the UK, but they have attracted increased media attention in recent years, owing to high-profile cases such as Kathleen Stock’s departure from the University of Sussex and Rod Liddle’s speech at Durham University’s South College in 2021. Once we move beyond the media frenzy over ‘cancel culture’, what stands out about the proposed Bill is precisely that it brings together concepts that have very different political genealogies and applications: freedom of speech and...

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ARTICLES

A Reply – Obligations: New Trajectories in Law

A Reply – Obligations: New Trajectories in Law

We continue our series on contemporary critical (legal) books with a series of responses to Scott Veitch's, Obligations: New Trajectories in Law (Routledge, 2021). We have posted four responses to Scott's new work, each picking distinct themes which together testify...

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On Veitch’s Obligations

On Veitch’s Obligations

We continue our series on contemporary critical (legal) books with a series of responses to Scott Veitch's, Obligations: New Trajectories in Law (Routledge, 2021). We will post four responses to Scott's new work, each picking distinct themes which together testify to...

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Eco-Legal Bonds: On Veitch’s Obligations

Eco-Legal Bonds: On Veitch’s Obligations

We continue our series on contemporary critical (legal) books with a series of responses to Scott Veitch's, Obligations: New Trajectories in Law (Routledge, 2021). We will post four responses to Scott's new work, each picking distinct themes which together testify to...

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Hugging

Hugging

Photo by Anastasia Vityukova on Unsplash At 4.30 p.m. on August 28th, 2021, for the first time after five hundred and twenty-five days spent in isolation, on account of the pandemic, in my small village 30 km from Coimbra, I hugged and was hugged by...

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Crits and the Chinese Party-state

Crits and the Chinese Party-state

Series: Critical Legal Thinking on China Critical theory borrows liberally from various anti-liberal thinkers , such as Karl Marx and Carl Schmitt, but what should critical legal scholarship on – and in – illiberal political regimes look like? This essay discusses the...

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Observations on Hong Kong

Observations on Hong Kong

Series: Critical Legal Thinking on China It has been said that a poem is never finished, just abandoned. Academic writing has a touch of that too. The visions and revisions it has taken to get a text into decent shape could always do with one more run through, one...

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Schmitt in Beijing

Schmitt in Beijing

Series: Critical Legal Thinking on China On December 4, 2020, the keynote lecture for Hong Kong’s second annual official “Constitution Day Seminar” was delivered by Peking University law professor Chen Duanhong. In his remarks, Chen firmly supported the legal climate...

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Introduction: Critical Legal Thinking on China

Introduction: Critical Legal Thinking on China

The return of China to the centre of international affairs invites a critical examination of its articulation of ‘law and the political’. In a world of nation-states, the Chinese ‘party-state’ is a singular political form that has been aptly described as a having a...

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Hannah Jones’ Violent Ignorance

Hannah Jones’ Violent Ignorance

In her book Violent Ignorance Hannah Jones explores our ability to turn away from painful or uncomfortable knowledge. At the heart of the book she argues that this process – what she calls ‘violent ignorance’ – produces or allows the violence of racism, migration...

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Being-with: Farewell, Jean-Luc Nancy

Being-with: Farewell, Jean-Luc Nancy

“Are feelings finite?” This was a question Jean-Luc Nancy asked me as we travelled in a taxi from Heathrow to Central London in the summer of 2005. I had just welcomed Jean-Luc and his wife Hélène Sagan at the airport. They were among the extraordinary gathering of...

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Church, State, Resistance

Church, State, Resistance

Following the sad death of the philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, we republish one of his most important essays which engages with law and the political. The essay was originally published in The Journal of Law and Society and translated by Véronique Voruz and Colin Perrin....

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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...