Deadly Algorithms

COMMENTARy Deadly algorithms Can legal codes hold software accountable for code that kil s? Susan schuppli Algorithms have long adjudicated over vital processes that help to ensure our wellbeing and survival, from pacemakers that maintain the natural rhythms of the heart, and genetic algorithms that optimise emergency response times by cross-referencing ambulance locations with demographic […]

The Right To Protest

News The right to protestAs Quebec erupts over plans to increase tuition fees by the equivalent of £200, and twelve people (including Professor Joshua Clover) who protested against a campus bank at University of California–Davis begin a trial that could see them imprisoned for eleven years and fined $1 million each, what of the scores […]

Drucilla Cornell

INTERVIEW Drucilla Cornell Feminism, deconstruction and the law RP: Perhaps you could begin by saying something about the Critical Legal Studies movement in the USA. What is its relationship to feminism? And where do you see your own work as fitting in? Cornell: Regrettably there’s very little organized presence of either Critical Legal Studies or […]

Constitutional state and democracy

In his Between Facts and Norms, [1] Jürgen Habermas offers a justification of the ʻdemocratic constitutional stateʼ from the viewpoint of his communicative or discourse theory, and gives a thorough exposition of his conception of democratic politics. In what follows I will attempt to give a general outline of Habermasʼs political philosophy and to suggest […]

Bodies and power, revisited

Foucaultʼs early approach to the question of bodies and power is perhaps best known in his analysis of the body of the prisoner in Discipline and Punish. [1] Many of us have read and reread this analysis, and tried to understand how power acts upon a body, but also how power comes to craft and […]

Systems theory and legal theory

The political reception of Niklas Luhmann in the English-speaking world is still localized. His death in 1998 triggered a wider general interest in his work, and its susceptibility to reception in cultural theory has been clearly registered. [1] However, political debate on his writings is still largely confined to the theoretically tuned regions of legal […]

The exemplary exception

The exemplary exception Philosophical and political decisions in Giorgio Agamben’s Homo Sacer Andrew norris rights. More specifically, the Nazi death camps are not a political aberration, least of all a unique event, but instead the place where politics as the sovereign decision on life most clearly reveals itself: ʻtoday it is not the city but […]

Heads of cabbage and mouths full of water

Commentary Heads of cabbage and mouths full of water On corporate slaughter Mark neocleous In 1998 Simon Jones, a student at the University of Sussex, signed up with Personnel Selection to earn some extra cash. Sent to work for Euromin at Shoreham dockyard, he was given the job of unloading bags of stones by attaching […]

Philosophy’s malaise

Philosophy’s malaise Philosophy and its history Pierre macherey For as long as philosophy has existed it has been intimately concerned with and profoundly perturbed by its history – a history from which it would very much like to unburden itself, without really knowing how. * In order to specify the character of this discomfiture we […]

Whatever happened to martial law?

Whatever happened to martial law? Detainees and the logic of emergency Mark neocleous Began teaching the detainee lessons such as stay, come, and bark to elevate his social status up to that of a dog. Detainee became very agitated. Guantánamo guard diary entry, 20 December 2002What is a detainee? The term has been given a […]

Walter Benjamin and the Red Army Faction, Part 2

Critique of Violence: the deposing of the law Walter Benjamin and the Red Army Faction, Part 2 Irving wohlfarth Things fal apart; the centre cannot hold;Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. W.B. Yeats, ‘The Second Coming’The ‘Critique of Violence’ (1921, hereafter abbreviated to ‘Critique’) is the only published statement of Benjamin’s on politics and […]

Reckless trials?

Commentary Reckless trials? The criminalization of the sexual transmission of HIV Daniel monk In 1998 a report by the Home Office concluded that it would be contrary to the public interest to criminalize the reckless transmission of HIV. Moreover – and in keeping with received academic opinion – it also suggested that under the existing […]

The Smell of Power

The smell of power A contribution to the critique of the sniffer dog Mark neocleous On 8 July 2005, the day after the London bombings, the International Association of Chiefs of Police issued its new guidelines on the detection and prevention of suicide bombings. The IACP is the primary organization through which senior police executives […]

Risked democracy

The delay involved in the publication of lectures or seminars has strange effects: what comes late and in a different time to its own is research and words which were caught up – more so than the books – in the historical circumstances of their elaboration; and the text that is finally published, with the […]