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What lies in the shadow of the statue?

INSECURE TIMES, EMERGENCY MEASURES: STATE(S) OF EXCEPTION?

One Day Workshop: Thursday 22nd July 2010

Institute of Advanced Studies, Lancaster University,
Room A010, 9.00 a.m. – 6.30 p.m.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:

Conor Gearty, Law, LSE;

Bob Jessop, Sociology, Lancaster;

Costas Lapavitsas, Economics, SOAS;

Martin Loughlin Law, LSE.

OTHER PARTICIPANTS INCLUDE:

Christos Boukalas, Politics, Lancaster

Michael Dillon, Politics, Lancaster

Michael Kratke, Sociology, Lancaster

Mark Lacey, Politics, Lancaster

Christopher May, Politics, Lancaster

David Seymour, Law, Lancaster

David Sugarman, Law, Lancaster

The Centre of Law and Society at Lancaster University has organised a one-day Workshop on the subject of the ‘state of exception’ from researchers and scholars across the spectrum of the human sciences, lawyers, activists, and NGO’s.

The response of western states to the attacks on the World Trade Centre in late 2001 led to major shifts in state organisation and operating modes and in social practices and perceptions. It thus significantly affects the nexus of socio-political relations, as expressed in such spheres as law, political action, economy, popular ideology and culture, war, policing, work, international relations, and ultimately, the texture of everyday life.

Academic reflection on these developments seems, whatever its entry point or primary area of concern, to converge on the conclusion that we are dealing with some kind of “state of emergency”: whether as a derailment from the rule of law, unilateralism in international affairs, recurrence of a Schmittian ‘Political’ informing state power – and so on. It can be argued that the concept “state of emergency” not only re-appears, but claims predominance within social science in the early 21st century. Significantly, it seems to be the social-science concept that most resonates in society, as it is used by a variety of actors, in a variety of contexts.

In any case, the specific post-9/11 version of counterterrorism policy has by now developed and acquired its own history. Democrat dominance in the US political stage may imply that further changes lie ahead, while the ‘emergency’ mode of power seems to be migrating (again?) from security to economic policy.

Given its centrality in social theory, the importance of its referents, the range of areas in which it is now employed, the polyvalence of the term, and the indeterminacy characterising the present conjuncture, it is time to (re)assess the character of state power and its effects on the practices and meanings of early 21st century social life. To this end, it would be good to start by assessing the concept that has been the analytical lynchpin for current developments.

Accordingly, the Centre of Law and Society is organising a one-day Workshop on the “state of exception”.

The Workshop will bring together academics, lawyers, activists and NGO staff in an attempt to clarify the term’s meaning and connotations and to investigate its relevance and adequacy as a conceptual and analytical framework for contemporary socio-political phenomena.

For further information and registration, please contact:
Dr. Christos Boukalas,
Department of Politics and International Relations,
Lancaster University,
Lancaster LA1 4YD,
United Kingdom.
Email: c.boukalas@lancaster.ac.uk

Co-organisers
Christos Boukalas (Politics, Lancaster University) and
David Sugarman (Law, Lancaster University)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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