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Andreas Fischer- Lescano

167 6 Postmodern legal theory as critical theory Andreas Fischer-Lescano (Translated by Gerrit Jackson) Understanding the relationship between law and violence is one of the most urgent challenges a postmodern critical legal theory faces today. In his essay, Christoph Menke explores the thesis that violence is to be thought of not as an external quality of law but as an essential part of its constitution. While his concise analysis reveals the fundamental conflict between the autonomy and the social responsiveness of law, I will suggest that we must radicalize

in Law and violence
Graeme Kirkpatrick

Feenberg’s critical theory of technology is to a large extent constructed through a synthesis of concepts from several predecessor theories, each of them important to his work in different ways, and each a source of concepts that he modifies in order to incorporate them into his own syncretic framework. This chapter describes the overarching rationale of Feenberg’s intellectual project, with reference to some of these sources. It suggests that the result is a new system in which concepts take on altered significance and are made to do quite different work than

in Technical politics
Robert Fine
Philip Spencer

3 Antisemitism, critical theory and the ambivalences of Marxism Citizens, let us think of the basic principle of the International: Solidarity. Only when we have established this life-giving principle on a sound basis among the numerous workers of all countries will we attain the great final goal which we have set ourselves. (Karl Marx – a speech given following a congress of the First International, 8

in Antisemitism and the left
Open Access (free)
Andrew Feenberg’s critical theory of technology

This is the first monograph devoted to the work of one of the foremost contemporary advocates of critical theory, Andrew Feenberg. It focuses on Feenberg’s central concept, technical politics, and explores his suggestion that democratising technology design is key to a strategic understanding of the process of civilisational change. In this way, it presents Feenberg’s intervention as the necessary bridge between various species of critical constructivism and wider visions of the kind of change that are urgently needed to move human society onto a more sustainable footing. The book describes the development of Feenberg’s thought out of the tradition of Marx and Marcuse, and presents critical analyses of his main ideas: the theory of formal bias, technology’s ambivalence, progressive rationalisation, and the theory of primary and secondary instrumentalisation. Technical politics identifies a limitation of Feenberg’s work associated with his attachment to critique, as the opposite pole to a negative kind of rationality (instrumentalism). It concludes by offering a utopian corrective to the theory that can provide a fuller account of the process of willed technological transformation and of the author’s own idea of a technologically authorised socialism.

Open Access (free)
Andrew Bowie

in philosophy then and now. This revision will also require a different view of the origins and validity of many positions in contemporary literary theory and analytical philosophy. I have for this reason often given a substantial amount of exposition of little known arguments: without a serious engagement with these arguments some of the dead-ends of recent theory seem bound to recur. The story, of course, does not stop where I do. In a book published in 1997 I traced a route ‘From Romanticism to Critical Theory’ (Bowie 1997) which gives detailed accounts of the

in Aesthetics and subjectivity
Monika Gehlawat

Using political and critical theory, this article identifies in James Baldwin a model for citizenship unique to the Black artist who assumed the dual responsibilities of art practice and political activism. I engage with Baldwin’s fiction and his writing about other Black artists working in theater, film, dance, and music during the period of the civil rights movement. Across his career, Baldwin’s prevailing view was that, because of their history, Black artists have the singular, and indeed superlative, capacity to make art as praxis. Baldwin explains that the craft of the Black artist depends upon representing truths, rather than fantasies, about their experience, so that they are at once artists pursuing freedom and citizens pursuing justice. This article pays particular attention to the tension between living a public, political life and the need for privacy to create art, and ultimately the toll this takes on the citizen artist. Baldwin demonstrates how the community of mutual support he finds among Black artists aids in their survival. In his writings on Sidney Poitier and Lorraine Hansberry, his friendships with Beauford Delaney and Josephine Baker, as well as his reviews of music and literature, Baldwin assembles a collective he refers to as “I and my tribe.”

James Baldwin Review
Open Access (free)
Sovereignty and the politics of dead bodies

This book looks at sovereignty as a particular form of power and politics. It shows that the fate of bodies in the transition from life to death can provide a key to understanding fundamental ways in which sovereignty is claimed and performed. The contributions analyse (post-)conflict as well as non-conflict contexts, which too often are studied in isolation from one another. Focusing on contemporary issues rather than the equally important historical dimensions, they all grapple with the questions of who governs the dead bodies, how, why and with what effects. The book analyses how dead bodies are placed and dealt with in spaces between competing, overlapping and nested sovereign orders, under normal as well as exceptional conditions. It looks at contributions that draw on psychoanalysis, critical theory, the structuralist-functionalist anthropology of burial rituals and recent ideas of agency and materiality. The book first explains the efforts of states to contain and separate out dead bodies in particular sites. It explores the ways in which such efforts of containment are negotiated and contested in struggles between different entities that claim the dead bodies. The book then shows how entities that claim sovereignty produce effects of sovereignty by challenging and transgressing the laws regarding the legitimate use of violence and how dead bodies should be treated with dignity.

Open Access (free)
Time and space
Saurabh Dube

. Such readings could problematize the very nature of the historical archive as well as initiate conversations with other orientations, including those of structural linguistics and critical theory. 1 No less salient were incipient acknowledgments of the innately political character of history writing. In this wider scenario, attending the history (honors) undergraduate program

in Subjects of modernity
Open Access (free)
An introduction
Saurabh Dube

antihumanist perspectives. 16 Taken together, from the early 1980s, discussions and debates on Western representations of non-Western worlds, as part of the wider elaboration of critical theories of colonial discourse, led to the gradual emergence of the field (now even considered a discipline) of postcolonial studies, not solely in metropolitan academic arenas but gradually also in

in Subjects of modernity
Open Access (free)
Identities and incitements
Saurabh Dube

the one hand, strongly influenced by critical theory – especially the work of Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida, but also the writings of philosophers and critics from Martin Heidegger to Edward Said – a key corpus has focused on formations and regimens of modern power. Such scholarship has especially tracked the discursive entailment and constitutive embedding of power in

in Subjects of modernity