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Law and Liberation

Critical Notes on Agamben’s Political Messianism

Jayne Svenungsson

argue that in one respect Agamben does repeat a typical supersessionist gesture, namely in pitting law against grace and thereby counterposing law to liberation. In so doing, Agamben not only fails to do justice to an essential element in Jewish

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Stuart Kirsch

to protect its citizens and nature against corporate malfeasance are imagined in new ways (Affolter, this issue). Collectively, the articles explore the role of law in managing relations between corporations, communities, and the state, including

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Life at a Tangent to Law

Regulations, ‘Mistakes’ and Personhood amongst Kigali’s Motari

Will Rollason

knowing stupidity. Thus, André could be seen as resisting legality, trying to avoid the problems of visibility and legibility ( Scott 1998 ) that the law imposes and the risk of serious difficulties that it might entail. In Rwandan studies, such accounts

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Patrick Cockburn

of necessity with the threat of anarchy : But when and how far is the plea of necessity available to one who is prima facie guilty of tort? Well, one thing emerges with clarity from the decisions and that is that the law regards with the deepest

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Law in Theory, Law in Practice

Legal Orientalism and French Jesuit Knowledge Production in India

Danna Agmon

Letters written by early modern missionaries played an important role in the development of global intellectual networks and inquiry into religion, language, cartography, and science. But the historical ethnography of law has not recognized the role that Jesuits played in creating the field of comparative law. This article examines the writings on law in India by the French Jesuit Jean-Venant Bouchet, who was an important source for Enlightenment philosophes and later Orientalists. It considers Bouchet’s systemic accounts of Indian law alongside his more ethnographic description of his legal encounters in South India, and argues that the practice of conversion and experiences in local legal fora determined and shaped Bouchet’s interpretation of Indian law. In other words, legal scholarship was produced in spiritual, religious, and political contexts, and cannot be abstracted from them.

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The Rule of Law as a Condition for Development Toward Sustainability

Toward a New Legally Oriented Environment at a Global Level

Giovanni Tartaglia Polcini

Cooperation (IDC) is also supporting the rule of law in Africa together with the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) by generating greater awareness and political commitment. So, Italy intends to develop an innovative and up-to-date approach

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Everyday Suffering and the Abstract Time-Reckoning of Law

Reflections on the Allocation of Responsibility for an Asbestos Disaster in Italy

David Loher

-of-court settlements, or compensation payments in the context of tort cases under civil law. This article explores how colloquial notions of responsibility and expectations of justice are related to each other. 3 It focuses on one particular aspect that shapes such

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Liberty, Law and Leviathan

Of Being Free from Impediments by Artifice

Lena Halldenius

The argument in this article is that Hobbes' theory of freedom in Leviathan allows for four ways of being free to act - corporal freedom by nature, freedom from obligation by nature, the freedom to disobey and the freedom of no-rule - each corresponding to a particular absence, some of which make sense only in the civil state. Contrary to what some have claimed, this complexity does not commit Hobbes to an unarticulated definition of freedom in tension with the only one that he explicitly offers, which is that freedom consists of nothing other than the absence of external impediments of motion. To be free from obligation is to be free from impediments. As a political subject in the state, the power that is blocked or compelled by law is a person's power to perform artificial acts as her will directs. Laws and prior commitments are external impediments that block or compel making an artificial, institution-dependent act either impossible or unavoidable. The bonds of law bind artificially yet corporally, given that the power that makes them is, quite literally, an external body that moves at will.

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Italian alliances between commoning and law

Framing new regulations by challenging rules in Naples

Antonio Vesco and Alexandros Kioupkiolis

The “commons” have become a rallying point of social mobilization against privatization and a linchpin of collective civic empowerment and democratic renewal in several countries. What singles out the Italian “laboratory” of urban commons in recent years is the coalescence of pro-commons lawyers with activists, movements, and grassroots collectives. The central role played by law in the Italian commons network must be read in the light of the distinctive forms that regulations and rules assume in specific contexts. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted between 2018 and 2019, this article focuses on the case of Naples and the reinvention of the legal tradition of “civic use.” Our account of the daily practices pursued by a Neapolitan community of commoners—L’Asilo—delves into the role played by the law and its representatives in a political context that has always been the subject of stigmatization.

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William A. Quinn

…incerto tempore ferme incertisque locis spatio depellere paulum [at random times and places they shift a bit] Lucretius, De Rerum Natura (II, 218–219) Chaucer’s ‘The Man of Law’s Tale’ is strange. In the Riverside edition, Larry