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The Idea of Communism (2010)    Edited by Costas Douzinas and Slavoj Žižek      Verso
An all-star cast of radical intellectuals discuss the continued importance of communism.
Separating the promise of communism from the disasters of the twentieth century is no easy task. But it feels necessary. Already we know that choices will have to be made and sides taken. Impending ecological disaster suggests that this could be our last chance to do so. If another world is possible, it will happen in action, not abstract theory. The first choice is very simple: to begin.”—The Guardian
Contributors including Slavoj Zizek, Alain Badiou, Antoni Negri, Michael Hardt, Jacques Rancière, Terry Eagleton, Bruno Bosteels, Peter Hallward, Alberto Toscano and others took part in a landmark conference at Birkbeck College in March 2009 in London on the idea of communism. This volume brings together their discussions on the philosophical and political import of the communist idea, highlighting both its continuing significance and the need to reconfigure the concept within a world marked by havoc and crisis.

Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies - Windows on Empire:
The State We're In  -  Windows on Empire: Perspectives from History, Culture and Political Economy - after a BIH debate in 2008

Being Against the World    Oscar Guardiola Rivera           Routledge Cavendish
How can we save politics from the politician? How can we save ourselves? The wager of this book is to look at the example of those who leave the city and break the social contract, rebellious exiles and freedom fighters escaping the wheel of necessity, and learn from them.The aim is to proceed towards a politics (but also and art) beyond the ways of the understanding, beyond selfauthorization, and beyond critique. Being against the World challenges a critical standpoint that, in ruling out archaic, quasior obscure objects as a superstitious thing of the past, has attributed to law and politics the sober task of managing or controlling human interaction. Rethinking the notion of objectivity that underpins this standpoint, the focus here is upon how archaic fetishes and quasi-objects return to create social conflicts that shatter the most mature ethical senses of precaution and legal policies of prevention. The return of these obscure objects is a political event that, shattering the conventional critical standpoint, seems to reveal a field of politics beyond critique. Being against the World seeks to elicit and to address this beyond, in the domains of art, law and politics.

Objects of Metaphor Samuel Guttenplan    Publisher:  Oxford Scholarship Online
Objects of Metaphor offers a philosophical account of the phenomenon of metaphor which is radically different from others in the literature. Yet for all its difference, the underlying rationale of the account is genuinely ecumenical. If one adopts its perspective, one should be able to understand the substantial correctness of many other accounts, while at the same time seeing why they are not in the end completely correct. The origins of the account lie in an examination of the conception of predication. Unreflectively thought of as a task accomplished by words, it is argued that predication, or something very much like it, can also be accomplished by non-word objects (‘objects’ here include events, states of affairs, situations, actions and the like). Liberated in this way from words, predication becomes one central element in the account of metaphor. The other element is the move from language to objects which, adapting an idea of Quine’s, is thought of as the limiting case of semantic descent. Whilst the Objects of Metaphor account presents other accounts in a new light, its main importance lies in what it says about metaphor itself. Powerful and flexible enough to cope with the syntactic complexity typical of genuine metaphor, it offers novel conceptions of both the relationship between simile and metaphor and the notion of dead metaphor. Additionally, it shows why metaphor is a robust theoretic kind, related to other tropes such as synecdoche and metonymy, but not to be confused with tropes generally, or with the figurative and non-literal.

Power and Epistemic Justice      Miranda Fricker      Publisher:  Oxford
In this exploration of new territory between Ethics and Epistemology, Miranda Fricker argues that there is a distinctively epistemic type of injustice, in which someone is wronged specifically in their capacity as a knower. Justice is one of the oldest and most central themes in philosophy, but in order to reveal the ethical dimension of our epistemic practices the focus must shift to injustice. Fricker adjusts the philosophical lens so that we see through to the negative space that is epistemic injustice.

The book explores two different types of epistemic injustice, each driven by a form of prejudice, and from this exploration comes a positive account of two corrective ethical-intellectual virtues. The characterization of these phenomena casts light on many issues, such as social power, prejudice, virtue, and the genealogy of knowledge, and it proposes a virtue epistemological account of testimony. In this ground-breaking book, the entanglements of reason and social power are traced in a new way, to reveal the different forms of epistemic injustice and their place in the broad pattern of social injustice.

Orthodoxy and the Courts in Late Antiquity     Caroline Humfress      Publisher: Oxford UP
This book develops a new approach to late Roman law and theological debate, focused on legal practice and courtroom argument. From at least the early fourth century, leading bishops, ecclesiastics, and Christian polemicists participated in a vibrant culture of forensic rhetoric, with far-reaching effects on theological debate, the development of ecclesiastical authority, and the elaboration of early Canon law. One of the most innovative aspects of late Roman law was the creation and application of new legal categories used in the prosecution of 'heretics'. Leading Christian polemicists not only used techniques of argument learnt in the late Roman rhetorical schools to help position the Church within the structure of Empire, they also used those techniques in cases involving accusations against 'heretics'- thus defining and developing the concept of Christian orthodoxy itself.

The Great Naval Game: Britain and Germany in the Age of Empire Jan Rüger    Publisher: Cambridge
This book is about the theatre of power and identity that unfolded in and between Britain and Germany in the decades before the First World War. It explores what contemporaries described as the cult of the navy: the many ways in which the navy and the sea were celebrated in the age of empire.  At once royal rituals and national entertainments, these were events at which tradition, power and claims to the sea were played out between the nations. This was a public stage on which the domestic and the foreign intersected and where the modern mass market of media and consumerism collided with politics and international relations. Conflict and identity were literally acted out between the two countries. By focusing on this dynamic arena, Jan Rüger offers a fascinating new history of the Anglo-German antagonism.

Adieu Derrida Edited by Costas Douzinas    Publisher: Macmillan-Palgrave
Intellectuals and friends address Jacques Derrida in the hugely successful lecture series organised in 2005 by the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.
List of contributors: Alain Badiou, Etienne Balibar, Drucilla Cornell, Costas Douzinas, J Hillis Miller, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jacques Rancière, Gayatri Spivak, Slavoj Zizek

Judith Butler: Ethics, Law, Politics Elena Loizidou      Publisher: Routledge Cavendish
The first to use Judith Butler’s work as a reading of how the legal subject is formed, this book traces how Butler comes to the themes of ethics, law and politics analyzing their interrelation and explaining how they relate to Butler’s question of how people can have more liveable and viable lives.

Empire Alejandro Colas   Publisher: Polity
The notion of Empire has in recent years taken on a renewed importance in world politics. US foreign policy has in particular been associated with this concept by both critics and supporters of American global power. But what exactly is an empire? What distinguishes different forms of empire? Is this category still useful in a post-colonial world? These and other related questions are addressed in this historically-informed conceptual introduction to the idea of empire.

Human Rights and Empire: The Political Philosophy of Cosmopolitanism Costas Douzinas
Publisher - Routledge   
Is there an internal relationship between human rights and the recent wars carried out in their name? Are human rights a defensive barrier against domination and oppression or the ideological gloss of an emerging empire? The first part of the book explores the subjective and institutional aspects of human rights. Rights contribute to the creation of human identity and define the meaning and powers of humanity. Contemporary humanitarianism abandons politics in favour of combating evil and places the westerner in the role of the saviour of unfortunate victims. The paradox of rights is that while they offer defences against power they also increasingly target life, regulate the body and define the human.  The second part moves to the international stage. Examining recent events, Douzinas argues that human rights provide the justification for the new configuration of political, economic and military power and the just cause for war.

Cosmopolitanism is the formal ideology of the new order; the removal of violence and perpetual peace its alleged end. But wars, violence and torture are its modus operandi organising its symbolic and imaginary orders.  International law codifies and 'constitutionalises' the normative foundations of empire.  But while the sovereignty of states and the territorial principle are gradually weakened, no sense of world community has developed. Instead lost sovereignty becomes condensed in the hegemonic  centre.  This aim of this book, which follows the acclaimed End of Human Rights, is to examine the normative characteristics, political philosophy and metaphysical foundations of our age. What conception of community and of self do recent developments reflect? Has the new order created its own concepts of right and wrong, truth and falsity, sovereignty and resistance? The overarching concern is with the sense of the world. What are the sources of meaning and value of our age as reflected in late modern law, morality and politics?