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Book Launch: The Politics of Survival: Minority Women, Activism and Austerity in France and Britain

Starts 23 February 2018 - 18:00
Finishes 23 February 2018 - 20:00
Venue CLO B01, Clore Management Centre, Torrington Square, London, WC1E 7JL
Booking details
Free entry; booking required
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Event description

The Centre for Research on Race and Law presents the launch of 'The Politics of Survival: Minority Women, Activism and Austerity in France and Britain' with authors Leah Bassel and Akwugo Emejulu, and Hilary Sommerlad as discussant.

In the first book of its kind, Bassel and Emejulu explore minority women’s experiences of and resistances to austerity measures in France and Britain. Minority women are often portrayed as passive victims. However, Minority women and austerity demonstrates how they use their race, class, gender and legal status as a resource for collective action in the face of the neoliberal colonisation of non-governmental organisations, the failures of left-wing politics and the patronising initiatives of policy-makers.

Using in-depth case studies, this book explores the changing relations between the state, the market and civil society which create opportunities and dilemmas for minority women activists. Through an intersectional ‘politics of survival’ these women seek to subvert the dominant narratives of ‘crisis’ and ‘activism’. Find out more about the book here.

The Centre for Research on Race and Law, launched in 2017, brings together Birkbeck’s work in the School of Law and elsewhere, on the conceptual and practical connections between race and law. It has been established practice in many other disciplines to consider various issues through the lens of race, but much rarer for race to be used as an explicit analytical framework in the discipline of law. Law as a discipline in Britain and the Global North has traditionally failed to address questions of race, despite considerable societal interest, instead focussing on questions of equality as confined to the field of human rights or discrimination law.

Please note that latecomers to the event are not guaranteed entry. Please be advised that photographs may be taken at the event for use on the Birkbeck website and in Birkbeck marketing materials. By attending this event, you consent to Birkbeck photographing and using your image for these purposes. By registering for this event you consent to your email address being added to relevant Birkbeck, University of London mailing lists. Your email address will not be shared with third-party organisations. If you would like to request your removal from our mailing list please contact

This event is part of the School of Law's 25th Anniversary celebrations. The School of Law, Birkbeck was founded in 1992 as a Department of Law with three members of academic staff. Over the last twenty-five years it has become a School comprising the Departments of Law and Criminology as well as the Institute for Criminal Policy Research, four research Centres, 40 members of staff and an overall student body of over 1,000. The School is proud of being a pioneer in establishing and developing a hub for the field of critical legal studies. While our national and international reputation has been forged through critical legal research, more recently we have gained recognition for critical criminological and activist research, socio-legal scholarship and policy-engaged empirical research. In recognition of this the last Research Excellence Framework exercise ranked us as being in the top 10 law schools in the UK and in the top 3 in London, while our research environment was judged conducive to producing research of the highest quality.

In this our 25th Anniversary year we will be holding a series of events reflecting on our history and successes as well as looking forward to the opportunities and challenges facing critical legal and criminological teaching and scholarship in the 21st century. Find out more about the 25th Anniversary celebrations here.

Contact name
Leah Bassel, Akwugo Emejulu, Hilary Sommerlad
Further details

School/department website