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Elena Loizidou

  • Overview



    Elena  joined the School of Law in January 2000 and was promoted to Reader in Law and Political theory in 2014. From 1995-1999 she was a lecturer at Lancaster University. She holds a PhD from Lancaster University. She has recently been elected to the role of Academic Governor for the period 2020-23. She is one of the founding members of the Association of Critical Legal Scholars.

    She has been a member of the steering committee of Birkbeck Institute of Gender and Sexuality since 2009 and a member of the steering committee Birkbeck Institute of Humanities (20010-14 and 2018-to present). 

    She was the School's REF lead until September 2023 and is the Chair of School's REF Working Group and the School's REF Panel and a member of the School's Research Committee. She was a member of the College's REF working Party and School Research Committee. From May 2022- July 2023 she was Assistant Dean for Law. 

    Her research holds a sustain interest in critical theory and more particularly in the inter-relation between law, ethics and politics . In Judith Butler:Ethics, Law, Politics (Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2007) she  explored the legal ethical and political dimensions in Judith Butler's philosophical writings. Her current research focuses of anarchism and her forthcoming book Anarchism the art of living without law (forthcoming Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2021) explores  how self-managed  associations can exist without legal frameworks. She is on the editorial board of the critical legal journal Law and Critique and Counterpress served on the editorial board of Australian Feminist Law Journal. She serves as a certified expert for the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (H.F.R.I).



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      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.

    • Anarchism an Art of Living without Law

      The book draws on archival material that records the life and actions of the anarchist Emma Goldman and her associates, legal documents and writings by classical (Pierre Joseph Proudhon, Peter Krotopkin) and contemporary anarchists (David Graeber, Saul Newman, Ciarra Bottici), as well as contemporary groups such as the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army and Occupy Wall Street. By studying the idiosyncrasies of this art of life, it argues, we are better able to appreciate how anarchism is not some future utopian oriented project, waiting to come into existence after a revolution, but rather exists in parallel to the life and politics offered by the State.

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      An edited collection that explores the concept and practice of disobedience through the prism of contemporary ideas and events.

    Office hours

    Wednesday 5-6 or by appointment through email: .


    Web profiles

    Administrative responsibilities

    • School REF2021 Lead
    • Assistant Dean for Law (2022-23)
    • Chair of School's REF2021 Panel and School's REF2021 Working Group
    • Member of the School's Research Committee
    • Member of College REF2021 Working Group Committee
    • Member of College Research Committee
    • School Representative to Birkbeck Institute of Humanities Steering Committee

    Visiting posts

    Professional activities

    Elena is a member of the editorial board critical legal journal Law and Critique and Counterpress. She regularly reviews articles for the following journals:Law and Critique, Law Culture and Humanities,Feminist Legal Studies, Australian Feminist Law Journal and Law and Humanities and book proposals for Routledge and Polity Press. She examined doctorates at the LSE, Queens Belfast University, Kent University, the University of Pretoria, Royal Holloway and Goldsmiths College. She assessed promotions applications for Goldsmiths College and acted as grants assessor for the National Research Foundation of South Africa and the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation.

  • Research


    Research interests

    • Anarchism and Law
    • Judith Butler studies
    • Political theory and law
    • Gender & Sexuality theory and Criminal law
    • Critica Legal Theory

    Research overview

    Elena has a sustain interest in critical theory, critical legal theory and political theory. Whether she is writing about law and film as in Law's Moving Image, about the philosophy of Judith Butler or anarchist political thought, she is committed in thinking about how we can address current legal and political inequalities, and whether it is possible to have societies at a distance of the state and without being framed by law and they  could deliver to us the worlds that we deserve. In her recent book on Anarchism she explores some of the ways that his may be possible. Some of her ideas about anarchism appeared in   episode 1 of Jeffrey Grossman's (NYT journalist) serialisation of the life of the anarchist Emma Goldman. She is currently thinking about 

    Elena is an elected member of the organizing committee of the Law Culture and Humanities Association (2023-6).

    Research Centres and Institutes

    Research clusters and groups

  • Supervision and teaching

    Supervision and teaching


    I welcome supervisions from prospective PhD students who are interested in Critical Legal Studies, Anarchism and law, the work of Judith Butler and Criminal law and Gender.

    Current doctoral researchers


    Doctoral alumni since 2013-14



    I have been convening and teaching the undergraduate core module of Criminal Law since 2000. I am currently co-convening the module with Dr Craig Reeves and Dr Susy Menis. I teach the course from a critical perspective, drawing on the historical and gendered aspects of criminal law.

    My LLM/MA core module Criminal Law Theory and History looks at the formation of modern criminal law through the writings of the 19th jurist, lawyer and writer James Fitzjames Stephen and its effects on contemporary criminal law. In doing so I attend to the colonial aspects of criminal law.

    I co-teach with Professor Adam Gearey the post graduate module, Law, Solidarity and Alternative Economies. Here I focus on the way in which mutual aid project open us up to different economic models, and different economies of exchange.

    Teaching modules

    • Criminal Law Theory and History (LADD058S7)
    • Law, Solidarity and Alternative Economies (LALW087S7)
    • Criminal Law (GDL) (LALW114H6)
  • Publications




    Book Section

    • Loizidou, Elena (2022) Utopia. In: Goodrich, P. and Gandorfer, D. and Gebruers, C. (eds.) Research Handbook in Law and Literature. Research Handbooks in Legal Theory. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. pp. 128-146. ISBN 9781839102257.
    • Loizidou, Elena (2021) Dance, anarchism, mutual aid. In: Paramana,, K. and Gonzalez, A. (eds.) Performance, Dance and Political Economy Bodies at the End of the World. Dance in Dialogue. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 1-12. ISBN 9781350188693.
    • Loizidou, Elena (2021) From exchange to freedom and back. No guarantees. In: Paramana, K. and Gonzalez, A. (eds.) Performance, Dance and Political Economy: Bodies at the End of the World. Dance in Dialogue. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 1-6. ISBN 9781350188693.
    • Loizidou, Elena (2020) A parallel art of living. In: Hesselberth, P. and de Bloois, J. (eds.) Politics of Withdrawal: Media, Arts, Theory. London, UK: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781786616333. (In Press)
    • Loizidou, Elena (2019) What is law?. In: Levy, C. and Newman, S. (eds.) The Anarchist Imagination: Anarchism Encounters the Humanities and Social Sciences. Interventions. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. ISBN 9781138781184.
    • Loizidou, Elena (2018) Sequences on law and the body. In: Philipopoulos-Mihalopoulos, A. (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Law and Theory. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. ISBN 9781138956469.
    • Loizidou, Elena (2017) What is law?. In: Levy, C. and Newman, S. (eds.) The Anarchist Imagination: Anarchism Encounters the Humanities and Social Sciences (Interventions). Interventions. London, UK: Routledge. ISBN 9781138781184.
    • Loizidou, Elena (2016) Dreams and the political subject. In: Butler, J. and Gambetti, Z. and Sabsay, L. (eds.) Vulnerability in Resistance. Durham, U.S.: Duke University Press. pp. 122-145. ISBN 9780822362791.
    • Loizidou, Elena (2013) Disobedience subjectively speaking. In: Loizidou, Elena (ed.) Disobedience: Concept and Practice. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. pp. 108-124. ISBN 9780415657242.
    • Hanafin, Patrick (2013) Insubordinate voices: contestation and the right to politics. In: Loizidou, Elena (ed.) Disobedience: Concept and Practice. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. pp. 48-59. ISBN 9780415657242.
    • Aristodemou, Maria (2013) Disobedience and atheism. In: Loizidou, Elena (ed.) Disobedience: Concept and Practice. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. ISBN 9781138924598.
    • Loizidou, Elena (2012) Before the law, encounters at the borderline. In: Stone, M. and Wall, I. and Douzinas, Costas (eds.) New Critical Legal Thinking: Law and the Political. Birkbeck Law Press. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. ISBN 9780415619578.
    • Loizidou, Elena (2012) Lauren Berlant the Americanist, comparative literary theorist and cynical philosopher. In: Groden, M. and Kreiswirth, M. and Szeman, I. (eds.) Contemporary Literary and Cultural Theory. The Johns Hopkins Guide. Baltimore, USA: John Hopkins University Press. ISBN 9781421406398.
    • Loizidou, Elena (2010) This is what democracy looks like. In: Martel, J. and Casas Klausen, J. (eds.) How Not To Be Governed: Reading and Interpretations from a Postanarchist Left. New York, U.S.: Lexington Press. ISBN 9780739150344.
    • Loizidou, Elena (2008) Butler and life: law, sovereignty, power. In: Carver, T. and Chambers, S.A. (eds.) Judith Butler's Precarious Politics: Critical Encounters. Abingdon: Routledge. pp. 145-156. ISBN 978-0-415-38442-1.
    • Loizidou, Elena (2005) Rebellion and citizenship: Hannah Arendt, Jim Stark and American public life in the 1950s. In: Slocum, J.D. (ed.) Rebel without a cause: Approaches to a Maverick Masterwork. New York, USA: State University of New York Press. ISBN 9780791466469.
    • Loizidou, Elena (2004) Rebel without a cause?. In: Moran, Leslie J. and Sandon, Emma and Loizidou, Elena and Christie, Ian (eds.) Law's Moving Image. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. ISBN 9781904385011.
    • Macmillan, Fiona (2004) How the movie moguls learned to stop worrying and love the new technology. In: Moran, Leslie J. and Loizidou, Elena and Christie, Ian and Sandon, Emma (eds.) Law's Moving Image: Law and Film. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. ISBN 9781904385011.
    • Moran, Leslie (2004) On realism and the law film: the case of Oscar Wilde. In: Moran, Leslie and Sandon, Emma and Loizidou, Elena and Christie, Ian (eds.) Law’s Moving Image. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. ISBN 9781904385011.
    • Loizidou, Elena (2000) Of feminism, children and pornography. In: Heinze, E. (ed.) Of Innocence and autonomy: Children, sex and human rights. London, UK: Ashgate. ISBN 9781138728295.
    • Loizidou, Elena (1999) Heavenly creatures, matricide and criminal law's obsession with confessions. In: Moran, Leslie J. and Monk, Daniel and Beresford, S. (eds.) Legal Queeries: Lesbian, Gay, and Transgender Legal Studies. London, UK: Cassell. ISBN 9780304338641.

    Conference Item

  • Business and community

    Business and community


    I am happy to receive enquiries from the media on the following topics:

    • Anarchism and Law
    • Criminal Law and Sexual Offences
    • Critical Theory and Judith Butler