Spatial Politics, Everyday Life and the Right to the City
By Chris Butler
Routledge-Cavendish – 2013 – 200 pages
Series: Nomikoi Critical Legal Thinkers
While certain aspects of Henri Lefebvre’s writings have been examined extensively within the disciplines of geography, social theory, urban planning and cultural studies, there has been no comprehensive consideration of his work within legal studies. Henri Lefebvre: Spatial Politics, Everyday Life and the Right to the City provides the first serious analysis of the relevance and importance of this significant thinker for the study of law and state power. Introducing Lefebvre to a legal audience, this book identifies the central themes that run through his work, including his unorthodox, humanist approach to Marxist theory, his sociological and methodological contributions to the study of everyday life and his theory of the production of space. These elements of Lefebvre’s thought are explored through detailed investigations of the relationships between law, legal form and processes of abstraction; the spatial dimensions of neoliberal configurations of state power; the political and aesthetic aspects of the administrative ordering of everyday life; and the ‘right to the city’ as the basis for asserting new forms of spatial citizenship. Chris Butler argues that Lefebvre’s theoretical categories suggest a way for critical legal scholars to conceptualise law and state power as continually shaped by political struggles over the inhabitance of space. This book is a vital resource for students and researchers in law, sociology, geography and politics, and all readers interested in the application of Lefebvre’s social theory to specific legal and political contexts.
'This is an excellent book that will no doubt take up a place in the canon of secondary texts on Lefebvre' -Associate Professor, Mark Purcell, of the University of Washington for Society and Space Journal, 2013
'Chris Butler offers an erudite, concise, and coolly humorous account of Henri Lefebvre’s work' - Associate Professor, Shaun McVeigh, of the Melbourne Law School for The Law for the Literature and Humanities Association of Australasia Journal, 2013
PART I: THEORETICAL ORIENTATIONS: Chapter 1.The social theory of Henri Lefebvre; Chapter 2. The production of space; Part II: SPATIAL POLITICS, EVERYDAY LIFE AND THE RIGHT TO THE CITY: Chapter 3. Space, abstraction and law; Chapter 4. State power and the politics of space; Chapter 5. Modernity, inhabitance and the rhythms of everyday life; Chapter 6. The right to the city and the production of differential space; Bibliography.
Chris Butler is a Lecturer at the Griffith Law School, Australia. He researches in the areas of critical theory, law and geography, administrative law and urban studies.