Law as Resistance: Modernism, Imperialism, Legalism, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Law as Resistance

Modernism, Imperialism, Legalism, 1st Edition

By Peter Fitzpatrick


354 pages

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Hardback: 9780754626855
pub: 2008-07-08
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The scandal of this collection lies not just in its equating law and resistance but also in its consequent revision of those critical, realist, social, and even positivist theories that would constitute law in its dependence on sovereign or society, on some surpassing power, or on the state of the judge's digestion. There is as well a further provocation offered by the collection in that the most marginalized of resistances through law are found to be the most destabilizing of standard paradigms of legal authority. Instances of such seeming marginality explored here include the resistances of colonized and indigenous peoples and resistance pursued through international law. What this 'marginal' focus also reveals is the constituent connection between modernism, imperialism and that legalism produced by the ready reduction of law in terms of sovereign, society and such. In all, the collection makes a radical contribution to social, political and postcolonial theories of law.


''…an important and fascinating essay collection.' Journal of Postcolonial Writing '..breathtakingly rich in varying content, yet steadfast in its unifying focus…Fitzpatrick has again come to the fore with an array of ground-breaking questions and analyses in contemporary legal theory.' Journal of South African Law '..when the essays are chronologically ordered, as they are here, the product is greater than the sumof its parts. Indeed Law as Resistance is remarkable…' Access to Justice '…a cogent compilation of cutting edge work in critical legal theory today.' Journal of Law, Culture and the Humanities

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Interview; 'In God we trust' can relieve us of trusting each other; 'The desperate vacuum': imperialism and law in the experience of enlightenment; Law as resistance; Law's infamy; 'We know what it is when you do not ask us': nationalism as racism; Tears of the law: colonial resistance and legal determination; Why the law is also nonviolent; 'No higher duty': Mabo and the failure of legal foundation; 'Gods would be needed…': American empire and the rule of (international) law; Breaking the unity of the world: savage sources and feminine law; The immanence of Empire; Bare sovereignty: homo sacer and the insistence of law; Latin roots: imperialism and the formation of modern law; 'What are gods to us now?': secular theology and the modernity of law; Name index.

About the Author

Peter Fitzpatrick is Anniversary Professor of Law at Birkbeck College in the University of London, UK.

About the Series

Collected Essays in Law

Collected Essays in Law
Each volume in this Collected Essays series brings together a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. The articles are drawn from a wide range of journals, conference proceedings and books. The collections make readily available the authors' own selections of their most important writings on specific themes, together with an introduction which outlines the context of the work and comments on its significance and potential. The collected essays complement each other to give a retrospective view of the author's achievements and a developmental picture of a subject area. Some volumes include critiques of the author's work which have called for a response and other contain previously unpublished essays on the selected subject.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Jurisprudence