The Last Interview of Nicos Poulantzas

The last interview of Nicos Poulantzas in an English translation with introduction at the Legal Form blog.


Here at Legal Formwith a helpful introduction. Poulantzas died just nine days before its original publication on 12 Oct., 1979, in the Italian communist journal, Rinascita.

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The Birth of Austerity: German Ordoliberalism and Contemporary Neoliberalism (2017)

This looks like a very valuable collection which includes some of the foundational texts of ‘Ordoliberalism’, which Foucault discusses in his course The Birth of Biopolitics.

Foucault News

The Birth of Austerity. German Ordoliberalism and Contemporary Neoliberalism
Edited by Thomas Biebricher and Frieder Vogelmann, Rowman & Littlefield.

Publication Date: Sep 2017

Ordoliberalism and the ‘Freiburg School’ have gained traction in contemporary political economy in response to two factors: a rising interest in governmentality studies and the banking, financial and sovereign debt crisis in Europe. In the face of these crises, Germany has assumed a position of quasi-hegemony in the European Union, making decisions about bailouts, the politics of crisis management and the rise of austerity.

This volume gathers together English translations of seminal ordoliberal texts by thinkers ranging from Walter Eucken and Wilhelm Röpke to Franz Böhm, Alexander Rüstow and Hans Grossmann-Doerth. Offering some foundational insights into ordoliberalism, these essays give insight into a field that is much misunderstood outside Germany. The second half of the book comprises of analyses of contemporary issues in light of ordoliberal…

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6/13 Revolt: Foucault in Iran (2017)

News of a discussion of Foucault in Iran to be held in New York

Foucault News


Daniel Defert (éditeur de Michel Foucault)
Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi (University of Illinois at Urbana)
Judith Revel (Université Paris Nanterre)
Moderated by John Rajchman, Daniele Lorenzini, and Bernard E. Harcourt

December 14, 2017 from 6:15 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Jerome Greene Annex, Columbia University
(410 West 117th Street, New York)

See also these links


Michel Foucault identified in the Iranian uprising of 1978 a modality of religious political revolt and a form of political spirituality that privileged, in the secular realm, expressly religious aspirations. What Foucault discovered in Iran was, in his words, a political spirituality: a mass mobilization on this earth modeled on the coming of a new Islamic vision of social forms of coexistence and equality.

Foucault described the mass mobilization in Iran as an Islamic…

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Verena Erlenbusch, Genealogies of Terrorism: Revolution, State Violence, Empire forthcoming with Columbia UP

9780231547178Verena Erlenbusch, Genealogies of Terrorism: Revolution, State Violence, Empire forthcoming with Columbia University Press in 2018.

What is terrorism? What ought we to do about it? And why is it wrong? We think we have clear answers to these questions. But acts of violence, like U.S. drone strikes that indiscriminately kill civilians, and mass shootings that become terrorist attacks when suspects are identified as Muslim, suggest that definitions of terrorism are always contested. In Genealogies of Terrorism, Verena Erlenbusch rejects attempts to define what terrorism is in favor of a historico-philosophical investigation into the conditions under which uses of this contested term become meaningful. The result is a powerful critique of the power relations that shape how we understand and theorize political violence.

Tracing discourses and practices of terrorism from the French Revolution to late imperial Russia, colonized Algeria, and the post-9/11 United States, Erlenbusch examines what we do when we name something terrorism. She offers an important corrective to attempts to develop universal definitions that assure semantic consistency and provide normative certainty, showing that terrorism means many different things and serves a wide range of political purposes. In the tradition of Michel Foucault’s genealogies, Erlenbusch excavates the history of conceptual and practical uses of terrorism and maps the historically contingent political and material conditions that shape their emergence. She analyzes the power relations that make different modes of understanding terrorism possible and reveals their complicity in justifying the exercise of sovereign power in the name of defending the nation, class, or humanity against the terrorist enemy. Offering an engaged critique of terrorism and the mechanisms of social and political exclusion that it enables, Genealogies of Terrorism is an empirically grounded and philosophically rigorous critical history with important political implications.

Verena Erlenbusch’s careful genealogy of ‘terrorism’—tracking the term’s multiple and overdetermined meanings since its first appearance as a political concept in the late eighteenth century—powerfully shows us how we all too frequently ask the wrong questions about terrorism. This critical book offers a necessary corrective to how we think about terrorism, and it reshapes the grounds upon which we should have any meaningful debate about terrorism in the present moment.

Andrew Dilts, Loyola Marymount University

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7 Critical Theory books that came out in November 2017 – Negri, Wheeler-Reed, Soussloff, Strauss, Adorno, Sullivan, Zigon

As ever, a useful roundup from critical theory



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LSE Writing for Research – page of links to advice posts

I’ve linked to some of these before, but the LSE has now put together a page of links to their advice posts – Writing for Research.

There are lots more links and some discussions archived here.

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Figure/Ground interview with Leonard Lawlor

Figure/Ground interview with Leonard Lawlor

Leonard Lawlor is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Philosophy at Pennsylvania State University. He specializes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Continental philosophy. He received his doctorate from SUNY Stony Brook in 1988 and taught at the University of Memphis from 1989–2008, where he held the position of Faudree-Hardin University Professor of Philosophy from 2004 to 2008 before joining the faculty at Penn State, as Sparks Professor of Philosophy. He is known for his writings on phenomenology and on the figures Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, Henri Bergson, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Edmund Husserl, and Jean Hippolyte. Lawlor’s most recent work concerns transcendental violence and possible responses to it. His recent From Violence to Speaking Out takes up the question of responses to violence. Although From Violence to Speaking Out contains precise expositions of important ideas in Derrida, Deleuze, and Foucault, it is an original work of philosophy, extending ideas found in his 2007 This is not Sufficient. Somewhat disguised by the expositions, From Violence to Speaking Out is primarily a work in ethics.

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The Intimate Life of Violence: Brad Evans interviews Elaine Scarry at LARB

This the 16th in a series of dialogues with artists, writers, and critical thinkers on the question of violence. This conversation is with the acclaimed American writer Elaine Scarry, who is the Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value at Harvard University. The author of many books, Elaine’s work has been pioneering in rethinking the relationship between violence, the body, and trauma as a political and social category.

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The Browser talks to Will Davies (podcast)

Robert Cottrell talks to Will Davies about blogging, writing, sociology and social media on The Browser – podcast.

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Edward S. Casey, The World on Edge reviewed at NDPR by Fred Evans

9780253026095_medEdward S. Casey, The World on Edge is reviewed at NDPR by Fred Evans. I’d missed this book when it came out earlier this year, but looks like another important study by Casey. Here’s the press description of the book:

From one of continental philosophy’s most distinctive voices comes a creative contribution to spatial studies, environmental philosophy, and phenomenology. Edward S. Casey identifies how important edges are to us, not only in terms of how we perceive our world, but in our cognitive, artistic, and sociopolitical attentions to it. We live in a world that is constantly on edge, yet edges as such are rarely explored. Casey systematically describes the major and minor edges that configure the human and other-than-human realms, including our everyday experience. He also explores edges in high- stakes situations, such as those that emerge in natural disasters, moments of political and economic upheaval, and encroaching climate change. Casey’s work enables a more lucid understanding of the edge-world that is a necessary part of living in a shared global environment.

Update: thanks to dmf for the link to an open-access related piece by Casey: Edges and the in-Between

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