Birkbeck Law Review Annual Conference 2017 – ‘Law and the City: Exploring the Urban Revolution in Critical Legal Studies’

Birkbeck Law Review Annual Conference 2017 – ‘Law and the City: Exploring the Urban Revolution in Critical Legal Studies’

Saturday 16 September 2017, Clore Management Building, Birkbeck, University of London

The Birkbeck Law Review is pleased to announce its 2017 Annual Conference, entitled ‘Law and the City: Exploring the Urban Revolution in Critical Legal Studies’, to be held on Saturday 16th September 2017 at the Clore Management Centre, Birkbeck, University of London.

Almost fifty years ago the French philosopher Henri Lefebvre declared that ‘society has been completely urbanized’. Today, more than half the world’s population live in an urban environment, and it is difficult to ignore the totalising trajectory of global urbanisation. For researchers, analysts and the inquisitive, the nature of collective existence cannot be separated from the urban condition. The urban has without doubt now become a primary domain of debates and struggles concerning social justice, and urbanism has taken on a renewed primacy in contemporary critical theory, social sciences, humanities and beyond. For those engaging in critical legal approaches, engagement with law and society now requires critical engagement with the urban. This conference seeks to explore and connect law’s urban dynamics, and, vice versa, the urban’s legal dynamics.

Law and legality play a significant role in the production of the urban. Legal norms and rules shape the city materially, politically and socially. Law also shapes (and perhaps limits) our conceptions and imaginations of how the city and society should and could be constituted. As the critical legal tradition has continually sought to question and expose the role of law in the production of power and collective life, it is necessary to further our engagement with how law and urbanity intertwine and the form collective urban life takes: interrogating its injustices, problems and potentials, and how law and power shape the city. In other words, it is more important than ever to critically assess and challenge the nature of the urban world we are inhabiting and producing, with a particular focus on the role of law and its dynamics in urban production.

This conference seeks to further these explorations and reflections between law and the urban. It seeks to further pollinate thinking between disciplines, and to encourage engagement with how law and the urban intertwine, exploring the dynamics of power, injustices and potentials in law’s shaping of the city. This conference seeks to address the status and trajectory of critical legal urban scholarship and identify research gaps and further avenues of investigation. It further seeks to bring together scholars, practitioners and activists working on law and urban issues to develop networks and collaborations. We hope you can join us.

Keynote speakers

Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, University of Westminster

Anne Bottomley, University of Kent

Mariana Valverde, University of Toronto


All panels and talks will take place on Saturday 16th September at Birkbeck College, London, from 09:30 to 17:30, followed by a drinks reception. Full schedule of the day available here. Registration via Eventbright online.

Queries to the Conference Editors: Harley Ronan ( and Hysha Smith (

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s