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Anarchy: Law and Culture Conference 2017

Thursday 7th - Friday 8th September 2017


What does it mean to break the world? What is legitimate resistance to state power? When does authority spill over into repression? What happens when a sovereign loses control? What is an anarchic act? Is anarchic thought possible? What is anarchy’s relationship to chaos and disorder? What is its relationship to order and regulation? How are such concepts represented—if they can be—in legal, social, political, moral, and critical philosophies? Can anarchy be a duty? 

The Law and Culture Conference 2017 aims to stimulate a topical discussion that crosses disciplinary, geographic, academic, and conceptual boundaries (inter alia), on the significance of anarchy in relation to law, culture, and theory. 

Here are some indicative themes; do not let them limit you:

Anarchies of the state
  • Power, power structures, authority, authoritarianism, (il)legitimate authority; despotism, barbarism, war, propaganda, totalitarianism; ideologies of anarchism, or the de-centralisation or the minimal State
  • States of disorder and/or disorganisation; lawlessness and misrule; the state of nature
  • Statelessness, refugee crises, anti-statism; international regulation and governance; permeable boundaries; the internet, digital media, information exchange
 Anarchies of the subject
  • Absolute freedom of the individual; social breakdown, lack and/or failure of accountability; leaderless-ness, alienation, self-determination, individual responsibility
  • Grassroots; voluntary association; social regulation; self-governing societies; modes of non-recognition or rejection of authority; resisting oppression; vulnerability
  • Revolution, sabotage, assassination, riot, mutiny, protest, rebellion, direct action, self-empowerment; intersections between legal, moral, and political obligation
  • Aggression, violence, self-defence, non-violence/pacifism 
Anarchies of thought
  • Nihilism, chaos, anti-structuralism; post-fact, post-reality, post-truth; liberalism, democracy, Trumpism/Brexit; the death of ‘left-right’ politics, the rise of nationalism
  • Coercion, compulsion, reasons, normativity, resistance, practical reason (including both individual and collective/social methodologies of decision-making)
  • Hierarchy (including intersectional hierarchies such as the state, religion, monarchy, patriarchy, economy, sex, ‘race’, sexual orientation), and anti-hierarchical philosophies
  • The art and literature of anarchy, punk culture, alternative, radical cultures, art as/and anarchic knowledge

    About the Centre for Law and Culture

    The Centre for Law and Culture is an interdisciplinary hub for research at the intersections of law, justice, and the humanities, engaging legal study that spans topics and themes from across critical and cultural legal studies and thereby incubating and promoting the crossing and challenging of legal boundaries.


    St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London TW1 4SX


    There is an anticipated £100 registration fee (plus booking), which will cover both days and include dinner. Cheaper packages will be available (for single-day attendance etc).

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    Thursday 7th - Friday 8th September 2017

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    For more information about this event please email

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