March 29, 2011

Some New Books From Routledge

Some new titles of interest from Routledge (abstracts from the publisher's catalog)

Jacques de Ville, Jacques Derrida: Law as Absolute Hospitality (due August 2011).

Jacques Derrida: Law as Absolute Hospitality presents a comprehensive account and understanding of Derrida’s approach to law and justice. Through a detailed reading of Derrida’s texts, Jacques de Ville contends that it is only by way of Derrida's deconstruction of the metaphysics of presence, and specifically in relation to the texts of Husserl, Levinas, Freud and Heidegger - that the reasoning behind his elusive works on law and justice can be grasped. Through detailed readings of texts such as To speculate – on Freud, Adieu, Declarations of Independence, Before the Law, Cogito and the history of madness, Given Time, Force of Law and Specters of Marx, De Ville contends that there is a continuity in Derrida’s thinking, and rejects the idea of an ‘ethical turn’. Derrida is shown to be neither a postmodernist nor a political liberal, but a radical revolutionary. De Ville also controversially contends that justice in Derrida’s thinking must be radically distinguished from Levinas’s reflections on ‘the other’. It is the notion of absolute hospitality - which Derrida derives from Levinas, but radically transforms - that provides the basis of this argument. Justice must on De Ville’s reading be understood in terms of a demand of absolute hospitality which is imposed on both the individual and the collective subject. A much needed account of Derrida's influential approach to law, Jacques Derrida: Law as Absolute Hospitality will be an invaluable resource for those with an interest in legal theory, and for those with an interest in the ethics and politics of deconstruction.
Law and Art: Ethics, Aesthetics, Justice (Ed. Oren Ben-Dor). (published March 2011).

The contributions to Law and Art address the interaction between law, justice, the ethical and the aesthetic. The exercise of the legal role and the scholarly understanding of legal texts were classically defined as ars iuris – an art of law – which drew on the panoply of humanist disciplines, from philology to fine art. That tradition has fallen by the wayside, particularly in the wake of modernism. But, as this book demonstrates, a
consideration of the relationship between law and art can still bring jurisprudence, and particularly critical
jurisprudence, to life. In its attention to the inexpressible, art can contribute to the liberation of legal doctrine from its own self-imposed limits. It can inform the ethics of a legal theory that is concerned to address how theoretical abstractions and concrete oppressions overlook the singularity and spontaneity to which art attests. The contributors to this volume – and their engagement with the full range of ’the arts’ – seek, therefore, to disturb and to supplement conventional accounts of justice: raising the difficulty, but also the promise, of that surplus which art reveals: of life over legal formalisation.
Deidre Pribram, Emotions, Genre, and Justice in Film and Television (published March, 2011).

Through their cultural meanings and uses, emotions enable social identities to be created and contested, to
become fixed or alter. Popular narratives often take on emotional significance, aiding groups of people in
recognizing or expressing what they feel and who they are. This book focuses on the justice genres – the generic network of film and television programs that are concerned with crime, law, and social order – to examine how fictional police, detective, and legal stories participate in collectively realized conceptions of emotion. A range of films (Crash, Man on Fire) and television series (Cold Case, Cagney and Lacey) serve as case studies to explore contemporarily relevant representations of anger, fear, loss and consolation, and compassion.
Michael Salter, Carl Schmitt: Law as Politics, Ideology and Strategic Myth (due October 2011).

There has been and continues to be a remarkable revival in academic interest in Carl Schmitt's thought within politics, but this is the first book to address his thought from an explicitly legal theoretical perspective. Transcending the prevailing one-sided and purely historical focus on Schmitt’s significance for debates that took place in the Weimar Republic 1919-1933, this book addresses the actual and potential significance of Schmitt's thought for debates within contemporary Anglo-American legal theory that have emerged during the past three decades. These include: the critique of legal positivism; the ‘indeterminacy thesis’ of American Critical Legal Studies; the reinterpretation of law as a form of strategically disguised politics by the contemporary sociology of law movement; the emphasis upon law as implicated in, and as aspect of, a network of mobile yet dispersed power relationships irreducible to a central state; the legal theoretical critique of human rights and liberalism more generally; Schmitt’s critique of innovations within international criminal law: the inhumanity and hypocrisy of supposedly universalistic ‘crimes against humanity’; and the retrospective criminalisation of ‘aggressive war’ as part of the Nuremberg trials process. In these respects, therefore, Michael Salter provides an overview and assessment of Schmitt's thought, as well as a consideration of its relevance for contemporary legal thought.

Veronique Voruz, Foucault and Criminology: An Introduction (due April, 2011).

[p]rovides an introduction to Michel Foucault, written from the perspective of criminology’s engagement with his work. Foucault’s writing has become a central reference in theoretical and sociological criminology generally and, more specifically, in what Jock Young has called ‘control theory’. The main purpose of this book is to offer a better, clearer and deeper understanding of ongoing criminological debates to both undergraduate and research students in criminology by outlining the theoretical framework which criminologists have taken from Foucault. Its second purpose is to trace the evolution of Foucault’s political project and to counterpose the thrust of his elaborations to the more pedestrian applications of his critical analyses of the present in the field of criminology. In these respects, Foucault and Criminology offers a ’map’ to guide students and practitioners of criminology: both through Foucault’s own writings and those of contemporary criminologists whose work may be characterised as Foucauldian. In so doing, it also pursues the argument that Foucault’s historical and theoretical analyses of discipline, power and governance must be understood in the context of his overall project if criminologists are to avoid reducing Foucault’s radicality, and to reclaim the critical, and resistive, potential of his work.

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