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Ben Golder Public Lecture "Foucault and Human Rights"

QM School of Law

Monday, 30 October 2017 from 18:30 to 21:30 (GMT)

Ben Golder Public Lecture "Foucault and Human Rights"

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General Registration 30 Oct 2017 Free  

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Centre for European and International Legal Affairs

The Centre for European and International Legal Affairs presents a public lecture by Professor Ben Golder on Faucault and Human Rights. 

A drinks reception will follow for those in attendance. 

About the Lecture

This lecture will focus on Michel Foucault's late work on rights in order to address broader questions about the politics of human rights in the contemporary era. As several commentators have observed, something quite remarkable happens in Foucault’s late work. In his early career, Foucault had been a great critic of the liberal discourse of rights. Suddenly, from about 1976 onward, he makes increasing appeals to rights in his philosophical writings, political statements, interviews, and journalism. He not only defends their importance; he argues for rights new and as-yet-unrecognized. Does Foucault simply revise his former positions and endorse a liberal politics of rights? The lecture proposes an answer to this puzzle, which is that Foucault approaches rights in a spirit of creative and critical appropriation. He uses rights strategically for a range of political purposes that cannot be reduced to a simple endorsement of political liberalism. The lecture develops this interpretation of Foucault's work while analyzing its shortcomings and relating it to the approaches taken by a series of current thinkers also engaged in considering the place of rights in contemporary politics, including Wendy Brown, Judith Butler, and Jacques Rancière.

Speaker Biography

Ben Golder teaches courses on law and social theory, on public law, and on the politics of human rights, in the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales. He works at the intersection of political and legal theory, and his last book, published with Stanford University Press, is Foucault and the Politics of Rights. Ben is an Associate Editor of the journal, Contemporary Political Theory, a member of the Editorial Committee of Law and Critique, and on the editorial board of the Australian Journal of Human Rights. He is currently working on a book manuscript about contemporary critiques of human rights.

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When & Where


Ground Floor Lecture Theatre
GO Jones Building
Queen Mary University of London
E1 4NS Mile End Road
United Kingdom

Monday, 30 October 2017 from 18:30 to 21:30 (GMT)


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