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Law and Marxism Series: Capitalism As Civilisation

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Event 3 - Book Discussion: Capitalism as Civilisation

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The ‘power and capital stream’ of the Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context (CLSGC) is launching the ‘Law and Marxism Series’, a new forum featuring the work of the many exciting scholars researching and writing within the Marxist tradition from around the world. We begin the new series with a discussion of recently published books within this tradition, in conversation with the authors and other scholars from across the humanities and social sciences.

Capitalism as Civilisation

Author: Dr Ntina Tzouvala (Australian National University)

Discussants: Dr Lucia Pradella (Kings) and Dr Rob Knox (Liverpool)

Methodologically and theoretically innovative, Ntina Tzouvala’s monograph draws from Marxism and deconstruction bringing together the textual and the material in our understanding of international law. Approaching 'civilisation' as an argumentative pattern related to the distribution of rights and duties amongst different communities, Ntina Tzouvala illustrates both its contradictory nature and its pro-capitalist bias. 'Civilisation' is shown to oscillate between two poles. On the one hand, a pervasive 'logic of improvement' anchors legal equality to demands that non-Western polities undertake extensive domestic reforms and embrace capitalist modernity. On the other, an insistent 'logic of biology' constantly postpones such a prospect based on ideas of immutable difference. By detailing the tension and synergies between these two logics, Tzouvala argues that international law incorporates and attempts to mediate the contradictions of capitalism as a global system of production and exchange that both homogenises and stratifies societies, populations and space.

**Please note this is an online event and all registrants will be sent joining details the day before the event.

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