Speaker: Costas Douzinas, Professor of Law and Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities

Costas is an internationally recognized commentator, political activist and leading expert in human rights law, jurisprudence and philosophy of law, political philosophy and political theory. He is also a prominent member of the Critical Legal Studies movement. Recent books include The End of Human Rights and Human Rights and Empire.

His current work has two directions.

1) He presents critical readings on the traditional topics such as natural law, justice, rights and positivism;

2) His other major project is a book on Postmodern Just Wars. It discusses the recent turn of domestic and international politics towards human rights and humanitarianism. It re-assesses the theory of sovereignty and the role of morality in politics by discussing the work of writers such as Schmitt, Agamben, Rawls, Habermas and Negri. It proposes a postmodern theory of justice and analyses the metaphysics of humanity and jurisdiction and the role of refugees and war prisoners as exemplifications of the bare life confronted by the condensed and bare sovereignty of empire.