ESALA Research Seminar: Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos


  • Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 13:00 to 14:00

  • Minto House, Elliot Room
    20-22 Chambers Street
    Edinburgh
    EH1 1JZ

This week’s guest speaker, Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, LLB, LLM, PhD, is Professor of Law & Theory at the University of Westminster, and founder and Director of The Westminster Law & Theory Lab.

His interests are typically interdisciplinary, including space, corporeality, new materialism, and philosophy. Andreas also has an artistic practice under the name of picpoet.

Edited volumes include Law and the City (2007), Law and Ecology (2012), Luhmann Observed: Radical Theoretical Encounters (2013), and with Augusto Cusinato Knowledge-Creating Milieus in Europe (2015). He has published three monographs, Absent Environments (2007), Niklas Luhmann: Law, Justice, Society (2010), and Spatial Justice: Body, Lawscape, Atmosphere (2014).

Andreas is the editor (with Christian Borch) of the Routledge Glasshouse Series Space, Materiality and the Normative.

Spatial Justice

Spatial Justice is an open question: what happens when a body moves into the space of another body? What happens when one body desires to be exactly where another body is, at exactly the same time?

Spatial justice fleshes out the violence of unitary emplacement: only one body can occupy a specific space at a specific time. The result of such desire is conflict, displacement, marginalisation, invisibilisation.

The question of spatial justice is at the core of every geopolitical, economic, colonial and post-colonial, racial, gendered, class and so on, conflict. It remains the ultimate quest, bringing together justice as emplacement and spatiality as movement. Its emergence does not offer a final solution but urges towards a constant repositioning.

In order to explain this, Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos employs the concepts of the lawscape, namely the spatial and legal tautology, and atmosphere, namely the material illusion of justice as perfect emplacement.  

He argues that spatial justice can only emerge through a radical withdrawal from the atmospherics of control perpetuated by the neoliberal, self-policing affective society of growth and consumption; and a movement towards the perpetual questioning that comes from the infinity of space as manifold.

Through the above definition and practice of spatial justice, Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos proposes a conceptualisation of law and politics of movement, on the basis of a posthuman, affective, embodied and generally material understanding of justice.

Everyone is welcome; please contact Dr Katerina Antonopoulou, Simpson Postdoctoral Fellow in Architecture, if you have any questions or do not have a University staff/student card (for access).

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