Althusser and Law
Edited by Laurent de Sutter
Routledge – 2013 – 176 pages
Series: Nomikoi Critical Legal Thinkers
Althusser & Law is the first book specifically dedicated to the place of law in Louis Althusser’s philosophy. The growing importance of Althusser’s philosophy in contemporary debates on the left has - for practical and political, as well theoretical reasons - made a sustained consideration of his conception of law more necessary than ever. As a form of what Althusser called ‘Ideological State Apparatuses’, law is at the forefront of political struggles: from the destruction of Labour Law to the exploitation of Patent Law; from the privatisation of Public Law to the ongoing hegemony of Commercial Law; and from the discourse on Human Rights to the practice of judicial courts. Is Althusser still useful in helping us to understand these struggles? Does he have something to teach us about how law is produced, and how it is used and misused? This collection demonstrates that Althusser’s ideas about law are more important, and more contemporary, than ever. Indeed, the contributors to Althusser and Law argue that Althusser offers a new and invaluable perspective on the place of law in contemporary life.
Introduction, Laurent de Sutter; 1. The Threat of the Outside: Althusser’s Reflections on Law, Warren Montag; 2.Althusser on Laws Natural and Juridical, William S. Lewis; 3. Monarchy, Despotism, and Althusser's 'Linguistic Trick': Materialist Reflections on the Literary Reproduction of Montesquieu's 'Fundamental Law', David McInerney; 4. Althusser’s Paradoxical Legel Exceptionalism as a Materialist Critique of Schmitt’s Decisionism, Juan Domingo Sánchez Estop; 5.Prohibitionary Law as Apparatus of Subjectivation: Butler’s The Psychic Life of Power and Althusser, Yoshiyuki Sato; 6.Althusser in Avatar: Comparative Law as a Science and the Haunting of the Subject, David Marrani; 7. Re-reading Capital: Notes towards an Investigation of Law, Politics and Pensions, Adam Gearey; 8.The Althusser Fact: For Madness Creates no Right – On the Secularization of Law, Dimitra Panopoulos; 9.Aleatory Materialism and Speculative Jurisprudence (II): For a New Logic of Right, Kyle McGee
Laurent de Sutter is FWO Senior Researcher in Legal Theory at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels. He is also Lecturer in Legal Theory at Facultés Universitaires Saint-Louis and Visiting Teacher at Cardozo Law School.