Next ACDC meeting, Laura Henderson on “Law and Politics in Legal Discourse after 9/11”, 18 February 2014, 14A36

Dear ACDC fellows,

The upcoming ACDC meeting will be presented by Laura Henderson (VU, Dept. of Law). She is currently working on her article ‘Law and Politics as Usual: Rupture and repair in legal discourse after 9/11’, with a focus on the ‘normalisation’ of crisis discourse and counter discourses. Laura’s interest is in human rights. Her research is embedded in the research programme Boundaries of Law: “The Rhetoric of Exception. How to Justify Extreme Measures in Politics and Law?”

DATE: Tuesday, 18 February
TIME: 12:00-13:30
PLACE: 14A36 (VU Main Building)
Please respond if you plan to attend in view of the usual catering.

Law and Politics as Usual: Rupture and Repair in Legal Discourse after 9/11

Abstract. In this presentation, I wish to approach the change in the United States’ judiciary’s approach to (counter-)terrorism through a neo-Gramsican lens that attends to the discursive and hegemonic aspects of law and politics. From this perspective, the ‘crisis’ in law and politics that was caused by the 9/11 attacks can be viewed not as an exception but as a normal state of (hegemonic political) affairs. I support this thesis with an analysis of the executive and judicial discourse after 9/11 in regard to terrorism. I show that both branches of government adopted the crisis discourse which created a discursive rupture that was filled with a military-preventive discourse. Further, I will discuss the reasons for the success of the military-preventive discourse in suturing the rupture and, finally, I will touch upon the counter-hegemonic voices which remain in opposition to the military-preventive discourse.

You will find Laura Henderson’s draft article and accompanying appendix (please do not quote from it without the author’s explicit permission) in the archive section of the website.

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We look forward to seeing you on the 17th,

Yours sincerely,

The ACDC conveners
Bertie Kaal, Joyce Lamerichs, Nicolina Montesano Montessori, Steve Oswald, Ida Sabelis and Karen Verduyn

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