August 3, 2015

Gayatri Spivak on Democracy

               Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, like a number of other feminists from the global south, approaches democracy as subject to critique as part of the legacy of imperialism. From this perspective, democracy is not a simple solution to the needs and desires for the subaltern and other poor of the global south, but serves as a type of dystopia for subalterns, tribals, and other outcastes under decolonized India, the War on Terror, and postcolonial socio-political relations.

July 1, 2015

The Rule of Law and the Magna Carta

Critics of assumptions that we live under the rule of law have come into fashion suddenly, with the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta this month. Nicholas Vincent of the University of East Anglia called the myth of “an English-speaking people, freedom-loving people who’ve lived with a degree of liberty and under a rule of law for 800 years “a load of tripe,” among other pungent criticisms. But where were these commentators when the British and the U.S. unloaded the weapons of rendition on detainees in the War on Terror or detention without trial on immigrants? Why is this discussion of the history of the rule of law occurring with little or no reference to the current crisis of the rule of law?