This second November conversation in London about disobedience takes a conceptual approach to this legal notion with Elena Loizidou. Through her personal research, as well as the work she curated around this notion in a 2010 symposium and a 2013 book, we attempt to consider disobedience for the political subjectivity it involves vis-a-vis the law. We do so not solely through the canonical figure of the civil objection (Rosa Parks), but also through more complex examples involving notions of selfishness, privacy and apolitics in the work of Hannah Arendt, William Burroughs, Emma Goldman and Walter Benjamin. We also look at how disobedience can also paradoxically reinforce the law.
Elena Loizidou is Reader in Law and Political Theory at the School of Law, Birkbeck College. She is the author of Judith Butler: Ethics, Law, Politics (2007) and the editor of a book of essays on Disobedience: Concept and Practice (2013). She is on the editorial board of the Journal Law and Critique and publishes regularly on the blog Critical Legal Thinking.