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TLI Focus Seminar Series: The Legal Underpinnings of Imperial Life

Somerset House East Wing, Strand Campus , London

14 Nov
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Part of Transnational Law Institute: Focus Seminar Series

TLI Focus Seminar Series 2019 - 2020

The Legal Underpinnings of Imperial Life

Value Chains, Activism, Resistance: Framing a Transformation Perspective. A Roundtable

The Transnational Law Institute at King’s College London (TLI) invites faculty and students at King’s and beyond for a new, interdisciplinary seminar series. The TLI Focus Seminars explore ‘hot button’ issues as well as long-standing challenges in law and regulatory governance. A particular emphasis lies on exploring law’s relationship to, its engagement with and its impact on social developments. The Seminars are held as Roundtables with opening statements by the conveners, followed by an open discussion. Selected advance readings are made available.

The background for this seminar is formed by decades of critical legal theory work, critical race theory, LGTBQ critique and, following closely on the heels of international law’s still unfolding engagement with the discipline’s imperial past (“TWAIL”), the further developing examination of law’s and its associated institutions’ and processes’ colonial and postcolonial inheritances.

As we see the disciplinary and methodological challenges deepen and multiply, it becomes evident, how important it is to critically investigate the registers, the “toolkits” and the sites of analysis for this work. It is in this spirit that the second TLI Focus Seminar will concentrate on the complex assemblages that are ‘global value chains’. As both organizational and – to a large degree, self-regulatory regimes of knowledge transfer, production and distribution, global value chains are also instantiations of disembedded capitalism, networked economies, “shadow sovereigns” and the myriad forms of life in, around and with “the chain.” From a both critical, postcolonial and a law & political economy (LPE) perspective, GVCs have become the target for scholarly, inter-disciplinary analysis but also for wide-ranging legal activism, litigation and advocacy.

In our seminar, GVCs will also be scrutinized as the mesmerizing manifestations as what some scholars have recently started referring to as ‘imperial life’, a critical lens through which to study the interdependencies between the Global South and North in an era of neoliberal capitalism.


Convener: Peer Zumbansen (Transnational Law Institute, King’s College London)

This event is open to the public and everybody is welcome to attend, though everyone must register.

Seats are allocated on a strictly first come, first served basis.

If you find you can no longer attend please cancel your ticket registration, so that someone else can have your place.

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