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Transnational Law Reading Laboratory

SW1.18 Somerset House East Wing
16/03/2016 (18:00-20:00)
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Launched in November 2014, the Transnational Law Institute at King’s College London hosts a regular reading and discussion forum on seminal and new writings in transnational law, governance, and political legal theory.

The READING LAB is an informal gathering to revisit, uncover and sometimes re-discover scholarly contributions to an emerging field of legal research, doctrine and practice and is open to anyone interested. There is only one rule: anyone attending ought to have read the assigned text

In this last session we will read the most recent publication by the author group, 'The Invisible Committee', entitled To Our Friends. To Our Friends is a timely reflection on the force of political protest, transnational social movements and the promise of revolutionary action.

In a continuing series of books, the Invisible Committee has been engaging with social movements and the Arab Spring, in particular, to facilitate new perspectives on an ever more inchoate landscape of political mobilisation, violent conflict and routinization. To Our Friends constitutes the last of the six books we read in our Reading Laboratory dedicated to the study of contemporary sovereignty. Previous books included Machiavelli’s Prince (1513), Dieter Grimm’s Sovereignty (2009/2015), David Armitage’s Foundations of Modern International Thought (2012), Carl Schmitt’s Political Theology (1922) and Edward Said’s landmark study, Orientalism (1978).

To further appreciate The Invisible Committee’s most recent text, To Our Friends, Reading Lab attendees should have a look at the work by scholars including Giorgio Agamben and his work on ‘homo sacer’, the ‘state of exception’ and ‘the use of bodies’ (forthcoming March 2016), Donald MacKenzie and his work on the construction and nature of (financial) markets, Walter Benjamin’s work on ‘the concept of history’ and the ‘critique of violence’, Michel Foucault’s ‘governmentality’ and Alberto Toscano’s and Jeff Kinkle’s 2015 “Cartographies of the Absolute”, a work we have made frequent reference to in previous Reading Lab sessions, as well as Laleh Khalili’s work on counterinsurgencies.

For the full text, see here:

For an impression of the wide-ranging discussion of around The Invisible Committee’s TOF, see here:

For Alberto Toscano’s critical and insightful analysis and contextualization of TOF, see:

And see here:

The Reading Lab on the 16th of March is the last in the 2015-2016 academic year and it is hosted at the eve of the Conference on 'Transnational Sovereignties: Constellations, Processes, Contestations', and all Conference attendees are equally warmly invited to participate in the Reading lab.

There will be refreshments.

The 2016-2017 Transnational Law Reading Laboratory will be convened around the theme of “Contesting Globalisation: Old and New Theories on Transnational Law and Global Governance”. To sign up for Transnational Law Reading Lab announcements and invitations, send an email to

There will be refreshments.

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