Bill Bowring on Marx, the State & Spinoza – London – 17 January

8th Jan 2018

Seminar in Contemporary Marxist Theory

Professor Bill Bowring (Birkbeck) 
Marx, the State, and Spinoza: Against Hobbes and Schmitt

17 January 2018
King’s College London
Room K2.31, Nash Lecture Theatre
Strand Campus
London WC2R 2LS

In 1859 Marx stated that he intended to examine “the bourgeois economic system in this sequence: capital, landed property, wage-labour; the state, foreign trade, world market”. But he was unable to write his analysis of the state. The talk seeks to answer the following question: which are the sources on which Marx would have drawn in a critique of theories of the state? This question is also of contemporary importance. A significant number of scholars of constitutional law who wish to criticise mainstream liberal theories of the state and constitutionalism are attracted not by Marxist critiques, but by the writings of Carl Schmitt and Giorgio Agamben. A good example is the recently published Political Theology: Demystifying the Universal (2017) by Anton Schütz and Marinos Diamantides; and the recent work of Costas Douzinas, for instance, Human Rights and Empire: The Political Philosophy of Cosmopolitanism (2007). The paper argues that they are all part of a lineage which commences with Thomas Hobbes.

This talk is open to the public. No registration is required. Contact: Eva Nanopoulos (e.nanopoulos@qmul.ac.uk)

For future speakers, see https://www.kcl.ac.uk/marxist-theory-seminar/cmt.aspx