THE DIRECTOR’S SEMINAR SERIES Law And Humanities in a Pandemic: Capitalism, Commodification, and Coronavirus

 THE DIRECTOR’S SEMINAR SERIES  Law And Humanities in a Pandemic: Capitalism, Commodification, and Coronavirus
21 Oct 2020, 17:00 to 21 Oct 2020, 18:30
Online Seminar (Zoom)

Online Event 

Public Interest or Social Need? Reflections on the Pandemic, Technology and the Law
Dimitrios Kivotidis, University of East London   

This paper aims to show that the contradiction between health and economy, or, more accurately, between the social need for health and the partiality of economic interests, determines the different policy responses to the pandemic. In order to do so, the measures will be examined as a unity of (emergency) form and (politico-economic) content. The argument is that the ‘scientific’ response to the pandemic is overdetermined by politico-economic prioritisations. The politico-economic content of these measures ultimately determines their emergency form, which serves to naturalise the system’s response to the pandemic and the developing economic crisis, by making all measures appear as ‘technical’ and self-evident, as well as promoting the general interest. 

At War with Themselves: The Conflict at the Heart of the Coronavirus Pandemic
Dr David M Seymour, City, University of London

This paper argues that society’s confrontation with coronavirus contains an important contradiction between public welfare and private interest. It is not, however, simply a confrontation of public health and the economic ‘good’ but rather is between the imperative of ‘lockdown’ and the suspension of the market and those whose interests are deeply dependent upon the market’s continuing viability. I examine how this conflict manifests itself through the language of economic freedom and juridical rights both institutionally and within the subjectivity of the socially-situated individual.  I argue that the rise of conspiracy theories relating to the pandemic is an irrational response to the current irreconcilable nature of this conflict.

THE DIRECTOR’S SEMINAR SERIES Law And Humanities in a Pandemic Full Programme

This Webinar is free but advance booking is required. Please note the link to join the meeting will be sent out closer to the event date.


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