Food for Thought: Law, Necessity, and Exceptions

This week’s class focused on legal scholarship concerned with ‘states of exception’, with a particular emphasis on the work of Giorgio Agamben. A portion of our discussion focused on the application of this body of scholarship to cases involving claims of ‘national security’. I would like to continue this discussion here, on our blog.

You have two options:

Food for thought 1:

Write a post that briefly describes the current situation in Ferguson, Missouri, and draws on the ideas of Agamben and Ericson to explain the socio-legal dimensions of this situation. Your post should draw on relevant sources. Be sure to address the nature and implications of the state of emergency.

Food for thought 2:

In response to an event that has been officially deemed an act of terrorism, a government decides that there is an urgent need to create and implement new security powers. The government initially considers two options: 1. Officially declare that a state of emergency is in effect, per the Emergencies Act, and invoke the powers provided for under that Act, or; 2. Draft and rush through Parliament a security bill that provides for expanded powers for police and security services.

Write a post that:

  • Outlines the advantages and disadvantages of each option, both from the perspective of the government and from the perspective of members of the public.
  • Explains which option you believe our government would adopt given this scenario, and why.
  • Describes and discusses a third option.

Your post should engage with Pavlich (2011) and Ericson (2007). You are encouraged to draw on additional sources (to provide examples, support for your arguments, etc.).

Posts prepared in response to either of these questions must be submitted before class on Nov. 25. This gives you one week (only) to prepare your post.


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