Bal Sokhi-Bulley (Sussex) - Rights as a Relational Ethics of Friendship

Harding 418
Friday 25 October 2019 (13:00-14:00)
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Bal Sokhi-Bulley (Sussex) - Rights as a Relational Ethics of Friendship

  • This is the first in this year's Gender and Law research seminars, and part of the new Women in Law lecture and seminar series
  • Postgraduate students and academic staff are welcome to attend.


Rights as a Relational Ethics of Friendship: ‘Making Trouble’

This discussion starts from a position of dissatisfaction with rights. As a common, and indeed the dominant, code of ‘right’ conduct, rights distract from belonging and, I argue, create abandonment. I use the case of Shamima Begum and the denial of her citizenship status to propose that we need to ‘make trouble’ and (re)invent ways to do rights otherwise, within an ethical register. Starting with Foucault and calling attention to the complex historical, colonial and racial features of the abandoned subject, I propose friendship as a relational ethics of rights. Doing rights within this radically different register allows us to practice a mode of behaviour (friendship) over a code of conduct (rights) and so arrive at a new ethics and a new ethical subjectivity that can practice belonging and refuse abandonment.

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