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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

The (In)Adequacy of the Emergency Paradigm Workshop

14th November 2014, 09:00 to 17:00, Seminar Room, Institute of Advanced Study, Palace Green

Timings to be confirmed.

This workshop will bring together participants from a range of
disciplinary backgrounds to interrogate the concept of emergency (and its synonyms), explore the power and effects of the paradigm, generate a ‘single definition’ that draws from this multi-disciplinary perspective, and identifies spaces for future intellectual exploration and collaboration. 

The concept of ‘emergency’ is a powerful one for legal scholarship. Once an emergency is (formally or informally) declared, ‘normal’ legal processes and standards are adjusted so that states can—and routinely do—act in a manner and introduce policies and laws that we would not usually consider acceptable. Outside of law the ‘emergency’ or ‘crisis’ is also a powerful paradigm, demanding or licensing certain responses and legitimating particular interventions, usually by the state. These
responses can be fiscal, social or even military. In spite of its
significant power, the concept of emergency (or its synonyms of crisis or contingency) is vaguely defined, meaning that its powerful capacities are difficult to confine.

The workshop is organised by Professor Fiona de Londras (Durham Law School). Participants from across all Faculties in Durham will bring the perspectives from their work to this interdisciplinary conversation. They will be joined by a range of academics from across the UK, including Dr Andrew Baker (Queen’s University Belfast), Dr Andrew Neal (University of Edinburgh), Ayala Prager (University College London), Professor Bridget Hutter (London School of Economics), Camilla Barker (University of Oxford), Dr John Drury (University of Sussex), Dr Liora Lazarus (University of Oxford), Professor Mark Neocleous (Brunel University) and Dr Saskia Hufnagel (Queen Mary University of London). 

For maximum productivity the workshop on 14 November 2014 will be limited in size, and those wanting to attend and/or participate are asked to contact Professor de Londras ( in advance.

Contact for more information about this event.