Law and Disorder: Sovereignty, Protest, Atmosphere


A book launch and conversation with Dr Illan rua Wall, author of the book Law and Disorder: Sovereignty, Protest, Atmosphere.

21st October 2021

How are sovereignty, public order, and protest felt by the populace? Why do certain protest movements disrupt governments while others do not? Which atmospheres accompany sovereign order and which rub against it? And how does the state attempt to govern these feelings and atmospheres?

In his important new book, Law and Disorder: Sovereignty, Protest, Atmosphere, former ISRF Fellow Dr Illan rua Wall develops an affective theory of sovereignty, public order, and protest.

Arguing that state sovereignty and challenges to it both always have an affective dimension, the book sets out to investigate and theorise how feelings work to enable political action. Using examples from Occupy Wall Street to Tahrir Square and protests in Southeast Asia, Dr. Wall brings careful contextual analysis together with searching theoretical reflection. The result is a new critical theory of sovereign affects that is as original as it is indispensable to our present moment.

Dr Wall offers an overview of his book, with responses from Dr Lara Montesinos Coleman (University of Sussex), a former ISRF Fellow working at the intersections between IR, anthropology and political philosophy; and Professor Carolyn Pedwell (University of Kent), a scholar of cultural studies and media, and author of Revolutionary Routines: The Habits of Social Transformation (McGill-Queens UP, 2021). Questions and a discussion follow, moderated by Professor Christopher Newfield, ISRF Director of Research.

This is the eleventh in the ISRF’s series of Book Launches.