This collection shows how Deleuze's ideas have influenced current thinking in legal philosophy. In particular, it explores the relations between law and life, addressing topics that are contested and controversial -- war, the right to life, genetic science, and security.
Employing insights from Italian sexual difference theory on law and rights, this article examines how both the text of the Italian Abortion Law of 1978 and its operation reveal the contradictions within liberal rights discourse on reproductive freedom. The Act itself contains traces of both Roman Catholic and liberal pluralist worldviews and has, since its introduction, been the site of conflict over competing notions of citizenship and legal identity. This article explores the impact of the Act's paradoxical nature on its (...) operation against the background of the complex debates within the different strands of feminist theory in Italy over the question of reproductive freedom. (shrink)
This article examines how the recently introduced law on assisted reproduction in Italy, which gives symbolic legal recognition to the embryo, came about, and how a referendum, which would have repealed large sections of it, failed. The occupation of the legal space by the embryo is the outcome of a crusade by a well-organised alliance of theo-conservatives. These groups see in reproductive medicine an uncontrolled interference with their notion of the natural order of things. Such a worldview requires a total (...) ban on stem cell research, limitation of access to reproductive technologies and repressive laws to govern the area. This conservative dream scenario has come closer to being realised by the introduction of a law doing all of these things in the name of the protection of “Life”. In the case of this law, the “life” to be protected is the embryo. In the name of “Life”, scientific advances and individual liberty have been curbed. The politics of embryo citizenship is a politics which values the yet to come over the here and now, purgation over pleasure, and the transcendent over the material. (shrink)