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As we face unprecedented changes to higher education in the UK, and to be more precise, the withdrawal of state funding for public education and the increasing privatisation of the University, maintaining a space for politically and theoretically oriented considerations of law, state, economy, and society becomes ever more important. The colonisation of ‘life itself’ by market forces threatens the degradation of our social and political environments at an ever increasing speed. The cuts to the funding of education are of course, one part of a sustained attack on what remains of the welfare state, and of the public sector more generally. We know that the cuts will have a greater impact on women than men, and are already affecting vulnerable groups such as single mothers, those living with disabilities, migrants and refugees, and many others.
Whether it be analyses of the role of immaterial labour in the biopolitical reproduction of capitalist relations, or the ways in which the racial continually reappears in ongoing colonial and post-colonial formations, or more simply, the ways in which power operates to produce, inhibit, or transform political subjectivity, feminist theory has been and continues to be an indispensable intellectual resource and political toolkit for thinking through the violence of the everyday. Feminist Legal Studies provides a space for critical reflection of the ways in which legal and political structures, networks, and attitudes rely on, produce, and perform gender, race, sexuality, class hierarchies, and a range of other phenomena.
In a time when the category ‘woman’ has been thoroughly deconstructed, sexuality de-reified, and most things once deemed to be factual and foundational proclaimed to be contingent and fluid, FLS embraces both cutting edge thought and a commitment to feminist politics- a politics always, and wonderfully, in a state of contestation. While different ways of being are translated into modes of organisation, spaces for radical thinking and political praxis squeezed by imperatives to demonstrate impact on and transferability to the market place, FLS strives to foster the work of scholars who trace, excavate and explain legal-political phenomena with a view to better understanding, and taking apart those well embedded apparatuses that feed off of and sustain patriarchy, racism, colonialism, zeno and homophobias, and able-ist discourses. It is with enthusiasm, creativity, and an attitude of risk that the editorial collective strives to continue fostering feminist theory and praxis.