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Rob Laird
Australian National University

I argue that Hobbes’s antithesis between the “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” life experienced living in a state of nature and the “commodious” life afforded under sovereign rule and law is an important trope that supports contemporary sovereign law. It is a trope that encourages and supports the notion that the law is a good in itself, independent of its actual content. The axiom around which the antithesis revolves is an acceptance of Hobbes’s explanation of what people are by nature like. I critique Ishiguro’s, The Buried Giant as an example of how this antithesis continues in literature today.

Rob has previously completed a honours in literature at the University of Adelaide. He has over 4 years post admission experience and is currently undertaking a PhD at the Australian National University where he is focusing on anthropology of law. Rob’s has published on the structural violence of the law and the weapons of the accountable. His recent research focuses on new materialism and its relevance for investigations into law.

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