In this podcast recorded earlier in September, Illan rua Wall conducts a wide-ranging interview with Wendy Brown; the Heller Professor of Political Science at University of California, Berkley.

Interview with Wendy Brown

Prof. Brown engages initially with the question of critique, and its relation to rights. She refuses to reject rights, but instead seeks to question the premises upon which they stand and the power relations in which they emerge. Rights are not democratizing power, but about protecting against power. The danger, however, is when human rights takes over from broader justice projects. Prof Brown expounds her work on tolerance, difference and the discursive power structures within that; The ones doing the tolerating always gets to call the shots. This leads to a questioning of the Tea Party and Anti ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ movements in the US. Finally, Prof Brown discusses her recent book Walled States, Waning Sovereignty.

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Written by Illan Rua Wall

Illan rua Wall is an associate professor in law at Warwick University, and author of Human Rights and Constituent Power: Without Model or Warranty (GlassHouse Press/Routledge). You can contact him at