Portrait of Dr Thanos Zartaloudis

Dr Thanos Zartaloudis

Reader (in Legal History and Theory). Co-Director of Post-Graduate Research.
Co-Director of Kent Centre for Interdisciplinary Spatial Studies.
Co-ordinator of Research Group for the study of Juridification and Political Theologies.


Dr. Thanos Zartaloudis (Athens, b.1975) studied Common Law and European Legal studies at the University of Kent and the University of Amsterdam. His doctorate in philosophy at the University of London was on the notion of the human in the work of Martin Heidegger and Giorgio Agamben. He joined the law school in July 2014, from the University of London, Birkbeck College, School of Law. He is a fellow-Lecturer in history and theory of architecture at the School of Architecture of the Architectural Association in London and a doctoral supervisor. He has taught in many universities world-wide and has been a visiting or honorary fellow at, among else, Cardozo Law School, Birkbeck Law School, the Bartlett, the Architectural Association and at the Department of International Politics in the University of Aberystwyth. He has translated three books and is the author of poetry, novels and children books in his spare time. 

He serves on a number of research centres and associations, among which are: the steering board of the Migration Law Network (UK) and as a founding member and co-director, the Centre for Research in Politico-Legal Theology (CRIPT - at Birkbeck College, University of London, in affiliation with an international network of European Universities in Italy, Switzerland and France). At Kent he co-ordinates the Research Group on Political Theologies and Juridification; and he is the co-director of the cross-faculty Kent’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Spatial Studies (KISS): https://research.kent.ac.uk/kiss/# 

He is also the head-editor (with Anton Schütz) of the book series titled Encounters in Law and Philosophy, published by Edinburgh University Press https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/series-encounters-in-law-philosophy.html

Research interests

  •  the intersection of philosophy and legal thought
  • legal theory 
  • legal history (ancient Greek, Roman, Medieval) 
  • ancient cultures and social institutions
  • migration and social-political theory
  • the intersection of urban law with architecture, geography and spatial theory 


Thanos's undergraduate teaching responsibilities span, The Law of Space and  Power and Asylum & Refugee Law.


I welcome inquiries in particular as to research proposals in philosophy, legal thought, political theory, architectural theory and history, ancient cultures, ancient Greek and Roman law and institutions in however wide a relation to legal studies (or not). 


Showing 50 of 55 total publications in the Kent Academic Repository. View all publications.


  • Zartaloudis, T. (2019). Hieros Anthropos - An Inquiry Into The Practices Of Archaic Greek Supplication. Law and Humanties [Online] 13:52-75. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/17521483.2019.1605962.
    This article examines the earliest literary evidence of ancient supplication practices in the archaic Greek Homeric epic tradition. It does so from a philological, linguistic, ritualist and theoretical perspective without however separating these elements as distinct and it aims to articulate a non-legalistic approach to the earliest evidence, as well as a hypothesis with regard to the sacredness of suppliants in archaic Greece before supplication became juridically regulated in Classical Greece by certain forms of law.
  • Juss, S. and Zartaloudis, T. (2015). Introduction: Critical Approaches of Migration Law. International Journal on Minority and Group Rights [Online] 22:1-8. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/15718115-02201000.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2015). Public Policy and the Administrative Government of Unlawful Detention: The Landmark Case of Lumba and Mighty. International Journal on Minority and Group Rights [Online] 22:68-100. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/15718115-02201003.
  • Zartaloudis, T. and Papanagiotou, A. (2014). A Death Foretold: In the Place of Law – Descriptive Plan for the Administration, Expropriation and Annulment of Coastline Commons. Chronos .:.-.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2012). Theories of Origin as to the Progenitor of the Trust: The Invention of the Uses and the Franciscan Influence in England. Birbeck Institutional Research Online 115:167-228.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2011). On Justice. Law & Critique [Online] 22:135-153. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10978-011-9086-1.
    This paper returns to the question of how to think of justice through Teubner’s recent definition of what he calls juridical justice. Juridical justice is defined as distinct from political, moral, social and theological conceptions of justice. Teubner attempts to think of an imaginary space for a juridical justice ‘beyond the sites of natural and positive law’ and searches for a conception of justice as the ‘law’s self-subversive principle’. This article reviews Teubner’s conception of juridical justice and further proposes a distinction between juridical and non-juridical understandings of justice.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2010). Against the Laws of Time: The Cinematic Thought of Theo Angelopoulos. Cardozo Law Review 31:1329-1371.
    The article discusses the cinematic thought of film critic Theo Angelopoulos. It states that his legal thought attempts to think not the representation of reality into cinematic images and narrative, but the thinkability of the cinematic image. His strategy emphasizes the key idea that images are capable of conspiring against visual conventions to show the potentiality of cinematic thought. It highlights some films by Angelopoulos which serve as an example of the problem of modernist representation such as "Reconstruction," which involves a crime and a seemingly detective-style plot..
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2010). The Archival Word of the Law: on Cornelia Vismann. Parallax 56:135-145.
  • Zartaloudis, T. and Murray, A. (2009). The Power of Thought. Law & Critique [Online] 3:207-210. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10978-009-9060-3.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2008). Ars Inventio, Poetic Laws: Law and Literature - The And. Cardozo Law Review 29:2431-2459.
    This paper introduces a general philosophical matheme of an
    investigation of ‘law and literature.’ It claims that the experience of
    literature is an encounter that outlives the reader and the normative
    demand for an understanding. This matheme is read through Badiou’s
    thoughts on poetry and the staging of ill-saying. Literature is
    approached from the enigma of dictation or the sphinx. This event is
    neither biographical nor a ‘mere’ linguistic event, but rather a zone of
    indifference where both experience their reciprocal desubjectivization.
    Law destines human life to transmit a holy transcendental patrimony
    that wishes to dictate. In contrast, the experience of poetry, understood
    in this work through Agamben’s thought, breaks with this dictation and
    experiences the indissoluble, yet non-essential, unity of lived experience
    and the poeticized in the medium of the and, that is language.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2007). Preliminary Notes on the General Economy of International Law and Governance. New York University Review of Law and Social Change:679-694.
    This transformation, well-evident today, can be described as a move away from the multiverse of restricted economies (micro-politics) to a general economy (politics "as such"). ... The general economy destines fetishism (commodities, persons, concepts, matter, and so forth) into the abyss of its reserve potentiality for exercising its exceptionality. ... A fetish is thus an actual object that both presents the lack from which it allegedly originates and acts as a sign of such unrepresentable nothingness (that is, it is produced as a single system, a general economy of representation, when it always already differentiates its abstraction from its actual activity as a relational sign). ... The message-in-a-bottle "of the left" was perhaps this: that classlessness, humanity or any other such general abstraction (fetish, sacred factum) entail, after all, "reality." ... Yet, if international law expresses the potentiality of what can be called more generally multilateralism, then the latter can be re-cognized in a positive sense, not as some essential determination, but as the social activity and pluri-vocity of those that have nothing in common, that is, as a special kind of real abstraction, since it is the paradoxical manner of human being to not have a nature or destiny
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2006). Preliminary Notes on Human Rights as Access Rights. Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice 24:401-425.
    This essay offers a theoretical account of human rights that considers
    "humanity" not just as a legal principle but also as a rhetorical
    term of legal discourse. A concept of humanity can be
    characterised in its political, juridical and philosophical understandings
    by a dual character: it is both a saying (an action) and
    a right (a form). Its saying-character and its right-characterprovide
    "humanity" with the authority and simultaneous fragility of
    its discursive principle-character.Human rights operate ontologically
    as a form of false access to a juridical structure in that
    human rights abstract and rhetorically presuppose the saying character
    of a pure form or ("naked humanity'). This pure form
    of "naked humanity" then sets a paradoxical limit in the "right character"
    or figure of the citizen. The right-character of the citizen
    takes the form of the rational subject and the responsible individual.
    Human rights, if for once conceived as a profane structure
    rather than as a transcendental "Law of law" as this work
    explains, can then be thought of as access rights that communicate
    the non-de-differentiation of juridical and non-juridical truth.
    Rights are self-referential means of communicating a real paradox
    and that cannot be escaped. Yet that is not to claim for any kind
    of self-sufficiency or a predestined end. What is crucial to appreciate
    is that whatever one calls them - "human "rights or "social"
    rights - their understanding as access rights remains undeveloped.
    Access rights are an action against another action. Human rights
    understood as access rights suggest that any humanity, autonomy
    or right is derived from the eventual participation and sustainability
    of a singular humanbeing in each emergent relation to an
    institutional structure, rather than from mere ontological membership
    in such a structure. Human rights as "access rights" do not
    refer to an access to a common form of being, but to a protection
    from the burrow of exchangeability in liberal-individualism.


  • Zartaloudis, T. (2018). The Birth of Nomos. [Online]. Edinburgh University Press. Available at: https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-the-birth-of-nomos-hb.html.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2011). Giorgio Agamben:Power, Law and the Uses of Criticism. Routledge.

Book section

  • Zartaloudis, T. (2019). Preface - States of Exception. in: Fusco, G. G., Cercel, C. and Lavis, S. eds. States of Exception: Law, History, Theory. London UK: Routledge, pp. 1-10.
  • Zartaloudis, T. and Schütz, A. (2019). Roman Law in the Present Tense. in: Zartaloudis, T., Schütz, A. and Francis, C. eds. Yan Thomas – Legal Artifices: Ten Essays on Roman Law in the Present Tense. Edinburgh University Press.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2018). An Introduction: Law and Philosophical Theory - Critical Intersections. in: Law and Philosophical Theory: Critical Intersections. London UK: Rowman & Littlefield International.
  • Zartaloudis, T., Mulcahy, L. and Paliwala, A. (2016). An Honorary Introduction. in: Zartaloudis, T., Mulcahy, L. and Paliwala, A. eds. Land Law and Urban Policy in Context. Routledge/Cavendish.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2015). Violence Without Law? On Pure Violence as a Destituent Power. in: Moran, B. and Salzani, C. eds. Towards the Critique of Violence - Walter Benjamin and Giorgio Agamben. London, UK: Bloomsbury Press, pp. 169-186. Available at: https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/towards-the-critique-of-violence-9781472533494/.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2015). Felicidade e profanação. in: Andre, J. .G., Santos, J. M. and Dias, B. P. eds. Teorias Políticas Contemporâneas. Documenta, pp. 25-43.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2015). Introduction: Agamben and Law. in: Zartaloudis, T. ed. Agamben and Law. UK: Routledge.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2013). Elements of Movement-Controls in Post-Sovereign Governmentality. in: Juss, S. S. ed. The Ashgate Research Companion to Migration Theory and Policy. Ashgate Press.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2013). Asylum, Refugee and Immigration Law Studies: A Critical Supplement. in: Islam, R. and Bhuiyan, J. H. eds. An Introduction to International Refugee Law. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2012). The Making of Legal Cases and the Idea of Precedent in the Common Law. in: Wan, M. ed. Reading the Legal Case. Cross-currents Between Law and the Humanities. Routledge.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2011). The Agamben Dictionary. in: Murray, A. and Whyte, J. eds. The Agamben Dictionary. Edinburgh University Press.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2008). Soul Blind or on Profanation. in: Murray, A., Clemens, J. and Heron, N. eds. The Work of Giorgio Agamben: Law , Literature, Life. Edinburgh University Press.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2007). Vis Immanentiae. in: The coming community (? ????????? ??? ???????). Greece: Indiktos Publishing House, pp. 11-64.


  • Zartaloudis, T., Issaias, P. and Vougia, A. (2015). The Mechanism of Suspension. [Design, Website, Publication]. Available at: http://www.mechanismofsuspension.org/01_home/.
    ‘Mechanism of Suspension: Infrastructure and Legislation for Free Camping’, in Tourism Landscapes: Remaking Greece, ed. Yannis Aesopos (Athens, Greece: Domes Editions, 2015), 648-651.

    Also in: Exhibition Catalogue Tourism Landscapes: Remaking Greece of the Greek Pavilion in the 14th Venice Biennale (2014), 552-555. Publication of the project Mechanism of Suspension: Infrastructure and Legislation for Free Camping.

Edited book

  • Zartaloudis, T. and Goodrich, P. eds. (2019). The Cabinet of Imaginary Laws. Duke University Press (under review).
  • Schütz, A., Zartaloudis, T. and Francis, C. eds. (2019). Yan Thomas – Legal Artifices: Ten Essays on Roman Law in the Present Tense. Edinburgh University Press.
  • Zartaloudis, T. ed. (2018). Law and Philosophical Theory: Critical Intersections. [Online]. Rowman and Littlefield International. Available at: https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781786602640/Law-and-Philosophical-Theory-Critical-Intersections#.
    This important collection explores contemporary legal thought (and thought about the law more generally) in relation to its interdisciplinary critical engagement with philosophy, in particular continental philosophy. Over the last 25 years, many legal thinkers have increasingly and critically engaged with philosophical thought in ever explorative and innovative interdisciplinary ways. This book represents this rich and continuously developing interdisciplinary tradition within legal thought and legal study more generally.

    Featuring both established and new voices, the volume explores a range of topics including: the relationship between law, philosophy and political theology; law and ecology; matter and legal technologies; contemporary governmentality; law’s relationship to violence; the so-called anti-juradicalism of post-1968 French theory; the normativity of social images; and responses to a time of perpetual crisis management. The approaches represented in this volume pose both long-standing and new questions in a genuinely critical manner in relation to contemporary legal (and associated political, social, economic and ethical) thinking.
  • Zartaloudis, T. ed. (2016). Land Law and Urban Policy in Context: Essays in Honour of Prof. Patrick McAuslan. Routledge/Birbeck Law Press.
  • Zartaloudis, T. ed. (2015). Agamben and Law: Edited Collection in Series Philosophers and Law. [Online]. Routledge. Available at: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315097497.
    This collection of articles brings together a selection of previously published work on Agamben's thought in relation to law and gathered from within the legal field and theory in particular. The volume offers an exemplary range of varied readings, reflections, and approaches which are of interest to readers, students, and researchers of Agamben's law-related work.

Edited journal

  • Zartaloudis, T. and Juss, S. eds. (2015). Special Issue: Critical Approaches to Migration Law. International Journal on Minority and Group Rights 22:1-154.
  • Zartaloudis, T. and Murray, A. eds. (2009). Special Issue – ‘Essays on Law and Thought’. Law and Critique 20.

Internet publication

  • Zartaloudis, T. and Antonas, A. (2018). Protocols for the Life of the Ordinary [online journal article]. Available at: https://www.e-flux.com/architecture/positions/204038/protocols-for-a-life-of-the-ordinary/.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2015). For Fragments, and not debts, we are [Online]. Available at: http://criticallegalthinking.com/2015/02/25/for-fragments-and-not-debts-we-are/.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2015). 14½ Truths Modestly Addressed to a Young Academic [Online]. Available at: http://criticallegalthinking.com/2015/10/15/14%c2%bd-truths-modestly-addressed-to-a-young-academic/.


  • Zartaloudis, T. and Antonas, A. (2016). The Archipelago of Protocols. DPR Barcelona.
    Series of architectural projects (co-authored all texts and collaborated on all designs)
  • Zartaloudis, T. and Agamben, G. (2007). The Coming Community [Translation]. Indiktos Publishers.


  • Zartaloudis, T. (2015). Interview with Thanos Zartaloudis, 'The Urban Protocols'. [Online Publication]. Available at: http://pr2015.aaschool.ac.uk/HISTORY-AND-CRITICAL-THINKING/HCT-DEBATES.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2008). Interview with Thanos Zartaloudis 'Law and Politics for a Post-sovereign Age'. [Journal].


  • Zartaloudis, T. (2016). Review of Stuart Elden, 'The Birth of Territory'. Law, Culture and the Humanities [Online] 12:455-457. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1743872116632094b.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2011). Book Review: The Securitization of Humanitarian Migration: Digging Moats and Sinking Boats. International Journal of Refugee Law [Online] 23:575-580. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ijrl/eer021.


  • Zartaloudis, T. (2020). Law Has Never Been Human. Counterpress.
  • Zartaloudis, T., Papanagiotou, A. and Agamben, G. (2019). Means Without End and What is an Apparatus?. Nesos Publishing House.
    Translation and Editing of two books by Giorgio Agamben in Greek.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2019). Violenza pura come un Potere Destituente. in: Valeria, B. ed. Giorgio Agamben. Ontologia e politica. Italy: Quodlibet.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2019). An inquiry into the origins of ancient Greek supplication. Law and Humanities.
    This article examines the earliest literary evidence of ancient supplication practices in the archaic Greek Homeric epic tradition. It does so from a philological, linguistic, ritualist and theoretical perspective without however separating these elements as distinct and it aims to articulate a non-legalistic approach to the earliest evidence, as well as a hypothesis with regard to the sacredness of suppliants in archaic Greece before supplication became juridically regulated in Classical Greece by certain forms of law.
  • Zartaloudis, T. and Braude, R. (2019). Property and Possession (1500-1680). in: Goodrich, P. and Watts, G. eds. The Early Modern Age. Bloomsbury Press. Available at: https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/a-cultural-history-of-law-9781474212854/.
  • Zartaloudis, T. (2019). The missing law in the manuscript of Plato’s Symposium. in: Zartaloudis, T. and Goodrich, P. eds. The Cabinet of Imaginary Laws. USA: Duke University Press.
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