Law and Critique

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 265–289 | Cite as

Rethinking Critique: Becoming Clinician

  • Leticia Da Costa PaesEmail author


Today, capitalism functions as a very complex tool of colonisation capturing our desires, dreams, and putting life itself at risk. Its effects lead us all to times of extreme anxiety increasing the number of people with mental health problems. This paper is concerned with the question of ‘critique’ within this context. How can critical legal scholarship engage with a theoretical mode that allows us to confront the politics of law with today’s capitalism? This analysis shows that contemporary capitalism, which operates as an immanent desiring-machine, is investing in our unconscious. In this sense, we aim to rethink the idea of ‘critique’ as an opportunity to make it creative and effective. As such, this paper argues that the Deleuzian concept Critical and Clinical is particularly useful, as it opens new roots for the critical movement. Taking the literary strategy of Masochism and the experience of the Institutional Psychotherapy movement in France, the clinical–critical practice contributes to push and expand critical scholarship into new terrains of thought and practice.


Capitalism Clinical Critique Decolonization Desire Unconscious 



With thanks to Serene Richards and Nathan Moore. This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—Brasil (CAPES).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019
corrected publication 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of LawBirkbeck, University of LondonLondonUK

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