Legality, Empire, Plunder: A Review of 'Plunder: When the Rule of Law is Illegal'
Journal of Law & Society, Vol. 36, No. 4, pp. 599, 2009
8 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2013 Last revised: 19 Feb 2013
Date Written: November 1, 2009
This essay reviews Ugo Mattei and Laura Nader's book. After presenting the arguments I problematize three central themes in the book: legality, empire, and plunder. Examining each one of these themes I show that the authors did not present a convincing account. Legality is not carefully distinguished from other terms like justice, formal legitimacy, or substantive legitimacy. Imperialism is used in different ways throughout the book and the authors do not contrast their usage with Hardt and Negri's. Plunder is presented expansively as a unifying logic and in a functionalist manner. I conclude by calling for analytical clarity in scholarship examining the ideology of law.
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