The Presence and Absence of Legal Mind: A Commentary on Duncan Kennedy's 'Three Globalizations of Law and Legal Thought, 1850-2000'
23 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2015
Date Written: January 29, 2015
In the last couple of years Duncan Kennedy’s 2006 essay, “Three Globalizations of Law and Legal Thought: 1850-2000,” has been used to kickstart a debate on the nature of “contemporary legal thought” through workshops organized at the University of Colorado Law School and at Harvard Law School. This is a debate that will continue. In this commentary I consider whether “Three Globalizations” supplies a credible history for the contemporary. Returning to his famous “The Rise and Fall of Classical Legal Thought,” Kennedy’s “Three Globalizations” considers the international dissemination of classical legal thought, and of its successor (socially-oriented legal thought). It also sketches the outlines of a third globalization – modern legal consciousness – apparent in the wake of the decomposition of social-oriented legal thought after 1968. My commentary argues that legal historians should take Kennedy’s work very seriously as legal history, but also that strange bedfellows – Milton Friedman and Michel Foucault - may provide an equally persuasive guide to contemporary legal thought.
Keywords: Duncan Kennedy, Michel Foucault, Milton Friedman, Legal Thought, Globalization, Legal History
JEL Classification: A11, A12, A13, B2, B3, N01
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation