. . . and Law
Forthcoming in Justin Desautels-Stein and Christopher Tomlins (editors), In Search of Contemporary Legal Thought
17 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2016
Date Written: June 2016
The locution “law and . . . (some other discipline)” implicitly asserts the primacy of legal doctrine and institutions narrowly conceived for coming to understand phenomena in which law takes a part. The ordinary story of American legal theory – formalism then realism then contemporary legal thought – can be understood to repeat the triumphalism implicit in “law and . . .” Of course, the story of American legal theory could possibly be read differently -- as a series of responses to the inability of law to dictate the terms of its use and so as evidence law’s subordination to other ways of understanding such phenomena. Such a possibility would dictate a different ordering of important words into “. . . and Law.” This paper attempts to examine the plausibility of the latter locution by examining some of the crucial bodies of knowledge and recurrent actions of putatively non-legal actors that led up to the no longer recent Great Recession.
Keywords: contemporary legal theory, law and society, the Great Recession, banking, finance
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