Marxism and the Political Economy of Law
20 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2018
Date Written: October 27, 2018
The chapter selectively reconstructs the prevalent views on Marxism and the political economy of law with the aim of showing that, despite a number of shortcomings, the Marxist tradition still represents an important contribution to critical thinking. Indeed, the main concern of the chapter is to show that a Marxian approach to the critique of the political economy does not need to collapse law into a deterministic relation with its economic base. In light of this concern, the chapter first tries to vindicate Marxian legal thought against some of the main critiques put forward by legal theorists (especially Kelsen and Schmitt) and, then, highlights the most important developments in Marxian scholarship during the second half of the 20th century. The conclusion states the importance of an analysis driven by a core element of a materialist approach to the political economy of law, that is, class struggle, without reducing the latter to its economic determination.
Keywords: Marx; Critique of Political Economy; Class Struggle; Materialism and Law
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