The Political Economy of Legal Knowledge
in Daniel Bonilla and Colin Crawford (eds.), Constitutionalism in the Americas, Edward Elgar, 2018; ISBN 9781788113335
50 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2019
Date Written: January 1, 2018
The production, exchange and use of legal knowledge are subject to a political economy. These processes are governed by a series of rules and principles that determine the conditions allowing the creation, commerce and consumption of legal theories, doctrines and practices. Consequently, this political economy is not neutral; it constructs a specific subject of knowledge that acts within a particular space and time. Thus, this paper has two objectives. Firstly, it seeks to describe and analyze the political economy model that dominates our legal and political imagination. As such, it aims at examining the conceptual structure of what I call the free market of legal ideas model. Secondly, this paper aims at describing and analyzing an alternative model of political economy that would best explain the real dynamics that regulate the generation, exchange, and use of legal knowledge. To achieve this objective, the paper highlights the conceptual structures that form what I call the colonial model of the production of legal knowledge. Therefore, the paper seeks to specify the subject of legal knowledge production established by these two models, as well as their concepts of time and space. Likewise, it seeks to specify the precise rules and principles that determine the ways in which these models imagine the production, exchange, and use of legal knowledge.
Keywords: comparative law, legal knowledge, legal transplants, political economy
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