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Law and the Stranger

by Austin Sarat Lawrence Douglas Martha Merrill Umphrey

The six papers presented in this collection "explore the ways in which law, particularly liberal legal regimes, identifies and responds to strangers within and across their borders, both historically and in the present day," to quote the editors (all of Amherst College). Specifically, the papers explore and critique Immanuel Kant's ideas on neighborliness and hospitality in relation to contemporary transnational migration; the ways that the historic relative legal equality of citizens and aliens in the United States has been undermined in recent years by "war on terror" policies and curtailments of public assistance to immigrants; jurisdictional boundary-drawing in the Israeli trials of Azmi Bishara, a Palestinian citizen of Israel and Knesset member, and Marwan Barghouti, a member of the Palestinian Parliament, both tried for allegedly inciting terrorism and both rejecting the jurisdiction of the Israeli criminal courts over their cases; conflict of laws and the possibility of crafting hybrid rules that blend laws across normative boundaries; George Eliot's novel Daniel Deronda and the definition of rights and privileges of Jews, women, and illegitimate children in English law; and illiberalism and antilegalism in utopian literature. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)

Law and War

by Austin Sarat Lawrence Douglas Martha Merrill Umphrey

Law and War explores the cultural, historical, spatial, and theoretical dimensions of the relationship between law and war#151;a connection that has long vexed the jurisprudential imagination. Historically the term "war crime" struck some as redundant and others as oxymoronic: redundant because war itself is criminal; oxymoronic because war submits to no law. More recently, the remarkable trend toward the juridification of warfare has emerged, as law has sought to stretch its dominion over every aspect of the waging of armed struggle. No longer simply a tool for judging battlefield conduct, law now seeks to subdue warfare and to enlist it into the service of legal goals. Law has emerged as a force that stands over and above war, endowed with the power to authorize and restrain, to declare and limit, to justify and condemn. In examining this fraught, contested, and evolving relationship, Law and War investigates such questions as: What can efforts to subsume war under the logic of law teach us about the aspirations and limits of law? How have paradigms of law and war changed as a result of the contact with new forms of struggle? How has globalization and continuing practices of occupation reframed the relationship between law and war?

Law as Punishment / Law as Regulation

by Austin Sarat Lawrence Douglas Martha Merrill Umphrey

Law depends on various modes of classification. How an act or a person is classified may be crucial in determining the rights obtained, the procedures employed, and what understandings get attached to the act or person. Critiques of law often reveal how arbitrary its classificatory acts are, but no one doubts their power and consequence. This crucial new book considers the problem of law's physical control of persons and the ways in which this control illuminates competing visions of the law: as both a tool of regulation and an instrument of coercion or punishment. It examines various instances of punishment and regulation to illustrate points of overlap and difference between them, and captures the lived experience of the state's enterprise of subjecting human conduct to the governance of rules. Ultimately, the essays call into question the adequacy of a view of punishment and/or regulation that neglects the perspectives of those who are at the receiving end of these exercises of state power.

Law without Nations

by Austin Sarat Lawrence Douglas Martha Umphrey

As the editors (all of Amherst College) explain in their introduction, how one conceptualizes the idea of "law without nations" depends very much on how one theorizes "the nation." A Hobbesian view of the nation as the state suggests that there can be no such thing as "law without nations." The development of doctrines of international crimes such as genocide suggests that law can exist above and beyond the nation, however defined. Understanding "the nation" either in the sense of the German concept of "das Volk" or as an expression of social solidarity (without, necessarily, the exclusivist connotations of "das Volk") can lead to an understanding of the law as embodying and expressing "matters of tradition, affect, belief, and ultimate values," and thus "law without nations" suggests either an impossibility or the imposition of artificial legality from the outside. Finally, in liberal legality, which sees law as the creator of social solidarity and the vehicle for promoting social justice, "law without nations" can be understood as the culmination of the liberal ideal. It is the tensions between these different ways of understanding "law without nations" that animate the six essays presented here, which explore such specific topics as the legal relationship between the nation-state and a globalized world as pertaining to the punishment of crime and the waging of war; issues of comparative constitutionalism (the US Supreme Court citing decisions of foreign domestic national courts, for instance); the conceptual development of Jewish law in the absence of a state for the nation; the recent development of Islamic Sharia Law as a form of supranational legality arising out of the void of failing states; international law as a facilitator of ethnic displacement and exclusion; and law within a liberal multinational empire. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

The Place of Law

by Austin Sarat Lawrence Douglas Martha Merrill Umphrey

It has long been standard practice in legal studies to identify the place of law within the social order. And yet, as The Place of Law suggests, the meaning of the concept of "the place of law" is not self-evident. This book helps us see how the law defines territory and attempts to keep things in place; it shows how law can be, and is, used to create particular kinds of places -- differentiating, for example, individual property from public land. And it looks at place as a metaphor that organizes the way we see the world. This important new book urges us to ask about the usefulness of metaphors of place in the design of legal regulation.

The Secrets of Law

by Martha Merrill Umphrey Lawrence Douglas Austin Sarat

The Secrets of Law explores the ways law both traffics in and regulates secrecy. Taking a close look at the opacity built into legal and governance processes, it explores the ways law produces zones of secrecy, the relation between secrecy and justice, and how we understand the inscrutability of law's processes. The first half of the work examines the role of secrecy in contemporary political and legal practices-including the question of transparency in democratic processes during the Bush Administration, the principle of public justice in England's response to the war on terror, and the evidentiary law of spousal privilege. The second half of the book explores legal, literary, and filmic representations of secrets in law, focusing on how knowledge about particular cases and crimes is often rendered opaque to those attempting to access and decode the information. Those invested in transparency must ultimately cultivate a capacity to read between the lines, decode the illegible, and acknowledge both the virtues and dangers of the unknowable.

Sense and Nonsensibility

by Alexander George Lawrence Douglas

Two widely published humor columnists and "bad boys" of academia take their wit and wisdom to dazzling new lows in this irreverent send-up of highbrow literary culture. At last, the thinking person's take on the life of the mind in today's increasingly mindless age. Sense and Nonsensibility pokes fun at everyone from spoof-proof scholars to pompous professors; from anal-retentive authors to plagiarizing poets; from snake-oil therapists to bestselling illiterati. This singular collection by Professors Lawrence Douglas and Alexander George brings together their most popular pieces, along with many brand-new ones, including: The Academy Awards for novels -- with categories for "Best Female Protagonist -- Doomed," "Best Narrator -- Unreliable," and "Best Novel -- Unfinishable by Reader" Home Shopping University -- offering the greatest ideas in Western history at rock-bottom prices I'm Okay, I'm Okay: Accepting Narcissism -- the best in "Self-helplessness books" The Penis Orations -- Iron Man's answer to The Vagina Monologues "Ask the Academic Ethicist" -- their notorious advice column, which has shocked higher education

The Vices

by Lawrence Douglas

Oliver Vice, forty-one, prominent philosopher, scholar, and art collector, is missing and presumed dead, over the side of Queen Mary 2.Troubled by his friend's possible suicide, the unnamed narrator of Lawrence Douglas' new novel launches an all-consuming investigation into Vice's life history. Douglas, moving backward through time, tells a mordantly humorous story of fascination turned obsession, as his narrator peels back the layers of the Vice family's rich and bizarre history. At the heart of the family are Francizka, Oliver's handsome, overbearing, vaguely anti-Semitic Hungarian mother, and his fraternal twin brother, Bartholomew, a gigantic and troubled young man with a morbid interest in Europe's great tyrants. As the narrator finds himself drawn into a battle over the family's money and art, he comes to sense that someone--or perhaps the entire family--is hiding an unsavory past. Pursuing the truth from New York to London, from Budapest to Portugal, he remains oblivious to the irony of the search: that in his need to understand Vice's life, he is really grappling with ambivalence about his own.

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