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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 the Utopian Imagination seeks to explore and resuscitate the notion of utopianism within current legal discourse. The idea of utopia has fascinated the imaginations of important thinkers for ages. And yet#151;who writes seriously on the idea of utopia today? The mid-century critique appears to have carried the day, and a belief in the very possibility of utopian achievements appears to have flagged in the face of a world marked by political instability, social upheaval, and dreary market realities. Instead of mapping out the contours of a familiar terrain, this book seeks to explore the possibilities of a productive engagement between the utopian and the legal imagination. The book asks: is it possible to re-imagine or revitalize the concept of utopia such that it can survive the terms of the mid-century liberal critique? Alternatively, is it possible to re-imagine the concept of utopia and the theory of liberal legality so as to dissolve the apparent antagonism between the two? In charting possible answers to these questions, the present volume hopes to revive interest in a vital topic of inquiry too long neglected by both social thinkers and legal scholars.
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 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.
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 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.
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