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Law & Political Economy

LPE project

The Law and Political Economy (LPE) Project brings together a network of scholars, practitioners, and students working to develop innovative intellectual, pedagogical, and political interventions to advance the study of political economy and law. Our work is rooted in the insight that politics and the economy cannot be separated and that both are constructed in essential respects by law. We believe that developments over the last several decades in legal scholarship and policy helped to facilitate rising inequality and precarity, political alienation, the entrenchment of racial hierarchies and intersectional exploitation, and ecological and social catastrophe. We aim to help reverse these trends by supporting scholarly work that maps where we have gone wrong, and that develops ideas and proposals to democratize our political economy and build a more just, equal, and sustainable future.

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Our Work

Learn

A variety of resources designed to help faculty and students learn more about LPE, including syllabi from LPE and LPE-related courses, primers on topics such as neoliberalism and legal realism, as well as videos from a number of events we have held over the last year.

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Engage

Information about the amazing work being done by LPE student groups, as well as guidance on starting a student group on your own campus! A bureau of affiliated professors and practitioners designed to help faculty and students to bring LPE scholars to their campuses!

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Events

A compendium of upcoming (and past) events put on by the LPE Project, LPE student groups, and other organizations in the LPE ecosystem.

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Recent Updates
Constitutional Politics and Dilemmas on the Left
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Constitutional Politics and Dilemmas on the Left

Aziz Rana aims to free us from Constitution worship. An abiding faith in “redemptive” constitutionalism, his new book argues, has long held back liberals, progressives, and even the Left from seriously promoting major change in our structures of government. Yet key left figures and movements have always made canny use of redemptive constitutional narratives and arguments. Rejecting that tradition leaves far too much on the table.

Toward a New Constitutional Politics
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Toward a New Constitutional Politics

Given the manifest flaws of the U.S. Constitution, how did Americans come to idolize this document? Aziz Rana kicks off a symposium on his new book, The Constitutional Bind, by reflecting on the path that led to our current political predicament, and how long-buried Left thinking about state and economy might help us find our way out of it.

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Weekly Roundup: April 12

We offer our biannual round-up of forthcoming LPE and LPE-adjacent scholarship, while Premal Dharia concludes our symposium on Radical Acts of Justice. Plus, the fourth session of our Courts series with Amy Kapczynski and Ganesh Sitaraman; a special issue of Law & Contemporary Problems with work by David Grewal, Christine Desan, and others; an online reading group on Brenna Bhandar and Cheryl Harris; and an upcoming event with the FTC's consumer protection chief, alongside Frank Pasquale and Luke Herrine.

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A Crisis of Purpose in Public Defense

That public defense is in a state of crisis is far from controversial. Crushing caseloads and rampant underfunding have created untenable working conditions under which even the most well-meaning defenders often struggle to effectively represent their clients. And yet, Jocelyn Simonson, in her important new book Radical Acts of Justice, identifies a deeper, more existential crisis facing public defense — not one of funding, but of purpose.