At the Blog
On Monday, we called up a handful of our favorite tech law experts – John Mark Newman, Veena Dubal, Salomé Viljoen, Ifeoma Ajunwa, Nikolas Guggenberger, Elettra Bietti, Jason Jackson, and JS Tan – and asked them about Biden’s executive order on AI. What should we make of this hodgepodge of directives? Does the order identify and address the most pressing AI concerns, or is it merely whistling past the AI graveyard? Come for their illuminating responses, stay for the bonus reaction from a surprise guest.
On Tuesday, Tara Raghuveer continued our symposium on non-reformist reforms by telling the story of one of her favorite tenant union fights and reflecting on the importance of emancipatory horizons in tenant organizing. Earlier this year, a landlord presented a group of Kansas City tenants with the following choice: renew their leases at triple the rent or move. But rather than accept these terms, the tenants came together and declared “we won’t go.” Utlimately, through their collective power and some creative organizing, the tenants were able to negotiate a much better deal and obtain tenant protections from the city. Reflecting on this fight, Raghuveer writes, “A win like this one might be written off as a very minor intervention within a very major system of violence, maybe not worth the effort. But material victories matter. Life changed for eight families: Jacob and the other kids continued on at their beloved school. Artemio got a unit on the first floor, facing the street, so he can get picked up for dialysis. Asi Mar can count on her neighbors for childcare…. In exercising their collective power, the tenants also opened new political possibilities. In response to the tenants’ demand, the city took unprecedented action, intervening in the commonplace violence of displacement with public resources, creating and using the leverage to secure protections for the tenants. Perhaps the most profound outcome of the North Lawn organizing is the victories yet to come, born from a reconceived role for the state.”
And on Thursday, we turned our attention from Kansas City to the Global South, where Mariana Pargendler described an unheralded revolution in heterodox corporate law. Long before the recent rise of ESG, jurisdictions in the Global South – including Brazil, India, and South Africa – had already embraced novel, and often bolder, legal strategies to protect stakeholder interests. As Pargendler argues, “Heterodox stakeholderism in the Global South can be viewed as an institutional adaptation to environments of high inequality and insufficient state capacity to curb externalities and promote social welfare through other areas of law.” While these conditions have long been felt in the Global South, they are increasingly coming to characterize the Global North, and so the experiences of these countries – which have traditionally been neglected and demoted in the study of corporate law – offer helpful and relevant data points.
In LPE Land
On Saturday, December 16 at 2:00 PM, some of our favorite Marxists are coming together to discuss the recent release of Marxism and the Capitalist State: Towards a New Debate.
The Journal of Law and Political Economy dropped Volume 4, Issue 1.
In the Boston Review, Thad Williamson reviews Danielle Allen’s Justice by Means of Democracy, which he praises for offering concrete tools for getting from thinking about to practicing democracy.
The Jain Family Institute released a new report by Laura Beamer, Eduard Nilaj, & Marshall Steinbaum that analyzes systemic issues in student debt non-repayment and negative amortization.
Johnathan Harris, Reed Shaw, & Anna Rodriguez released a major compendium mapping out how to curb exploitative stay-or-pay contracts such as worker TRAPs.
Mark your calendars for the second annual “Corporate Capture of the Legal System” conference, set to take place on Jan. 26 and 27 of 2024.