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Weekly Roundup: February 2, 2024


At the Blog

On Monday, we stumped for the new virtual reading group, “What To Do About the Courts,” by reminding you that Supreme Court is not expected to have a majority of Democratic-leaning justices until *2065.* Let that sink in. The reading group, which is free and open to all, will meet once a month from now through June, discussing the proper role of the judiciary in American democracy, as well as the possible tools for institutional change. It will also feature an incredible line-up of speakers – Niko Bowie, Aziz Rana, Sabeel Rahman, Amy Kapczynski, Ryan Doerfler, Samuel Moyn, and Astra Taylor – who will begin each session with some framing thoughts and questions for discussion. Join us!

On Wednesday, Victor Pickard argued that our strategies to reform journalism must begin from the reality that no long-term commercial future exists for most journalism. Instead, we need a horizon for journalism beyond the market. As he writes, “unfortunately, most reform initiatives thus far amount to placing Band-Aids on gaping wounds. Whether forcing platforms like Google and Meta to pay publishers and broadcasters more for their content or erecting paywalls that force readers to shell out money, the ongoing reliance on advertising and other monetization schemes are dead ends. Even most policies that call for various kinds of media subsidies—long overdue baby steps in the right direction—ultimately aim to prop up the commercial sector without making major structural changes and leaving the same ownership model intact. The current crisis calls for ‘non-reformist reforms’ that aim to transform journalism by mitigating or even eliminating the commercial pressures that prevent our news media from serving democratic needs. Such a project should rely on a two-pronged approach of de-commercializing and democratizing media outlets, with the end goal of building entirely new institutions committed to participatory democracy.”

In LPE Land

On Tuesday, we held the first meeting of “What To Do About the Courts,” with Niko Bowie. Thanks to everyone who joined, and if you’re dying from fomo, we have just the cure: join for our second meeting, which will take place on Feb 20 (8pm ET).

Join us, today(!), for a one-day conference, “Administering a Democratic Political Economy,” which will bring together scholars in administrative law, racial and gender equity, and democracy for an in-depth exploration of the evolving landscape of administrative law scholarship and practice. For virtual attendance, please register at this link.

On Thursday, February 8th, LPE Night School will meet to cover the ”Law and Political Economy of Courts.” Peter Martin (Center for Community Alternatives), Tarek Z. Ismail (CUNY School of Law), Jocelyn Simonson (Brooklyn Law School), and Noah Rosenblum (NYU Law School) will discuss the place of courts in creating our distinctive political economy, with a particular focus on New York, and explore opportunities for collective action in response.

Starting next week, the Yale Law School Center for Private Law will host an absolutely star-studded speaker series on the shifting currents of globalization. The seminar is open to the public via Zoom.

LPE@HLS is running two can’t miss event series this semester. Supply Chain Capitalism: Legal Regimes and Worker Power will investigate law’s role in structuring global supply chains, while Law, Gender, and the Political Economy of Social Reproduction will examine law’s role in constructing the political economy of gender and sexuality. All the events will be in-person and live-streamed, and all are welcome to attend.

On February 23-25, the “Neoliberalism and Capitalism as Keywords in Contemporary History” will be hosted at Yale University, featuring keynotes by David Edgerton and Isabella Weber. To attend the panels, please register here, as papers will be precirculated and space is limited. If you just want to attend the keynotes, registration is not necessary.

Registration (free and open to all) is now live for RebLaw 2024, which will take place Saturday, February 24th, at Yale Law School. For 30 years, RebLaw has brought together practitioners, students, and activists from around the country to discuss innovative, progressive approaches to social justice. This year’s conference will include keynotes by Azadeh Shahshahani, the legal and advocacy director at Project South and former president of the National Lawyers Guild, and Michelle Alexander in conversation with Professor Monica Bell. RebLaw will also bring 15+ visionaries to campus for panels and interactive workshops.

The LPE in Europe Project invites applications for its second Summer Academy, taking place at the University of Glasgow on 19 – 21 June 2024. During this immersive 3-day Summer Academy, successful participants will attend writing workshops, in-depth masterclasses covering key LPE subjects, sessions on policymaking, an introduction to heterodox economics, roundtable discussions, and social activities. Researchers at the doctoral stage are particularly encouraged to apply.

Over at Balls & Strikes, Jenny Hunter had a cool idea: Why You Should Fill Out an Application to Be a Federal Judge. (We’ll send a free mug to the first reader-turned-judge who cites the blog in a decision).