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Weekly Roundup: March 11


At the blog

On Monday, Paddy Ireland argued that law and political economy scholars have good reasons to engage with long-running scholarly debates about the nature of property, by explaining how alternative theories of property generate considerably different understandings of contemporary capitalism. As he writes, “One of the defining characteristics of the neoliberal era has been the simultaneous enhancement of the rights of the owners of property-as-capital (financial liberalisation) and diminution of the rights of labour (weaker employment protections, reduced trade union rights, declining welfare provision). Multiple, often minor, legal changes have altered the relative bargaining positions of capital and labour, with, as Robert Hale might have pointed out, predictable consequences for the ability of some to ‘profit from the efforts of others.'”

On Wednesday, Karen Tani continued our symposium on Gabriel Winant’s The Next Shift. The book, she argues, illuminates several lesser-appreciated legacies of the divided welfare state, including how health care generosity on the private side transmuted ill and aging bodies into rich and predictable streams of revenue. As she writes, “It is not simply that some people now experience inferior forms of belonging and, through no fault of their own, are deprived of the ability to thrive. It is that the best (most expensive) forms of social citizenship have helped make everyone seem less like humans and more like bundles of monetizable needs.”

And on Thursday, Wyatt Sassman continued our ongoing series on Just Transitions. Drawing on his work with Colorado’s fenceline communities, he argues that in regions marred by extractive industry, a just transition requires moving beyond material repair to redress political isolation and subordination.

In LPE Land

The Consortium on the American Political Economy is now taking applications for their summer academy. Open to graduate students and junior faculty, the workshop includes several “core” sessions on the fundamentals of the study of the American political economy (led by senior scholars in the field), followed by more specialized sessions on specific topics led by specialists in these areas.

On Thursday 17th March, join Theory Talks for a session with Antoine Vauchez, who will discuss the impact of neoliberalism on public law.

And, for some lighter fare, how the “stories of a group of fourth graders coming of age in the big city at times mimicked the neoliberal objectives of Clinton-era policy.”