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Weekly Roundup: March 12, 2021


At the Blog

We started a symposium to celebrate the Journal of Law and Political Economy’s second issue! As with the first issue, the authors of all the articles will publish short versions of their arguments here at the blog.

Steve Vogel began the symposium by summarizing his work on how regulatory shifts have played a role in deepening inequality in the neoliberal era.

Then Maxine Eichner traced the history of the idea that families should rely on markets for their wellbeing–finding that the concept is of much more recent vintages than many accounts of the “American character” would have it.

And Jamie Peck analyzed the relationship between the neoliberal thought collective and their favorite state: Hong Kong.

We also allowed William Boyd to interrupt the symposium with his timely analysis of the way that shifts in market governance deepened the electricity crisis in Texas, and what that crisis can teach us about price governance more generally.

In LPE Land

The Democracy Beyond Neoliberalism conference continues! Today’s Blog-editor-stocked panel is on “Moral Economy after Consumer Sovereignty.” Next week features both “The Political Economy of Motherhood” and “Transforming Private Control over Public Production.” And more to come!

Elsewhere on the Internet

Sam Aber

About a month ago I wrote about a suit the ACLU, along with a variety of Chicago-area nonprofits, had brought against Clearview AI in Illinois. Now Clearview is being sued again, this time in California, by immigrants’ rights groups Mijente and NorCal resist.  

Last week the Eighth Circuit struck down Arkansas’s anti-BDS law. The law, like those passed in almost 30 other states in the past seven, had required any companies contracting with state entities to pledge not to boycott Israel.

The Biden administration continues to push for the extradition of Julian Assange in order to prosecute him under the Espionage Act. If they succeed in doing so they’ll create a dangerous precedent for journalists and other publishers of classified information, even when they aren’t themselves responsible for the leaks.On a whim this week I picked up Michael Herr’s great Vietnam War book Dispatches, which had been staring at me from my bookshelf ever since I grabbed it off the giveaway rack in the Penguin Random House offices, where I used to work. I also just received Sonia Rolland and David Trubek’s recent book, Emerging Powers in the International Economic Order, which I’m looking forward to digding into. And I’ve been tormenting my roommates by saying the word “geoeconomics” at them a lot, in part because I love a jargony coinage, in part because I think there’s something exciting about the prospect of an international economic order that moves to a logic other than that of neoliberalism. Of course, it isn’t at all clear that the coming order will be any better, but there may be new terrain for strategic intervention by activists, workers, and the nations and classes that have historically gotten the worst of neoliberal globalization. Maybe people should send me some blog posts about that.

Caroline Parker

This is an incredible post by Alyssa Battistoni connecting the struggle against fossil capital (“oil abolition”) to other abolition struggles against prisons and policing. Both, she argues, require redirecting the repressive power of the state that currently protects property value.
And a lawsuit was filed in Ontario this week challenging the province’s “ag-gag” law that was passed last year prevent whistleblowers in the food system . The “Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act” and modeled on state laws from the U.S. that Matt Liebman wrote about for the LPE of Meat series. While these laws have consistently been ruled unconstitutional, they demonstrate the political power that the meat industry wields in state and provincial legislatures.