Toward a Manifesto

This is a time of crises. Inequality is accelerating, with gains concentrated at the top of the income and wealth distributions. This trend – interacting with deep racialized and gendered injustice – has had profound implications for our politics, and for the sense of agency, opportunity, and security of all but the narrowest sliver of the global elite. Technology has intensified the sense that we are both interconnected and divided, controlled and out of control. New ecological disasters unfold each day. The future of our planet is at stake: we are all at risk, yet unequally so. The rise of right-wing movements and autocrats around the world is threatening democratic institutions and political commitments to equality and openness. But new movements on the left are also emerging. They are challenging economic inequality, eroded democracy, the carceral state, and racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination with a force that was unthinkable just a few years ago.

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LPE Videos

Law and the Global Political Economy (Reading Group)

Akshat Agarwal and Xiaolu Fan Yale University

The global economic order is in flux. The Covid-19 pandemic, Russia’s war in Ukraine, rising tensions between the United States and China, and a more assertive and independent Global South have challenged long-held assumptions of global governance. Economic theories focusing on free trade and the power of independent markets have also come under criticism for…

Law & Inequality

Yuvraj Joshi Brooklyn Law School

This course explores the relationship between law and inequality. Our questions include: What role might law play in reinforcing and redressing different forms of inequality, including along lines of race, indigeneity, class, gender, sexuality, and disability? When is legal reform emancipatory and when does it maintain structural inequality? How might political and social movements seek…

Law & Political Economy

Luke Norris University of Richmond Law School

At the turn of the twentieth century, a host of legal scholars developed innovative analyses of the relationship between law, democracy, and the economy. These scholars of political economy refuted laissez-faire ideas by showing that the state, with law as its instrument, necessarily constructed the rules of the marketplace. They also showed how forms of…

Race, Place, & the Law (seminar)

Brian Highsmith Princeton University

This seminar explores the institutional stakes of geography for economic opportunity and democratic representation, focusing on racial separation and subjugation in the United States. The first part of the course consider how law and policy help determine where people reside; the remainder explores how and why “place” matters. Many of our readings—which draw from public…

The Law of Care Work

Yiran Zhang Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations

This course studies the law’s governance of care work. The care economy supplies basic needs for individuals and provides the human infrastructure for society. Care work often happens outside the traditional workplace and/or the formal labor market. Beyond the market, the family and the state also play essential roles in providing and paying for care.…

Law & Political Economy

Amy Kapczynski Yale Law School

Much of legal scholarship and practice in recent decades has held politics and economics apart, abstracting away from or actively denying their interdependence.  Law schools and legal scholarship are organized along an implicit divide between “public” and “private” fields of law which is defined in significant part by the role that economics is thought to…

The Neoliberal Economics of Climate Change Primer

This primer aims to provide an overview of key literature addressing how neoliberal economic analysis currently affects climate policy and how we might move beyond such analyses. After a brief introduction connecting neoliberalism and capitalism to the current climate crisis, the primer covers how neoliberal economists model climate change, with a focus on discount rates,…

The Progressive Tradition Primer

An LPE Reading List and Introduction to the Progressive Tradition. The Progressive Era was a period of political and social reform broadly spanning the late 19th century and the early 20th century. It challenged concentration of private power in the Gilded Age, calling for increased social control over business and the economy. The progressives had…

Neoliberalism Primer

An LPE Reading List and Introduction to Neoliberalism. What is “neoliberalism”? What sorts of institutions and ways of thinking characterize the “neoliberal era”? How might law reflect commitments of neoliberalism in different domains—in, for example, employment discrimination, criminal law, international trade, or welfare reform? This introduction offers a broad overview ofthe concept and the scholarly…

Legal Realism Primer

An LPE Reading List & Introduction to Legal Realism. Legal realism was a movement in legal thought that began, roughly, in the late 19th century and flourished alongside Progressivism in the first decades of the 20th. It challenged formalist laissez-faire approaches to the law and called for a jurisprudence more consciously attuned to social realities…