The Legal Construction of 21st Century Capitalism. How does law construct inequities of economic opportunity and power? How have changing ideas of political economy shaped law and public policy-and in turn, 20th and 21st century capitalism- over time? What are the normative and historical foundations for todays movements for structural racial and economic justice? What are the prospects for these efforts in a rapidly changing political context of 2017?
The seminar will address these questions through a variety of readings that include (i) historical theories of law and political economy; (ii) new scholarship on law, inequality, capitalism, and social movements; and (iii) cutting-edge legal and policy debates to explore the construction of inequality today, and to imagine what a more equitable, inclusive, and democratic 21st century social contract might look like.
Specific topics of discussion may include: the changing nature of work in an increasingly automated, fissured and on-demand economy; the eroding safety net; new forms of worker organizing; structural racism and new movements for racial equity; economic segregation and the city; competition policy and 21st century corporate power; finance and financialization.