Law, Inequality, & Power

K. Sabeel Rahman

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.

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