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Law, Markets, Culture

Angela Harris & Emma Coleman Jordan
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This article describes a seminar titled ‘Law, Markets, and Culture’, which addressed the role of law in constructing economic relations and in portraying markets and economic relations as natural facts, distinct from the realms of politics and culture. The goal of the seminar was threefold: to get the students — and ultimately the next generation of US lawyers — to see the political and the economic not as two different realms subject to wholly different kinds of governance, but rather as intimately intertwined with one another; to help students develop critical perspectives on the relationships among state law, markets and culture, integrating both the insights of traditional economic analysis and the insights of critical theory; and to foster a new discipline of law and political economy that would take as its central problem not the allocation of scarce resources, but rather the development of institutional methods of promoting human flourishing.