Learning Like a State: Statecraft in the Digital Age

Learning Like a State: Statecraft in the Digital Age

Like all modern organizations, modern states are subject to a “data imperative”: a mandate to mine data and to decide what to manage based on what can be measured. In service of data-hungry machine learning techniques, the state (and its contractors) find themselves compelled not only to seek and demand new kinds of data, but also to mine it in a somewhat agnostic fashion to find the relations that stick. It is no longer necessary to flatten society to make it legible (as high modernism required); instead, ubiquitous data capture means that categories emerge inductively from regularities observed in the data.

Climate Change and Racial Capitalism

Climate Change and Racial Capitalism

Despite the disproportionate impact of climate change on vulnerable populations who have been largely ignored due to their racialization, legal scholarship on climate displacement has often adopted a doctrinal approach that fails to analyze the underlying systemic causes of the climate crisis and its relationship to race and racism.

The Functional Logic of Antitrust: Oligarchy vs. Democracy

The Functional Logic of Antitrust: Oligarchy vs. Democracy

The reinterpretation of antitrust in terms of “consumer welfare” has not resulted in bountiful consumer welfare, but oligarchy unleashed. But, as I wrote in the Journal of Law and Political Economy, antitrust can be a force for fairness and democracy again. A reimagined antitrust law that restricts consolidation of business assets and permits certain forms of coordination among small actors would limit domination and disperse power.

A Labor Theory of Negotiation: From Integration to Value Creation

A Labor Theory of Negotiation: From Integration to Value Creation

American negotiation theory started as, and for a long time remained, an engagement with labor and class relations. When early scholars developed their theories of negotiation in the context of workplace conflict, they did so in a moment when many workers were familiar enough with Marxist theories of class struggle to readily believe that some differences—for example, between management and labor—were not reconcilable, no matter how one performed in a negotiation. In this context, negotiation theorists aimed to open a space for potentially harmonious group relationships by introducing the concept of “integration”— the idea that labor and management could reorient their interests by creating new common values together.

Different Paths: Colonization is More than Exploitation

Different Paths: Colonization is More than Exploitation

It is an exercise in futility to accept the legitimacy of colonial constructs such as race, gender, property, and state sovereignty, and then work to equalize relations defined in these terms. These constructs are, themselves, the “master’s tools,” designed to perpetuate relations of domination and subordination. Moreover, a more equitable division of the spoils of conquest, should that be possible, wouldn’t change the underlying power dynamics. This is because settler sovereignty has been defined precisely to prevent those under the state’s claimed jurisdiction from exercising self-determination, the right of all peoples to “freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”