What Makes the Republic Neoliberal?

What Makes the Republic Neoliberal?

This post is part of our symposium on The Neoliberal Republic by Antoine Vauchez and Pierre France. Read all posts here. Like many other new shiny things, it ended with disappointment.  Emmanuel Macron’s victory in 2017 was hailed as the advent of ‘le nouveau monde’ vis-à-vis the old political elites—a glimmer of hope in the…

Where is the Political Economy?

Where is the Political Economy?

Embracing the terms “economy” and “political economy,” as LPE has done, risks – unless we are careful – invoking just the kind of separate, reified realm that we are trying to critique. In our view, defining “the economy,” and studying how legal institutions have done so, should be central issues that LPE scholarship aims to address.

An Algorithmic Bon Marché? Platform Governance in Urban Spaces

An Algorithmic Bon Marché? Platform Governance in Urban Spaces

The last few decades have been characterized by the return of market fundamentalism: the belief that society can and should be organized through the institutional mechanism of “self-regulating markets.” Many expected that the 2008 financial crisis might constitute a blow to pervasive market expansion and a check on global dominance of private corporations. Not so.…

Government Failures and Private Options

Government Failures and Private Options

Increasingly progressives are championing “public options” as a response to various market failures. Public options in the all-important health care space stand in for old-school regulation of private providers and old-school redistribution (to better support those struggling to pay for private insurance and medical services). Public options in banking, likewise championed by leading progressives, work substantially…

What is the “Free Market Family” and How Can We End It?

What is the “Free Market Family” and How Can We End It?

What drives free-market family policy is a fundamentally wrongheaded view about the economy and the ends it should serve. US policymakers equate the economy with markets alone, and then treat rising GDP as the sum total of economic success. But the economic system, properly conceived, is, simply yet more broadly, the system for getting people the resources they need to flourish—material, caretaking, educational, and leisure—individually and collectively. (This is the first post in a symposium.)

Algorithmic Imaginaries: The Political Limits of Legal and Computational Reasoning

Algorithmic Imaginaries: The Political Limits of Legal and Computational Reasoning

As law and political economy scholars take aim at the deficiencies of dominant modes of legal thought and chart a path for law to promote a more just and egalitarian society, they must also attend to the role of algorithmic systems and algorithmic thought in shaping political imaginations. By the same token, computer and information scientists interested in computation’s role in social reforms would do well to learn from the critiques and proposals of the LPE community.

Ferment is Abroad: Techlash, Legal Institutions, and the Limits of Lawfulness

Ferment is Abroad: Techlash, Legal Institutions, and the Limits of Lawfulness

Both law and technology have played a foundational role in constructing, maintaining, and extending neoliberal modes of governance. Technological implementations have given new life to the longstanding neoliberal separation of economic and political domains, and legal methods that have facilitated the neoliberal political economy have also enabled new technologies. As critiques of the centrality of neoliberal economic logic gain traction, we must take care that such work does not simply clear the path for an emerging hegemony of neoliberal computational logic. Instead, we must be attentive to proponents of the epistemic and political dominance of computational mechanisms, and we must critique them on similar grounds and with similar urgency. In addition, theories of the legal programs and methods required to democratize the economy must not ignore the role digital technologies may play in achieving these goals.

Historicizing Consumer Protection

Historicizing Consumer Protection

Learned Hand once described the task of the Federal Trade Commission as “discover[ing] and mak[ing] explicit those unexpressed standards of fair dealing which the conscience of the community may progressively develop.” In a previous post, I argued that moving consumer protection law beyond consumer sovereignty requires recovering this way of thinking, common among Progressives and…