Category Archives: Legal Theory

George Padmore (28 June 1903 – 23 September 1959): author, journalist, Left organizer and activist (against colonialism, imperialism and Empire), one-time Communist Party member, socialist, and Pan-Africanist intellectual

This post is in memory and honor of the life and work of George Padmore. In an earlier post I attempted to characterize the “Marxist spirituality” of C.L.R. James (a good friend of Padmore’s going back to the days of their youth in Trinidad) and in this case I would like to invoke, in the broadest and deepest sense, the kindred “humanist spirituality” of Padmore, which is equally non-religious or secular, while firmly grounded in a communism (Padmore’s ‘communist’ and socialist beliefs and commitments appear to have more or less survived his former and formal identity as a Communist Party member) and Pan-Africanism that he viewed as integral to the ends of Black self-determination and emancipation. The following material, a kind of bricolage, is an attempt to give some sense of the remarkable qualities Padmore possessed as an “organic intellectual” and political organizer on the (Black) Left. [The Soviet Union]….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Legal Theory Bookworm: "Oxford Handbook of Distributive Justice" edited by Olsaretti

The Legal Theory Bookworm recommends The Oxford Handbook of Distributive Justice, edited by Serena Olsaretti.  Here is a description: Distributive justice has come to the fore in political philosophy in recent decades: how should we arrange our social and economic institutions so as to distribute fairly the benefits and burdens of social cooperation? Thirty-eight leading figures from philosophy and political theory present specially written critical assessments of the state of research into a broad range of questions about distributive justice. The first seventeen chapters consider how to understand distributive justice and its importance in our world. The remaining fifteen chapters investigate questions about the implementation of distributive justice with regard to a range of aspects of society, including gender, race, the family, education, work, health, language, migration, and climate change. This Oxford Handbook will be a rich and authoritative resource for….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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On the putative genius of (our) constitutional democracy

… [L]iberalism, constitutionalism, and democracy do not per se make good societies, although they are arguably necessary part of the structure of a good society. But it is also true that merely having the psychology for or a commitment to a good society will make one. In particular, the makings of a civil society are not the makings of good government under a constitutional regime. What is generally required for a constitutional regime to work is that it serve the relative interests of major political groups in the society, that is, groups that are politically efficacious. — Russell Hardin Capitalist democracy encourages economic calculation through the generation of conditions of material uncertainty. But economic calculation leads rationally to a rejection of more radical long-term struggles against capitalism itself. Short-term material improvement is the preferred aim of materially based conflict within a capitalist democracy because of the different….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Stopler on Religious Liberty as a Human Right

Gila Stopler (College of Law and Business – Ramat Gan Law School) has posted How Could Religious Liberty Be a Human Right: A Reply to Andrew Koppelman (Forthcoming in 16(3) INT’L J. CONST. L.) on SSRN.  Here is the abstract: In his article "How could religious liberty be a human right?" Andrew Koppelman argues that there is a unique and distinct human right to religious liberty which cannot be reduced to or derived from other existing human rights such as the rights to conscience, equality, or integrity. According to Koppelman, religion is a hypergood and an object of strong evaluation, and since it combines multiple goods, some of which are hard to pin down, religion should serve as a proxy for these goods, and the right to religious liberty should protect all that is religion. In my response I critique Koppelman's proxy approach and claim that its theoretical weaknesses and practical deficiencies are more extensive than Koppelman is….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Kesten on the Law & Economics of Going Public

Jay Kesten (Florida State University – College of Law) has posted The Law and Economics of the Going-Public Decision (The Oxford Handbook of IPOs (Oxford University Press, Forthcoming)) on SSRN.  Here is the abstract: An IPO is one of the most important events in the life-cycle of a developing firm. The going-public decision is, however, complicated by the persistently cyclical market for public offerings. This Chapter analyzes the macroeconomic determinants of IPO market cyclicality alongside the strategic and corporate governance considerations faced by private firms arising from the costs and benefits of going public. The law and economics of the going public decision is also relevant to the secular decline in IPOs since the turn of the millennium. This Chapter evaluates several competing and complementary hypotheses that attempt to explain this phenomenon, each of which relies at least in part on the various features of the going public decision-making….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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