Edited by Emilios Christodoulidis, Ruth Dukes and Marco Goldoni
Chapter 14: Law in the mirror of critique: a report to an academy
This chapter addresses the general problem of critique, and of legal critique in particular, in the register of attachments to worlds. It dismisses the notion that legal critique has met its demise but suggests instead that critical legal scholars too often forget that their standards are unstable fabrications constituted by and bound to specific chains of nonlegal associations, that their reports too are local, transient and inexorably subject to the power of their successors, and that critique enjoys no real distance from its objects but rather lives in their midst. If conditions have changed – if the liberal political economy or the modern naturalist cosmology have vanished, if entirely new distributions of agency and sensibility have come into being as a result of technoscientific, aesthetic, political, or other innovations, if the problem of the transcendent Form of Law has given way to a proliferation of fragile jurimorphs – we could be forgiven, it argues, for asking whether existing models of legal critique remain relevant.
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