The Fate of Law

Austin Sarat and Thomas R. Kearns, Editors
Assesses the impact of intellectual and political movements of the late twentieth century on law and legal theory


For law and legal theory the end of the twentieth century is a time of contradiction; while the newly emerging politics of Eastern Europe seek to establish a new rule of law, voices in this country proclaim the "death of law." For the former, law provides hope for stability and fairness. For the latter, the fundamental values that provide a grounding for legality seem no longer secure or satisfying. The Fate of Law is a collection of five original essays, each of which discusses the problems and prospects of law in the late twentieth century. The essays pay particular attention to the impact of broad intellectual and political movements, especially feminism and postmodernism, on law and legal theory.

The Fate of Law investigates what happens under the critical scrutiny of those movements and in an era of growing skepticism about law's central claim to objectivity, neutrality, and reason. It describes the struggles that ensue and the responses that are made. Each of the essays that comprise this books is written in its own style and voice; each makes it own judgments and assessments.

Praise / Awards

  • "The authors provide no pat formulae, no facile predictions. Rather they do what critical thinkers are supposed to do: equip us to participate in the struggles and debates that will shape law's future and thus society's prospects."
    —David M. Trubek, University of Wisconsin Law School
  • ". . . brings original and insightful perspectives to bear on fundamental issues of contemporary jurisprudence."
    —Deborah Rohde, Stanford Law School

Look Inside


Editorial Introduction
Austin Sarat and Thomas R. Kearns     1

Partial Justice: Law and Minorities
Martha Minow     15

The Postmodern Transition: Law and Politics
Boaventura de Sousa Santos     79

Disciplines, Subjectivity, and Law
Robin West     119

The Law Wishes to Have a Formal Existence
Stanley Fish     159

A Journey Through Forgetting: Toward a Jurisprudence of Violence
Austin Sarat and Thomas R. Kearns     209

Contributors     275

Index     277

News, Reviews, Interviews

Review Law and Politics Book Review | 12/1/1991

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 304pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 1993
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-08239-1

Add to Cart
  • $31.95 U.S.

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