Reading group

Diamond Ashiagbor and I began an Economic Sociology of Law reading group at SOAS in early 2011 which continues to run. It is an informal gathering of faculty and students from across disciplines and institutions who are interested in the idea of an economic sociology of law—that is, the use of sociological approaches (empirical, normative, analytical) to investigate relationships between legal and economic phenomena.
For forthcoming meetings and instructions on how to join, see the Reading Group webpage. A record of meetings held to summer 2013 is below.

11.06.13       Economic Anthropology
Pierre Bourdieu (2005) ‘The state and the construction of the market’ and Part II ‘Principles of an economic anthropology’ in The Social Structures of the Economy Polity, pp. 89-125 and 193-223.

24.04.13       Slavery          
Frederick Douglass (1888) ‘I denounce so-called emancipation as a stupendous fraud!’Speech delivered on the Twenty-Sixth Anniversary of Emancipation in the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C., April 16, 1888
Katie McDade (2011) ‘Liverpool slave merchant entrepreneurial networks, 1725–1807’ Business History Vol. 53:7.
Jenny B. Wahl ‘The Jurisprudence of American Slave Sales’ The Journal of Economic History Vol. 56, No. 1 (Mar., 1996), pp. 143-169

06.03.13        Back to Marx
M. Cain (1974) ‘The main themes of Marx’ and Engels’ sociology of law’ 1:2 British Journal of Law and Society 136

30.01.13        Legal realism
Robert Hale  (1943) ‘Bargaining, Duress, and Economic Liberty’ Columbia Law Review 63
Sally Engle Merry (2006) ‘New Legal Realism and the Ethnography of Transnational Law’ 31 Law and Social Inquiry 975.
Mark C. Suchman and Elizabeth Mertz  (2010)‘Toward a New Legal Empiricism: Empirical Legal Studies and New Legal Realism’  Annual Review of Law and Social Science 555-79.

05.12.12        Performing the econo-legal         
Michel Callon (2006) ‘What does it mean to say that economics is performative?’ No. 5 Papiers de Recherche du Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation, Ecole des Mines de Paris.
Judith Butler (2010) ‘Performative agency’ 3:2 Journal of Cultural Economy

24.10.12        Informality: costs, benefits and human life
Hernando De Soto (1990) ‘The costs and importance of law’ in The Other Path: The invisible revolution in the Third World, Chapter 5.

30.05.12        Max Weber and ‘the’ law and development ‘movement’
C. Thomas (2006) ‘Max Weber, Talcott Parsons and the Sociology of Legal Reform: A Reassessment with Implications for Law and Development’ 15:2 Minnesota Journal of International Law‘ pp. 383-424
M. Weber (1925)  ‘The economic system and the normative orders’ in Economy and SocietyM. Rheinstein ed. (1967) Max Weber on Law in Economy and Society.  Translated by E. Shils and M. Rheinstein, pp 11-40.

02.05.12        Law and economy through the lens of ‘community’
Roger Cotterrell (2008) ‘Community as a legal concept? Some uses of a law and community approach in legal theory’in Living Law: Studies in Legal and Social Theory. Farnham: Ashgate, Chapter 2.

21.03.12        Economics as if people mattered
E. F. Schumacher (1973) ‘Buddhist economics’in Small is Beautiful: a study of economics as if people mattered Vintage Press: Chapter 4.
D. McCloskey ( 2002) The Secret Sins of Economics Prickly Paradigm No. 4. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press.

08.02.12        Legal reasoning in financial markets
Annelise Riles (2011) Collateral Knowledge: Legal reasoning in global financial markets. Chicago: Chicago University Press: Chapter 4 ‘Placeholders: Engaging the Hayekian Critique of Financial Regulation’; Chapter 5 ‘Virtual Transparency’.

14.12.11        Equality law: legal reasoning and organizational practice
Lauren B. Edelman, Sally Riggs Fuller and Iona Mara-Drita (2001) ‘Diversity Rhetoric and the Managerialization of Law’ (2001) 106:6 American Journal of Sociology, 1589-1641.
Susan Sturm (2005)  ‘Law’s Role in Addressing Complex Discrimination‘ in Laura Beth Nielsen & Robert L. Nelson (eds) Handbook of Employment Discrimination Research: Rights and Realities, Springer.

02.11.11        Market governance in colonial India
Ritu Birla (2009) ‘Introduction’ and  ‘Hedging bets: Speculation, gambling and market ethics 1890-1930’ in Stages of Capital: Law, culture and market governance in late colonial India Durham and London: Duke University Press pp. 1-32 and 143-98.

21.09.11        Delving deeper into Polanyi         
Polanyi, K. (1944) ‘The self regulating market and the fictitious commodities’ in The Great Transformation, Chapter 6.

20.07.11        Neoliberalism and law      
B. Z. Tamanaha (2008) ‘The Dark Side of the Relationship between the Rule of Law and Liberalism’ 33 NYU Journal of Law and Liberty
R. A. Posner (1995) ‘Introduction: Pragmatism, economics, liberalism’ in Overcoming Law Harvard University Press, Chapter 1.

08.06.11        Social capital in an economic sociology of law             World Bank (2000) The Nexus between Violent Conflict, Social Capital and Social Cohesion: Case Studies from Cambodia and Rwanda , SCIWP 23.
Ben Fine (2008) ‘Social capital in wonderland: the World Bank behind the looking glass’  8:3 Progress in Development Studies 261-269

11.04.11        Polanyian versions of economic sociology of law
Sabine Frerichs (2011) ‘Re-embedding neo-liberal constitutionalism: A Polanyian case for the economic sociology of law’ in C. Joerges and J. Falke (2011) Karl Polanyi, Globalisation and the Potential of Law in Transnational Market Oxford: Hart.

23.02.11    The Case for an Economic Sociology of Law      
Richard Swedberg. 2003. The Case for an Economic Sociology of Law. Theory and Society 32:1–37

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