Tag Archives: law


Law, whether understood as an institutional organization of life in common or as a rational discourse about the conditions that allow that order, constitutes a viewing point from which we can observe any aspect of society. Similarly, starting from virtually any social event it is possible to draw a line that leads, eventually, towards the legal. The deep interrelation between law and other dimensions of social life dictates, therefore, that the study of the law be conducted from a multidisciplinary perspective. Furthermore, the importance of what is at stake in the relationship between the legal and its social environment requires that this study be undertaken from a critical perspective. read more...

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Matthew Adler, Well-Being and Fair Distribution: Beyond Cost-Benefit Analysis

Matthew Adler has a major new book with OUP that will interest many readers of this blog. Here is the description:

Well-Being and Fair Distribution provides a rigorous and comprehensive defense of the “social welfare function” as a tool for evaluating governmental policies. In particular, it argues for a “prioritarian” social welfare function: one that gives greater weight to well-being changes affecting worse-off individuals. In doing so, the book draws on many literatures: in theoretical economics, applied economics, philosophy, and law. Topics addressed include the following: the nature of well-being and the possibility of interpersonal comparisons; the measurement of well-being via “utility” numbers; why a “prioritarian” social welfare function is more appealing than alternative forms (for example, a utilitarian, leximin, or “sufficientist” function); whether fair distribution should be conceptualized on a lifetime or sublifetime basis; and social choice under uncertainty. read more...

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New Casebook: Constitutional Law and American Democracy by Corey Brettschneider

I am happy to announce the publication of my new integrated casebook and reader, Constitutional Law and American Democracy: Cases and Readings, with Wolters Kluwer/Aspen Press:


If you would like a complimentary copy to review for possible use in your course, please send me an email at Corey_Brettschneider@Brown.edu or to one of the Aspen sales reps, Pandora.Gorman@wolterskluwer.com and note your mailing address. Aspen has been very prompt in sending the books out for review.

Here is a description: Constitutional Law and American Democracy is an integrated casebook and reader that guides students through the most important conflicts over legal issues and doctrines today, as debated by Supreme Court justices and leading academics. I use selections from the most influential articles and books in constitutional law, political theory, and legal history to introduce students to doctrinal debates. By showing competing interpretations of the Constitution, the book helps students to appreciate the stakes in the disputes between the justices on separation of powers, federalism, civil liberties, and the equal protection of the law. The format also encourages students to form thoughtful and well-developed positions about where they stand in these debates. In my own teaching, I have found that the book’s focus on controversial issues such as abortion rights, gay rights, and the right to bear arms serves as a highly effective “hook” in gaining the attention of students and drawing them into the wider framework of political values, legal doctrine, and constitutional interpretation that ultimately shape court cases and judicial opinions. read more...

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