In this thought-provoking book, Allan Beever argues that today’s dominant understanding of the private law is a conception suited for a political economy that does not exist, that never existed and that was even an apparent political possibility only for a decade or so after the end of the Second World War. As a consequence of this, while many contemporary lawyers believe that their conception of the law is allied to progressive political thought, that conception in fact serves other agendas. This is explained through an examination of the history of twentieth century political economy in the first part of the book and an exploration of how the modern conception of law plays out in the case law in the second part. Here, Beever illustrates how the rule of law has been sacrificed to facilitate collectivist government regimes and highlights how we might move forward.
This book is essential reading for students and scholars of law and society, legal philosophy, and legal theory, as well as academic lawyers, historians, legal practitioners, and political theorists.
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