Cover of Law and the Stranger by Edited by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey
Law and the Stranger
Edited by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey

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2010
264 pages.
$65.00

Cloth ISBN: 9780804771542

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Law calls communities into being and constitutes the "we" it governs. This act of defining produces an outside as well as an inside, a border whose crossing is guarded, maintaining the identity, coherence, and integrity of the space and people within. Those wishing to enter must negotiate a complex terrain of defensive mechanisms, expectations, assumptions, and legal proscriptions. Essentially, law enforces the boundary between inside and outside in both physical and epistemological ways.

Law and the Stranger explores the ways law identifies and responds to strangers within and across borders. It analyzes the ambiguous place strangers occupy in communities not their own and reflects on how dealing with strangers challenges the laws and communities that invite or parry them. As the book reveals, strangers are made through law, rather than born through accidents of geography.

About the author

Austin Sarat is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science at Amherst College.

Lawrence Douglas is James J. Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought at Amherst College.

Martha Merrill Umphrey is Professor of Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought at Amherst College.

"This pioneering book directly addresses the leading legal issue of our day: how does the law deal (or not deal) with the stranger? By way of response, this question occasions a dazzling range of perspectives and approaches, fusing jurisprudence, philosophy, cultural studies, and politics under the rubric of 'strangeness.' A brilliant and rewarding work that promises a breakthrough in the interdisciplinary study of the law."

—William P. MacNeil, Griffith University

"This is a brilliant and instructive book on the role of the stranger in law and culture. The individual essays demonstrate a rigorous engagement with the organizing themes and principles of the stranger debate from cosmopolitanism to human rights to hospitality and immigration. An amazing achievement."

—Nan Goodman, University of Colorado at Boulder