Cover of Law without Nations by Edited by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey
Law without Nations
Edited by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey

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2010
256 pages.
$65.00

Cloth ISBN: 9780804771696

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The possibility of law in the absence of a nation would seem to strip law from its source of meaning and value. At the same time, law divorced from nations would clear the ground for a cosmopolitan vision in which the prejudices or idiosyncrasies of distinctive national traditions would give way to more universalist groundings for law. These alternately dystopian and utopian viewpoints inspire this original collection of essays on law without nations.

This book examines the ways in which the growing internationalization of law affects domestic national law, the relationship between cosmopolitan legal ideas and understandings of national identity, and the intersections of identity and law based on the liberal tradition of jurisprudence and transnational influences. Ultimately, Law without Nations offers sharp analyses of the fraught relationship between the nation and the state—and the legal forms and practices that they require, constitute, and violently contest.

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 book is especially noteworthy given the current ascendance of international and regional alliances in global governance. It does an excellent good job of illustrating the reality of legal pluralism, the weakness of legal positivism, and the vitality of so-called non-state law."

—Kathleen Moore, University of California, Santa Barbara

"There is a great deal of novelty and insight in Law without Nations. The essays push thinking on the subject beyond simple trade-offs between international and national legal systems. The book draws on a dazzlingly diverse array of works and I find the interconnection of the contributors' arguments particularly engaging."

—David Mednicoff, University of Massachusetts