What’s Law Got to Do with It? Crisis, Growth, Inequality and the Alternative Futures of Legal Thought

Tamara Lothian


The most striking economic and political fact of the past forty years has been the dramatic increase in economic and political inequality throughout the advanced economies. This Article considers this development as an occasion to explore the contribution of contemporary law and legal thought to the problem of inequality. I focus on two main themes: the naturalization of the present institutional form of the regulated market economy, and the naturalization of the present low-energy form of democracy. I argue that in each case, the absence of structural vision in law prevents us from understanding the sources of and remedies for inequality. We must rescue the insight from the compromise and begin to develop a better way of thinking about law and the economy, if we are to understand and address the rise of inequality. Therefore, three programmatic implications are suggested in this Article regarding three domains: politics, production and finance. 

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