American Law in the Age of Hypercapitalism

American Law in the Age of Hypercapitalism : The Worker, the Family, and the State

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Since the fall of communism, laissez-faire capitalism has experienced renewed popularity. Flush with victory, the United States has embraced a particularly narrow and single-minded definition of capitalism and aggressively exported it worldwide. The defining trait of this brand of capitalism is an unwavering reverence for the icons of the market. Although promoted as a laissez-faire form of capitalism, it actually reflects the very evils of selfishness and greed by entrepreneurs that concerned Adam Smith.

Capitalism, however, can thrive without an extreme emphasis on efficiency and personal autonomy. Americans often forget that theirs is a rather peculiar form of capitalism, that other Western nations successfully maintain capitalistic systems that are fundamentally more balanced and nuanced in their effect on society. The unnecessarily inhumane aspects of American capitalism become apparent when compared to Canadian and Western European societies, with their more generous policies regarding affirmative action, accommodation for disabled persons, and family and medical leave for pregnant woman and their partners.

In American Law in the Age of Hypercapitalism, Ruth Colker examines how American law purports to reflect--and actively promotes--a laissez-faire capitalism that disproportionately benefits the entrepreneurial class. Colker proposes that the quality of American life depends also on fairness and equality rather than simply the single-minded and formulaic pursuit of efficiency and utility.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 268 pages
  • 153 x 229 x 19.05mm | 530.7g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0814715621
  • 9780814715628

Review quote

"This important study is pitched to an academic community that remains highly patriarchal. Thus, it should make a valuable impact on this audience."
-"Choice", Highly Recommended, ""Global Feminism" offers a powerful analysis of the intersection of feminism and globalization, national women's movements and transnational politics, and activism and scholarship. Many of the authors reflect on their experiences as activists to produce a rich examination of feminist mobilization in the 21st century. Among the many strengths of this collection are the ways in which the authors make visible the contradictions of globalization for women's empowerment and evaluate feminist strategies for challenging male domination in its many forms. This book advances our understanding of how to increase social justice and democratic practice in movement organizations and feminist networks. The authors vividly demonstrate what feminism has to offer all movements for social justice."
-Nancy A. Naples, author of "Feminism and Method: Ethnography, Discourse Analysis and Activist Research" ""Global Feminism" is an extremely useful and important volume that systematically examines transnational women's movements as well as raises a number of important theoretical questions about global rights and transnational organizing."
-Amrita Basu, editor of "The Challenge of Local Feminism: Women's Movements in Global Perspective"
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About Ruth Colker

Ruth Colker is Distinguished University Professor and the Heck-Faust Memorial Chair in Constitutional Law at the Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University. She is the author of Hybrid, The Disability Pendulum, and American Law in the Age of Hypercapitalism, all available from NYU Press.
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