Assesses the impact of intellectual and political movements of the late twentieth century on law and legal theory

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Editorial Introduction
Austin Sarat and Thomas R. Kearns     1

Partial Justice: Law and Minorities
Martha Minow     15

The Postmodern Transition: Law and Politics
Boaventura de Sousa Santos     79

Disciplines, Subjectivity, and Law
Robin West     119

The Law Wishes to Have a Formal Existence
Stanley Fish     159

A Journey Through Forgetting: Toward a Jurisprudence of Violence
Austin Sarat and Thomas R. Kearns     209

Contributors     275

Index     277


For law and legal theory the end of the twentieth century is a time of contradiction; while the newly emerging politics of Eastern Europe seek to establish a new rule of law, voices in this country proclaim the "death of law." For the former, law provides hope for stability and fairness. For the latter, the fundamental values that provide a grounding for legality seem no longer secure or satisfying. The Fate of Law is a collection of five original essays, each of which discusses the problems and prospects of law in the late twentieth century. The essays pay particular attention to the impact of broad intellectual and political movements, especially feminism and postmodernism, on law and legal theory.

The Fate of Law investigates what happens under the critical scrutiny of those movements and in an era of growing skepticism about law's central claim to objectivity, neutrality, and reason. It describes the struggles that ensue and the responses that are made. Each of the essays that comprise this books is written in its own style and voice; each makes it own judgments and assessments.