Welcome to ClassCrits! We are a network of scholars and activists interested in critical analysis of law and the economy. The global economic crisis, along with growing economic inequality and insecurity, suggests it is time to explore alternatives to the neoclassical or “free market” economic paradigm, often identified with the U.S. “Law and Economics” movement. We aim to revive discussions of questions of class pushed to the margins or relegated to the shadowy past, considering the possible meaning and relevance of economic class to the contemporary context. We hope to better integrate the rich diversity of economic methods and theories into law by exploring and engaging non-neoclassical and heterodox economics.
The name “ClassCrits” reflects our interest in focusing on economics through the lens of critical legal scholarship movements, such as critical legal studies, critical feminist theory, critical race theory, LatCrit, and queer theory. That is, we start with the assumption that economics in law is inextricably political and fundamentally tied to questions of systemic status-based subordination.
The ClassCrits group, and this blog in particular, hopes to start a discussion that puts economic inequality at the center rather than at the margins of mainstream law.
The ClassCrits project was launched by two workshops in the winter and spring of 2007 held at the SUNY Buffalo Law School, sponsored by the Baldy Center on Law and Social Policy. A collection of essays from those workshops is published in the Buffalo Law Review volume 56. Beyond the University at Buffalo, the ClassCrits project has developed panels at a number of law conferences. A 2010 workshop at the University at Buffalo, also sponsored by the Baldy Center on Law and Social Policy, brought together heterodox economists and legal scholars to discuss the financial crisis and to build an interdisciplinary approach to law and economics not limited to neoclassical assumptions.
Classcrits is organized by SUNY Buffalo Law professors Athena Mutua, Martha T. McCluskey, and Angela Harris, who is also on the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law.