Law and Neo-liberalism

Annette Morris

As the march of neo-liberalism continues, scholars are increasingly examining the impact of neo-liberal policies on the operation, substance and role of law in society.  This stream seeks to draw these scholars together who, because they work across such a diverse range of areas, may otherwise remain disparate, in order to identify common themes and to discuss the potential for future collaboration.  Whilst its boundaries are contested, neo-liberalism is defined here as a political, social and economic project which favours individual responsibility, self-management, free markets and privatization over state intervention.

Papers are welcome on any aspect of the theme but may wish to explore the way in which neo-liberal policies have affected not only substantive law but also the civil, criminal and administrative justice systems through which that law is mediated.  Deregulation of the legal profession, the marketization of funding mechanisms, the privatization of dispute resolution and the dominance of cost and efficiency concerns over substantive outcomes have altered the economics of legal practice and encouraged commoditization and commodification.  These policies have affected not only the extent to which law is available to, and the way it is experienced by, citizens (with the resulting impact on power dynamics in society) but also arguably the nature of law itself.  Leading on from this, papers may also wish to explore how neo-liberal policies have affected law as a social and political practice, or in other words, altered the way in which individuals and/or the state use law as a means of regulation and governance and as a means of achieving accountability and access to services and other entitlements previously provided directly by the state.

Informal discussions about paper proposals are welcomed and should be directed to the convenor.

Abstracts may only be submitted via the Easy Chair Platform. They must be no longer than 300 words and should include your title, name and institutional affiliation and your email address for correspondence.

The deadline for submissions is Monday 18th January 2016.