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Union by LawFilipino American Labor Activists, Rights Radicalism, and Racial Capitalism$
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Michael W. McCann and George I. Lovell

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226679877

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226680071.001.0001

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Theorizing Law and Legal Mobilization in Racial Capitalist Empire

Theorizing Law and Legal Mobilization in Racial Capitalist Empire

(p.355) Conclusion Theorizing Law and Legal Mobilization in Racial Capitalist Empire
Union by Law

Michael W. McCann

George I. Lovell

University of Chicago Press

The concluding chapter expands on core ideas developed in the introductory chapter and integrated into the historical narrative, with an eye to reshaping the agendas of sociolegal scholars who research the politics of legal rights mobilization. One core theme is the need for greater attention to state legal violence. A second, and closely related theme involves the theoretical framework of “racial capitalism” in which the contemporary rule of law is embedded and whose hierarchical structures law works to perpetuate. The most original, provocative, and no doubt controversial aspect of this analysis is the development of ideas regarding the variegated traditions of liberal, repressive, and – especially in the post-World War II – hybrid legal forms that sustain racial capitalist hierarchies. Special attention will be given to racialized subjectivities of low wage workers and institutional practices of legal administration that repress them, including especially criminal justice, “crimmigration,” segregated housing policy, and workplace governance. The chapter concludes with the implications of the critical analysis for legal mobilization, as practical politics and intellectual research agendas, in the contemporary period.

Keywords:   legal violence, legal mobilization, racial capitalism, criminal justice, crimmigration, workplaces, repressive law, liberal law, hybrid legal forms

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