Crises of Constitutionality — Rob Hunter

A certain homology may be observed between the constitutive role of crisis in capitalism and the place of crisis within the practice of constitutionality. Indeed, the state of crisis is a regular, recurring, and unavoidable aspect of constitutionalism. Mainstream discourses of constitutional crisis tend to imagine that constitutional orders possess social teloi that they pursue smoothly on their own terms. But constitutionalism is not a homeostatic social machine; it is a technology of rule.

Introduction to the Material Constitution: Traditions and Constitutive Elements — Marco Goldoni

In a couple of previous posts on Legal Form, Rob Hunter has reminded us of the importance and aptness of a Marxist approach to the analysis of public law. Hunter's intervention could not be more timely: even after the economic and financial crisis, and despite the comeback of Marxism as a relevant intellectual source at least within certain legal domains (think, for example, of international law), there has not yet been a Marxist revival in constitutional studies.

Review of Sidney L. Harring, Policing a Class Society: The Experience of American Cities, 1865–1915, second edition (Chicago: Haymarket, 2017) (Part Three) — Stuart Schrader

Harring seems to believe that race is an immutable property that precedes racism. Yet on my reading, much of what he considered class identification and the process of class management, to use Monkkonen's term, was racial. I would reverse the dictum Stuart Hall first developed in Policing the Crisis: in the historical situation of policing a class society 140 years ago, class was the medium through which race was lived.

Review of Sidney L. Harring, Policing a Class Society: The Experience of American Cities, 1865–1915, second edition (Chicago: Haymarket, 2017) (Part Two) — Stuart Schrader

The class struggle approach insisted that the police, even when breaking strikes, were constrained. A key constraint was the delicate balance of state legitimacy. Too much force, and it would be imperiled among workers. Too little, and the same would be true, but among industrialists.

Review of Sidney L. Harring, Policing a Class Society: The Experience of American Cities, 1865–1915, second edition (Chicago: Haymarket, 2017) (Part One) — Stuart Schrader

Sidney L. Harring's Policing a Class Society from 1983 should be considered a classic. A rare avowedly Marxist history of policing in the United States, it offers something many readers crave. Now republished by Haymarket Books, with a stirring new introduction, it raises fundamental critiques of policing in the United States that differ from those driving present-day mobilizations.

Human Rights After October — Jessica Whyte

The language of human rights is under fire on the right and the left. While right-wing authoritarian leaders frame civil rights and anti-discrimination agendas as the exclusive concern of cosmopolitan elites, left-wing critics have argued that the human rights movement has ignored economic inequality and legitimised military interventions that further neoliberal ends.

Marxism and the State: Three Background Notes (Part One) — Akbar Rasulov

In one of the most easily Google-retrievable texts on the Marxist theory of the state (MTS), a 1999 essay written for an edited volume entitled Marxism and Social Science, Colin Hay, a former student of Bob Jessop, remarks that "Marxist state theorists--unlike, say, their feminist counterparts ... --have rarely been called upon to offer … justification for their theoretical endeavours".