Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought

Austin Sarat

Teaching%20Law%20%26%20Literature
 

Edited by Austin Sarat, Catherine O. Frank, Matthew Anderson

Teaching Law and Literature

This volume provides a resource for teachers interested in learning about the field of law and literture and shows how to bring its insights to bear in their classrooms, both in the liberal arts and in law schools. 

"Students in undergraduate humanities courses will benefit from studying the way legal realities help shape and inform literary works.  Law teachers may usefully assign chapters from the text to explore law's narrative drama."
Richard Sherwin, New York Law School

-- Modern Language Association 2011

 
Who%20Deserves%20to%20Die
 

Edited by Austin Sarat and Karl Shoemaker

Who Deserves to Die?

“An important work. In a country in which the justification for the continued execution of criminals is based on the collective goals of deterrence and order, it is refreshing to step back and remember that individuals are executed and that the executable subject is the means to achieve the polity’s stated collective goals. Who Deserves to Die? is a wonderful, timely, and overdue addition to the debate over capital punishment.”
—Beau Breslin, author of From Words to Worlds: Examining Constitutional Functionality

-- University of Massachusetts Press 2011


 

 
When Law Fails

Austin Sarat

When Law Fails reveals the dramatic consequences as well as the daily realities of breakdowns in the laws ability to deliver justice swiftly and fairly, and calls on us to look beyond headline-grabbing exonerations to see how failure is embedded in the legal system itself. Once we are able to recognize miscarriages of justice we will be able to begin to fix our broken legal system.

Pain, Death, and the Law

 

Austin Sarat

Pain, Death, and the Law

"This collection of essays examines the relationship between pain, death, and the law and addresses the question of how the law constructs pain and death as jurisprudential facts. The empirical focus of these essays enables the reader to delve into both the history and the theoretical complexities of the pain-death-law relationships. This volume will fundamentally alter the terms of the debate about the right to live or die."

-- The University of Michigan Press

 


When the State Kills

 

Austin Sarat

When the State Kills

"Is capital punishment just? Does it deter people from murder? What is the risk that we will execute innocent people? These are the usual questions at the heart of the increasingly heated debate about capital punishment in America. In his bold and impassioned book, Austin Sarat seeks to change the terms of that debate."

-- Princeton University Press

 


 

Austin Sarat

Law, Violence, and the Possibility of Punishment

"Law punishes violence, yet law depends on violence. In this book, a group of leading interdisciplinary legal scholars seeks to map the inexorable but unstable relationships of law to violence."

-- Princeton University Press

Law in the Liberal Arts

 

Austin Sarat

Law in the Liberal Arts

"Should a liberal arts education exclude the study of law? In this fascinating collection, leading law and society scholars argaue that the study of law raises basic moral, philosophical, and political questions. They offer provocative ideas about where and how law should fit into a liberal arts education. This book is essential reading for anyone seeking a new perspective on liberal arts education or the possibilities of education in the law."

-- Sally Engle Merry, Wellesley College

 

Dissent in Dangerous Times

Austin Sarat

Dissent in Dangerous Times

"Dissent in Dangerous Times presents essays by six distinguished scholars, who provide their own unique views on the interplay of loyalty, patriotism, and dissent. Dissent in Dangerous Times examines the role of political opposition in our times, the nature of political repression in liberal societies, the political and legal implications of fear, and how past generations responded to similar situations. It is also a reminder of the fragility and enduring power of freedom, and will inspire readers to think about, and beyond, September 11."

-- University of Michigan Press

Mercy on Trial

Austin Sarat

Mercy on Trial

On January 11, 2003, Illinois Governor George Ryan--a Republican on record as saying that "some crimes are so horrendous . . . that society has a right to demand the ultimate penalty"--commuted the capital sentences of all 167 prisoners on his state's death row. Critics demonized Ryan. For opponents of capital punishment, however, Ryan became an instant hero whose decision was seen as a signal moment in the "new abolitionist" politics to end killing by the state.

In this compelling and timely work, Austin Sarat provides the first book-length work on executive clemency. He turns our focus from questions of guilt and innocence to the very meaning of mercy. Starting from Ryan's controversial decision, Mercy on Trial uses the lens of executive clemency in capital cases to discuss the fraught condition of mercy in American political life. Most pointedly, Sarat argues that mercy itself is on trial. Although it has always had a problematic position as a form of "lawful lawlessness," it has come under much more intense popular pressure and criticism in recent decades. This has yielded a radical decline in the use of the power of chief executives to stop executions.

From the history of capital clemency in the twentieth century to surrounding legal controversies and philosophical debates about when (if ever) mercy should be extended, Sarat examines the issue comprehensively. In the end, he acknowledges the risks associated with mercy--but, he argues, those risks are worth taking.

-- Princeton University Press

The Cultural Lives of Capital Punishment

Austin Sarat and Christian Boulanger

The Cultural Lives of Capital Punishment
Comparative Perspectives

How does the way we think and feel about the world around us affect the existence and administration of the death penalty? What role does capital punishment play in defining our political and cultural identity?

After centuries during which capital punishment was a normal and self-evident part of criminal punishment, it has now taken on a life of its own in various arenas far beyond the limits of the penal sphere. In this volume, the authors argue that in order to understand the death penalty, we need to know more about the "cultural lives"—past and present—of the state's ultimate sanction.

They undertake this “cultural voyage” comparatively—examining the dynamics of the death penalty in Mexico, the United States, Poland, Kyrgyzstan, India, Israel, Palestine, Japan, China, Singapore, and South Korea—arguing that we need to look beyond the United States to see how capital punishment “lives” or “dies” in the rest of the world, how images of state killing are produced and consumed elsewhere, and how they are reflected, back and forth, in the emerging international judicial and political discourse on the penalty of death and its abolition.

-- Stanford University Press


 
 
Austin Sarat, Nadav Davidovitch, and Michal Alberstein

Trauma and Memory: Reading, Healing, and Making Law (Cultural Sitings)

Trauma and Memory explores different dimensions of trauma, both its relationship to the social sphere and to group identity, in order to open up new approaches to trauma from a healing perspective. The book's specific focus is doubly unique: first, because of its interest in the tension between collective and individual trauma (in trauma as socially constructed and related to identities of ethnicity, nationality, gender, and class); and second, because of its interest in the legal and medical professions (in their construction of trauma, their ways of treating it, their failures, and even their production of trauma). Trauma and Memory reflects the ways in which, over the last several decades, a growing interest in the social and cultural contexts of law and medicine has transformed the study of both these professions. The authors provide new readings of social and political phenomena—such as immigration, public health, gender discrimination, and transitional justice—in terms of trauma. Finally, they address the therapeutic dimensions of trauma and their relationship to reconciliation via alternative processes such as mediation, truth committees, and other new forms of justice.

-- Stanford 2008
 
Austin Sarat and Nasser Hussain

FORGIVENESS, MERCY, AND CLEMENCY

"[The] reader is offered a substantial number of questions to ponder regarding the powerful tools available to leaders responsible for obviating inconsistencies or injustices in the law. Such questions are useful for a continued and vital debate about how, and to what extent, these powers should be used at all."—The Law and Politics Book Review

“Forgiveness, Mercy, and Clemency is a welcome addition to our understanding of the political and legal world. The book is unique insofar as it addresses many of the nuances associated with a topic that, for many, is isolated to the action taken by Governor Ryan to empty Illinois's death row in January 2003.”—Beau Breslin, Skidmore College

Stanford University Press 2006 
 

Austin Sarat and Charles Ogletree, Jr. 

From Lynch Mobs to the Killing State: Race and the Death Penalty in America (The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute Series on Race and Justice) 
 
”Expertly dissects the racist underpinnings of capital punishment while pushing some intellectual boundaries.” —International Socialist Review

“The authors give the nation an unflinching view of the shameful influence of racism in death penalty cases. This is a must read for anyone who cares about fairness in application of the death penalty and respect for the rule of law in our modern society.”—Senator Edward M. Kennedy

”Ogeltree and Sarat combine the most severe criminal punishment with the bugaboo of racial class and prejudice in their book From Lynch Mobs to the Killing State. The professors astutely note that the death penalty is often used as a club to keep poor and desperate minorities in line in the larger white society.”—Black Issues Book Review

New York University Press 2006
 
Austin Sarat and Stuart Scheingold

The Cultural Lives of Cause Lawyers 

This book seeks to illuminate what we call the cultural lives of cause lawyers by examining their representation in various popular media (including film, fiction, mass-marketed non-fiction, television, and journalism), the work they do as creators of cultural products, and the way those representations and products are received and consumed by various audiences. By attending to media representations and the culture work done by cause lawyers, we can see what material is available for citizens and others to use in fashioning understandings of those lawyers. This book also provides a vehicle for determining whether, how, and to what extent cause lawyering is embedded in the discourses and symbolic practice around which ordinary citizens organize their understanding of social, political, and legal life. This book brings together research on the legal profession with work that takes up the analysis of popular culture. Contributors to this work include scholars of popular culture who turn their attention to cause lawyers and experts on cause lawyering who in turn focus their attention on popular culture. This is a joining of perspectives that is both long overdue and fruitful for both kinds of scholarship.

--  Cambridge University Press 2008

 

 
Austin Sarat and Stuart Scheingold

Cause Lawyers and Social Movements

“This work examines the unique position of lawyers committed both to profession and to cause. The wide variety of social movements described in the book offers a natural setting for asking how politically committed collective clients shape the lawyer's role and the tension this poses for professional responsibility.”—Richard Abel, UCLA School of Law

“Cause Lawyers and Social Movements presents a rich range of case studies of the interaction between lawyering and social movement.”—Lucie White, Harvard Law School

"Together with their previous collaborative works on cause lawyers, Austin Sarat and Stuart Scheingold have taught us a great deal about the utility of lawyers and legal rights for social and political change, usefully highlighted the political significance of studying the practices of public interest lawyers in a politics of rights, and helped set an agenda for exciting and politically relevant research."—The Law and Politics Book Review

-- Stanford University, 2006
The Worlds Cause Lawyers Make

Austin Sarat and Stuart Scheingold

The Worlds Cause Lawyers Make

The study of cause lawyering has grown dramatically and is now an important field of research in socio-legal studies and in research on the legal profession. The Worlds Cause Lawyers Make: Structure and Agency in Legal Practice adds to that growing body of research by examining the connections between lawyers and causes, the settings in which cause lawyers practice, and the ways they marshal social capital and make strategic decisions.

-- Stanford University Press, 2005

 
Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey

LAW AND CATASTROPHE

"Law and Catastrophe is an edited collection that explores this inextricable and symbiotic relationship between these two concepts in the short span of five chapters. It presents to the reader a witty and often engaging group of literary essays that dissect various guises of how law and catastrophe interpenetrate."—Law and Politics Book Review

"Law and Catastrophe offers a diverse and fascinating set of essays. There has never been a more urgent need for such a work on catastrophe and law." —Anthony J. Sebok, Brooklyn Law School

"This cogent work is based on the insight that, even when it proves itself palpably unable to deal with catastrophe, law can yet reassert itself, reproducing the bases of its authority over and over again. Indeed, this very act of reassertion is revealed to be the basis of legal authority itself. This book is a must read for any scholar interested in seeing the performance of law when its veneer of total control and stability have been stripped away." —James R. Martel, San Francisco State University

Stanford University Press 2007 

 
Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey

How Law Knows

“This work raises new questions while also reexamining standard socio-legal issues in refreshing ways. The result is a rich and innovative look at the routines of truth seeking and fact finding.”—Patricia Ewick, Clark University

“How Law Knows is a useful and interesting collection addressing law’s ways of knowing. The authors reveal that the establishment and organized use of legal facts is varied, historical, and amenable to a rich and diverse set of methods of inquiry.”—Jon Goldberg-Hiller, University of Hawaii, Manoa

Stanford University Press 2006 
 
Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey

LAW AND THE SACRED

"[An} interesting collection, worthy of attention by scholars in a variety of fields."—CHOICE

“Law and the Sacred brings together original and stimulating interdisciplinary work on the complex interdependence of law and religion. Indeed, the authors expand well beyond simple categories of law and religion to explore the more interesting and novel nuances of laws of the sacred and the sacrilization of law.”—David Mednicoff, University of Massachusetts

"The essays in this volume push well beyond the boundaries of more familiar research on the relationship between politics and religion. Exploring topics as diverse as Islamic legal theory, the 2000 U.S. presidential election, Kafka's The Trial, and the contemporary constitution of sovereign political power, the contributors call into question any easy opposition between the sacred and the secular, and so unsettle a central myth of Enlightenment modernism."—Timothy V. Kaufman-Osborn, Whitman College

Stanford University Press 2006
Lives in the Law

Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey

Lives in the Law

"Lives in the Law" is a provocative collection of essays considering from a variety of perspectives and disciplinary backgrounds the myriad ways in which legal categories come to constitute the lives and identities of people and groups."

-- Paul Schiff Berman, University of Connecticut School of Law

 

The Place of Law

Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey

The Place of Law

"Recent scholarship has rediscovered the spatial dimension of society. This volume brings together some of the leading lights of that revival with some of the most innovative scholars in sociolegal studies, to reconsider the place of law and law's capacity to put people in their place. At a time when power relentlessly promotes a generic version of the rule of law as a mandatory salvation for all peoples and places, The Place of Law offers a vital rejoinder." -Jonathan Simon, University of California, Berkeley

"The Place of Law is a worthy successor to an outstanding series of edited collections on law and culture. The essays range from the Stalinist Soviet Union to the scientific laboratory, from the Internet to the nation-state and back; they explore why places and metaphors of places seem to matter so much to law, and how new structures of freedom may produce new forms of control."

-- Jack M. Balkin, Yale Law School

Law's Madness

Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey

Law's Madness

"A thoroughly engaging collection of essays that plumbs the nuances of an important topic. While many have observed law's role as a bulwark against passion and chaos, the essays in Law's Madness suggest that law and madness actually constitute each other. Thus, what we think of as 'law' always emerges from the unstable effort to distinguish official legal doctrine from that which is repressed as something other than law. This book will be a 'must have' for numerous scholars interested in interdisciplinary examinations of law, from sociolegal studies to law and humanities to legal behavioralism."

-- Paul Schiff Berman, University of Connecticut School of Law

Law on the Screen

Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey

Law on the Screen

The proliferation of images of law, legal processes, and officials on television and in film is a phenomenon of enormous significance. Mass-mediated images are as powerful, pervasive, and important as are other early twenty-first-century social forces—e.g. globalization, neo-colonialism, and human rights—in shaping and transforming legal life. Yet scholars have only recently begun to examine how law works in this new arena and to explore the consequences of the representation of law in the moving image. Law on the Screen advances our understanding of the connection between law and film by analyzing them as narrative forms, examining film for its jurisprudential content—that is, its ways of critiquing the present legal world and imagining an alternative one—and expanding studies of the representation of law in film to include questions of reception.

-- Stanford University Press, 2005


The Limits of Law

Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey

The Limits of Law

This collection brings together well-established scholars to examine the limits of law, a topic that has been of broad interest since the events of 9/11 and the responses of U.S. law and policy to those events. The limiting conditions explored in this volume include marking law's relationship to acts of terror, states of emergency, gestures of surrender, payments of reparations, offers of amnesty, and invocations of retroactivity. These essays explore how law is challenged, frayed, and constituted out of contact with conditions that lie at the farthest reaches of its empirical and normative force.

-- Stanford University Press 2005

   
 

Clark House