Thursday, December 20, 2007

Law as magic

Via the Law & Humanities Blog (new to my blogroll, a great find), a fascinating article on the "magical" properties of law, an argument with the Legal Realists who tried to separate the two, to demystify the law, to expose its true roots in raw power. In this essay, Jessie Allen, who teaches law at NYU, draws on the work of anthropologists to argue that there are socially constructive, even socially constitutive ways in which the ritual of law functions like magic.

To anyone interested in law or magic or the rational or the irrational or the transformative power of words, I recommend it.

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