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Title: Marxist legal theory in late modernity
Author: Moxon, David
ISNI:       0000 0001 3428 2710
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2008
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When grounded in Marx's 1859 Preface, historical materialism raises two key problems for legal scholars: One concerns determination, and the other the notion of base and superstructure. One way of understanding how each theorist tackles the two problems is to realise that their solutions are context bound; bound by time, bound by place, bound by what we might call their concrete socio-political situation. Each theorist takes the insights of Marx and applies them to their own time and place. This has led to a wealth of Marxist approaches to law, which will be detailed in Part 1. The solutions that have been proposed to the two problems, however, have been consistently unsatisfactory. As Part 2 will outline, socio-economic and political conditions have changed massively over the last three decades or so: A distinctive 'late modern' period has emerged. Just as each Marxist legal theorist responded to their own distinctive milieu, so any contemporary socio-legal theorist must recognise and respond to the realities of the late modem world. Late modern developments have created the potential for a modified Marxist legal theory that seeks to alleviate the difficulties associated with the old ones. The shape of such a theory is outlined in Part 3. The new theory is based on the work of Hugh Collins, but it is contended that late modern changes in society help to alleviate the great Achilles heel of his Marxist theory of law- the need to rely on an all-encompassing and thus implausibly elastic dominant ideology associated with a well- defined ruling class. Instead, under late modern conditions a series of 'micro-ideologies' guide the creation of law and norms in a number of discrete spheres, and the state's former monopoly on law- making is progressively eroded. Thus, the core idea of Collins' work- the ideological determination of law- is preserved, but adapted to contemporary, late modern conditions. The result is a prolegomenon for a revived Marxist theory of law that is in tune with current socio- political and economic conditions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available