Rehumanizing Law: A Theory of Law and Democracy

Randy D. Gordon

© 2010

In a popular sense, 'law' connotes the rules of a society, as well as the institutions that make and enforce those rules. Although laws are created and interpreted in legislatures and courtrooms by individuals with very specialized knowledge, the practice and making of law is closely tied to other systems of knowledge. To emphasize this often downplayed connection, Rehumanizing Law examines the law in relation to narrative, a fundamental mode of human expression.

Randy D. Gordon illustrates the bridge between narrative and law by considering whether literature can prompt legislation. Using Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, Gordon shows that literary works can figure in important regulatory measures. Discussing the rule of law in relation to democracy, he reads Melville's Billy Budd and analyzes the O.J. Simpson and Rodney King cases.

This highly original and creative study reconnects the law to its narrative roots by showing how and why stories become laws.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.0in x 9.4in
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  • PUBLISHED APR 2011

    From: $51.75

    Regular Price: $69.00

    ISBN 9781442642294
  • PUBLISHED APR 2011

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    Regular Price: $69.00

Quick Overview

This highly original and creative study reconnects the law to its narrative roots by showing how and why stories become laws.

Rehumanizing Law: A Theory of Law and Democracy

Randy D. Gordon

© 2010

In a popular sense, 'law' connotes the rules of a society, as well as the institutions that make and enforce those rules. Although laws are created and interpreted in legislatures and courtrooms by individuals with very specialized knowledge, the practice and making of law is closely tied to other systems of knowledge. To emphasize this often downplayed connection, Rehumanizing Law examines the law in relation to narrative, a fundamental mode of human expression.

Randy D. Gordon illustrates the bridge between narrative and law by considering whether literature can prompt legislation. Using Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, Gordon shows that literary works can figure in important regulatory measures. Discussing the rule of law in relation to democracy, he reads Melville's Billy Budd and analyzes the O.J. Simpson and Rodney King cases.

This highly original and creative study reconnects the law to its narrative roots by showing how and why stories become laws.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.0in x 9.4in
  • Author Information

    Randy D. Gordon is an adjunct professor in the Dedman School of Law and a lecturer in English at Southern Methodist University. He is a partner in the Complex Litigation Group of Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP.

  • Table of contents

    Introduction

    PART I: Law and Narrative: Reexamining the Relationship

    1. Describing Law in Terms of Autonomy
    2. Narrative as the Basis of Law and the Humanities
    3. Shelley’s Case, Part 1: Law of The Jungle
    4. Shelley’s Case, Part 2: Silent Spring
    5. Law, Literature, and Narrative
    6. What is Narrative?
    7. How Narratives Interact to Influence Legislation
    8. Text in Context
    9. What’s Truth Have to Do with It?
    10. Whose Story to Believe?

    PART II: Institutionalizing Narratives

    1. Narrative and the Normative Syllogism
    2. The Narrative Nudge
    3. When Narratives Clash
    4. Changes in Narrative, Changes in Law
    5. Law’s Constraints: Genetic or Precedential?
    6. Novelizing Law
    7. Resisting Narratives: Keeping the Outside Out
    8. Absorbing Narratives: Letting the Outside In
    9. What Law Can Learn from Literature (and History)

    PART III: Law, Narrative, and Democracy

    1. The Rule of Law and Its Limits
    2. Toward a Democratic Rule of Law
    3. The Jury as a Structural Safeguard of Democracy
    4. The Democratic Role of Interpretive Communities
    5. A Study in Contrasts: The Rodney King and O.J. Simpson Juries
    6. Is Jury Nullification Democratic and Within the Rule of Law?
    7. Some Thoughts on Democratic Interpretation

    PART IV: Narrative as Democratic Reasoning

    1. The Narrative Shape of Deliberation
    2. Law-as-Discipline
    3. The Problem with Appellate Practice and Appellate Opinions
    4. (Re)Introducing Narratives in the Classroom
    5. Democratic Education, Private Reason, and the Law

    A Conclusion of Sorts

    Notes
    Bibliography
    Index

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