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Slavery's expansion across the globe often escapes notice because it operates as an underground criminal enterprise, rather than as a legal institution. In this volume, Elizabeth Swanson and James Brewer Stewart bring together scholars from across disciplines to address and expose the roots of modern-day slavery from a historical perspective as a means of supporting activist efforts to fight it in the present. They trace modern slavery to its many sources, examining how it is sustained and how today's abolitionists might benefit by understanding their predecessors' successes and failures. Using scholarship also intended as activism, the volume's authors analyze how the history of African American enslavement might illuminate or obscure the understanding of slavery today and show how the legacies of earlier forms of slavery have shaped human bondage and social relations in the twenty-first century.
This is the first of two volumes announcing the emergence of the new legal realism as a field of study. At a time when the legal academy is turning to social science for new approaches, these volumes chart a new course for interdisciplinary research by synthesizing law on the ground, empirical research, and theory. Volume 1 lays the groundwork for this novel and comprehensive approach with an innovative mix of theoretical, historical, pedagogical, and empirical perspectives. Their empirical work covers such wide-ranging topics as the financial crisis, intellectual property battles, the legal disenfranchisement of African-American landowners, and gender and racial prejudice on law school faculties. The methodological blueprint offered here will be essential for anyone interested in the future of law-and-society.