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Political Economy and Working Law

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 October 2019


Lauren B. Edelman’s Working Law: Courts, Corporations, and Symbolic Civil Rights (2016) offers an empirically supported theory of legal endogeneity, explaining how managerialized ideas of compliance with employment discrimination legislation diffuse in organizational fields and shape judicial doctrine. Managerialization and legal endogeneity explain how and why equality-promoting civil rights legislation may do little to reduce workplace inequalities. This essay places Edelman’s theory within a broader terrain of opportunities and limits of law for promoting egalitarian change. Managerialization is not always detrimental to enhancing workplace race and gender equality. However, typically reinforcing logics of market capitalism and liberal legality often make it so, while blocking reforms countering judicial deference to managerialized compliance.

Symposium on Legal Endogeneity: Lauren Edelman’s Working Law
© 2019 American Bar Foundation 

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