All of us are entitled to the protections of law against violence, to a high quality education, to decent employment that respects our dignity, and to necessary assistance with our caregiving. Our civil rights are our rights to the protections of ordinary law - not constitutional law, and not only antidiscrimination law - that will ensure that we can participate in civil society, and hence lead flourishing lives. In this innovative work, Robin L. West looks back to nineteenth-century Civil Rights Acts to argue that the point of civil rights law is not only non-discrimination, but also to assure that all of us receive the protection of legal rights that promote human flourishing. Since the 1960s, Supreme Court decisions on civil rights issues have focused on non-discrimination and thus have 'hollowed out' this broader meaning of civil rights law. This book reconceives civil rights as a set of legal guarantees that all will be included in the legal, political, economic and social projects central to civil society.
Normative Jurisprudence aims to reinvigorate normative legal scholarship that both criticizes positive law and suggests reforms for it, on the basis of stated moral values and legalistic ideals. It looks sequentially and in detail at the three major traditions in jurisprudence – natural law, legal positivism and critical legal studies – that have in the past provided philosophical foundations for just such normative scholarship. Over the last fifty years or so, all of these traditions, although for different reasons, have taken a number of different turns – toward empirical analysis, conceptual analysis or Foucaultian critique – and away from straightforward normative criticism. As a result, normative legal scholarship – scholarship that is aimed at criticism and reform – is now lacking a foundation in jurisprudential thought. The book criticizes those developments and suggests a return, albeit with different and in many ways larger challenges, to this traditional understanding of the purpose of legal scholarship.
Over the past decade, mainstream feminist theory has repeatedly and urgently cautioned against arguments which assert the existence of fundamental—or essential—differences between men and women. Any biological or natural differences between the sexes are often flatly denied, on the grounds that such an acknowledgment will impede women's claims to equal treatment. In Caring for Justice, Robin West turns her sensitive, measured eye to the consequences of this widespread refusal to consider how women's lived experiences and perspectives may differ from those of men. Her work calls attention to two critical areas in which an inadequate recognition of women's distinctive experiences has faile...
Resurrecting the neglected question of what we mean by legal justice, this book seeks to re-imagine rather than simply critique contemporary notions of the rule of law, rights and legal equality. A work of reconstruction, it offers a progressive and egalitarian approach to concepts that have become overly associated with the idea of limited government and social conservatism. Focusing on the necessary conditions of co-operative community life, the book presents a vision of law that facilitates rather than frustrates politics, an anlysis of rights that boosts our capacities for caring, and an idea of equality that captures a cosmopolitan vision based on the recognition of shared humanity.