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Cultural Studies and the 'Juridical Turn' : Culture, law, and legitimacy in the era of neoliberal
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The relationship between culture and the law has become an emergent concern within contemporary Cultural Studies as a field, but the recent focus has been largely limited to the role played by cultural representations and identity politics in the legitimation of legal discourse and policies. While continuing this emphasis, this collection also looks at the law itself as a cultural production, tracing some of the specific contours of its function in the last three decades. It argues that, with the onset of neoliberal or late capitalism, the law has taken on a new specificity and power, leading to what we are calling the ‘juridical turn’, where the presumed legitimacy of the law makes other forms of hegemonic struggle secondary.
The collection not only charts the law and cultural policy as they exert their powerful—if often overlooked—influence on every aspect of society and culture, but it also seeks to define this important field of study and demonstrate the substantial role law plays in the production of our social and cultural worlds. In this trailblazing collection of contributions by leading and emerging figures in the field of cultural legal studies, chapters examine various ways in which this process is manifested, such as U.S. legislation and Supreme Court Decisions on gay marriage, immigration, consumer finance, welfare, copyright, and so-called victim’s rights, along with international comparisons from Europe and Latin America. It promises to be a pathbreaking analysis of our juridically-determined conjuncture. This book was originally published as a special issue ofCultural Studies.