The American Road to fascism: Law, Decadence and the Post-Liberal State

Pierre Schlag, University Distinguished

Séminaire de l'École de droit

The U.S. Presidential election of 2016 occurred amidst a disturbingly reminiscent coalescence of patterns —economic displacement, protracted political paralysis, the perception of widespread corruption, the neutralization of a vital left, and the festering wounds to national pride wrought of multiple lost wars. These patterns are familiar: Together, they comprise (albeit in much attenuated form) the combustible mix that presaged the rise of National Socialism in 1930’s Germany. Fast forward: With less than a year into his administration, Trump is constructing a political-legal world of alternative facts, casual mendacity, paranoid political conspiracies, free-form attacks on the press, ethnic and racial vilification, and a routine disdain for democracy and the rule of law. How did the U.S. get to such a place — politically-legally? Part of the answer is that the various cumulative governance regimes of the United States (the liberal-democratic state, the administrative state, and neoliberalism) in failing to recognize their internal as well as interactive contradictions have contributed to the advent of a decadent post-liberal state. This post-liberal state is unstable — its most obvious evolutionary paths being increased paralysis or increased authoritarianism (or some combination of the two). Reconnaissance and awareness of the structural roots of this condition as well as a broadening of political-legal perspectives is now an urgent task.

Pierre Schlag’s subject areas are jurisprudence, constitutional theory, torts and critical law and economics. Prior to working as an academic he worked for several years as an attorney with the Washington D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling. Professor Schlag has a B.A. from Yale and a J.D. from UCLA.

Event details
Date: 
Jeudi, 18 Janvier, 2018 - 12:30 - 14:00
Lieu: 
13 rue de l’Université, 4th floor, meeting room (410T)
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