Keynote: Michael McCann: The Interdependence of Liberal and Authoritarian Legalities in Capitalist Democracies

Date/Time: 22 August 2022, 09:30-10:45
Venue: Kulturhuset and Zoom

In this keynote lecture, Michael McCann argues that in most “racial capitalist” democracies there is an historical and structural interdependence of liberal and authoritarian legalities, which in some historical moments facilitates increasing autocratization within so-called democratic legal regimes. He shows this by discussing legal arrangements, practices, and dynamics in democracy and autocratization.

Michael McCann is Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington, He has been a leading scholar in social-legal studies since his award-winning 1994 book Rights at Work: Pay Equity Reform and the Politics of Legal Mobilization and is central to the interpretive turn toward scholarly analysis of legal discourse as a constitutive form of power. His recent book Union by Law: Filipino American Labor Activists, Rights Radicalism, and Racial Capitalism (Chicago 2020) documents Filipino immigrant workers’ struggles for socioeconomic rights and social justice, culminating in the assassination of two young activists and a 1989 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that largely killed collective worker challenges to structural race and/or gender discrimination.

Chair: Siri Gloppen (LawTransform/UiB)


Roundtable: Autocratic Legalism in comparative perspective 

In response to Michael McCann’s keynote lecture, this roundtable discusses his argument and how it fits with experiences of autocratization dynamics in different parts of the world. 

Participants: Dan Brinks (University of Texas at Austin), Marta Machado (FGV Law School, Sao Paulo), Jackie Dugard (Colombia University; Wits University), Gökhan Sen (LawTransform/ Faculty of Law UiB)  and Michael McCann
Moderator: Conrado Hübner Mendes (University of Sao Paulo)