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"Change is gonna come": critical legal studies and the legacies of the New Left

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  • School Of Law
  • Political Science


Whilst it has long been established that there are significant, if complex links between the New Left and Critical Legal Studies (CLS), the relationship of CLS to ‘the movement’ has not been properly understood. CLS inherited the New Left’s fraught relationship with race and gender and splintered in the face of Feminist and Critical Race Theory (CRT) critiques just like the New Left before it. This essay argues that it is more accurate to see CLS/New Left thinking actually continuing into Feminism and CRT. This is not to repeat a variation on the argument that ‘good’ left critique turns into ‘bad’ identity politics; rather, that CLS, CRT and Feminism wrestle with the same ongoing problematic of radical community.

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