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Economic History Commons

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Economic history

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Interest Groups In The Teaching Of Legal History, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Nov 2014

Interest Groups In The Teaching Of Legal History, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

One reason legal history is more interesting than it was several decades ago is the increased role of interest groups in our accounts of legal change. Diverse movements including law and society, critical legal theory, comparative law, and public choice theory have promoted this development, even among writers who are not predominantly historians. Nonetheless, in my own survey course in American legal history I often push back. Taken too far, interest group theorizing becomes an easy shortcut for assessing legal movements and developments without fully understanding the ideas behind them.

Intellectual history in the United States went into decline because ...