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The American culture of gun violence in Westerns and the law
Author: Justin A. Joyce

Gunslinging justice explores American Westerns in a variety of media alongside the historical development of the American legal system to argue that Western shootouts are less overtly ‘anti-law’ than has been previously assumed. While the genre’s climactic shootouts may look like a putatively masculine opposition to the codified and mediated American legal system, this gun violence is actually enshrined in the development of American laws regulating self-defense and gun possession. The climactic gun violence and stylized revenge drama of seminal Western texts then, seeks not to oppose ‘the law,’ but rather to expand its scope. The book’s interdisciplinary approach, which seeks to historicize and contextualize the iconographic tropes of the genre and its associated discourses across varied cultural and social forms, breaks from psychoanalytic perspectives which have long dominated studies of film and legal discourse and occluded historical contingencies integral to the work cultural forms do in the world. From nineteenth-century texts like Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans (1826) and Reconstruction-era dime novels, through early twentieth-century works like The Virginian, to classic Westerns and more recent films like Unforgiven (1992), this book looks to the intersections between American law and various media that have enabled a cultural, social, and political acceptance of defensive gun violence that is still with us today.

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Moral theology and the exercise of law in twelfth-century England
Series: Artes Liberales
Author: Philippa Byrne

This book addresses one of the most acute moral and political dilemmas of the twelfth century: how did a judge determine how to punish an offender, and what was the purpose of such punishment? It examines how English judges weighed a choice which, if made wrongly, could endanger both the political community and their own souls. That choice was between two ideas which twelfth-century intellectual and legal thought understood as irreconcilable opposites: justice and mercy. By examining the moral pressures on English judges, Justice and Mercy provides a new way into medieval legal culture: rather than looking at the laws that judges applied, it reconstructs the moral world of the judges themselves. The book offers a fresh synthesis of the disciplines of intellectual history and legal history, examining theological commentaries, moral treatises, letters, sermons and chronicles in order to put the creation of the English common law into its moral context. This broad vision brings to light the shared language of justice and mercy, an idea which dominated twelfth-century discourse and had the potential to polarise political opinion. Justice and Mercy challenges many of the prevailing narratives surrounding the common law, suggesting that judges in church courts and royal courts looked strikingly similar, and that English judges had more in common with their continental counterparts than is often assumed.

Geographies of transnational solidarity

This book provides a critical investigation of what has been termed the ‘global justice movement’. Through a detailed study of a grassroots peasants' network in Asia (People's Global Action); an international trade union network (the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mining and General Workers); and the Social Forum process, it analyses some of the global justice movement's component parts, operational networks and their respective dynamics, strategies and practices. The authors argue that the emergence of new globally connected forms of collective action against neoliberal globalisation are indicative of a range of variously place-specific forms of political agency that coalesce across geographic space at particular times, in specific places and in a variety of ways. They also argue that, rather than being indicative of a coherent ‘movement’, such forms of political agency contain many political and geographical fissures and fault-lines, and are best conceived of as ‘global justice networks’: overlapping, interacting, competing and differentially placed and resourced networks that articulate demands for social, economic and environmental justice. Such networks, and the social movements that comprise them, characterise emergent forms of trans-national political agency. The authors argue that the role of key geographical concepts of space, place and scale are crucial to an understanding of the operational dynamics of such networks. Such an analysis challenges key current assumptions in the literature about the emergence of a global civil society.

Open Access (free)
David Boucher

Introduction Is justice intra-national or international, localised or globalised, communitarian or cosmopolitan, universal or particular, in its scope? Do richer countries have a duty to help poorer countries and, if so, is this duty a matter of charity or justice, or both? Answers to these questions are often dependent upon an answer to a prior question: are state boundaries morally arbitrary and, if

in Political concepts
Open Access (free)
The place of equal opportunity
Andrew Mason

right of parents to raise their children as they see fit so long as they do not harm them. On the other hand, they want to show that equality of opportunity is an independent principle of justice, not simply an efficient way in most circumstances of allocating jobs and educational places that is consistent with what justice requires. John Rawls’s account of fair equality of opportunity in A Theory of

in Political concepts
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Vicki Squire, Nina Perkowski, Dallal Stevens, and Nick Vaughan-Williams

on the ways in which our counter-archive of migratory testimonies advances demands for justice that contest the unequal right to free movement embedded in the EU's preventative policy framework. More specifically, it examines the challenges that such testimonies pose to a policy agenda that is oriented towards resolving the ‘root causes’ of migration, and which addresses border security and development as interconnected concerns. After providing an overview of the various ways through which people on the move oppose the preventative policy agenda and advance

in Reclaiming migration

It is increasingly clear that, alongside the spectacular forms of justice activism, the actually existing just city results from different everyday practices of performative politics that produce transformative trajectories and alternative realities in response to particular injustices in situated contexts. The massive diffusion of urban gardening practices (including allotments, community gardens, guerrilla gardening and the multiple, inventive forms of gardening the city) deserve special attention as experiential learning and in-becoming responses to spatial politics, able to articulate different forms of power and resistance to the current state of unequal distribution of benefits and burdens in the urban space. While advancing their socio-environmental claims, urban gardeners make evident that the physical disposition of living beings and non-living things can both determine and perpetuate injustices or create justice spaces.

In so doing, urban gardeners question the inequality-biased structuring and functioning of social formations (most notably urban deprivation, lack of public decision and engagement, and marginalisation processes); and conversely create (or allow the creation of) spaces of justice in contemporary cities.

This book presents a selection of contributions investigating the possibility and capability of urban gardeners to effectively tackle spatial injustice; and it offers the readers sound, theoretically grounded reflections on the topic. Building upon on-the-field experiences in European cities, it presents a wide range of engaged scholarly researches that investigate whether, how and to what extent urban gardening is able to contrast inequalities and disparities in living conditions.

Contingency or transcendence formula of law?
Gunther Teubner

Law and society without justice ‘Towards the middle of the sixteenth century, there lived on the banks of the Havel a horse dealer by the name of Michael Kohlhaas, the son of a schoolmaster, one of the most upright and at the same time one of the most terrible men of his day … the world … would have every reason to bless his memory, if he had not carried one virtue to excess

in Critical theory and legal autopoiesis
Anthony Musson and Edward Powell

considerations and to prevailing political or social pressures. 1 At every level within the system the problem of bribery and corruption was evident, and was the source of much controversy during the period. The dismissal of the higher judiciary from office en masse and the instigation of inquiries into their conduct (as well as the state of local justice) occurred in 1289–90 and again under Edward III in 1340

in Crime, Law and Society in the Later Middle Ages
The crown, persuasion and lordship
Philippa Byrne

justice. At Bury St Edmunds in 1197, Samson must have looked as if he was persuaded by his counsellors, when in fact he had already arrived at his decision. What would Samson have done if he had been of a different opinion to his monks – if either party had believed that the sentence had to be carried out, regardless of cries for mercy? Both his authority and his judgment would have been under threat. The examples discussed here examine contemporary concerns about following the wrong kinds of judicial counsel. These were ramifications which went

in Justice and mercy