Critical Legal Studies, 10 Legal Studies Forum 335 (1986)
I always find it difficult to talk in a general way about Critical Legal Studies (CLS) because although, as David says, its core membership is a pretty homogeneous group in some ways-they are mostly law teachers between 33 and 45, similar in intellectual and political formation, and they get together every year-their intellectual practices turn out actually to be quite miscellaneous. And this is for the very good reason that CLS is at bottom a kind of local politics. Despite a considerable commonality of concerns, its members (with rare exceptions such as Roberto Unger) have not tried to work out any body of ideas systematically. Most of its work is better described as a series of guerrilla attacks on extremely local targets - on particular impacted clusters of political-intellectual-cultural practices that produce and reproduce, in specific contexts, "false necessity" - the sense people have that the way things are is, with very little scope for variation, the way they must continue to be.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Gordon, Robert W., "Critical Legal Studies" (1986). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 1365.