review article

The Non‐Existence of Markets in the Economic Analysis of Law à la Mode

David Campbell


Though Eric Posner and E Glen Weyl’s book’s title is Radical Markets, the emphasis should be placed on the radical because the institutions it proposes to create bear little relationship to markets if the word is to convey much of its normal meaning, and the social arrangements which these institutions are to foster show little respect for actually existing liberal democracies and market economies, as the book’s subtitle – Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society– sufficiently conveys. This book contains an argument for the, in a sense, abolition of private property and for the, in a sense, obsolescence of consumer choice. Though it is not rooted in a socialist or communist tradition, and indeed argues against such a tradition, this book, as its authors celebrate, is very far to the left of European, not to speak of American, practical politics. The interest it has for the readers of this journal is the illustration it provides of the degradation of the concept of ‘the market’ in regulatory theory and its indication of a form the further degradation of that concept may well take.

Published September 2019
Frequency Bi-Monthly
Volume 82
Issue 5
Print ISSN 0026-7961
Online ISSN 1468-2230