Plunder: When the Rule of Law is Illegal
March 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
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“A profound work that will find its way into many disciplines. The book is less about plunder than about the ethics and values implicated in the clash between social justice and competitive economics. Mattei and Nader conclude with a call for strategies to increase historical awareness. This book is one of those strategies, and the more worth reading for it. Recommended.” (Choice Reviews, December 2008)
"Without doubt this is an important book … Mattei and Nader have produced a courageous, intellectually refined, and superbly critical book about one of the main instruments of society-building in our culture. The book should find a wide audience in law classes, and in graduate courses of sociology, anthropology, and political sciences." (Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute)"Richly textured and strikingly original, Plunder draws on history, communication theory, and political analysis to show how U.S. policy expands influence and raids the pocketbooks of weaker nations. Even if we do not call it by its old name--imperialism--but globalization, free trade, or spreading democracy, the result is the same. And at the heart of this aggressively acquisitive policy lies a crown jewel of Enlightenment thought, the rule of law. A gripping read."
–Richard Delgado, University of Pittsburgh
"This is a provocative, courageous, and path-breaking expose of the dark side of ‘the rule of law’, by two authors of wide-ranging practical experience and theoretical insight."
–George Bisharat, University of California, Hasting College of the Law
"Plunder is the powerful product of interdisciplinary research that reveals how international law has become not an instrument of protecting the weak against the strong, but a means of legitimizing and enriching the powerful."
–David H. Price, Saint Martin’s University
"Ugo Mattei and Laura Nader are advancing a profoundly disturbing message. The ‘rule of law’ is not only a barrier to achieving a just society, but an ideological mechanism for subjugating peoples and imposing injustice. I am impressed by their insights and especially by their courage."
–William Greider, author, The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy
"Through a sweeping exploration of global processes from colonialism to neo-liberalism, Plunder offers an eye-opening look at the “dark side” of the rule of law. This powerful and disturbing analysis of the ways law has legitimated and facilitated the appropriation of knowledge and property challenges widespread views of the law."
–Sally Engle Merry, New York University
"A lucid and implacable analysis of the crucial relationship between law and life in the age of global capitalism. A beam of harsh light on the murky area where the rule of law comes into contact with and is shaped by power, violence and abuse."
–Aldo Schiavone, Istituto Studi Umanistici