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Lawyering as peacemaking.

Harris, Angela
June 4, 2015

Source: (2012) Villanova Law Review. 56:819-831.

In my talk, I want to examine two other barriers that prevent lawyers from hearing King’s message about the
centrality of love and peace–barriers founded in law’s lingering attachments to gender hierarchy and to a vision
of war as the default state of humankind. I will argue that “love” in our culture has been feminized, which means
that it has been diminished and belittled in the way that all qualities and practices associated with “the feminine”
have been diminished and belittled. Love and law seem odd bedfellows because legal culture has incorporated
much of this patriarchal ideology. I will also suggest that “peace,” in the political culture that undergirds legal
culture, is understood conventionally as the absence of war, and that legal advocacy unthinkingly embraces the
assumption that struggle and conflict are best framed by the concept of war-making rather than peacemaking. (excerpt)


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