The newest work from one of the most preeminent voices writing in the legal/political arena today, this important book presents a new conception of the relationship between free markets and social justice. The work begins with foundations--the appropriate role of existing "preferences," the importance of social norms, the question whether human goods are commensurable, and issues of distributional equity. Continuing with rights, the work shows that markets have only a partial but instrumental role in the protection of rights. The book concludes with a discussion on regulation, developing approaches that would promote both economic and democratic goals, especially in the context of risks to life and health.
Free Markets and Social Justice develops seven basic themes during its discussion: the myth of laissez-faire; preference formation and social norms; the contextual character of choice; the importance of fair distribution; the diversity of human goods; how law can shape preferences; and the puzzles of human rationality. As the latest word from an internationally-renowned writer, this work will raise a number of important questions about economic analysis of law in its conventional form.
"This is an excellent book. Sunstein is one of the leading legal scholars of his generation and this is an extremely timely subject, particularly in this era of regulatory embattlement."--Carol Rose, Yale Law School
"This is a thought-provoking and important contribution to current public policy debate. Highly recommended for libraries at all levels."--Choice
"Sunstein's stature among legal scholars is tremendous; his previous books have reflected an admixture of pathbreaking, provocative scholarship on many key law and policy debates today. Free Markets and Social Justice
represents a valuable and important contribution to Sunstein's impressive ouevre."--Daniel B. Rodriguez, University of California School of Law, Berkeley
"Sunstein captures again and again in this provocative and insightful book the ways in which context and the nature of our humanity shape preferences, and so need to be accounted for (as markets cannot do) in a political system that seeks to be just. Fortunately for us, his luminescent career has developed at the University of Chicago, in the midst of colleagues whom, as he puts it, could TRY to teach him something about economics, but more importantly provoke and help him to hone the skeptical responses that have so consistently animated his influential scholarship. This collection of essays, revised and shaped to persuasive unity, will be enormously helpful to all who wish to explore the uses and abuses of market reasoning in the political and legal sphere."--Peter L. Strauss, Columbia University
"Sunstein is a man of many ideas, and this book is a splendid introduction to them."--Bruce Ackerman, Yale Law School