Journal article

Law’s Imaginary Life on the Ground: Scenes of the Rule of Law in Liberia

Shane Chalmers

Law & Literature | Taylor & Francis (Routledge) | Published : 2015


This paper is concerned with “what takes place in the rule of law,” a question I consider here through an examination of what is taking place in the process of “building the rule of law” in post-war Liberia. This involves an empirical study of law, and as such, a study of law’s imaginary life on the ground. My argument here is that all “empirical” research engages the imagination, requiring the scholar to develop their capacity to study phenomena through the imaginary rather than seek to eliminate it from their scholarship. I make this argument under the influence of Theodor Adorno’s negative-dialectical philosophy, which bears most pointedly on this paper through his concept of “exact imagin..

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University of Melbourne Researchers

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