Discussant Paper: Theories of Legal Change

The discussion paper will link the three papers together by thinking about different conceptualisations of public law and processes of legal change. It will contrast idealist approaches with readings drawn from historical materialism, as a theory that allows us to account for the heterogenous forms and varying temporalities of violence that cut across legal structures, including by tracing legal change to changing configurations of capitalism as a social order. Such insights also allow us to examine both the false contingencies and false necessities that are encoded into the law and hence the potential and possible pathways for progressive change.