Conventionally, it is believed that the law is one of the most important outcomes of a social change effort (i.e., everyday resistance, protest, rebellion, revolution or terrorism). Change the law, change the system/condition/relationships. This however misses the more complex argument that: 1) the law (partially) makes up the reason for discrimination/violence/inequality in the first place which prompted/structured the subsequent socio-political control effort and 2) it is probably most useful to think about as well as study the co-evolution of law and socio-political change efforts not the parts in isolation. The class will follow these insights in three ways. First, as a class, the Laws of Change will systematically evaluate the social movement and protest literature that focuses on changing law while paying attention to the role of law in establishing the origins/trajectories of such efforts. Second, again as a class, the Laws of Change will complicate this process by exploring the diverse ways that perversions of law-seeking efforts can emerge impacting what is pursued, what is achieved and what is later protected. Third, as distinct groups, the Laws of Change will drill down into one topic area in order to explore how estate and tax law can be used to address a recurrent problem in American life: intergenerational wealth transmission. This will be done while paying attention to the ways in which such an effort could be countered.
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