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Law and Catastrophe

Law and Catastrophe (Hardback)

£38.00
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Synopsis

The study of catastrophe is a growth industry. Today, cosmologists scan the heavens for asteroids of the kind that smashed into earth some ninety million years ago, leading to the swift extinction of the dinosaurs. Climatologists create elaborate models of the chaotic weather and vast flooding that will result from the continued buildup of greenhouse gases in the planet's atmosphere. Terrorist experts and homeland security consultants struggle to prepare for a wide range of possible biological, chemical, and radiological attacks: aerated small pox virus spread by a crop duster, botulism dumped into an urban reservoir, a dirty bomb detonated in a city center.



Yet, strangely, law's role in the definition, identification, prevention, and amelioration of catastrophe has been largely neglected. The relationship between law and other limiting conditions-such as states of emergency-has been the subject of rich and growing literature. By contrast, little has been written about law and catastrophe. In devoting a volume to the subject, the essays' authors sketch the contours of a relatively fresh, yet crucial, terrain of inquiry. Law and Catastrophe begins the work of developing a jurisprudence of catastrophe.

Austin Sarat is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science and Five College Fortieth Anniversary Professor at Amherst College. Lawrence Douglas is Professor of Law, Jurisprudence & Social Thought, Amherst College. Martha Merrill Umphrey is Associate Professor of Law, Jurisprudence & Social Thought, Amherst College.

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