Mark S. Weiner

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Mark S. Weiner

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Born
Los Angeles, The United States
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September 2012


Ever since I can remember, I have been interested in how people across the world have used law to organize their communities in profoundly different ways. My love of law and its development grew while I was in school, at Stanford and Yale, and in time I wrote three books on the subject.

In 2001, I got married, bought a house, and began teaching at Rutgers School of Law in Newark, New Jersey. I adored my students, and I relished the opportunity to introduce them to the American constitutional tradition. But my commute to work was three hours door-to-door, and my life was getting out of balance. What's more, I was continually taken away from the basic questions that had drawn me to a scholar's life to begin with.

A Fulbright Fellowship through
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Mark S. Weiner I'm currently working on four different projects.

The first project is a follow-up to my most recent book, The Rule of the Clan, and it basically…more
I'm currently working on four different projects.

The first project is a follow-up to my most recent book, The Rule of the Clan, and it basically turns the issue I examined there on its head by exploring the legal foundations of individualism. What are the essential legal rules and doctrines that make a modern, individualist way of life possible? How did they develop? How did many of them spread across the world or grow independently in different legal systems? What social problems did they resolve—and what problems did they create? Are some of them reaching the end of their historical life, and if they are, what rules and doctrines might replace them after they're gone? I discuss that project a bit here:

http://www.telospress.com/the-legal-f....

In addition, over the past couple of years I've slowly taught myself video production and post-production, and I've been exploring how to tell stories about legal history through the distinctive aesthetic resources of film. My videos are entirely DIY, but I'm increasingly happy with the results. I've especially been making videos about rare law books. Here's an example:

https://vimeo.com/111802683

I've also been preparing an exhibition for the Grollier Club in New York City with my friend Mike Widener, curator of rare books at Yale Law School. The exhibition will be called "Law's Picture Books," and it's set to open in February 2018. You can learn a bit more about it here:

http://worldsoflaw.wordpress.com/2014...

Finally, last year I did something completely different and wrote a children's novel about a talking mouse (well, it's really about what it means to be brave, but it's told by a talking mouse). Writing it was a joy, and it taught me a lot about the way that fiction can be an empirical exploration of the moral world. I'm currently looking for a publisher.(less)
Average rating: 3.88 · 110 ratings · 22 reviews · 4 distinct works
The Rule of the Clan: What ...

3.87 avg rating — 86 ratings — published 2013 — 4 editions
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Black Trials: Citizenship f...

3.79 avg rating — 19 ratings — published 2004 — 5 editions
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Americans Without Law: The ...

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 2006 — 6 editions
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Law's Picture Books: The Ya...

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I have a short essay today in Project Syndicate called “Trumpism and the Philosophy of World Order.”


This piece follows a commentary that I wrote some time back about Trumpism and the philosophy of history.

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Published on July 23, 2018 14:21 • 2 views

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I have a short essay today in Project Syndicate called “Trumpism and the Philosophy of World Order.”
This piece follows a commentary that I wrote so... Read more of this blog post »
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Unto a Good Land by Vilhelm Moberg
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The Emigrants by Vilhelm Moberg
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The Emigrants by Vilhelm Moberg
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The Sandman by Neil Gaiman
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Night Soldiers by Alan Furst
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Night Soldiers by Alan Furst
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The Fourth Political Theory by Alexander Dugin
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Mastering the Past by Ellen Hinsey
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Conditions of Liberty by Ernest Gellner
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More of Mark's books…
“The clan is a natural form of social and legal organization—it is far more explicable in human terms than the modern liberal state—and people quickly, reflexively turn to it in the want of an alternative. Left to our own devices, we humans naturally build legal structures based on real or fictive kin ties or social networks that behave much like ancient clans. Our instinctual drives are not only psychological and sexual, but also legal. The impulse is part of who we are as human beings.5”
Mark S. Weiner, The Rule of the Clan: What an Ancient Form of Social Organization Reveals About the Future of Individual Freedom

“Yet, whatever form it takes, the belief that individual freedom exists only when the state is frail misunderstands the source of liberty. The state can be more or less effective in the pursuit of its goals—it can be stupid or smart—and it can be used for illiberal, totalitarian ends. But ultimately a healthy state dedicated to the public interest makes individual freedom possible. This is the paradox of individualism. The individual freedom that citizens of liberal societies rightly cherish, even our very concept of the individual, is impossible without a robust state. Modern individualism depends on the existence of vigorous and effective government dedicated to the public interest, to policies that a majority of citizens would support without regard to their particular position in society at any given moment. It depends as well on the willingness of individual citizens to imagine themselves as members of a common public whose interests the state regularly vindicates.”
Mark S. Weiner, The Rule of the Clan: What an Ancient Form of Social Organization Reveals About the Future of Individual Freedom

“In this book, I therefore invite readers to engage in what might seem to be a contradictory exercise: to consider what societies governed by the rule of the clan can teach citizens of modern liberal democracies. I believe that by examining the rule of the clan and understanding its legal and cultural architecture, including its many positive and compelling features, liberals can gain critical insights for liberalism (by “liberal” I refer to people committed to the values of individualism and the principles of liberal democratic government, regardless of party affiliation). This ancient form of social organization can sharpen our appreciation of the institutional and cultural values necessary to sustain our individualist way of life. We can also learn how best to assist native legal reformers abroad in turning their societies toward more liberal legal arrangements.”
Mark S. Weiner, The Rule of the Clan: What an Ancient Form of Social Organization Reveals About the Future of Individual Freedom




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