Two There Are That Rule the World: Private Power and Political Authority
The world has entered an age of widening economic inequality. And a prominent feature of that inequality is the rise of private power. Billionaires command the resouces that were once monopolized by states. We see this played out as Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson race each other into space.
The rise of private power, however, has grave implications for the democratic process. How is that power to be held accountable? Major donors gain private access to politicians. Lobbying firms draft statutes. The principle of free choice – fundamental to areas of law like contracts and employment relations – looks increasingly fictitious and unreal.
The University of St. Thomas Law Journal is hosting a conference intended to examine a series of issues associated with the emergence of private power on unparalleled scale. The Journal therefore welcomes proposals exploring the following themes:
(1) Campaign Finance and Political Reform
(2) Taxation Policy (Wealth Tax; Global Minimum Tax)
(3) Lobbying Reform
(5) Social Media
(6) Democratic Theory
(7) Labor and Employment
(8) Contract Law
(9) Weaponization of Philanthropy
(10) Comparative and International Perspectives
(11) Power Theory
(12) Freedom (Negative and Positive)
Proposals should be no longer than 300 words. They may be submitted to Professor Charles J. Reid, Jr., School of Law, University of St. Thomas (MN), firstname.lastname@example.org. Proposals are due by September 15, 2021.
The Conference is intended to consist of a hybrid of in-person and virtual presentations.
Papers are to be presented as part of an all-day Symposium at the University of St. Thomas on November 19, 2021. Speakers should be ready to offer summaries of their research projects in presentations of approximately fifteen or twenty minutes’ length. Speakers will subsequently submit formal papers for publication in the University of St. Thomas Law Journal. The final drafts shall be due around January 15, 2022.
If anyone has questions or concerns, they can contact Symposium Editor Megan Massie at email@example.com.