Obligations: New Trajectories in Law provides a critical analysis of the role of obligations in contemporary legal and social practices.
As rights have become the preeminent feature of modern political and legal discourse, the work of obligations has been overshadowed. Questioning and correcting this dominant image of our time, this book brings obligations back into view in a way that fits better with the realities of contemporary social life. Following a historical account of the changing place and priorities of obligations in modernity, the book analyses how obligations and practices of obedience are core to understanding how law sustains conditions of inequality. But it also explores the enduring role obligations play in furthering individual and collective well-being, highlighting their significance in practices that prioritize human and environmental needs, common goods, and solidarity. In doing so, it also offers an alternative and cogent assessment of the force, and the potential, of obligations in contemporary societies.
This original jurisprudential contribution will appeal to an academic and student readership in law, politics, and the social sciences.
Table of Contents
1. The Priority of Obligations: Introductory Observations. 2. The Place of Obligations: Modern Antecedents. 3. Shifting Priorities: Into the Modern. 4. The Ecology of Obligations: Situating the Legal Bond. 5. Hybrids in Action: Three Contemporary Legal Formations. 6. Obligations, Needs, Solidarities: Old and New Trajectories.
Scott Veitch is Paul KC Chung Professor in Jurisprudence at the University of Hong Kong.