Mark S. Weiner

Donald Trump and the Rule of the Clan

In Rule of law, Rule of the Clan on November 13, 2016 at 5:50 pm

A number of readers have written in the wake of the American presidential election to ask how I would read Donald Trump’s victory in light of the arguments I make in The Rule of the Clan.

I’ve just returned from a weekend away to receive a kind new review of my book by Karen Schousboe, editor-in-chief of Medieval Histories, which is based in Denmark. Because she’s a sensitive and careful reader of my work, I’d like to let her review answer the question, but I’d also like to add some thoughts of my own from a related perspective: as someone who has devoted most of his professional life to the non-partisan teaching of American constitutional law and the principles of liberal constitutional democracy.

Over the course his campaign, Donald Trump consistently flouted basic principles of democratic constitutionalism. Trump violated these principles not incidentally or at the margins of the race, but rather through specific promises that were at the heart of his campaign, as well as in his repeated public behavior toward his rivals.

Preservation Waltz

In Aesthetics, narrative, form, Architecture, Austria, Books and libraries, Constitutional law, Cross-cultural encounters & comparisons, Environment, Europe, Law and film, Law and music, Video on July 19, 2016 at 12:42 pm

The latest video in my series about Austrian concepts of law and the Austrian experience of landscape is called “Preservation Waltz.” Rare books, forests, and domestic architecture. Sustainability is the key principle:

Small Blank Space

I discuss the video in this guest post on Environment, Law and History.

Out of the Cradle, Endlessly Rocking

In Race on July 8, 2016 at 10:30 am

In 2004, I published a book called Black Trials, a history of African Americans and the law from the colonial era to the present. The book grew from an undergraduate seminar which I taught in the American Studies program at Stanford in 1999, though its interpretive frame goes back to a doctoral dissertation about anthropology, jurisprudence, and American state development which I later published as Americans without Law.

The basic interpretive frame of Black Trials is the idea that the African American struggle for civic inclusion in the United States has involved a struggle to be viewed as a “people of law”—a struggle which also has involved a conflict about the nature of American law itself.

I discussed that idea in a talk I gave in 2005 at Syracuse University, where I also considered the meaning of the epigram of the book, taken from a poem by Walt Whitman. The talk can be found here.