A work of ambitious interdisciplinary scholarship that explores the ways that law and technology interact.
Our current legal system is to a great extent the product of an earlier period of social and economic transformation. From the late nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth century, as accountability for industrial-age harms became a pervasive source of conflict, the US legal system underwent profound, tectonic shifts. Today, struggles over ownership of information-age resources and accountability for information-age harms are producing new systemic changes.
In Between Truth and Power, Julie E. Cohen explores the relationships between legal institutions and political and economic transformation. Systematically examining struggles over the conditions of information flow and the design of information architectures and business models, she argues that as law is enlisted to help produce the profound economic and sociotechnical shifts that have accompanied the emergence of the informational economy, it is too is transforming in fundamental ways. Drawing on elements from legal theory, science and technology studies, information studies, communication studies and organization studies to develop a complex theory of institutional change, Cohen develops an account of the gradual emergence of legal institutions adapted to the information age and of the power relationships that such institutions reflect and reproduce.
A tour de force of ambitious interdisciplinary scholarship, Between Truth and Power will transform our thinking about the possible futures of law and legal institutions in the networked information era.