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Welcome to Appeal!

APPEAL welcomes members to join us in advancing law and political economy through research, education and policy.  Our interests and goals include:

  • Understanding the economy as a system interconnected with law and government
  • Questioning policies and theories that assume self-regulating or optimizing markets
  • Expanding the possibilities for policies responding to inequality, insecurity, and environmental destruction
  • Developing a law and economics that enhances democracy, justice, along with inclusive and sustainable prosperity.
APPEAL is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. 

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We welcome members! 
Sign up here to: 
  • Receive notices of our events and activities;
  • Create a member profile on this website to share your work;
  • Build a law and political economy network

Full Members: dues payment includes APPEAL voting and workshop discount.
Associate Members: no charge.

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What is Capitalism?
APPEAL Reading Group

Upcoming Schedule – Fall 2021 through January 2022


Welcome to new participants as well as those who’ve joined us over the last year.  We aim to provide an informal, interdisciplinary community for exploring the institutions and dynamics of capitalism, its legal underpinnings, and its changes over time and geographic region.  Readings will be sent in advance to those who register.  We also encourage participants to join APPEAL by signing up as a member,  For questions, email


Friday Oct. 22, 2021,  12:30-1:45pm Eastern Time (UTC-4) by zoom.  Register HERE


Property Rights Against Democracy:  Implications of Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid

In lieu of an October reading session, we encourage you to attend this joint APPEAL/LPE Project webinar on the U.S. Supreme Court case we discussed for our June 2021 session. 


Friday Nov. 5, 2021, 2:30-4pm Eastern Time (UTC-4) by zoom.   Register HERE


Economist Margaret Levenstein, Director of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), and Research Professor at the University of Michigan will join us for a discussion of her article: Margaret Levenstein, Escape from Equilibrium: Thinking Historically About Firm Responses to Competition,Enterprise and Society, vol. 13, no. 4 (Dec. 2012), pp. 710-728.  

Written to be accessible to non-economists, this piece examines how businesses have historically responded to competitive pressures and how this compares to the neoclassical theory of a no-profit equilibrium.  It was given as the 2012 Presidential address to the Business History Conference.  The discussion will also be facilitated by Carol Heim, Professor Emerita of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst. 


Friday Nov. 19 at 3:00-4:30pm Eastern Time (UTC-5) by zoom.  Register HERE


Daniel J.H. Greenwood, Professor of Law at Hofstra University, will lead a discussion of his article on how the metaphors of corporate law obscure how corporations operate as governance institutions.  Introduction to the Metaphors of Corporate Law, 4 Seattle J. for Soc. Just. 273 (2005).


Friday, December 10th at 3pm by zoom.  Register HERE.


Etienne Toussaint, Assistant Professor, South Carolina School of Law, will discuss his paper, The Spirit of Racial Capitalism in Colonial America.   Professor Toussaint teaches contracts, business associations, and courses related to business, political economy, and critical theory.  Other areas of expertise include community development and housing law as well as environmental engineering. 


Friday January 14, 3:30pm ET (UTC – 5).   


We’ll be joined by Professor Judy Fudge, of McMaster University School of Labour Studies and expert on global labor law, to discuss her article:  The Future of the Standard Employment Relationship: Labour Law, New Institutional Economics and Old Power Resource Theory59: 3 Journal of Industrial Relations 374-392 (2017).




APPEAL is launching working groups for members and friends to explore a single topic in depth together on an ongoing basis, discussing readings, paper presentations and more.  These groups will provide an online opportunity for extended conversations and informal community-building while plans for in-person events remain on hold.   


The groups will be open to those who want to learn more about the topic as well as those with expertise.  Participants should aim to attend more than one session and to focus closely on the discussion material, respecting the group’s goals and others’ time and work.  Advance registration through APPEAL will be required.  

To participate in any of the groups below and to get further details, register here.   




1) Measuring and Managing Inflation in a World of Permanent Quantitative Easing and Extractive Intermediaries

Convener: Frank Pasquale, Brooklyn Law

This reading group is designed to open up conversations about inflation, breathing new life into discussions that are often mired in technical questions of measurement. We will explore the values behind the measurements—and the wide range of tactics government can take in order to promote inclusive prosperity by better measuring macroeconomic aggregates. Scholars like Nancy Folbre and Joseph Stiglitz have already demonstrated manifest inadequacies in the measurement of GDP. Now it is time for inflation to come under similar scrutiny.

2) Household Finance 

Convener:  Pamela Foohey, Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University   

This group will explore the shift in risks to households over recent decades, especially as households take on debt to pay for health, education, family care, housing, transportation, utilities and other basic human needs.  What legal, political, and economic changes have produced this insecurity, and what are the cumulative effects? What solutions are most promising?  How do the problems and solutions differ across nations and geographic regions? What different problems, ideas, and solutions does considering household finance from a global perspective add? 


3) Constituting and Constitutionalizing Law and Political Economy  

Conveners:  Martha McCluskey, University at Buffalo Law, and Jamee Moudud, Sarah Lawrence College Economics

This group will examine the legal constitution of political economic power relations, both domestically and internationally.  We will consider both Constitutional law and the “small c” structures of governance such as money and employment.  Possible questions:  How does an LPE perspective change ideas about the division of powers between public and private, economic and social, local and central authority, national and international?  How are inequalities such as class, race, gender, geography (and more) embedded in these structures?  How do these structures shape human rights?   How do liberal governance structures legitimate poverty and violence?  What is the role of courts and  civil or criminal justice in an LPE vision of democracy?  


4) Corporate Governance, Law, and Power 

Conveners:  Faith Stevelman, New York Law School and Sarah C.  Haan, Washington & Lee University School of Law

This group will bring political, social, historical, and institutional questions to the fore in examining business law and economics. We posit that our system of business laws and market regulations shape economic power in ways that powerfully affect modern life. We will explore how this occurs expressly, in terms of what these systems address, and implicitly, by way of what has been omitted and suppressed. 

For academic year 2021-'22 our focus is corporate law, governance, and climate change. We will look to developments at the SEC and the Federal Reserve, as well as actions taken by powerful institutional investors and law reformers, as they are reshaping the landscape of business law and climate change response. Inviting input from scholars in different fields, working in the U.S. and abroad, we plan to interrogate the ways that the structures of business laws and governance might change to promote greater well-being for people and the planet. 

Friday, October 29, 1:30-3:00 p.m. ET (UTC-4): Market Myopia’s Climate Bubble via Zoom


The Working Group on Corporate Governance, Law & Power will discuss Professor Madison Condon’s article Market Myopia’s Climate Bubble, forthcoming in the Utah Law Review.  The paper explores the underpricing of corporate climate risk and assesses potential corporate law and securities regulation fixes, including enhanced climate risk disclosure mandates.  Professor Condon will give a short presentation of her paper, followed by a short response by Professor An Li and an open discussion. 


5) What is Capitalism?

Conveners:  Jamee Moudud (Sarah Lawrence College Economics); Martha McCluskey (University at Buffalo Law) and John Haskell (University of Manchester Law).

This group will continue to meet to explore the changing, multifaceted aspects of capitalism and its legal underpinnings.  Among our wide-ranging reading topics, we’ve discussed accounting history and the meaning of profit; labor and corporate governance; business power; the political economic of race and economic method; the legal construction of racialized care work; global governance of information capitalism; and extraction industries and the “rule of law.”

6) Law and Political Economy Perspectives on Cost-Benefit Analysis 

Convener:  Martha McCluskey, University of Buffalo Law 

Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is widely accepted as a means for evaluating and overseeing public policies governing climate change, health and safety, consumer protection, and financial regulation and more.  What assumptions, values, politics, and theories of law and economy embedded in various versions CBA?  How has CBA affected specific policies and practices, how could it be improved, and what alternative approaches to oversight and evaluation of regulatory policy. To explore these and other questions, we’ll focus on recent public policy developments and debates, scholarly papers and presentations, and readings.   

To Register please click HERE.