Inaugural issue of American Journal of Law and Equality explores meritocracy and its discontents

The Harvard Law School and The MIT Press launch the first scholarly journal to exclusively focus on issues of equality and inequality in the United States from the standpoint of law

Harvard Law School and the MIT Press are pleased to announce today the launch of the American Journal of Law and Equality (AJLE). This new open access journal is the first to exclusively focus on issues of equality and inequality in the United States from the standpoint of law and is led and edited by three Harvard Law School professors: Randall L. Kennedy, the Michael R. Klein Professor of Law; Martha Minow, the 300th Anniversary University Professor; and Cass R. Sunstein, the Robert Walmsley University Professor.

In addition to original scholarship from the editors and luminaries like William P. Alford, Benjamin Eidelson, and Deborah Hellman, the inaugural issue features a book symposium on Harvard Professor Michael J. Sandel’s groundbreaking work, The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good?, which “challenges the hubris a meritocracy generates among the winners and the harsh judgement it imposes on those left behind.”

“All sorts of people from various disciplines—economics, anthropology, politics, philosophy, law, etc.—are interested in the issue of meritocracy,” Kennedy said. “In the years to come, when a person is interested in investigating meritocracy and its discontents, we think that this symposium will be one of the sources that they’ll want to consult.”

Articles in the inaugural issue include:

  • “Equality vs. Equity” by Martha Minow (Harvard University)
  • “The Discordant Singer: How Peter Singer’s Treatment of Global Poverty and Disability Is Inconsistent and Why It Matters” by William P. Alford (Harvard University)
  • “Our Anti-Korematsu” by Cass R. Sunstein (Harvard University)
  • “Brown as Senior Citizen” by Randall Kennedy (Harvard Law School)
  • “Patterned Inequality, Compounding Injustice, and Algorithmic Prediction” by Benjamin Eidelson (Harvard Law School)
  • “Personal Responsibility in an Unjust World: A Reply to Eidelson” by Deborah Hellman (University of Virginia)
  • Plus commentary on Michael J. Sandel’s The Tyranny of Merit from Ifeoma Ajunwa (UNC School of Law), Kate Andrias (Columbia Law School), Khiara M. Bridges (UC Berkeley School of Law), Patricia A. Cain (Santa Clara University School of Law), Daniel Hemel (University of Chicago Law School), Jennifer Hochschild (Harvard University), Mark Kelman (Stanford Law School), Sanford Levinson (University of Texas Law School), Daniel Markovits (Yale Law School), Sophia Moreau (University of Toronto Faculty of Law), Omar H. Noureldin (USC Gould School of Law), Deborah L. Rhode (Stanford Law School), Camille Gear Rich (USC Gould School of Law), Daria Roithmayr (USC Gould School of Law), Michael J. Sandel (Harvard University), Sarah Song (UC Berkeley School of Law), and Robert L. Tsai (Boston University School of Law)

Read the full issue now at https://direct.mit.edu/ajle

The publication’s editors agree that the American Journal of Law and Equality will welcome people with a wide range of views and backgrounds, including former government employees, academics with a philosophical bent, economists accustomed to focusing on incentives, as well as specialists in constitutional history. For more information about how to submit your work for consideration, please visit https://direct.mit.edu/ajle/pages/submission-guidelines

About the MIT Press

Established in 1962, the MIT Press is one of the largest and most distinguished university presses in the world and a leading publisher of books and journals at the intersection of science, technology, art, social science, and design. MIT Press publications are known for their intellectual daring, scholarly standards, interdisciplinary focus, and distinctive design. 


Learn more about the American Journal of Law and Equality