Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Larry Catá Backer (The Pennsylvania State University (University Park) – Penn State Law) has posted The Semiotics of Consent and the American Law Institute’s Reform of the Model Penal Code’s Sexual Assault Provisions (Coimbra Journal for Legal Studies 1(1) 2020) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
The concept of consent is ubiquitous in the West. It is the foundation of its construction of meaning for sovereignty (and political legitimacy), and for personal autonomy (and human dignity). Ubiquity, however, has come with a price. The making of a transposable meaning for consent that bridges political community and interpersonal relations has drawn sharply into focus the malleability of the concept, and its utility for masking a power of politics behind an orthodoxy of meaning that is both politically correct, and at the same time its own inversion. This short essay on the semiotics of “consent” considers the manifestation of the concept as object, as symbol, and as a cluster of political interpretation that itself contains within it the Janus faced morality of political correctness. It takes as its starting and end point the idea that free consent is the product of a process of management that reduces consent to the sum of status and authority over the thing assented.