Contract, sustainability and the ecology of exchange




Quastel, Noah Alexander

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This thesis develops a relational conception of consumption, exchange and contract, and applies it to understand the history and conceptual development of contract and sale of goods law and their impacts on problems of consumption and sustainability. Drawing on actor-network theory and geographies of consumption, consumer goods are understood as part of `"networks" and contract and sale of goods as particular stages within the wider processes of commodity networks. This provides the basis for a legal theory of the social and ecological role of the law of contracts, sale of goods (and other areas of law) in terms of the maintenance, enablement and regulation of commodity networks. This theory is applied to a genealogy of the concepts of consumer goods and of the consumer as embedded in nineteenth century English contract and sale of goods law, and of concepts of sustainable consumption found in contemporary debates and practices.



consumption (economics), contracts