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March 11, 2013 The Modern Law Library

Want to protect individual freedom? Have a strong central government, says ‘Rule of the Clan’ author

By Lee Rawles

We live in a society which values individual freedoms, but we come from a place which valued kinship ties above all else. Author Mark S. Weiner has studied ancient and modern-day clan societies. He’s observed that group responsibility, rather than individual responsibility, is the rule of law. In his new book The Rule of the Clan: What an Ancient Form of Social Organization Reveals About the Future of Individual Freedom, he probes whether a lack of a strong central government inhibits personal freedoms–or insures it.

He speaks with ABA Journal podcast editor Lee Rawles about what the political and social history of older clan societies in Europe can forecast about modern clan societies in the Middle East and North Africa.

Reviews and related articles:

The Star-Ledger: “Rule of the clan a challenge to progress in the Middle East, North Africa”

Publisher’s Weekly: “The Rule of the Clan”

Legal History Blog: “Weiner’s ‘Rule of the Clan’”

Kirkus Reviews: “The Rule of the Clan”

Listen to the Podcast

In This Podcast:

Lee Rawles
Mark S. Weiner is the author of Black Trials: Citizenship from the Beginnings of Slavery to the End of Caste (Knopf, 2004), which received the 2005 Silver Gavel Award of the American Bar Association for its contribution to the public understanding of law. His most recent book, The Rule of the Clan: What an Ancient Form of Social Organization Reveals about the Future of Individual Freedom, was released this week by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. For the past ten years, he has taught constitutional law and legal history at Rutgers School of Law in Newark, New Jersey.