Karl E. Klare
George J. and Kathleen Waters Matthews Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Law
Yale University, MA 1968
Harvard University, JD 1975
University of Pretoria, LLD 2015
Professor Klare focuses on labor and employment law, human rights and legal theory, fields in which he has written and lectured extensively. He is considered a leading voice in the field of critical legal studies. In recent years, he has worked on numerous projects with lawyers in South Africa. He is a founder of the International Network on Transformative Employment and Labor Law (INTELL) and is currently active in the International Social and Economic Rights Project (iSERP). In 2015, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Pretoria in recognition of his leading work on critical legal theory and particularly for his scholarship on transformative constitutionalism, which, according to the University's citation, “has precipitated in South Africa no less than a paradigm shift in post-apartheid legal thinking.”
In 1993, Professor Klare was named Matthews Distinguished University Professor, one of Northeastern’s highest honors. He has taught as a visitor at the universities of British Columbia, Michigan, Toronto and Cape Town, and held a senior Fulbright chair at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. In 1983, he was awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship.
During the 1960s, Professor Klare participated in the civil rights, antiwar and student movements. His activism now focuses on workplace issues.
Fields of Expertise
- American Legal History
- Critical Legal Theory
- Employment Law
- Labor Law
- Social and Economic Rights
- Social and Economic Rights in Theory and Practice: Critical Inquiries (Routledge, 2014) (co-editor).
- Labour Law in an Era of Globalization: Transformative Practices & Possibilities (Oxford University Press, 2002) (co-editor).
- The Unknown Dimension: European Marxism Since Lenin (Basic Books, Inc., 1972; Translations: Japanese (1973), Spanish (1974)) (co-author).
- “On Ruth Dukes, The Labour Constitution: the Enduring Idea of Labour Law,” 9 Jurisprudence 402 (2018).
- “Self-Realisation, Human Rights, and Separation of Powers: A Democracy-Seeking Approach,” 26 Stellenbosch Law Review 445 (2015).
- “Teaching Local 1330 - Reflections on Critical Legal Pedagogy,” 7 Unbound: Harvard Journal of the Legal Left 58 (2011).
- “Concluding Reflections: Legal Activism After Poverty Has Been Declared Unconstitutional,” 22 Stellenbosch Law Review 865 (2011).
- “Transformative Constitutionalism and the Common & Customary Law,” 26 South African Journal on Human Rights 403 (2010) (co-author).
- “Legal Culture & Transformative Constitutionalism,” 14 South African Journal on Human Rights 146 (1998).
- “Toward New Strategies for Low-Wage Workers,” 4 Boston University Public Interest Law Journal 245 (1995).
- “Power/Dressing: Regulation of Employee Appearance,” 26 New England Law Review 1395 (1992).
- “Legal Theory and Democratic Reconstruction: Reflections on 1989,” 25 University of British Columbia Law Review 69 (1991).
- “Workplace Democracy & Market Reconstruction: An Agenda for Legal Reform,” 38 Catholic University Law Review 1 (1988).
- “The Labor-Management Cooperation Debate: A Workplace Democracy Perspective,” 23 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 39 (1988).
- “The Public/Private Distinction in Labor Law,” 130 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1358 (1982).
- “Judicial Deradicalization of the Wagner Act and the Origins of Modern Legal Consciousness,” 62 Minnesota Law Review 265 (1978).
- “Critical Legal Realism in a Nutshell,” in Research Handbook on Critical Legal Theory, eds. E. Christodoulidis et al., (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019) (co-author).
- “The Horizons of Transformative Labour and Employment Law,” in Labour Law in an Era of Globalization: Transformative Practices and Possibilities, ed. J. Conaghan, et al. (Oxford University Press, 2002).
- “Countervailing Workers’ Power As a Regulatory Strategy,” in Legal Regulation of the Employment Relation, ed. H. Collins et al. (Kluwer Law International, 2000).
- “The Person Who Helped Us See the Tree for the Wood,” A Tribute to Professor Karl Klare by the Honorable Albie Sachs, Retired Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa (July 2022).
- “Labor of Love: Student Reflections on the Life and Legacy of Karl Klare,” NU Law Review Online Forum (June 8, 2022).
- “On Socialism and Critical Legal Theory,” Law and Political Economy (November 9, 2020).