Illegality in a World of Predation: A Response to A Theory of Stategraft
Beth A. Colgan
Professor Bernadette Atuahene’s theoretical framework for “stategraft” denotes actions by which state agents transfer cash or property from the people to the state in violation of the law or basic human rights norms. Because illegality is central to stategraft, attention to it may push other forms of state predation—those that are legal or whose legality are uncertain—out of the realm of reform given the dearth of funding for legal advocacy and difficulties in marshalling lawmaker attention. This Essay suggests, however, that consideration of stategraft provides opportunities for advocates to push back against legal, or not yet illegal, predatory practices. It does so by looking to recent advocacy efforts related to two types of predatory behaviors outside the bounds of stategraft: the use of fines and fees, and civil forfeiture practices.