While Bauman provides persuasive rebuttals to many of the CLS criticisms of liberalism, contemporary liberalism suffers from some of the same shortcomings Bauman observes about CLS. For example, Bauman criticizes CLS for not having a conceptual foundation (an external standard of truth) to demystify the liberal legal consciousness claimed to be inherent in the law. Bauman also argues that contemporary liberal theorists, like John Rawls, avoid the “comprehensive metaphysical or ontological framework” (p.30), held to be incoherent by CLS. However, Bauman fails to realize that Rawls similarly lacks a conceptual foundation to justify his “political not metaphysical” form of political liberalism.
13(10) Law and Pol. Book Rev. (2003) (reviewing Richard W. Bauman, Ideology and Community in the First Wave of Critical Legal Studies (2002)).