This book challenges the usual introductions to the study of law. It argues that law is inherently political and reflects the interests of the few even while presenting itself as neutral. It considers law as ideology and as politics, and critically assesses its contribution to the creation and maintenance of a globalized and capitalist world. The clarity of the arguments are admirably suited to provoking discussions of the role of law in our contemporary world. This third edition provides contemporary examples to sustain the arguments in their relevance to the twenty-first century.The book includes an analysis of the common sense of law; the use of anthropological examples to gain external perspectives of our use and understanding of law; a consideration of central legal concepts, such as order, rules, property, dispute resolution, legitimation and the rule of law; an examination of the role of law in women's subordination and finally a critique of the effect of our understanding of law upon the wider world. This book is ideal for undergraduate and postgraduate students reading law.