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Luhmann on Law and Politics

Critical Appraisals and Applications

Editor(s): Michael King, Chris Thornhill
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Published: 27-02-2006
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 216
ISBN: 9781847312143
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Oñati International Series in Law and Society
RRP: £33.29
Online price : £26.63
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About Luhmann on Law and Politics

Perhaps more than any other social theorist in recent history, Niklas Luhmann's work has aroused extreme, and often antagonistic, responses. It has generated controversies about its political implications, its resolute anti-humanism and its ambitious critique of more established definitions of society, social theory and sociology. Now, however, a steadily growing number of scholars working in many different disciplines have begun to use aspects of Luhmann's sociology as an important methodological stimulus and as a theoretical framework for reorientating their studies. This collection of essays includes critical and reconstructive contributions by a number of distinguished social theorists, political theorists, legal scholars and empirical sociologists. Together, they provide evidence of Luhmann's extensive and diverse relevance to the issues facing contemporary society, and, at the same time, they enhance our understanding of the challenges posed by his theoretical paradigm to more traditional conceptions of social theory.

Table Of Contents

Michael King and Chris Thornhill
I. Theory and Practice in Law
One: Reflections on reflexive law
John Paterson
Two: What's the use of Luhmann's theory?
Michael King
II. Politics, Law and Human Rights
Three: From subject to system: Some unsystematic systems-theoretical thoughts on race equality and human rights
W. Tim Murphy
Four: Luhmann's theory of politics: Politics after metaphysics?
Chris Thornhill
Five: Systems theory and the paradox of human rights
Gert Verschraegen
Six: The problem of power in Luhmann's systems theory
Samantha Ashenden
Seven: What is modern power?
Jean Clam
III. Critical responses
Eight: Some observations on Luhmann's concept of society and social anthropologyAnne Friederike Mller
Nine: Luhmann's theories
Bernd Hornung
Ten: Dealing (with) paradoxes: On law, justice and cheating
Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos


“It is as much the way that an author's works are received as the works themselves which determines their importance. This collection edited by Michael King and Chris Thornhill makes worthwhile reading. This volume consists of highly diverse contributions concerning Niklas Luhmann's creative work. Certain of them are careful studies on this or that aspect of Luhmann's work, while others apply Luhmann's conceptual constructions in different settings. This book provides an opportunity to question the meaning and the range of Luhmann's output…
Luhmann represents, … a speculative revolution, and it is for this reason that he merits our attention.
Luhmann is one of the most important German sociologists of the second part of the 20th Century.

” –  Hugues Rabault, Droit et Societé, No 65/2007

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