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The case for societal constitutionalism
Editor: Diana Göbel

This volume collects and revises the key essays of Gunther Teubner, one of the world’s leading sociologists of law. Written over the past twenty years, these essays examine the ‘dark side’ of functional differentiation and the prospects of societal constitutionalism as a possible remedy. Teubner’s claim is that critical accounts of law and society require reformulation in the light of the sophisticated diagnoses of late modernity in the writings of Niklas Luhmann, Jacques Derrida and select examples of modernist literature. Autopoiesis, deconstruction and other post-foundational epistemological and political realities compel us to confront the fact that fundamental democratic concepts such as law and justice can no longer be based on theories of stringent argumentation or analytical philosophy. We must now approach law in terms of contingency and self-subversion rather than in terms of logical consistency and rational coherence.

Irritating nation-state constitutionalism

analysis of ongoing constitutionalisation processes beyond the nation state, the development of a theory of transnational societal constitutionalism, and the formulation of sociological preconditions for normative perspectives in politics and law. Whether and how constitutional lawyers will respond to these sociological irritations remains an open question. What is certain is that such

in Critical theory and legal autopoiesis
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The milestones of Teubner’s neo-pluralism

redesigned by ‘societal constitutions’. Teubner underlines the profound differences between traditional ‘state constitutions’ and ‘societal constitutions’ that cross state borders and are extensively influenced by the interests of private transnational actors. For the constitutionalism of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the main ‘concern was to release the energies of political

in Critical theory and legal autopoiesis
The logics of ‘hitting the bottom’

the central problem of societal constitutionalism. This is the real experience of late modernity following the triumphant victory of the autonomy of different sub-rationalities. The question is no longer: What are the institutional preconditions of their autonomy? Instead, it is: Where are the limits of the expansion of the functional systems? The economy, celebrating its triumphs and defeats in global

in Critical theory and legal autopoiesis
Irish republican media activism since the Good Friday Agreement

Newspapers, magazines and pamphlets have always been central, almost sacred, forms of communication within Irish republican political culture. While social media is becoming the primary ideological battleground in many democracies, Irish republicanism steadfastly expresses itself in the traditional forms of activist journalism.

Shinners, Dissos and Dissenters is a long-term analysis of the development of Irish republican activist media since 1998 and the tumultuous years following the end of the Troubles. It is the first in-depth analysis of the newspapers, magazines and online spaces in which the differing strands of Irish republicanism developed and were articulated during a period where schism and dissent defined a return to violence.

Based on an analysis of Irish republican media outlets as well as interviews with the key activists that produced them, this book provides a compelling long-term snapshot of a political ideology in transition. It reveals how Irish Republicanism was moulded by the twin forces of the Northern Ireland Peace Process and the violent internal ideological schism that threatened a return to the ‘bad old days’ of the Troubles.

This book is vital for those studying Irish politics and those interestedin activism as it provides new insights into the role that modern activist media forms have played in the ideological development of a 200-year-old political tradition.

Place, space and discourse
Editors: Christine Agius and Dean Keep

Identity is often regarded as something that is possessed by individuals, states, and other agents. In this edited collection, identity is explored across a range of approaches and under-explored case studies with a view to making visible its fractured, contingent, and dynamic features. The book brings together themes of belonging and exclusion, identity formation and fragmentation. It also examines how identity functions in discourse, and the effects it produces, both materially and in ideational terms. Taking in case studies from Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, the various chapters interrogate identity through formal governing mechanisms, popular culture and place. These studies demonstrate the complex and fluid nature of identity and identity practices, as well as implications for theorising identity.

How social subsystems externalise their foundational paradoxes in the process of constitutionalisation

sceptical about an economic constitution, third-party effects of fundamental rights and societal constitutionalism, and also about transnational constitutional phenomena. 13 And yet the inner logic of systems theory virtually requires one to pursue the question of whether a generalisation of the constitutional issues that have become visible in politics and their re-specification for other social systems

in Critical theory and legal autopoiesis
On social systems and societal constitutions

chances’. It also confirms the related thesis that partisan factions continue to use interventionist steering in their power struggles against one another. The resulting policies often disturb systemic operations without correcting their destructive tendencies.10 Hence the analytical and normative arguments for societal constitutionalism seek to establish which of the preconditions for a transition to social statehood are demonstrably on hand; it is thus also incumbent on those who defend societal constitutionalism to ascertain which preconditions are not as yet

in Critical theory and sociological theory
Open Access (free)

danger of disorder and perhaps even of regression’ (Zolberg 1966: 6). Thus Africa appeared to have too little, not too much, authority, although the most astute observers recognized that the conditions for authoritarian rule to bring about modernization were not yet present, and that the costs could be very great. The alternative therefore lay in the pursuit of a more limited version of democracy, one that would deal with societal stresses and strains by the sort of machine politics that characterized Western countries before they became fully 140 AREAS

in Democratization through the looking-glass
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The vain search for legal unity in the fragmentation of global law

–167. 56 On the concept of ‘societal constitutionalism’ from a social theory perspective, see Sciulli, Theory of Societal Constitutionalism ; Sciulli, Corporate Power in Civil Society . For plural constitutionalism, see Walker, ‘Idea of constitutional pluralism’; Walter, ‘Constitutionalizing (inter)national governance’, p. 186; Fischer

in Critical theory and legal autopoiesis