Emilios A. Christodoulidis
Law and Reflexive Politics argues against the dominant recent 'republican' trend in legal and democratic theory that sees law as the prime vessel of political action, means of empowerment of civil society and guarantor of democratic politics. Against theorists as diverse as Dworkin, Habermas, Unger, Ackerman and others it argues that the law cannot, as these theorists would have it, contain the politics of civil society and exhaust what these politics are about. The first part of the book explores the recent trends in legal and political theory that suggest the internal linking of democracy and law. The second part is a critique of these positions through an application of systems theory, but one that offers an internal critique of systems theory itself as well as a study of the inter-relationships between law, politics and conflict. The final part advances a suggestion for a definition, or re-conceptualisation, of the political as 'reflexive', that will re-politicise law's rendering of conflict, political action and identity. What is 'stilled' by the law here becomes contested terrain again and, as such, political.