law’s autonomy as an evolutionary process in which the emergence of law is tied to the political community of the citizens. This nexus is not self-evident. In particular, the dynamic nature of evolving legal frameworks in the transnational constellation raises the question of how plausible it still is for a “law in global disorder.”11 171 Postmodern legal theory as critical theory 171 In the era of Westphalian sovereignty, the notion that legal and constitutional processes were bound up with the polity was plausible. A law outside the polity was virtually
This book focuses on the paradoxical character of law and specifically concerns the structural violence of law as the political imposition of normative order onto a "lawless" condition. The paradox of law which grounds and motivates Christoph Menke's intervention is that law is both the opposite of violence and, at the same time, a form of violence. The book develops its engagement with the paradox of law in two stages. The first shows why, and in what precise sense, the law is irreducibly characterized by structural violence. The second explores the possibility of law becoming self-reflectively aware of its own violence and, hence, of the form of a self-critique of law in view of its own violence. The Book's philosophical claims are developed through analyses of works of drama: two classical tragedies in the first part and two modern dramas in the second part. It attempts to illuminate the paradoxical nature of law by way of a philosophical interpretation of literature. There are at least two normative orders within the European ethical horizon that should be called "legal orders" even though they forego the use of coercion and are thus potentially nonviolent. These are international law and Jewish law. Understanding the relationship between law and violence is one of the most urgent challenges a postmodern critical legal theory faces today. Self-reflection, the philosophical concept that plays a key role in the essay, stands opposed to all forms of spontaneity.
framework must try to subjugate every other form of association, of human relation, or simply of human life that crosses its path? Law as such is externally inert: it is entirely indifferent to what lies outside its scope, whether a natural or a social world. It is politics – 118 118 Responses or, more precisely, the political will of the executive power pro tempore in charge of ruling a political community –that is first and foremost responsible for the attempt to extend the reach of domestic law to new areas, both geographical and social, which previously were
legislative acts of a given political community; law rules also beyond the confines and the sovereign power of the state. In the following, I will try to show that objections (i) and (iv) follow from a misunderstanding of the argument I developed in “Law and 213 A reply to my critics 213 Violence”, which depends neither on an instrumentalist understanding of legal violence nor on a state-or nation-based concept of the legal community. Objections (ii) and (iii), in contrast, are right about the claims in “Law and Violence.” However, they fail to see the exact nature of
express but hard to accomplish: to find a way of organizing our political community in a non-(or at least less) violent way. If Marx is correct in his famous assertion that philosophy represents “the self-clarification of the struggles and wishes of the age,”30 it is the task of any emancipatory legal theory to provide for the theoretical articulation of the desires expressed by such movements. Notes 1 In this essay, I draw on arguments that I first presented in my book Kritik der Souveränität (Frankfurt am Main and New York: Campus, 2012); for a conceptualization of
will “charge” and “condemn” the offenders to exclude themselves from the religious and political community of the city. In order to enforce the law, or more precisely to compel participation in the legal proceeding, Oedipus regresses to before the law, invoking the oracular prophesies of ritual, speaking “in priestly fashion”32 as a judge, and curses those who try to elude the legal proceeding –to stand outside law, to remain uninvolved –condemning them to punish themselves for doing so with exclusion from the citizenry: But if ye still keep silence, if through
-out that Pearson had originally wanted did not happen. The impact of Suez did, however, help to ensure that interest in the Atlantic Community concept was maintained. The second phase of interest – during 1957 – followed on directly. 1957 saw the publication of the first significant academic contribution to the debate. This was Political Community and the North Atlantic Area – the results of a study by a group of scholars working
– and the bearers of that designation thought of themselves as being of a kind – because they all adhered to a common idea, namely that those who shared a cultural community should also share a political community. They had a project in common, even if they did not have a common project. The same may be said about today’s opposition to integration and globalisation in the name of the classical nation