Browsing by Subject "sociology of law"

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  • Frerichs, Sabine (Ashgate, 2010)
    This paper forms part of an edited volume on “The Many Constitutions of Europe” (Tuori and Sankari 2010), to which it contributes a distinctly sociological perspective. It notably reconceives the various constitutions discussed in the volume as ideal types in the sense of Max Weber. In doing so, it builds on an understanding of the sociology of law as a ‘science of culture’ which takes the value-relatedness of legal ideas seriously. Following Tuori’s relational understanding of constitutions, the paper systematically explores the social references of the four ‘material’ constitutions (economic constitution, political constitution, social constitution, security constitution; thus omitting the self-referential juridical constitution) in terms of their main argument (evolution, enlightenment, embeddedness, enforcement), their related concepts of social order (oikos, polis, nomos, physis) and their respective models of man, society, and law. Accordingly, the economic constitution is characterized by an emphasis on homo oeconomicus, market society, the economic system, and individual will, whereas the political constitution emphasizes homo politicus, civil society, the political-cultural system, and individual reason. In turn, the social constitution focuses on homo sociologicus, legal community, the life world, and collective reason. Finally, the security constitution is oriented towards homo gubernabilis, control society, the government system, and collective will. Furthermore, the constitutional ideal types are qualified with regard to their globalization potential. Whereas social constitution and security constitution presuppose a stronger notion of the collective, which has long been defined in national terms, the economic and political constitutions point beyond the nation state and to the idea, or reality, of global(ized) individuals. The paper concludes with a plea to always consider both the territorial and the functional dimension of societal differentiation, and thus suggests studying the many constitutions of Europe (and in the world) according to a two-dimensional ‘cobweb model’.
  • Urinboyev, Rustam (The Program on Governance and Local Development at the University of Gothenburg, 2019)
    GLD Working Papers
  • Frerichs, Sabine (2013)
    The predicament of modern capitalism, and of contemporary finance capitalism in particular, is the fine line between credit and crisis. Recent developments from the US subprime mortgage crisis to the European sovereign debt crisis revived debates about the nature of money and all sorts of derivatives. Money is a social phenomenon which has always two sides: an economic and a legal one. As an economic commodity, it hinges on the market; as a legal relation, it depends on the state. The resulting tension features prominently in the works of Max Weber and Karl Polanyi. Both studied the market society of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, including its monetary institutions. Moreover, both were also aware of the political function of their related writings. The following review allows us to establish links between law, economy, and society and thus exemplify the economic sociology of law as it is foreshadowed by the sociological classics.
  • Frerichs, Sabine (Routledge, 2012)
  • Frerichs, Sabine (Hart publishing, 2014)
  • Frerichs, Sabine (Hart publishing, 2011)
    International Studies in the Theory of Private Law
    This paper forms part of the edited volume “Karl Polanyi, Globalisation and the Potential of Law in Transnational Markets” (Joerges and Falke 2011). Drawing on Polanyi’s “The Great Transformation” ‑ a study of the ‘utopian experiment’ of the market society which ended in the two world wars – I argue for an ‘economic sociology of law’ à la Polanyi, which builds on his macro-sociological insights and brings together the viewpoints of economic and legal sociology. Considering the present revival of Polanyi’s work ‑ or at least, the frequency of references to his work in the view of present crises ‑ the paper disputes the emblematic claim that ‘we are all Polanyians now’. In order to do so, it contrasts Polanyian perspectives with ‘Granovetterian’ perspectives on the one hand (part one), and with ‘Hayekian’ perspectives on the other hand (part two). It thus clarifies Polanyi’s position within sociology, notably distinguishing between ‘old’ and ‘new’ economic sociology, and also with regard to (mainstream) economics, including the subfield of law and economics broadly understood. Part one argues for a multi-level approach to embeddedness (including micro-, meso-, macro-, and meta-levels), which helps to distinguish between different research agendas in economic sociology. A (neo-)Polanyian research agenda would thus be characterized by an emphasis on macro- and meta-levels of (normative and cognitive) embeddedness, or what is referred to as regimes and rationalities. Part two compares a Polanyian understanding of the economic sociology of law with (neo-liberal) economic constitutionalism: an integrated, positive as well as normative approach to law and the economy, which was notably advocated for by Polanyi’s contemporary von Hayek. Against this background, it is argued that today’s market society is not least embedded in neoliberal economic theory, which also forwards a certain understanding of the law.
  • Frerichs, Sabine (2016)
    International economic law is dominated by ‘international law’ and ‘economic law’ perspectives. Socio-legal perspectives do gain ground at the margins of the field, but a sociology of international economic law, which addresses not only the subject matter but also the disciplinary dynamics of the field, has so far been missing. Drawing on Polanyi’s The Great Transformation and recent work in the economic sociology of law, this article puts the ‘law of market society’ centre stage in developing a genuine sociology of international economic law. This includes a sociology of law and economics, which exposes how the discipline (power structure) of international economic law is articulated with the discipline (knowledge structure) of law and economics. The law of market society includes all types of law that constitute or regulate the market, be it public or private law, national, international or even transnational law. Taking off from Polanyian ideas, law is conceived as a social institution ‘embedding’ the economy, but also as a ‘fictitious commodity’ which is itself subject to market forces. The tension between law’s commodifying and decommodifying functions, which these concepts illuminate, is reflected in legal discourse. Moreover, it seems to drive ‘law’s great transformation’ from its universalist origins in the nineteenth century to its national closings in the twentieth century, and to its transnational openings in the twenty-first century. In this sense, the law of market society follows itself a ‘double movement’.
  • Häkkinen, Esko (2022)
    In contemporary research, Nordic countries are considered to have comparatively lenient penal policies, such as the restricted use of imprisonment. However, criminal justice in Finland during the early decades of its independence was exceptionally harsh. Due to its history, Finland is considered a difficult case for institutionalist theories that have related the Nordic welfare state model with lenient penal policy. This analysis argues that Finland’s development away from this severity was, in fact, caused by the shift of its social policy toward that of a (Nordic) welfare state in the 1940s, which is associated with the adoption of the model of democratic corporatism after decades of intense political conflict. The 1940s were a turning point when regulation of prison population sizes started to become an objective in legislation concerning the penal system. Meanwhile, independent of legislation, judges’ attitudes and sentencing practices began to relax. A generational replacement began among the criminal justice elite that manifested as generational disagreement in the 1950s, and by the 1970s, a reformist consensus was achieved.
  • Häkkinen, Esko (2020)
    Émile Durkheim known among other things for his pioneering sociology of criminal law was also a corporatist theorist and can be interpreted as a predecessor for an institutionalist approach that has recently gained popularity in comparative criminal justice. Durkheim suggested an inverse relationship between the intensities of ‘repressive’ regulation and ‘restitutive’ welfare state regulation. Contemporary institutionalist research has arrived at the same conclusion, but the connection between Durkheim’s theory and the empirical observations of modern comparative research has gone largely unnoticed in both legal scholarship and sociology. Correcting this omission might prove useful for substantive theory: Apart from welfare state strength, neo-institutionalist research has also associated lenient criminal law with corporatist political economy and consensus democracy. Durkheim’s political sociology proposes an answer for the interrelationship between these factors. Durkheim considered social corporatism a democratic institution and as such a precondition for a democracy capable of building the collective restitutive regulation that could alleviate society’s reliance on punitive justice as a basis for social cohesion.
  • Frerichs, Sabine (2010)
    In modern society, the law contributes as much to individualization (subjectivation) as to social integration (cohesion). In this paper, these relations are explored with regard to the role of the legal subject in the market society. In a market society, the markets are no longer “embedded” in the normative order of society but society has itself adopted the logic of markets. Drawing on Michel Foucault’s Rio lectures and his governmentality lectures, I will show that within the modern ‘governmental state’ – understood both as a ‘state of law’ (Rechtsstaat) and an ‘economic state’ (Wirtschaftsstaat) – the law moves between the poles of (juridical) justice and (economic) truth. The economization of the rule of law is paralleled by an economization of the legal subject, which corresponds to a shift from the principle of jurisdiction (speaking the law) to the principle of veridiction (speaking the truth). This means nothing else than the scientization of classical notions of the law according to the criteria of modern economics. The legal subject is thus brought in line with the market citizen who – as an entity of both governance and self-governance – fits well into the market society. However, his self-concept is not only affected by the liberalization but, at the same time, also by the naturalization of the rules that the market has imported into the law.