Re-embedding neo-liberal constitutionalism : a Polanyian case for the economic sociology of law

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Frerichs , S 2011 , Re-embedding neo-liberal constitutionalism : a Polanyian case for the economic sociology of law . in C Joerges & J Falke (eds) , Karl Polanyi, globalisation and the potential of law in transnational markets . International Studies in the Theory of Private Law , vol. 8 , Hart publishing , Oxford , pp. 65-84 .

Title: Re-embedding neo-liberal constitutionalism : a Polanyian case for the economic sociology of law
Author: Frerichs, Sabine
Editor: Joerges, Christian; Falke, Josef
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law
Publisher: Hart publishing
Date: 2011
Language: eng
Number of pages: 20
Belongs to series: Karl Polanyi, globalisation and the potential of law in transnational markets
Belongs to series: International Studies in the Theory of Private Law
ISBN: 978-1-8494-6119-1
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/209595
Abstract: 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.
Subject: 513 Law
sociology of law
economic constitution
5141 Sociology
economic sociology
Polanyi
embeddedness
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