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Towards the Reconstruction of a Materialist Theory of Law
Author: Sonja Buckel
On the basis of a reconstruction of legal theory in the tradition of Marx – a current that has been more or less silenced since the end of the 1970s – Subjectivation and Cohesion develops a critical counter-pole to the theories of law that predominate in social theory today.

To this end, the works of Franz Neumann, Otto Kirchheimer, Evgeny Pashukanis, Oskar Negt, Isaac D. Balbus, the so-called 'State-derivation School', Antonio Gramsci, Nicos Poulantzas and Michel Foucault are first analysed for their strengths and weaknesses, and then combined to form a new construction: a materialist legal theory that is up to date and can avoid the shortcomings of existing theories – above all their disregard for gender relations and the reductive consequences of functionalist, economic or politicist approaches to law. This book was originally published in German as Subjektivierung und Kohäsion. Zur Rekonstruktion einer materialistischen Theorie des Rechts, by Velbrück Wissenschaft, 2007, ISBN 978-3-938808-29-0.
In Sociocybernetics and Political Theory in a Complex World, Roberto Mancilla posits that because current political and constitutional theory was crafted since the XVII century, in the age of globalisation, Google and Big Data, other arrangements are needed. He proposes a recasting of the ideas of the State, Separation of Powers, The Public/Private Distinction and Constitutionalism by means of cybernetics, a body of knowledge that gave way to the technology that we have today. This will be done by means of a general introduction to sociocybernetics and complexity and then through the critical dismantling of said concepts of political theory and then proposals imbued with newer ideas.
Hans Kelsen and the Natural Law Tradition provides the first sustained examination of Hans Kelsen’s critical engagement, itself founded upon a distinctive theory of legal positivism, with the Natural Law Tradition. This edited collection commences with a comprehensive introduction which establishes the character of Kelsen’s critical engagement as a general critique of natural law combined with a more specific critique of representative thinkers of the Natural Law Tradition. The subsequent chapters are then devoted to a detailed analysis of Kelsen’s engagement with prominent theorists from the Natural Law Tradition. The volume concludes with an exploration, focusing upon the delineation of a non-positivist legal theory in the debate between Robert Alexy and Joseph Raz, of the continued presence of Kelsenian legal positivism in contemporary legal theory.
A Practical Legal Theory from Contemporary China
Author: Zhiwei Tong
In Right, Power, and Faquanism, Tong Zhiwei proposes that right and power are ultimately a unified entity which can be named “faquan,” and that the purpose of law should be to establish a balanced faquan structure and to promote its preservation and proliferation. “Faquan” is thus a jurisprudential category reflecting the understanding of the unity of right and power. It has interest protected by the law and property with defined ownership as its content, and manifests itself as the external forms of jural right, freedom, liberty, jural power, public function, authority, competence, privilege, and immunity, etc. Faquanism relies mainly on six basic concepts (faquan, right, power, quan, residual quan and duty) to analyze the content of interests and property in all legal phenomena.
Author: Hanna H. Wei
In A Dialogical Concept of Minority Rights, Hanna H. Wei demonstrates that a more plausible and realistic concept of minority rights should consist of not only rights against the state but also rights against the group. She formulates and defends three separate but related rights to dialogue, and thoroughly analyses how they may operate not only to maintain a healthy balance between the minorities’ need to be culturally distinct and their need to relate to and belong in the larger society, but also that they address the generalisations and presuppositions on which the debate of multiculturalism has been based, and constitute the first step of a possible solution to many of the theoretical and practical difficulties of minority protection.
Author: Harald Stelzer
"Gegenstand dieses Buches ist die Analyse und Kritik der Moralphilosophie des Kommunitarismus, deren grundlegende Fragestellungen nach wie vor von hoher Aktualität sind. Führt das liberalistische Verständnis von Mensch und Gesellschaft zur Auflösung sozialer Bindungen? Benötigen wir eine Revitalisierung der Gemeinschaften mit ihren jeweiligen Werten? Muss das Ideal der Neutralität des Staates aufgegeben werden? Der Autor zeigt in umfassender Weise, dass einige Annahmen des Kommunitarismus durchaus plausibel sind, dass sich seine zentralen Thesen aber nicht aufrechterhalten lassen. Der Kommunitarismus unterschätzt die potentiellen Gefahren zu enger Gemeinschaftsbindungen. Die ihm zugrunde liegende Philosophie erweist sich als relativistisch und darüber hinaus als widersprüchlich. In der Auseinandersetzung mit dem Kommunitarismus entwickelt der Autor eine Theorie der Normbegründung, die auf dem Verfahren des Überlegungsgleichgewichts sowie dem Fallibilismus beruht. Damit leistet er nicht nur einen wichtigen Beitrag zur Liberalismus-Kommunitarismus-Debatte, sondern darüber hinaus zur Weiterentwicklung einer problemlösungsorientieren Ethik, die in ihren Grundlagen auf die Politische Philosophie, Wissenschaftstheorie und evolutionäre Erkenntnistheorie Karl Poppers verweist."
Volker Gadenne, University of Linz


In Eine Kritik der kommunitaristischen Moralphilosophie. Offene Gesellschaft – Geschlossene Gemeinschaft analysiert Harald Stelzer die grundlegenden Aspekte der normativen Theorien von kommunitaristischen Autoren wie MacIntryre, Sandel, Taylor und Walzer. Basierend auf einer Rekonstruktion ihrer Kritik am Liberalismus und ihrer Sehnsucht nach der Gemeinschaft geht Stelzer auf die staatliche Neutralität ebenso ein wie auf die Reichweite der gemeinschaftlichen Einbettung des Individuums. Weiter diskutiert der Autor den Nah- und Fernhorizont der Ethik wie auch die relativistischen Konsequenzen eines auf der Annahme der Inkommensurabilität von Moralsystemen beruhenden kommunitaristischen Partikularismus. Das Buch endet mit einem Aufriss von Stelzers eigener Position, die beruhend auf dem Fallibilismus von Karl Popper und dem weiten Überlegungsgleichgewicht von John Rawls Moral als Problemlösungsprozess auffasst.

In A Critique of the Moral Philosophy of Communitarianism. Open Society – Closed Community Harald Stelzer challenges communitarian authors like MacIntryre, Sandel, Taylor, and Walzer by analysing main aspects of their moral theories. Based on the reconstruction of their critique of liberalism and alternative communitarian accounts, Stelzer looks on state neutrality as well as on the scope of the social embeddedness of the individual. He then proceeds to discuss the far and near horizon of ethics as well as the relativistic consequences of a communitarian particularism based on the underlying assumption of incommensurability. In the last chapter, Stelzer provides his own account of a problem solving ethics by combining Karl Popper’s fallibilism with the wide reflective equilibrium of John Rawls.

Reflections from the Decarceration Movement
This book brings together a collection of social justice scholars and activists who take Foucault’s concept of discipline and punishment to explain how prisons are constructed in society from nursing homes to zoos. This book expands the concept of prison to include any institution that dominates, oppresses, and controls. Criminologists and others, who have been concerned with reforming or dismantling the criminal justice system, have mostly avoided to look at larger carceral structures in society. In this book, for example, scholars and activists question the way patriarchy has incapacitated women and imagine the deinstitutionalization of people with disabilities. In a time when popular sentiment critiques the dominant role of the elites (the “one percenters”), the state’s role in policing dissenting voices, school children, LGBTQ persons, people of color, and American Indian Nations, needs to be investigated. A prison, as defined in this book, is an institution or system that oppresses and does not allow freedom for a particular group. Within this definition, we include the imprisonment of nonhuman animals and plants, which are too often overlooked.
Volume Editor: Harry Lesser
The authors of these papers vary in age, nationality and professional background. They share a belief that all too often older people are not treated justly or fairly, and also a belief that this is particularly true with regard to a proper respect for their dignity as people and a proper allocation of medical and social resources. Their papers, in various ways, give evidence as to what is happening and arguments, based on philosophical ethics, as to why it is wrong. The authors also have a range of proposals, backed by argument and evidence, and drawing on factual material as well as philosophical argument, as to what could be done to improve the situation. This is a book for anyone, whether themselves elderly, looking after an older person, professionally involved in working with older people, or simply realising that one day they will be old, who wants to learn about what is wrong with the present situation and how it might be made better.
Volume Editors: Paul Kriese and Randall E. Osborne
A clear understanding of social justice requires complex rather than simple answers. It requires comfort with ambiguity rather than absolute answers. This is counter to viewing right versus wrong, just vs. unjust, or good vs. evil as dichotomies. This book provides many examples of where and how to begin to view these as continuums rather than dichotomies.
Author: Maurice Hauriou
Tradition in Social Science is the social philosophy written early in life by the jurisprudent who became the preeminent public law jurist in France in the first quarter of the twentieth century, Maurice Hauriou. His work remains prominent in theorizing European Community as well as in Latin American jurisprudence. His studies concern three areas of research: legal theory, social science, and philosophy. In this book Hauriou first focuses on the object and method of the social sciences in a preliminary chapter. The main text is devoted first to a philosophy of history that uses the growth objectively in fraternity, liberty and equality as the criterion for progress; and next to the subjective elements of progress, namely, the recognition of a “pessimistic individualism” in which failure in conduct is to be expected, but is rectified by social institutions. This part closes with the dynamizing of his philosophy of history by evolution and alternation between two phases of social development, namely, middle ages and renaissances. The second part is the philosophy of social science built around social matter, where the dynamic of imitation is the motive force, and three social networks—positive, religious, and metaphysical—specify its consequences. The last of these, the political fabric, is provided with a final chapter of its own. The main doctrinal device that Hauriou developed for use in law was his theory of the institution; this is developed for the first time in the present work.