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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.
Contemporary Discussions in Shī ͑ī Legal Theory
In Visions of Sharīʿa Bhojani, De Rooij and Bohlander present the first broad examination of ways in which legal theory (uṣūl al-fiqh) within Twelver Shīʿī thought continues to be a forum for vibrant debates regarding the assumptions, epistemology and hermeneutics of Sharīʿa in contemporary Shīʿī thought. Bringing together authoritative voices and emerging scholars, from both ‘traditional’ seminaries and ‘Western’ academies, the distinct critical insider and emic accounts provided develop a novel avenue in Islamic legal studies. Contextualised through reference to the history of Shīʿī legal theory as well as contemporary juristic practice and socio-political considerations, the volume demonstrates how one of the most intellectually vibrant and developed discourses of Islamic thought continues to be a key forum for exploring visions of Sharīʿa.
Editor / Translator: Stephen Dersley
This book grew out of the conviction that the original concepts of the Poznań School of Legal Theory are still perfectly suited for application in the era of moral pluralism and multicentric legal systems. Moreover, the legal-theoretical proposals put forward by the circle of Poznań legal theorists, and supported by firm methodological foundations, have not, by any means, lost their value.

Although each of the authors tackles issues from different perspectives, there is a discernible unity in their approaches, expressed in the conviction that modest analysis makes more sense than ambitious analysis of the concept of law or the nature of law.

The Poznań School has made several valuable contributions to contemporary legal theory: its works have drawn from Polish philosophy of language and therefore embedded its theoretical and legal considerations in the Polish philosophical culture; it created an original model method which consists of considering ideal situations in which dependencies are not disturbed by the influence of other factors; and it treats the human being as a rational person, and thus as a cognizing subject and a rational agent.
The Law of Nations and Natural Law 1625-1800 offers innovative studies on the development of the law of nations after the Peace of Westphalia. This period was decisive for the origin and constitution of the discipline which eventually emancipated itself from natural law and became modern international law.

A specialist on the law of nations in the Swiss context and on its major figure, Emer de Vattel, Simone Zurbuchen prompted scholars to explore the law of nations in various European contexts. The volume studies little known literature related to the law of nations as an academic discipline, offers novel interpretations of classics in the field, and deconstructs ‘myths’ associated with the law of nations in the Enlightenment.
A Radical Perspective on the Role of Law in the Global Political Economy
Author: Grietje Baars
In The Corporation, Law and Capitalism, Grietje Baars offers a radical Marxist perspective on the role of law in the global political economy. Closing a major gap in historical-materialist scholarship, they demonstrate how the corporation, capitalism’s main engine from city-state and colonial times to the present multinational, is a masterpiece of legal technology. The symbiosis between law and capital becomes acutely apparent in the question of ‘corporate accountability’. Baars provides a detailed analysis of corporate human rights and war crimes trials, from the Nuremberg industrialists’ trials to current efforts. The book shows that precisely because of law’s relationship to capital, law cannot prevent or remedy the ‘externalities’ produced by corporate capitalism. This realisation will generate the space required to formulate a different answer to ‘the question of the corporation’, and to global corporate capitalism more broadly, outside of the law.
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: Richard Lang
The equality jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union has long drawn criticism for its almost total reliance on Aristotle’s doctrine that likes should be treated like, and unlikes unlike. As has often been shown, this is a blunt tool, entrenching assumptions and promoting difference-blindness: the symptoms of simplicity. In this book, Richard Lang proposes that the EU’s judges complement the Aristotelian test with a new one based on Michael Walzer’s theory of Complex Equality, and illustrates how analysing allegedly discriminatory acts, not in terms of comparisons of the actors involved, but rather in terms of distributions and meanings of goods, would enable them to reach decisions with new dexterity and to resolve conflicts without sacrificing diversity.
What is the role of ethno-cultural groups in human rights discourse? Under international human rights law, standards are unclear and ambivalent, while traditional analyses have often failed to elucidate and unpack the conceptual, legal, and policy complexities involved. In Ethno-Cultural Diversity and Human Rights, prominent experts chart new territory by addressing contested dimensions of the field. They include the impact of collective interests on rights discourse and nation-building, international law’s responses to group demands for decision-making authority, and concerns for immigration, intersectionality, and peacebuilding. Drawing from diverse scholarship in international law, legal and moral philosophy, and political science, this volume will be essential reading for scholars and practitioners of human rights, diversity, and conflict management.
From Colonial Legacies to Modernity
In Criminal Sentencing in Bangladesh, Muhammad Mahbubur Rahman critically examines the sentencing policies of Bangladesh and demonstrates that the country’s sentencing policies are not only yet to be developed in a coherent manner and shaped with an appropriate and contextual balance, but also remain part of the problem rather than part of the solution. The author forcefully argues that the conception of ‘sentencing policies’ cannot and should not always be confined exclusively to institutional understandings. The typical realities of post-colonial societies call for rethinking the traditional judiciary-centred understanding of what is meant by criminal sentences. This book thus raises the question for theoretical sentencing scholarship whether the prevailing judiciary-centred understanding of sentencing should be rethought.
Winner of the 2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award

In Marxism and Criminology: A History of Criminal Selectivity, Valeria Vegh Weis rehabilitates the contributions and the methodology of Marx and Engels to analyze crime and punishment through the historical development of capitalism (15th Century to the present) in Europe and in the United States. The author puts forward the concepts of over-criminalization and under-criminalization to show that the criminal justice system has always been selective. Criminal injustice, the book argues, has been an inherent element of the founding and reproduction of a capitalist society. At a time when racial profiling, prosecutorial discretion, and mass incarceration continue to defy easy answers, Vegh Weis invites us to revisit Marx and Engels’ contributions to identify socio-economic and historic patterns of crime and punishment in order to foster transformative changes to criminal justice. The book includes a Foreword by Professor Roger Matthews of Kent University, and an Afterword written by Professor Jonathan Simon of the University of California, Berkeley.