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Aflevering 3, 2016 Alle samenvattingen uitklappen
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Social Theory and Legal Practices

Auteurs Tobias Arnoldussen, Dr. Robert Knegt en Associate Professor Rob Schwitters
Auteursinformatie

Tobias Arnoldussen
Tobias Arnoldussen is a socio-legal scholar affiliated with the University of Amsterdam Law School and the PPLE honours college. Next to lecturing on a variety of subjects, he focusses on interdisciplinary legal research into the possibilities of law to deal with contemporary social problems.

Dr. Robert Knegt
Dr. Robert Knegt is Guest Researcher at the Hugo Sinzheimer Institute, University of Amsterdam. As a sociologist of law, he has been project leader of numerous research projects that combine legal and sociological methods in the field of labour relations. He is particularly interested in a historical-sociological study of long-term developments in the normative structuration of labour relations.

Associate Professor Rob Schwitters
Rob Schwitters is Associate Professor of Sociology of Law and connected to the Paul Scholten Centre at the University of Amsterdam. He publishes on tort law, responsibility and liability, the welfare state and compliance.
Artikel

Autonomy of law in Indonesia

Trefwoorden Rule of law, Indonesia, Socio-legal studies, Legal scholarhip, Judiciary
Auteurs Professor Adriaan Bedner
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article seeks to answer how useful the theoretical approaches developed in Europe and the United States are for explaining or understanding the autonomy of law in Indonesia – a nation that is on the verge of becoming a lower-middle-income country and whose legal system presents many of the features found in other developing countries’ legal systems. The article first sketches three lines of theoretical thought that have dominated the inquiry into autonomy of law in (Western) sociology and then assesses to what extent they are represented in the socio-legal studies of Indonesian law. The conclusion is that although socio-legal scholars studying developing countries need supplementary concepts and theories, they can use the Western ones as their point of departure in understanding the functioning of law in a setting that is very different from the one in which these theories were developed.


Professor Adriaan Bedner
Adriaan Bedner is professor of law and society in Indonesia at the Van Vollenhoven Institute (Leiden Law School). He has worked on many different subjects within this field, including family law, administrative courts, and environmental law. His present focus is on the Indonesian Ombudsman and on legal education.
Artikel

Opinio juris as epistème: A constructivist approach to the use of contested concepts in legal doctrine

Trefwoorden Opinio juris, Interpretive concepts, Customary law, Constructivism, Pierre Bourdieu, Peter Berger & Thomas Luckmann
Auteurs Associate Professor Olaf Tans
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Seeing that the role of opinio juris in the identification of customary international law is essentially contested, this contribution seeks to explain how this concept plays a fruitful role in legal doctrine despite of, or perhaps even due to, this essential contestedness. To that effect the paper adopts a constructivist perspective, primarily drawing from Bourdieu’s theory of practice and Berger & Luckmann’s ideas about institutionalization. In this perspective, contested concepts such as opinio juris are conceived of as multifaceted tools of knowledge production in the hands of members of epistemic communities.


Associate Professor Olaf Tans
Olaf Tans works as legal philosopher and political scientist at Amsterdam University College and the Centre for the Politics of Transnational Law. His contribution to this special issue is part of a research line focusing on the social construction of normativity in legal doctrine. He has also published about constitutionalism, citizenship, democracy, and most recently (e.g. in Ratio Juris and Law & Literature) about the use of foundational narratives in public deliberation and law-finding.
Artikel

Social theory and the significance of free will in our system of criminal justice

Trefwoorden free will, determinism, communicative action, legitimacy, social theory
Auteurs Dr. Rob Schwitters
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Free will is a key assumption of our system of criminal justice. However, the assumption of a free will is questioned by the rapidly growing empirical findings of the neuro and the brain sciences. These indicate that human behavior is driven by subconscious forces beyond the free will. In this text I aim to indicate how social theory might contribute to this debate. This text is an attempt to demonstrate that social theory does not automatically side with the deterministic attacks on free will. The denial of the free will is to a great extent based on a flawed interpretation of free will, in which it is seen as a capacity of separate individuals. I will suggest that it is the sociological realization that free will is embedded in intersubjective relations that helps to clarify which value is at stake when we deny free will. Free will presumes social practices and social relations that facilitate moral and political discourse. As long as we see human actors as capable to evaluate these practices and contexts in moral and political terms, we cannot deny them a free will. My argumentation will build on the theories of Peter Strawson, Anthony Giddens and Jürgen Habermas.


Dr. Rob Schwitters
Rob Schwitters is Associate Professor of Sociology of Law and connected to the Paul Scholten Centre at the University of Amsterdam. He publishes on tort law, responsibility and liability, the welfare state and compliance.
Artikel

Framing labor contracts: Contract versus network theories

Trefwoorden contract theory, Network theory, Labor regulation, subjectivity, performativity
Auteurs Robert Knegt
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Since the 18th century the ‘contractual model’ has become both a paradigm of social theories (f.i. ‘rational choice’) and a dominant model of structuring labour relations. Its presupposition of the subjectivity of individual actors as a given is criticized with reference to network-based theories (Latour, Callon) and to analyses of Foucault. The current contract model of labour relations is analyzed from a historical perspective on normative regimes of labour relations, that imply different conceptions of ‘subjectivity’. Research into the regulation of labour relations requires an analysis in terms of an entanglement of human beings, technologies and legal discourse.


Robert Knegt
Senior researcher at Hugo Sinzheimer Institute, University of Amsterdam
Artikel

The precaution controversy: an analysis through the lens of Ulrich Beck and Michel Foucault

Trefwoorden Precautionary principle, risk society, governmentality, risk governance, environmental law
Auteurs Tobias Arnoldussen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    According to the precautionary principle lack of scientific evidence for the existence of a certain (environmental) risk should not be a reason not to take preventative policy measures. The precautionary principle had a stormy career in International environmental law and made its mark on many treaties, including the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). However it remains controversial. Proponents see it as the necessary legal curb to keep the dangerous tendencies of industrial production and technology in check. Opponents regard it with suspicion. They fear it will lead to a decrease in freedom and fear the powers to intervene that it grants the state. In this article the principle is reviewed from the perspectives of Ulrich Beck’s ‘reflexive modernisation’ and Michel Foucault’s notion of governmentality. It is argued that from Beck’s perspective the precautionary principle is the result of a learning process in which mankind gradually comes to adopt a reflexive attitude to the risks modernity has given rise to. It represents the wish to devise more inclusive and democratic policies on risks and environmental hazards. From the perspective of Michel Foucault however, the principle is part and parcel of neo-liberal tendencies of responsibilisation. Risk management and prudency are devolved to the public in an attempt to minimise risk taking, while at the same time optimising production. Moreover, it grants legitimacy to state intervention if the public does not live up to the responsibilities foisted on it. Both perspectives are at odds, but represent different sides of the same coin and might learn from each other concerns.


Tobias Arnoldussen
Tobias Arnoldussen is a socio-legal scholar affiliated with the University of Amsterdam Law School and the PPLE honours college. Next to lecturing on a variety of subjects, he focusses on interdisciplinary legal research into the possibilities of law to deal with contemporary social problems.
Artikel

“The production of law”: Law in action in the everyday and the juridical consequences of juridification

Trefwoorden juridification, production of space, law in action, local bye-laws
Auteurs dr. mr. Danielle Chevalier
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In an increasingly diversifying society, public space is the quintessential social realm1x Lofland 1998. where members of that diverse society meet each other. Thus space is shared, whilst norms regarding that space are not always shared. Of rivalling norms, some are codified into formal law, in a process Habermas called juridification. Early Habermas regarded juridification a negative process, ‘colonizing the lifeworld’. Later Habermas argued juridification a viable pillar for conviviality in diversity. The shift in Habermas’ perspective invites the question how law works in action. In this article a frame is offered to scrutinize the working of law in action in public space, by applying the conceptual triad of spatial thinker Lefebvre to understand how law is “produced”. It argues that how law is perceived in action is pivotal to understanding how law works in action. Moreover, it discusses the possible ramifications of the perception of law in action for how the legal system as a whole is perceived.

Noten

  • 1 Lofland 1998.


dr. mr. Danielle Chevalier
Danielle Chevalier is a lecturer and research fellow at the University of Amsterdam, affiliated to both the Bonger Institute for Criminology and the Amsterdam School for Social Science Research. Her academic works focuses on the intersection of the legal and the spatial, positioned within the frames of urban sociology, criminology and legal sociology. More specifically she researches legal interventions in the urban realm through qualitative methods, and publishes both on law in action and research methods. Her current project centers on the development of the concept 'emotional ownership of public space'.