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The (Non)Violence of Private Ordering

25 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2017  

Prashan Ranasinghe

University of Ottawa - Department of Criminology

Date Written: October 19, 2017

Abstract

English Abstract: This paper explores and explicates the constitution and ontology of private ordering – organized or unorganized means of securing order which do not (explicitly) rely upon the law and other formal means of dispute resolution sanctioned by law. Private ordering, I argue, is best understood through its dialecticism of (non)violence: that is, private ordering is concurrently violence and non-violence. This is explicated through three texts: first, reading Frantz Fanon’s classic The Wretched of the Earth against the exhortations and warnings of Hannah Arendt’s “Reflections on Violence;” secondly, Walter Benjamin’s classic essay, “Critique of Violence.” After situating the (non)violence of private ordering, I argue that symbolic violence – an important component of its constitution – is insufficient for the practice of private ordering: if its normative aspirations are to be realized, a place for physical violence must also be made available to private ordering. The law, it is further claimed, must be open to this, lest the law be reduced to tyranny.

Spanish Abstract: Este artículo explora y explica la constitución y ontología del derecho privado - formas organizadas o no organizadas de garantizar el orden que no se basan (explícitamente) en el derecho y otras maneras formales, sancionadas por la legalidad, de resolver litigios. Yo argumento que el derecho privado es simultáneamente violento y no violento. Ello se explica mediante tres textos: primero, una lectura del clásico de Frantz Fanon Los Condenados de la Tierra, contra las exhortaciones y advertencias de Hannah Arendt en Sobre la Violencia; en segundo lugar, el ensayo clásico de Walter Benjamin Crítica de la Violencia. Después de situar la (no)violencia del derecho privado, argumento que la violencia simbólica -un importante componente de su origen- es insuficiente para la práctica del derecho privado: si han de llevarse a cabo sus aspiraciones normativas, asimismo debe facilitarse al derecho privado un espacio para la violencia física. El derecho, se afirma yendo más allá, debe estar abierto a esto, no sea que la ley quede reducida a tiranía.

Keywords: Private ordering, violence, dialecticism, Walter Benjamin, Frantz Fanon, Hannah Arendt, Derecho privado, violencia, dialéctica

Suggested Citation

Ranasinghe, Prashan, The (Non)Violence of Private Ordering (October 19, 2017). Oñati Socio-Legal Series, Vol. 7, No. 7, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3055813

Prashan Ranasinghe (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa - Department of Criminology ( email )

Ottawa, Ontario
Canada

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