The King's Many Bodies: The Self-Deconstruction of Law's Hierarchy

Law and Society Review, Vol. 31, pp. 763-787, 1997

25 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2006 Last revised: 8 Sep 2009

Gunther Teubner

Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität

Date Written: 1997

Abstract

The article connects two strands of the recent sociolegal debate: (1) the empirical discovery of new forms of spontaneous law in the course of globalization, and (2) the emergence of deconstructive theories of law that undermine the law's hierarchy. The article puts forward the thesis that law's hierarchy has successfully resisted all old and new attempts at its deconstruction; it breaks, however, under the pressures of globalization that produced a global law without the state, as self-created law of global society that has no institutionalized support whatsoever in international politics and public international law. Consequently, the article criticizes deconstructive theories for their lack of autological analysis. These theories do not take into account the historical conditions of deconstruction. Accordingly, deconstructive analysis of law would have to look for new legal distinctions that are plausible under the new conditions of a doubly fragmented global society. The article sketches the contours of an emerging polycontextural law.

Keywords: legal theory, system theory

JEL Classification: K10, K40

Suggested Citation

Teubner, Gunther, The King's Many Bodies: The Self-Deconstruction of Law's Hierarchy (1997). Law and Society Review, Vol. 31, pp. 763-787, 1997. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=894425

Gunther Teubner (Contact Author)

Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität ( email )

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Frankfurt am Main, D-60323
Germany
0049 69 71034781 (Phone)
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HOME PAGE: http://www.jura.uni-frankfurt.de/ifawz1/teubner/

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