What Should Legal Analysis Become?

Overview

He argues for the reconstruction of legal analysis as a discipline of institutional imagination. He shows how a changed practice of legal analysis can help us re-imagine and reshape the dominant institutions of representative democracy, market economy and free civil society. The search for basic social alternatives, largely abandoned by philosophy and politics, can find in such a practice a new point of departure.
Unger criticizes the dominant,...

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Overview

He argues for the reconstruction of legal analysis as a discipline of institutional imagination. He shows how a changed practice of legal analysis can help us re-imagine and reshape the dominant institutions of representative democracy, market economy and free civil society. The search for basic social alternatives, largely abandoned by philosophy and politics, can find in such a practice a new point of departure.
Unger criticizes the dominant, rationalizing style of legal doctrine,
with its obsessional focus upon adjudication and its urge to suppress or contain conflict or contradiction in law. He shows how we can turn legal analysis into a way of talking about the alternative institutional futures of a democratic society. The programmatic proposals of Unger's Politics are here placed within a wider field of possibilities. A major concern of the book is to explore how professional specialties such as legal thought can inform the public debate in a democracy. The book exemplifies this connection: Unger's arguments are accessible to those with no specialized knowledge of law or legal theory.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859841006
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 7/1/1996
  • Pages: 198
  • Product dimensions: 6.15 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Roberto Mangabeira Unger is one of the leading social and political thinkers in the world today. He is also active in Brazilian politics. Verso has published much of his work: False Necessity: Antinecessitarian Social Theory in the Service of Radical Democracy, What Should Legal Analysis Become?, Democracy Realized: The Progressive Alternative, Politics, and The Left Alternative.

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Table of Contents

Subject and plan of this book 1
Insight and transformation in natural science and social study 2
Democracy and experimentalism 6
The practical promise of democratic experimentalism: from the existing policy debate to the missing programmatic conversation 11
The imagination of alternatives: social-theoretical assumptions of democratic experimentalism 18
The disciplinary tools of democratic experimentalism 22
The arrested development of legal thought 26
Complex enforcement at the threshold of structural change 30
The spell of rationalizing legal analysis 34
The complex structure of legal consciousness 41
Interest-group pluralism and rationalizing legal analysis 52
The fourfold root of rationalizing legal analysis: the prejudice against analogy 59
The fourfold root of rationalizing legal analysis: upholding a regime of rights 63
The fourfold root of rationalizing legal analysis: pessimistic progressive reformism 78
The fourfold root of rationalizing legal analysis: the commanding role of the judge 106
Kenosis: escaping the misdirections of contemporary theory 119
Legal analysis as institutional imagination 129
Imagining the alternative futures of a free society: extended social democracy 135
Imagining the alternative futures of a free society: radical polyarchy 148
Imagining the alternative futures of a free society: mobilizational democracy 163
The campaign to split the difference between rationalism and historicism 170
Prophecy and prostration in legal thought 182
Index 193
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