Chapter in States of exception : law, history, theory edited by Cosmin Cercel, Gian Giacomo Fusco and Simon Lavis
A characteristic specific to contemporary Western society is its autonomous sphere of legal rules and the order set up to deal with those rules, which includes legislators, courts, and the police. This chapter interrogates two of the most radical attempts at thinking about law beyond the horizon of this hegemony. The first attempt is made by Evgeny Pashukanis, who argues that law as such will be extinguished in a future society. The second is that of Giorgio Agamben, who argues that law will continue, but that it will take on a radically different role, emptied of force and no longer married to sovereign power. If law is moved into a minor position it will also be put in an exceptional position. The trajectory of modern society is one where law has increasingly become the dominant form of social organisation. It has embedded itself in social life as the normal structure conflict resolution and governing.
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