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The Sociology of Law and the Global Transformation of Democracy
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This book provides a new legal-sociological account of contemporary democracy. It is based on a revision of standard positions in democratic theory, reflecting the impact of global legal norms on the institutions of national states. Chris Thornhill argues that the establishment of fully democratic, fully inclusive governance systems in national societies was generally impeded by inner-societal structural factors, and that inclusive patterns of democratic citizenship only evolved on the foundation of global legal norms that were consolidated after 1945. He claims that this process can be best understood through a transposition of key insights of classical legal sociology onto the form of global society. Extensive analysis of select case studies in different regions illustrate these claims. Thornhill offers a sociological theory of global law to explain contemporary processes of democratic integration and institutional formation, and contemporary constructions of citizenship and political rights. This title is also available as Open Access.


'Chris Thornhill endeavours to reconstruct a theory of democracy that is descriptively more realistic and normatively more robust than classical theories of democracy. … This work has the merit that it connects a very informed socio-historical approach with a fundamental sociological thesis concerning the linkage between the political system and the system of law. … [A] book that is without any doubt of crucial importance in the contemporary sociology of law.'

Jean de Munck Source: translated from Droit et Société

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  • The Sociology of Law and the Global Transformation of Democracy
    pp i-i
  • Global Law Series - Series page
    pp ii-ii
  • The Sociology of Law and the Global Transformation of Democracy - Title page
    pp iii-iii
  • Copyright page
    pp iv-iv
  • Dedication
    pp v-vi
  • Contents
    pp vii-viii
  • Acknowledgements
    pp ix-x
  • Introduction
    pp 1-38
  • 1 - The Paradox of Democracy and the Sociology of Law
    pp 39-133
  • 2 - National Democracy and Global Law
    pp 134-202
  • 3 - Before the Law?
    pp 203-276
  • 4 - Politics Becomes the Law
    pp 277-419
  • 5 - The Reconstruction of Democratic Agency
    pp 420-496
  • Conclusion
    pp 497-502
  • Bibliography
    pp 503-568
  • Index
    pp 569-588


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