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Theory of Societal Constitutionalism
Foundations of a Non-Marxist Critical Theory


Part of American Sociological Association Rose Monographs

  • Date Published: August 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521148313

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About the Authors
  • Sciulli argues that the existing conceptual frameworks of political and social theory restrict both theorists and empirical researchers to a narrow definition of authoritarianism. This 1992 book focuses on government structure and fails to take account of forms of social control exercised outside the governmental sphere. Rather than define authoritarianism primarily by contrast to liberal democracy, Sciulli argues, we need to broaden our conception of authoritarianism to include 'social authoritarianism', referring to social control imposed by private organizations and institutions. Sciulli develops an alternative conceptual framework, which he calls the theory of societal constitutionalism. He explains how the theory can be used to assess whether social order in a society, whether democratic or authoritarian in political rule, is characterized by some degree of social authoritarianism. The book will be important reading for theorists in sociology, political science and legal studies.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521148313
    • length: 380 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: societal constitutionalism as critical theory
    Part I. Conceptual Foundations of Societal Constitutionalism:
    2. Social integration and social control: the importance of procedural normative restraints
    3. Liberalism and the Weberian dilemma: from restraints on government to restraints on civil society
    4. Conceptual foundations of societal constitutionalism: from internal restraints on government to external restraints on drift
    Part II. Origins of the Analytical Distinctions and Conceptual Foundations: Retracing Steps Taken By Habermas, Fuller, and Parsons:
    5. Societal constitutionalism's grounding against relativism: from Weber's legal positivism to Habermas' communication theory
    6. Societal constitutionalism's threshold in practice: from Fuller's legal theory to societal constitutionalism
    7. Societal constitutionalism's organizational manifestation, I: voluntaristic action as a distinct concept
    8. Societal constitutionalism's organizational manifestation, II: from voluntaristic action to collegial formations
    Part III. Implications of the Analytical Distinctions and Conceptual Foundations:
    9. Procedural institutionalization beyond the Western democracies: three bases of voluntaristic restraint
    10. External restraints: prospects for reason and 'tradition'
    11. Collegial formations as external procedural restraints: prospects for a public realm
    Name index
    Subject index.

  • Author

    David Sciulli, Texas A & M University

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