Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

The Sociology of Law and the Global Transformation of Democracy

$44.99 (P)

Part of Global Law Series

  • Date Published: August 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316649060

$ 44.99 (P)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • 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.

    • Offers a new sociological perspective for interpreting democracy, and a new theory of global law focusing on global legal preconditions of democracy
    • Articulates the importance of classical legal sociology for contemporary legal-political inquiry
    • Provides macro-sociological explanations of different patterns of democratic failure, offering new accounts of reasons for democratic crises
    • This book is also available as Open Access
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    '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, translated from Droit et Société

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316649060
    • length: 596 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 150 x 27 mm
    • weight: 0.96kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The paradox of democracy and the sociology of law
    2. National democracy and global law
    3. Before the law?
    4. Politics becomes the law
    5. The reconstruction of democratic agency

  • Author

    Chris Thornhill, University of Manchester
    Chris Thornhill is Professor in Law at the University of Manchester. He is the author of several books on the sociology of law, especially on the sociology of constitutions. His books and other writings have been translated into many languages. He is a member of the Academia Europaea.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.