Communitarianism in Law and Society (Rights & Responsibilities)

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9780742522701: Communitarianism in Law and Society (Rights & Responsibilities)

In this new collection of essays, Paul van Seters brings together an international group of scholars from diverse academic backgrounds to reflect upon the remarkable rise of communitarianism in contemporary studies of law and society. Taking account of the intricate relationship between law and communitarianism, these essays critically assess the communitarian perspective in order to gain a more systematic insight into its distinctive constraints and the special opportunities it provides. At its core, this work contends that law necessarily presupposes community, but also essentially extends it. Arguing that communitarianism must be understood as an effort to reconstruct liberalism, and not just debunk it, Communitarianism in Law and Society explores what good is to come of this movement for legal theory and practice.

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About the Author:

Paul van Seters was professor of legal sociology at Tilburg University, the Netherlands. Currently, he is director of Globus, and professor of globalization and sustainable development in Tias Business School at Tilburg University. He is the coeditor of Globalization and Its New Divides, with Bas de Gaay Fortman and Arie de Ruiter.

Review:

Just when the communitarian political movement appears to be languishing in the United States, Paul van Seters has opened a lively cross-Atlantic dialogue on communitarian approaches in law and society. With essays by Philip Selznick, Roger Cotterrell, and other distinguished scholars, this collection explores the prospects for a jurisprudence rooted in shared understandings, mutual trust, and solidarity. Using the emergent law of the European Union as a special test case, several authors ask how liberalism can be reconstructed so as to give due recognition to the moral worth and significance of community. (Kenneth Winston)

Many discussions of liberalism and communitarianism assume opposition and force choice. This rich and varied collection transcends those unhelpful caricatures and duels. Here, there is acknowledgment of complexities and continuities. The search is for ways in which each might build upon and extend, and not merely rebut, the other. What emerges, in a range of versions and applications, are examples of 'liberal communitarianism' or 'communitarian liberalism', where both elements are acknowledged and developed, and the whole that emerges is often more interesting and supple than the sum of the parts. (Krygier, Martin)

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Paul Seters (author), Paul de Beer (contributions), Jos de Beus (contributions), Winfried Brugger (contributions), Roger Cotterrell (contributions), Anton Hemerijck (contributions), Dorien Pessers (contributions), Toon Peters (contributions), Philip Selznick (contributions), Paul van Seters (contributions), Sanne Taekema (contributions), Willem Witteveen (contributions)
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