World Society’s Law: rethinking systems theory and socio-legal studies

Marco Antonio Loschiavo Leme de Barros; Lucas Fucci Amato; Gabriel Ferreira da Fonseca (eds.)

Contemporary society has expanded its worldwide dimensions, in waves of new protests, revivals of authoritarianism and pandemic threats, in a context of acceleration of digital communication. How to describe this emerging order beyond the picture of a single Western modernity? How would its law look like? How to approach the legal setups of regulation and public policy? This book presents a fresh perspective about systems theory that increases its analytical potential in order to face the challenges posed to socio-legal studies in this new decade. The final result is a collective work of scholars and researchers – mostly outside Europe – committed with rethinking the limits of that theory. In light of this consideration, echoing the diversity of views, it’s worth remembering Niklas Luhmann’s visit to Recife, Brazil, during the 1980s, portrayed by Claudio Souto’s memoirs about the friendly encounter: “In Germany, the books and articles by Prof. Dr. Niklas Luhmann (1927-1998), from the Bielefeld University, stand out and there he is considered by many the most important contemporary sociologist. According to Luhmann, ‘in every society there is law’ and in fact he does not consider the coactive apparatus of the state as essential to the characterization of the juridical phenomenon. For him, the functional autonomy of social systems is a fundamental feature of modernity. Luhmann was a person of marked sensitivity and consideration, without prejudice. As a child, he could not properly execute the official greeting in Germany at that time, extending his left arm instead of his right arm... When he was a guest in our house in the district of Derby, being lonely as a widower, he was enchanted by the historic site of Recife and wanted to buy a home there. He was advised not to do that, due to the risk involved. In short, this is the man, that is the work.”

Cláudio Souto

Full Professor Emeritus

Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil

Nº de pág.: 575

ISBN: 978-65-87340-78-4

DOI: 10.22350/9786587340784

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