What should legal analysis become?
In this book Roberto Mangabeira Unger brings together his work in legal and social theory. He argues for the reconstruction of legal analysis as a discipline of institutional imagination. He shows how a changed practice of legal analysis can help us reimagine and reshape the institutions of representative democracy, market economy and free civil society. The search for basic social alternatives, largely abandoned by philosophy and politics, can find in such a practice a new point of departure. Unger criticizes the dominant, rationalizing style of legal doctrine, with its obsessional focus upon adjudication and its urge to suppress or contain conflict or contradiction in law. He shows how we can turn legal analysis into a way of talking about the alternative institutional futures of a democratic society. The programmatic proposals of Unger's Politics are here placed within a wider field of possibilities. A major concern of the book is to explore how professional specialities such as legal thought can inform the public conversation in a democracy. The book exemplifies this connection: Unger's arguments are accessible to those with no specialized knowledge of law or legal theory.
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Subject and plan of this book
Innovation in the institutional forms of political
The disciplinary tools of democratic experimentalism
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alternative analogical arrested development become belief civil society claims commitments communitarianism compromise conceptions conflict contemporary law contrast corporatism corporatist cracy criticism culture decentralized defined democratic experimentalism democratic project devolution discourse distinct dualism economic effective entrenched established example experience extended social democracy firms functionalist genealogies of law governmental idea ideological individual industrial democracies inequality inherited insti institutional arrangements institutional imagination interests and ideals interpretation judgement judges judicial jurists law and legal legal doctrine legal imagination legal reasoning legal thought liberal market economy method mobilizational democracy moral nevertheless organized policy and principle political economy practice of legal property rights radical polyarchy rational reconstruction rationalism and historicism rationalizing legal analysis redistributive regime of rights relation representative democracy require retrospective revisionary power rightholder rules social-democratic split the difference structure substantive equal protection suspect classifications tinkering traditional property turn tutional understanding vision vocabulary workers