Dissidents of Law : On the 1989 Velvet Revolutions, Legitimations, Fictions of Legality and Contemporary Version of the Social Contract book cover
1st Edition

Dissidents of Law
On the 1989 Velvet Revolutions, Legitimations, Fictions of Legality and Contemporary Version of the Social Contract

ISBN 9781138737075
Published November 25, 2019 by Routledge
244 Pages

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Book Description

This title was first published in 2003: The problem of legitimacy and legality is one of the key issues of modern thought and nowhere more intensely debated than in the countries of the former Soviet bloc. Under the communist system, symbols of modern government had been supplemented and changed in order to serve the totalitarian domination of the Party and all spheres of life, including law, were subsumed within this framework of ideological legitimation. Following the anti-communist revolutions of 1989, former communist societies started the historically unprecedented process of transformation from the totalitarian into liberal democratic society, a transformation which has produced much soul-searching and heated debate. In this book, the author sets out to prove that concern with legitimacy belongs neither exclusively to the legal system nor to a political system separated and distanced from the legal system. The topic of legitimacy and legitimation is inseparable from legality and every legitimation eventually looks for its transformation into legal legitimacy.

Table of Contents

Introduction; Legitimacy without a sovereign people; Legal legitimacy and legalist fictions; Post communist legitimations and constitutional justice; The legal system and its environment: the conditions of the process of legitimation; The centre and periphery of legality: the strategy of dissent; Legitimation fictions and power of the contractual model.

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Jiri Priban is associate professor of legal philosophy and sociology at the Faculty of Law, Charles University, Prague, and lectures at the Cardiff Law School, University of Wales. He is author of the book 'Dissidents of Law'(2001) and co- edited 'The Rule of Law in Central Europe' (1999, with James Young). He also published numerous articles in the field of sociology of law, legal philosophy, constitutionalism, human rights and post-totalitarian societies. David Nelken is Distinguished Research Professor of Law in the Department of Law at the University of Wales at Cardiff. He previously taught legal and social theory at the University of Edinburgh and at University College, London.


’...a fascinating, engrossing study of the problem of political legitimation in democratic political systems...this is an important and welcome book, provocative...and intriguing...Priban will be a cherished intellectual guide and companion.’ East European Constitutional Review