With contributions from experts in the field of sociology of law, this book provides an overview of current perspectives on socio-legal studies. It focuses particularly on the relationship between law and society described in recent social systems theory as ’structural coupling’. The first part of the book presents a reconstruction of theoretical tendencies in the field of socio-legal studies, characterised by the emergence of a transnational model of legal systems no longer connected to territorial borders and culturally specific aspects of single legal orders. In the following parts of the book, the contributions analyse some concrete cases of interrelation between law and society from an empirical and theoretical perspective.
’This is a timely publication, a wonderful collection of chapters by authors who want to confront systems theory with the challenges of postmodernity. Can systems theory really live up to the fragmented, hybrid, plural, networked worlds within the emerging world society? Does it have the adequate conceptual differentiation? The authors show: it does!’ Karl-Heinz Ladeur, University of Hamburg, Germany ’This diverse and stimulating collection brings together some of the most authoritative and internationally distinguished sociologists of law to critically discuss and reflect on the rapidly expanding theoretical field of law as an autopoietic system, its structural coupling with other social systems and varieties of intersystemic communication in global society.’ JirÃ PribÃ¡n, Cardiff University, UK 'With the expansion of law and its increasing significance in the processes of globalization, the sociology of law and the more exact forms of communication between law and its social context are becoming increasingly vital parts of both sociology and of the legal sciences. This book contains state-of-the-art contributions to current research of both disciplines and is highly recommendable. Inger-Johanne Sand, University of Oslo, Norway This book is a must read for today’s law sociologists. It offers an in-depth analysis of the legal system from a specific theoretical background and develops and critiques the concept of structural coupling and its application to the relationships between legal and other social systems. It is a major accomplishment.’ DarÃo Rodriguez Mansilla, Diego Portales University, Chile