In the last decade, the changing role of time in society has once again taken centre stage in the academic debate. A prominent, but surely not the only, aspect of this debate hinges on the so-called acceleration of time and its societal consequences. Despite the fact that time is fundamental to the way in which law and politics function, the influence of the contemporary experience of time on law and politics remains underdeveloped. How, for example, does society’s structural acceleration impact on justice? Does law actually offer stability and predictability in an ever-changing global world? How can legal and political institutions function in the wake of ever-increasing uncertainty? Both law and politics employ time to order society but they are also limited in what can be effectuated by time. It is this very tension between temporal possibilities and limitations that the contributors to this collection – drawn from different fields of law, as well as from other disciplines – examine.
Part I: Justice
Judging the Past: Three Ways of Understanding Time
Law at the Right Time: A Plea for Slow Law in Hasty Times
Bart van Klink
Law, Time, and Inhumanity: Reflections on the Impresciptible
Part II: Legal Certainty
Airports Built on Shifting Grounds? Social Acceleration and the Temporal Dimension of Law
Suspended in Gaffa: Legal Slowness in the Acceleration Society
Uncertain Futures and the Problem of Constraining Emergency Powers: Temporal Dimensions of Carl Schmitt’s Theory of the State of Exception
Marc de Wilde
Constitutional Preambles and the Uncertain Future
Nomi Claire Lazar
Part III: Expediency
Collective Memory, Constitutional Polity and Functional Differentiation of Modern Society
Informing Life: Temporal Politics of Information in the Administration of Pandemics
Immediacy, Potentia and Constraining Emergency Powers
A core legacy of the Continental juridico-political tradition is the methodological commitment to the idea that law and politics are inextricably tied to one another. On the one hand, law has to be studied in the light of the concrete political dynamics, social forces, and societal movements that make law what it is. On the other hand, the analysis of political processes should be coupled with the study of the legal techniques through which politics exerts its effects on social reality.
The series aspires to promote works that use the nexus 'law & politics' as a prism that allows understanding societal dynamics beyond the deep-seated borders separating purely legal from purely political methodologies. It welcomes theoretically informed and empirically grounded analyses that foster the development of theory in the study of juridico-political processes.
The qualifier 'Continental' signifies not so much a geographical or socio-historical feature as a methodological one. The approach that the series aims to promote, regardless of the nationality of prospective authors, materializes at the intersection between the vocabularies and methodologies of legal and political theories. In other words, the starting point of this approach is that the interplay between legal and political processes provides a precious lens to observe and comprehend contemporary societal phenomena.
More specifically, submissions exploring the following themes are welcomed:
This interdisciplinary series welcomes monographs and edited volumes that engage with the conceptual and empirical questions detailed above and discussions of how the contamination of jurisprudential and theoretical-political approaches helps illuminate current national and global processes.