First published in 1917 (Part 1) and 1918 (Part 2), with a second edition in 1946, this is the first English translation of Santi Romano’s classic work, L’ordinamento giuridico (The Legal Order). The main focus of The Legal Order is the notion of institution, which Romano considers to be both the core and distinguishing feature of law. After criticising accounts of the nature of law centred on notions of rule, coercion or authority, he offers a compelling conception, not merely of law as an institution, but of the institution as ‘the first, original and essential manifestation of law’. Romano advances a definition of a legal institution as any group who share rules within a bounded context: for example, a family, a firm, a factory, a prison, an association, a church, an illegal organisation, a state, the community of states, and so on. Therefore, this understanding of legal institutionalism at the same time provides a ground-breaking theory of legal pluralism whereby ‘there are as many legal orders as institutions’. The acme of a jurisprudential current long overlooked in the Anglophone environment (Romano’s work is highly regarded in France, Germany, Spain and South America, as well as in Italy), The Legal Order not only proposes what Carl Schmitt described as a ‘very significant theory’. More importantly, it offers precious insights for a thorough rethinking of the relationship between law and society in today’s world.
"The Legal Order forces the reader in its indirect, enigmatic way—and especially when put into its wider political context—to ponder questions about the nature, significance, and challenges of legal pluralism that go far beyond those encountered in many contemporary social scientific debates around this concept."
Roger Cotterrell, FBA is the Anniversary Professor of Legal Theory at Queen Mary University of London
Foreword: Martin Loughlin
1. The concept of legal order
2. The plurality of legal orders and their relationships
Afterword: Mariano Croce
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.