The Politics of Juridification: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Politics of Juridification

1st Edition

By Mariano Croce


94 pages

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The Politics of Juridification offers a timely contribution to debates about how politics is being affected by the increasing relevance of judicial bodies to the daily administration of Western political communities. While most critical analyses portray juridification as a depoliticizing, de-democratizing transferral of political authority to the courts (whether national or international), this book centres on the workable ambivalence of such a far-reaching phenomenon. While juridification certainly intensifies the power and competences of judicial bodies to the disadvantage of representative political institutions, it cannot be easily reduced to the demise of democratic politics. By focusing on the multiple ways in which social agents make use of the law, The Politics of Juridification teases out the agential and transformative aspects of the various negotiations social agents engage with legal institutions with a view to obtaining political visibility. In particular, the book homes in on two seemingly distinct phenomena: on one hand, the regulation of sexuality and emerging kinship formations; on the other, the fragmentation of legal settings due to the claims to legal autonomy advanced by sub-state cultural and religious groups. By doing so, the book makes the case for an unexpected convergence between the struggles for legal recognition of sexual minorities and religious and cultural minorities. The conclusion is that juridification does entail normalization and favour the infiltration of law into the social realm. But because of its ambivalent nature, it can and does serve as an alternative vehicle for social change – one that attaches more importance to how social agents produce law on a daily basis and how this law permeates official legal orders.

Table of Contents


1. The legal circuit and the process of conversion

2. Traditional politics and the politics of juridification

3. Juridification: within and without institutions

Chapter 1

Juridification within institutions: the law of sex and kinship

1.1. The legal boundaries of admissible sexuality

1.2. Remoulding kinship: subversion or assimilation?

1.3. Filtering social practices

Chapter 2

Juridification without institutions: fragmenting the law

2.1. The post-secular turn

2.2. Fragmented jurisdictions and legal pluralities


1. As law-users make law

2. Two modes of political juridification

3. The political potential of legal creativity

About the Author

Mariano Croce is Assistant Professor of Political Philosophy at Sapienza Università di Roma, Italy. His research includes theory of the state, legal and political institutionalism, legal pluralism and LGBTQIA studies. Among his books are The Legal Theory of Carl Schmitt (Routledge, 2013, with A. Salvatore) and Undoing Ties: Political Philosophy at the Waning of the State (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015, with A. Salvatore).

About the Series

Law and Politics

Continental Perspectives

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:

  • The relationship between the legal and the political spheres from a theoretical, historical and/or empirical point of view.
  • The transformation of sovereignty.
  • The transformation of the state and the rise of non-state political and organizational structures that break the ties with modern statehood.
  • Exceptionalism and emergency at the domestic and/or the global level.
  • The downfall of conventional juridico-political binaries: public/private, state/civil society, domestic/international, religious/secular and others.
  • Current transformations of formal constitutions and the separation of powers.
  • Issues related to the increasing spread of legal pluralism and global legal pluralism.
  • Strategies and politics of legal elites and the new role of judicial bodies both nationally and internationally.
  • Analyses of key Continental authors who have brought to light the materiality of the law, such as Giorgio Agamben, Hannah Arendt, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Marcel Gauchet, Antonio Gramsci, Jurgen Habermas, Reinhart Koselleck, Antonio Negri, Carl Schmitt and others.
  • Analyses of key Continental "classics" whose voice is unheard or underrepresented in the Anglophone academic and publishing environment, such as Walter Benjamin, Leon Duguit, Georges Gurvitch, Maurice Hauriou, Hermann Heller, Georg Jellinek, Ernst Junger, Costantino Mortati, Georges Renard, Santi Romano, Rudolf Smend, Simone Weil and others.

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.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Government / State, Provincial & Municipal
LAW / Judicial Power
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory