Teubner Modern Law

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Substantive and Reflexive Elements in Modern Law Author(s): Gunther Teubner Source: Law & Society Review, Vol. 17, No. 2 (1983), pp. 239-285 Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of the Law and Society Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3053348 Accessed: 23/08/2009 21:36 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use pr
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  Substantive and Reflexive Elements in Modern LawAuthor(s): Gunther TeubnerSource: Law & Society Review, Vol. 17, No. 2 (1983), pp. 239-285Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of the Law and Society AssociationStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3053348 Accessed: 23/08/2009 21:36 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available athttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unlessyou have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and youmay use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use.Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained athttp://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=black .Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printedpage of such transmission.JSTOR is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1995 to build trusted digital archives for scholarship. We work with thescholarly community to preserve their work and the materials they rely upon, and to build a common research platform thatpromotes the discovery and use of these resources. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.  Blackwell Publishing and  Law and Society Association are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve andextend access to  Law & Society Review. http://www.jstor.org  SUBSTANTIVEAND REFLEXIVEELEMENTSIN MODERN LAW GUNTHER TEUBNER* Themostcomprehensiveefforts todevelopa newevolutionaryapproachto law are foundinthework of Nonet and Selznickin theUnited Statesand Habermasand LuhmanninGermany.While thesetheoristsareconcerned witha commonproblem-thecrisisofformalrationalityoflaw-theydifferdrasticallyintheir accountsoftheproblemandtheirvisionofthe future. Thispapertries toresolvethesedifferencesbyfirstdecomposingandthenrestructuringthe diverseneo-evolutionarymodels.Usinga morecomprehensivemodel of socio-legalcovariation,theauthor identifiesanemergingkind oflegalstructurewhich he calls reflexive law. Reflexivelawischaracterizedbya new kind oflegalself-restraint.Insteadoftakingoverregulatoryresponsibilityforthe outcome ofsocialprocesses,reflexivelawrestricts itself to theinstallation,correction,and redefinition ofdemocraticself-regulatorymechanisms.The author identifies areas ofprivatelawinwhich reflexivesolutions arearguablyemerging,and hespellsout theconsequenceswhich a concern forreflexivityhas for arenewedsociologicaljurisprudence. I.NEO-EVOLUTIONARYTHEORIES ABOUTLAWWe liveinatimeofincreasingdisenchantmentwith thegoals,structures,andperformanceof theregulatorystate.Thepoliticaldebate over deregulation (e.g.,Breyer,1982;Mitnick,1980; Wilson,1980)isjustonemanifestation ofa much broaderreappraisalof thesystemsoflaw andpublicorganization. *This articlehaschangedfrom aone-manbusiness intoalmostatransatlanticenterprise.Itstarted at the Center for theStudyofLaw andSocietyatBerkeley,whereIgaveaseminaroncomparativelegaltheory.Inthischallengingatmosphere,especiallydue tothepresenceofPhilippeNonetandPhilipSelznick,Iwrote thefirstdraft,which thenunderwentcriticalexaminationby manycolleagues,amongthem RichardBuxbaum,JohannesFeest,WolfgangFikentscher,Wolf vonHeydebrand,JamesNickel,and RainerWalz.Ihave to thank theDeutscheForschungsgemeinschaftforfinancialsupport.On the other sideoftheAtlantic thepapermetconsiderable criticism.Mycolleaguesat Bremenespeciallyand also elsewherehelpedme withcriticalsuggestions.I want to mentionGertBruggemeier,PeterDerleder,DieterHart,ChristianJoerges,Karl-HeinzLadeur,EikeSchmidt,KlausSieveking,HelmutWillke,and Gerd Winter. ThenthepaperwasexposedtothepleasantsurroundingsofFlorence.Iamgratefulto theparticipantsof theseminar on Newconceptsofjurisprudence, particularlyWernerMaihofer andJosephWeiler,and Ialso received valuablesuggestionsfrom MarcGalanterandNiklasLuhmann.Presentingthepaperto an Americanaudience created theurgentneed to de-teutonize it. David Trubekand RichardLempertmadeextremelyvaluablesuggestions regardingthe finalversion.Infact,theircooperationwassointensive and theircontributions wentsofarbeyondusualeditingactivitiesthat one can nolongerspeakofan individual articlebutofa collectiveLAW & SOCIETYREVIEW,Volume17,Number 2(1983)  240 SUBSTANTIVE & REFLEXIVEELEMENTSIN MODERNLAW Recentdebatesinlegalsociologymirrorthemoregeneralconcernwiththe effectsofwelfare-regulatoryintervention.Thus,scholars haveexploredthe causes and effectsof the legalization ofvariousspheresof social life(Voigt,1980)aswell asthe sources andimplicationsof movementsfordelegalization(Galanter, 1980)and informaljustice(Abel,1980;1982).Attentionhasalsobeen drawn tosystemsthatmightreplaceformaladjudicationwithvarioustypesof mediationandconciliation(Blankenburgetal.,1980).At thismoment,societyseemstobereassessingitscommitmenttopurposivelaw andto thebureaucratic andlegalstructuresthat are associated with it.Theclassical modelsoflaw andthe state which we inheritedfromthe nineteenthcenturystressed what MaxWebercalled formalrationality (Rheinstein,1954:61,39).Aformalrationallegalsystemcreatesandappliesabodyof universalrules,andformal rational lawreliesonabodyoflegal professionalswhoemploypeculiarlylegalreasoningto resolvespecificconflicts.With thecomingofthewelfare andregulatorystate,greaterstresshasbeenplacedonsubstantivelyrationallaw, i.e.,onlawusedasan instrumentforpurposive,goal-orientedintervention(Rheinstein,1954:63,303).Sincesubstantivelyrationallawisdesignedtoachievespecificgoalsinconcretesituations,ittendstobemoregeneralandopen-ended, yetatthesametime moreparticularistic,thanclassicalformallaw.Europeanscholarshavecalledthistrendawayfromformalitythe rematerialization of the law.Theyseeitbothas an inherentpartof theprogramof thewelfare-regulatorystate andas adevelopmentthat leads tothe dissolutionofformalrationality.Some see thenew materialization ofthelaw asa threattoimportantsocial values(Voigt,1980).Thetrendmayalso threatenindividuality byweakeningtheprotectionswhich formal law(atleastintheory)providesagainstarbitrarystateactionwhile,at the sametime,removingbarriersto bureaucraticinterventioninwhat have heretoforebeenlargelylocalizedorprivatedomainsof humaninteraction(family,neighborhood,school).LegalsociologyinEuropeandthe United Stateshasprovidedsome usefulphenomenologicalaccountsof theconflictingandcontradictorytendenciesin thecurrent enterprise.To besure,this doesnotmean collectiveresponsibility;hereweshould stick to moreold-fashioned notions ofindividualliability.  TEUBNER 241 situation.But whilewe havebecomeawarethat therearemovementstowards andawayfromlegalization,and shiftsfrom formal tosubstantive modesoflegalthoughtandpractice,we do notknowwhythis isoccurring,nordo weknowenoughtopredictthelikelyoutcome of thecurrenttrends.Critics,whotell usthatlegalizationcannot dealwith thecomplexityandparticularityof modernconflicts,arguefor alternatives tolaw(seeBlankenburgetal.,1980).Butthiscriticism ismetbythose whonotethatdelegalizationandinformalismcan,undercurrentsocialconditions,reinforceratherthan erodeasymmetricpowerrelations(Abel,1980).Observers of the rematerializationof law notetheperniciouseffects ofthisprocessbutare unableto answercriticslikeKennedy(1976)who stress theimpossibilityofrealizingtheprogramofformallaw.Manysee thecurrentsituation asa crisis. Butwhat isbringingitabout? Arethedebate overlegalizationanddelegalizationand theperceivedtensionbetweenform andsubstanceevidence ofcyclicaloscillationsbetweenarbitrary,yetantagonistic,principlesoflegalandsocialorganization?Oris thecurrentcrisis thereflection ofmorebasic,underlyingforces whoseoperationcan begraspedandwhosedirectioncanbeanticipated?Becausemostcurrentanalysesofthesituationlack eitheramacro-social or adevelopmentalgrounding,theycannotprovideanswersto thesequestions.Thepurposeofthisarticle istooutlineanapproachtochangeinlaw andsocietythatwillallow us to seethecurrentsituation as a crisis oflegalandsocialevolution,andthus tosituate thephenomenologicalaccountsoflegalization/delegal-ization andform/substanceina morecomprehensivesocialtheory.Thetheoryshall beintheevolutionarytradition,for neo-evolutionary conceptsprovideawayofseeingthecurrentsituationincontext. Theevolutionarytradition isanoldone inthesociologyoflaw. Itflourishedintheearly yearsof thedisciplineandthen itfellintodisrepute (Friedman,1975).Nowthereisrenewedinterest inevolutionaryapproachestoexplainingchangesinlawandsociety,bothinthe UnitedStatesandinEurope(BrUggemeier,1980;Buss,1982; Eder,1978;Eder etal.,1978;Habermas,1976c;Luhmann,1970a;NonetandSelznick,1978;Schluchter,1981;Tugendhat,1980; Turner,1974;Unger,1976;WiethOlter,1982;Willke,1981;Zielke,1980).
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