Law and Revolution [B, C]

Term: Fall 2009

Subject Code: GSOC

Course Number: 6133

Modern society has evolved through a series of great revolutions; the revolutions that laid the basis for the evolution of the modern society were all legal and constitutional (Berman). Although they were total revolutions they maintained continuity with the pattern that distinguishes modern from premodern societies. We explore two controversial theses: that modernity began with the “first European revolution” (Robert I. Moore) in the 11th and 12th centuries, and continued with the protestant and democratic revolutions of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries; and that the last great revolution was the global legal revolution of the 20th century (Brunkhorst). We examine the dynamics and logic of the evolution of modern society (in particular the development of the state, law, and subjective rights). We also focus on the dialectic of law and revolution in the 20th century and today: is this dialectic ongoing, or has it come to an end? Readings include Berman, Moore, Gorski, Brunkhorst, Luhmann, Arendt, Marshall, Habermas, Kelsen, Parsons, Koskenniemi, and Chimni.


Taught by Hauke Brunkhorst

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