Beyond Luhmann: The Constitutionalisation of Connectivity

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Abstract

In an overall manner, this paper advances the argument that systems theory can benefit from two epistemological moves. First: A move away from a focus on differentiation to a focus on connectivity, i.e. a move from an intra-systemic to an inter-systemic perspective. Second: A related move towards a multi-level theory of society emphasizing vertical relations between local, national and transnational processes complementing the systems theory focus on horizontal relations between function systems. This double move, furthermore provide the basis for an understanding of global law as inter-legality. Concretely, global law settings are characterised by a structural pre-eminence of connectivity norms, a type of norm which differs from coherency or possibility norms. The centrality of connectivity norms emerges from the function of global law, which is to increase the probability of transfers of condensed social components, such as economic capital and products, religious doctrines and scientific knowledge, from one legally structured context to another within world society. This was the case from colonialism and colonial law to contemporary global supply chains and human rights. Both colonial law and human rights can be understood as serving a constitutionalising function aimed at stabilising and facilitating connectivity. This allows for an understanding of colonialism and contemporary global governance as functional, but not as normative, equivalents.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventLuhmann 20 Years After - Constructing Law in World Society : A 2-day workshop on how Niklas Luhmann’s systems theory has influenced new developments of law in world society - Oñati, Spain
Duration: 26 Jul 201827 Jul 2018

Workshop

WorkshopLuhmann 20 Years After - Constructing Law in World Society
CountrySpain
CityOñati
Period26/07/201827/07/2018

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Cite this

Kjær, P. F. (2018). Beyond Luhmann: The Constitutionalisation of Connectivity. Paper presented at Luhmann 20 Years After - Constructing Law in World Society , Oñati, Spain.