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Critical Realism by Alan Norrie, Tony Lawson, Andrew Collier, Roy Bhaskar, Margaret Archer

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28

BETWEEN STRUCTURE AND DIFFERENCE1

Law’s relationality

Alan Norrie

In recent times, the critical impact of the sociology of law has been diminished as a consequence of the rise in popularity of poststructuralist analyses of law. Such analyses sometimes claim a more fundamental radicalism that they see as lacking in the treatment of law as a sociological phenomenon (Derrida 1990). They see themselves as insisting on a continuous deconstruction that would go beyond law’s social and historical underpinnings to a deeper, never fixed, moment of proto-being and negativity in the confrontation with an unknown and unknowable ‘other’. While helpfully challenging the false certainties that attend traditional ways of understanding law, ultimately this ...

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