Critical Commentary/summary on TWO of the topics

Topic: critical commentary/summary paper

critical commentary/summary on TWO of the topics

• What does Luhmann mean by approaching law as an ‘autopoietic system’?
• Explain the way in which Luhmann sees the legal system as both ‘operationally
closed’ and ‘cognitively open’. Can you think of counter- examples, such as when
the legal system is not operationally closed at all?
• In his systems-theoretical approach to society as a whole, do you think that
Luhmann accords a special place to law, and how would you explain what is
distinctive about it?
• How does ‘structural coupling’ work, what is the relationship between law and
politics, law and the economy, law and civil society?
• Do you think Luhmann’s approach is too abstract? What place does it give to
human action?

• What is Bourdieu referring to when he speaks of ‘fields’?
• How would you explain what the ‘field of law’ is, and how does it relate to other
social fields?
• What does the concept of ‘legal habitus’ refer to?
• “… the law has its own complex, specific, and often antagonistic relation to the
exercise of power” (Terdiman, p. 808). Can you think of any examples?
• Take one recent major legal development and explain how it would be
understood differently if approached in terms of Bourdieu’s strategic analysis.