On the Anthropological Function of the Law

256pp 2007 LIST PRICE: £19.99 S340



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This work argues that the law is how justice is implemented in secular society, but it is not simply a technique to be manipulated at will: it is also an expression of the core beliefs of the West. We must recognise its universalising, dogmatic nature and become receptive to other interpretations from non-Western cultures. Supiot deconstructs the illusion of a world that has become ‘flat’ and undifferentiated, regulated only by supposed ‘laws’ of science and the economy, and peopled by contract-makers driven only by the calculation of their individual interests.

France’s most incisive jurist . . . has renewed the idea that all significant belief-systems require a dogmatic foundation by focusing its beam sharply, to the discomfort of their devotees, on the two most cherished creeds of our time: the cults of the free markets and of human rights. LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS