Between Law and Social Movement Organizations: The Cycle of General Norms in World Society.
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis addresses the problem of the dissonance between the formulation of highly generalized norms in world society and the failure of those norms to find accommodation in law. To construct this problem and its possible solutions, the thesis adopts Niklas Luhmann’s systems theory and functional method of analysis. Employing a distinction between private and public law, the thesis begins by examining the accommodation of such general norms in a model of global law beyond the state which is commonly held to accommodate an increasing range of norms at the global level. However, the limits of this legal system in relation to general norms are located in its exclusive specialization in the niches of world society and in its marginalization of state entities which remain crucial to the stabilization of those norms. The thesis therefore examines public international law as a legal system that is also increasingly orientated to realizing normative expectations of global public goods. Through analysis, the thesis identifies the limits of this legal system in relation to normative expectations of the prohibition of nuclear weapons. This antinuclear norm is nonetheless shown to be clearly formulated and recognized in world society, and the thesis traces the solution to this problem to transnational social movement organizations which stabilize the norm through formal decision-making and through communication of the norm to organizations of the political and legal systems. This forms the basis of a theory of the functional specification of social movement organizations as a solution to the problem of general norms. Finally it is argued that lawyers must develop a more definite appreciation of these developments, so that any structural relationship with social movement organizations reflects the functional importance they have gained in world society.
- Theses