Theory of Societal Constitutionalism
Foundations of a Non-Marxist Critical Theory
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- Author: David Sciulli, Texas A & M University
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The author argues that the existing conceptual frameworks of political and social theory restrict both theorists and empirical researchers to a narrow definition of authoritarianism that focuses on governmental structure and fails to take account of forms of social control exercised outside the governmental sphere. Rather than define authoritarianism primarily by contrast to liberal democracy, Sciulli argues, we need to broaden our conception of authoritarianism to include "social authoritarianism," referring to social control imposed by private organizations and institutions, such as business corporations and professional associations. In this book, Sciulli develops an alternative conceptual framework, which he calls the theory of societal constitutionalism, and he explains how the theory can be used to assess whether social order in a society, whether democratic or authoritarian in political rule, is characterized by some degree of social authoritarianism. The book will be important reading for theorists in sociology, political science and legal studies.
Reviews & endorsements
"...this is mandatory reading for anyone with interest in serious critical theory and not myopic about the Nazi version of modernity, with its criminalization of law and legalization of crime." Contemporary SociologySee more reviews
"...David Sciulli has laid the first bricks for an alternative theoretical foundation to fit these turbulent modern times, no mean feat." David Knoke, Administrative Science Quarterly
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- Date Published: February 2011
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9780511879500
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: societal constitutionalism as critical theory
Part I. Conceptual Foundations of Societal Constitutionalism:
2. Social integration and social control: the importance of procedural normative restraints
3. Liberalism and the Weberian dilemma: from restraints on government to restraints on civil society
4. Conceptual foundations of societal constitutionalism: from internal restraints on government to external restraints on drift
Part II. Origins of the Analytical Distinctions and Conceptual Foundations: Retracing Steps Taken By Habermas, Fuller, and Parsons:
5. Societal constitutionalism's grounding against relativism: from Weber's legal positivism to Habermas' communication theory
6. Societal constitutionalism's threshold in practice: from Fuller's legal theory to societal constitutionalism
7. Societal constitutionalism's organizational manifestation, I: voluntaristic action as a distinct concept
8. Societal constitutionalism's organizational manifestation, II: from voluntaristic action to collegial formations
Part III. Implications of the Analytical Distinctions and Conceptual Foundations:
9. Procedural institutionalization beyond the Western democracies: three bases of voluntaristic restraint
10. External restraints: prospects for reason and 'tradition'
11. Collegial formations as external procedural restraints: prospects for a public realm
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