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Benno Zabel: The Anarchy of Rights: On the Dialectic of Freedom and Authority
The Anarchy of Rights: On the Dialectic of Freedom and Authority
(p. 245 – 262)

Benno Zabel

The Anarchy of Rights: On the Dialectic of Freedom and Authority

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  • justice
  • legal practice
  • law
  • criticism
  • society

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Benno Zabel

is Professor of Criminal Law and Philosophy at the University of Bonn, following studies in law, philosophy and comparative literature. He has published on legal criticism, legal and political philosophy, and the cultures of punishment. His most recent publications are Die Ordnung des Strafrechts (Tübingen: Verfahren, 2017), Philosophie der Republik, co-edited with Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018), and Sittlichkeit. Eine Kategorie moderner Staatlichkeit, co-edited with Michael Spieker and Sebastian Schwenzfeuer (Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft 2019).
Liza Mattutat (ed.), Roberto Nigro (ed.), ...: What’s Legit?

Once considered a stepchild of social theory, legal criticism has received a great deal of attention in recent years, perpetuating what has always been an ambivalent relationship. On the one hand, law is praised for being a cultural achievement, on the other, it is criticised for being an instrument of state oppression. Legal criticism’s strategies to deal with this ambivalence differ greatly: while some theoreticians seek to transcend the institution of law altogether, others advocate a transformation of the form of law or try to employ counter-hegemonic strategies to change the content of law, deconstruct its basis or invent rights. By presenting a variety of heterogeneous approaches to legal criticism, this volume points out transitions and exhibits irreconcilable differences of these approaches. Without denying the diversity of different forms of critique, they are related to one another with the aim of broadening the debates which all too often are conducted only within the boundaries of the separate theoretical currents.