After Law
After Law
Translated by Barnaby Norman

Law is the most sacred fetish of our time. From radicals to conservatives, there is no militant, activist or thinker who would consider doing without it. But the history of our fascination with law is long and complex, and reaches deeper into our culture than we might think.

In<i> <i>After Law</i></i>, Laurent de Sutter takes us on a journey to uncover the sources of our fascination. He shows that at a certain moment in our history a choice was made to treat law as a decisive feature of civilization, but this choice was neither obvious nor necessary. Other political, social, religious or cultural possibilities could have been chosen instead – from ancient Egypt to Mesopotamia, from medieval Japan to China, from Islam to Judaism, other cultures have devised sophisticated tools to help people live together without having to deal with norms, rules and principles. This is a lesson worth reflecting on, especially at a time when the rule of law and the functioning of justice are increasingly showing their sinister side – and their impotence. Is there life beyond law?

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  • January 2021
  • 240 pages
  • 140 x 219 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $64.95
  • 9781509542369
  • Paperback $22.95
  • 9781509542376
  • Open eBook $18.00
  • 9781509542383
About the Author
Laurent de Sutter is Professor of Legal Theory at Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
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‘There is little in need of more urgent scrutiny than the sclerotic legal systems of Western law. Tersely, rudely, brilliantly, After Law dares to imagine what has not yet been conceived, a post-juridical era of collapsing, chaotic, sensuous, transhuman, ethical community.’
Peter Goodrich, Professor of Law, Cardozo School of Law, New York

‘Laurent de Sutter’s amazingly erudite tour of the major legal traditions explores the concepts, institutions and strategies of the world’s nomophilia– the age-old love of law. After Law is necessary reading for every lawyer, academic and researcher looking for links, comparisons and contrasts in the legal foundations of the world and the indispensable companion for every course in jurisprudence, legal history and comparative law.’
Costas Douzinas, Professor of Law, Birkbeck, University of London

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