The law in the theory of society of Niklas Luhmann
                         Gimenez Alcover, Pilar; Dr

                         UNIVERSITAT DE BARCELONA (SPAIN), 1992

                         LAW (0398); SOCIOLOGY, THEORY AND METHODS (0344)

                         This work, as its title points out, deals with the work of Niklas Luhmann, a German contemporary
                         sociologist, and especially it talks about his works in the subject of Sociology of Law. In the first part the
                         work exposes the Theory of Society worked out by Luhmann with the help of three subtheories: a
                         Systems Theory, an Evolutionary Theory and a Communication Theory. Really, these are not exactly
                         three autonomous theories but three different approaches or ways of analysing the society, conceived
                         by Luhmann as a system. The internal difference of the society is a product of the evolution and, in the
                         modern society, the subsystems functionally different in their bosom organize their closure following the
                         model of the global system. The structure of this chapter tries to give an account of the theoretical
                         division above mentioned and, at the same time, it tries to integrate the modifications experienced by the
                         author in the eighties and, above all, the introduction of the 'autopoitic' paradigm in Systems Theory and
                         the adoption of the 'communication' as the basic element of the social systems. The second chapter
                         deals specifically with the analysis of law and is structured in a parallel way to the first one. In this chapter is
                         first analysed the concept of 'expectation' and the function assigned to the legal subsystem. Secondly,
                         this chapter exposes the Luhmannian concept of 'positive law' that characterises the validity of law in the
                         modern society. The last part talks about law as a closed social subsystem which uses its own 'code' to
                         organize its closure and which opens itself out to a social surrounding and to other subsystems by means
                         of its own programmes, and legal norms. This is predominantly a work of exposition in which the biggest
                         contribution would be the realignment of Luhmann's complex thought, emphasising the difficulties that
                         would come up when realizing an external critic, and providing some keys to read his work.


Social Systems Simulation Group
P.O. Box 6904
San Diego, CA  92166-0904
Roland Werner, Principal
Phone/FAX  (619) 660-1603

Copyright © 1996-2004 Social Systems Simulation Group.
All rights reserved.