Legal Infrastructures of Democracy

Legal Fields, Public Spheres, and the Twin Challenges of State and Market

This workshop, organized within the framework of the Max Planck Law Fellow Group headed by Professor Antoine Vauchez, will explore the conditions and constellations through which law, legal institutions, and lawyers in today’s Europe (and beyond) effectively provide a critical infrastructure for maintaining and defending an inclusive and equally open public sphere in-between market and state pressures. It does so by transplanting the notion of ‘infrastructural power’ initially coined by Michael Mann to seize States’ concrete capacity to deploy and implement policies (Mann 2008). By ‘legal infrastructures’, we mean to look at both the units of governance of legal fields (bar associations, judicial councils, law schools, legal NGOs, etc.) and the related set of legal categories and theories that have been used to ground their autonomy from / proximity to States and markets (independence, separation of powers, rule of law, human rights, constitutionalism, etc).

The workshop aims to generate theoretical and comparative insights on this crucial question, and to provide a thicker description of the changing capacity of ‘legal infrastructures’ to contribute to the defence of the democratic potential of the ‘public sphere’ over time and from comparative perspectives.

For more background information to this workshop, please download the call for papers.

This workshop is open to all but is limited in space. Please register your interest in attending using the form below. This is an in-person event only.

For any further questions, please contact the organizers: / /

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