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For a socio-legal theory of risk
Author/s:  Alberto Febbrajo 
Year:  2009 Issue: Language: English 
Pages:  14 Pg. 69-82 FullText PDF:  302 KB
DOI:  10.3280/SD2009-002005
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For a socio-legal theory of risk - This article aims to offer an overview of some contributions to a socio-legal theory of risk. Starting from the presupposition that risk is a concept that plays a central role in sociological as well as in legal theory, it underlines the thesis that, from the point of view of the general system theory, the application of three different strategies of risk-management can be recognised in the legal system: a substantial strategy, which comprises shielding a core of legal contents from the risk of sudden and drastic changes; a social strategy, whereby risks are externalised by creating virtual figures (legal persons) which relieve "natural" persons from those risks that are particularly severe and hard to sustain in the sphere of economic activity; and a temporal strategy, in which risks are diluted by implementing procedures, i.e. sequences of operations, featuring relevance criteria of their own and by a time-frame that, to a certain extent, can be pre-determined. Moreover, in every advanced legal system, there is a need for tools for reducing or avoiding the risks produced by the current legal strategies for risk absorption. One of the main learning processes concerning the risks produced by law is democracy, which is also in turn exposed to risks. Because the present situation features profound changes in the structure of world society as a whole, which dramatically transform the types of risks confronting the legal system, the concept of law oriented to an imperativistic approach is no longer adequate. Instead, it needs to be based on a communicative approach, according to which the treatment of risks trespasses on the borders of the individual state and takes on a cultural and communicative, rather than a practical, dimension, characterised by symbolic legitimisation, virtual effectiveness and increased openness

Alberto Febbrajo, in "SOCIOLOGIA DEL DIRITTO " 2/2009, pp. 69-82, DOI:10.3280/SD2009-002005


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