Rethinking Politicisation

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  • 22 July 2019

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  1. 1.

    The English translation reads: “In all fields of endeavor things are turned into law (Verrechtlichung) … Everything is formalized juridically and thereby neutralized. And now begins the true epoch of the Rechtsstaat. … The state lives off the law; yet it is no longer law (Recht), it is only a legal mechanism, so that those who think they are guiding the affairs of the state actually wield only a legal machinery which claims their attention in the same way a machinist is tied down by the apparatus he serves. In this age of the equilibrium of class forces, the state is essentially characterized by the curious fact that things have been transformed from the realm of factual reality into that of legal mechanics. This is the new phase of the Rechtsstaat now that is has shed the traditions of authentic liberalism. What remains is nothing but a legal mechanism if, to be on the safe side, we expect those areas which cannot be turned into law (Verrechtlichung), such as religion and military service” (Kirchheimer, 1969, p. 7–8). Note that this translation uses the German term “Verrechtlichung” and does not translate it into “juridification”.

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Palonen, K., Wiesner, C., Selk, V. et al. Rethinking Politicisation. Contemp Polit Theory 18, 248–281 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41296-019-00326-y

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