Behaviour Guides and Law. Research Perspectives on the (In)Formal and its Currently Shifting Foundations

Karin Harrasser, Elisabeth Timm


The juridification of social life in the modern bourgeois world was long understood as a triumph of rationality over particular interests, as the "civilisation" of physical violence. For some time now, this grand narrative of the modern world has been criticized as a specific historical case, as Eurocentric and bourgeois. Additionally, the concept and practice of modern, national sovereign statehood is being challenged in many ways. Individuals are also experiencing an unbounding of their "sovereignty". The article sums up different disciplines’ research into the fields of behaviour guides and law. In doing so, it sketches out research perspectives intended to transcend the either-or dichotomy of the previous debates (ethics / particular / informal / personal / emotional-cultural vs. law / universal / formal / institutional) and envisions new analytical assessments of these two poles.


guides; law; deconstruction; informality; formality