Embeddedness through Networks: A Critical appraisal of the Network Concept in the Oeuvre of Karl-Heinz Ladeur
Title: Embeddedness through Networks: A Critical appraisal of the Network Concept in the Oeuvre of Karl-Heinz Ladeur
Author: KJAER, Poul
Citation: German Law Journal, 2009, 10, 4, 483-500
The concept of 'network' has become the most central concept within the work of Karl-Heinz Ladeur (KHL). It is an omnibus concept which he uses to extrapolate insights at all levels: It is used to provide a general framework at the level of Gesellschaftstheorie (social theory) in the sense that it provides insights into the general structure of society and thereby into the context within which legal processes unfold. At the level of organizational theory it provides a basis for understanding the transformation of organizational structures as it unfolds through the breakdown of hierarchy and the boundaries between the private and the public, just as the network concept plays an important role in its attempt to formulate a legal theory which is adequate for a society which, according to KHL, has become postmodern. This article seeks to critically examine the function and 'added value' of KHL’s network concept in relation to the European integration and constitutionalization process. It is argued that the concept provides a very useful overall framework, but that its usefulness might be enhanced when combined with more concrete studies of the actual function of networks in the EU context, just as the network concept should be more directly combined with an attempt to develop a conceptual framework for the juridification of networks.
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