Theory of Societal Constitutionalism: Foundations of a Non-Marxist Critical Theory

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Sciulli argues that the existing conceptual frameworks of political and social theory restrict both theorists and empirical researchers to a narrow definition of authoritarianism. This 1992 book focuses on government structure and fails to take account of forms of social control exercised outside the governmental sphere. Rather than define authoritarianism primarily by contrast to liberal democracy, Sciulli argues, we need to broaden our conception of authoritarianism to include 'social authoritarianism', referring to social control imposed by private organizations and institutions. Sciulli develops an alternative conceptual framework, which he calls the theory of societal constitutionalism. He explains how the theory can be used to assess whether social order in a society, whether democratic or authoritarian in political rule, is characterized by some degree of social authoritarianism. The book will be important reading for theorists in sociology, political science and legal studies.

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Cambridge University Press
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