By Roger Cotterrell
Law's Community offers a distinctive analysis of law, identifying political and moral problems that are fundamental to contemporary legal theory. It portrays contemporary law as institutionalized doctrine, emphasizing ways in which legal modes of thought influence wider currents of understanding and belief in contemporary Western societies. Exploring relationships between law and sociology as contrasting and competing fields of knowledge, Law's Community develops ideas from social theory to identify key problems for legal development; in particular, those of restoring moral authority to law and of elaborating a concept of community that can guide legal regulation. The analysis leads to radical conclusions: among them, that law's functions need reconsideration at the most general level, that a unitary state legal system as portrayed in traditional kinds of legal theory may no longer be adequate in complex contemporary societies, and that law should be reconceptualized as a diverse but co-ordinated plurality of systems, sites, and forms of regulation.