Legisprudence Library

Symbolic Legislation Theory and Developments in Biolaw

Editors: van Klink, Bart, van Beers, Britta, Poort, Lonneke (Eds.)

  • Provides new multidisciplinary insights into complicated, morally sensitive issues in the field of biolaw
  • Contributes to the public debate on the dilemmas and controversies raised by new biomedical developments
  • Provides practical guidelines to practitioners engaged in the drafting of bioregulation
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eBook £95.50
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-33365-6
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Hardcover £119.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-33363-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover £119.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-81495-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This edited volume covers new ground by bringing together perspectives from symbolic legislation theory on the one hand, and from biolaw and bioethics on the other hand.

Symbolic legislation has a bad name. It usually refers to instances of legislation which are ineffective and that serve other political and social goals than the goals officially stated. Recently, a more positive notion of symbolic legislation has emerged in legislative theory. From this perspective, symbolic legislation is regarded as a positive alternative to the more traditional, top-down legislative approach. The legislature no longer merely issues commands backed up with severe sanctions, as in instrumental legislation. Instead, lawmakers provide open and aspirational norms that are meant to change behavior not by means of threat, but indirectly, through debate and social interaction.

Since the 1990s, biomedical developments have revived discussions on symbolic legislation. One of the reasons is that biomedical legislation touches on deep-rooted, symbolic-cultural representations of the biological aspects of human life. Moreover, as it is often impossible to reach consensus on these controversial questions, legislators have sought alternative ways to develop legal frameworks. Consequently, communicative and interactive approaches to legislation are prominent within the governance of medical biotechnology.

The symbolic dimensions of biolaw are often overlooked. Yet, it is clear that the symbolic is at the heart of many legal-political debates on bioethical questions. Since the rise of biomedical technologies, human body materials have acquired a scientific, medical and even commercial value. These new approaches, which radically question existing legal symbolizations of the human body, raise the question whether and how the law should continue to reflect symbolic values and meanings. Moreover, how can we decide what these symbolic values are, given the fact that we live in a pluralistic society?

About the authors

Bart van Klink is Professor of Legal Methodology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He has published several articles and books on symbolic legislation theory, among which his dissertation De wet als symbool (Law as a Symbol, 1998) and, together with Nicolle Zeegers and Willem Witteveen, the edited volume Social and Symbolic Effects of Legislation under the Rule of Law (2005). He is co-founder of the research group Biolaw and Symbolic Interaction (BioSI).

Britta van Beers is Associate Professor at the Department of Legal Theory at VU University, Amsterdam. Her research involves the legal-philosophical aspects of the regulation of medical biotechnology. Recent publications include the edited volume Humanity across International Law and Biolaw (with Luigi Corrias and Wouter Werner, Cambridge University Press 2014); and 'Is Europe ‘Giving in to Baby Markets’? Reproductive Tourism in Europe and the Gradual Erosion of Existing Legal Limits to Reproductive Markets’ (Medical Law Review, 2015).

Lonneke Poort is assistant professor at Erasmus School of Law in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. She is also member of the subcommittee on social and ethical aspects of genetic modification of the Netherlands Commission on Genetic Modification (COGEM). She published several articles and a book on the interactive approach to law among which her dissertation Consensus & Controversies in Animal Biotechnology. An Interactive Legislative Approach to Animal Biotechnology in Denmark, Switzerland, and the Netherlands (Den Haag: Eleven International Publishing 2013).

Table of contents (17 chapters)

  • Introduction: Symbolic Dimensions of Biolaw

    Poort, Lonneke (et al.)

    Pages 1-15

  • Symbolic Legislation: An Essentially Political Concept

    Klink, Bart

    Pages 19-35

  • The Emerging Interactionist Paradigm and the Ideals of Democracy and Rule of Law

    Burg, Wibren

    Pages 37-53

  • How Law Matters: Sociological Reflections on the Symbolic Dimension of Legislation

    Schwitters, Rob

    Pages 55-69

  • The Tension Between the Functions of Law: Ending Conflict Versus Dynamics

    Poort, Lonneke

    Pages 71-86

Buy this book

eBook £95.50
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-33365-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £119.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-33363-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover £119.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-81495-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Symbolic Legislation Theory and Developments in Biolaw
Editors
  • Bart van Klink
  • Britta van Beers
  • Lonneke Poort
Series Title
Legisprudence Library
Series Volume
4
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing Switzerland
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-33365-6
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-33365-6
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-33363-2
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-81495-7
Series ISSN
2213-2813
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 301
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics