The real and the formal: Legal realism revisited

The article aims to pursue a reassessment of one fundamental binary opposition legal realism invokes - the real and the formal. While some of the realist objections to the formal, mechanistic concept of adjudication have been insightful, the realist writers have been for the most part unaware of some of the formalistic and ultimately self-refuting presuppositions of their own rhetoric. This article argues that realism betrays its very rationale and mimics the mainstream formalism, as it effectively supplants the formalistic considerations of law as a system of rules with its own markedly formalistic preoccupations of law as the right method or theory. The article ventures to indicate some of the realist associations with the earlier European realism, with that of Francoise Geny in particular, which have consistently been neglected in the traditional assessments of the legal realist critical legacy. In so doing, the article relies not only on deconstructive strategies, but it also greatly presumes both the Wittgensteinean argument on 'privacy' and Stanley Fish's critique of formalism in literary and legal studies.


Poststructuralism, absence, mimesis: Making difference, reproducing sovereignty
Polat, Necati (SAGE Publications, 1998-12-01)
This article aims to pursue an assessment of the arguments, promises and potentialities of poststructuralism as a genuine departure from the Idealist-Realist binary which rules IR theory In so doing, the article seeks to encounter the case for poststructuralism through the linguistic and philosophical precepts poststructuralism builds on. The 'moral' and 'mimetic' themes involving the poststructuralist debate in recent IR theory are subsequently registered as two sites of encounter. Through a discussion of ...
The rise of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Post Soviet Uzbekistan
Yakın, Zeynep Dilara; Akçalı, Pınar; Department of Eurasian Studies (2005)
The thesis analyzes the conditions that gave rise to Hizb ut-Tahrir, a secretive international radical islamic movement, in post Soviet Uzbekistan. For this purpose, political, economic and socio-cultural conditions and the general characteristics of Hizb ut-Tahrir is examined by the help of historical background and content analysis. It is argued that the emergence of Hizb ut-Tahrir in post Soviet Uzbekistan as a result of interaction of political, economic and socio-cultural conditions in this country.
The implementation of the Copenhagen Criteria in the context of 'Respect for and Protection of Minority Rights' : the Slovak case
Ertunç, Seda; Yurdusev, Ahmet Nuri; Department of European Studies (2007)
The aim of this thesis is to observe the implementation of the Copenhagen criteria in the context of ‘respect for and protection of minority rights’ during the accession process of Slovakia. EU’s membership conditionality enforces candidate countries to improve the situation of minority groups within their borders. The main motivation of the EU in this process is to eliminate the reasons which cause ethnic conflicts in the continent and to prevent the escalation of minority-related problems into the EU terr...
Understanding populist politics in Turkey: a hegemonic depth approach
Yalvaç, Faruk (Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2019-12-01)
The aim of this article is to understand populism as a hegemonic project involving a struggle for power between different social forces. We take a critical realist approach in defining populism. This implies several things. We develop a new approach to understanding populist politics by taking neither a purely discursive (Laclau), nor a solely structural (Poulantzas), but a critical realist approach and analysing the three-way relationship between structural conditions, agency, and institutional framework. ...
Independent regulatory agencies : The world experience and the Turkish case
Sönmez, Ümit; Üstüner, Mustafa Yılmaz; Department of Political Science and Public Administration (2004)
The thesis explores the nature and characteristics of the independent regulatory agencies, which become a crucial component of the current administrative structures,as well as the possible sources and dynamics behind their emergence. The study begins with investigating in what way the methodological premises of the theories of public choice, new public management, and governance affected the formation, functioning and justification of these agencies and makes an inquiry into the connection between them and ...
Citation Formats
N. Polat, “The real and the formal: Legal realism revisited,” SOCIAL & LEGAL STUDIES, pp. 47–74, 1999, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: