Law and participation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


The issue of participation is of interest to scholars in law because of its
relation to new forms of governance and regulation (Black 2000, 2001;
de Burca and Scott 2006). Empirical studies of participation in biotechnology licensing show however that such procedures “itself may cause
serious trouble when it is embedded in a formal procedure with a relatively
strong legal framework.” (Bora & Hausendorf 2006: 478) Taking this as an example, the main problem discussed in this paper is that the legal system might be dysfunctional to various political participatory ambitions. Participation implies inclusion, but we see examples of exclusion that originate from the internal operations of the legal system. Considering the many instances of participatory instruments embedded in legal frameworks in many sectors of society, for instance environmental matters, it is important to ask what kind of problems the law might cause and the reasons behind these problems. With environmental law and regulation of genetically modifi ed organisms (GMOs) as an example, this essay analyses the paradoxical tendencies of the legal system to exclude citizens even when regulations have the purpose of including citizens. The scientifi c residence of this essay is sociology of law.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Law and Society
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDemocratic Transgressions of Law: Governing Technology through Public Participation
EditorsAlfons Bora, Heiko Hausendorf
PublisherBrill Academic Publishers
ISBN (Print)978 90 04 18043 7
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

A shorter version of this book chapter is published in Comparative sociology, 8(4), pp 580-602.