Prashan Ranasinghe publishes a new article in Oñati Socio-Legal Series

Prashan Ranasinghe (Associate Professor) just published an article in the Oñati Socio-Legal Series entitled "The (Non)Violence of Private Ordering". This paper explores and explicates the constitution and ontology of private ordering – organized or unorganized means of securing order which do not (explicitly) rely upon the law and other formal means of dispute resolution sanctioned by law. Private ordering is best understood through its dialecticism of (non)violence: that is, private ordering is concurrently violence and non-violence. This is explicated through three texts: first, reading Frantz Fanon’s classic The Wretched of the Earth against the exhortations and warnings of Hannah Arendt’s “Reflections on Violence”; secondly, Walter Benjamin’s classic essay, “Critique of Violence”. After situating the (non)violence of private ordering, the author argues that symbolic violence – an important component of its constitution – is insufficient for the practice of private ordering: if its normative aspirations are to be realized, a place for physical violence must also be made available to private ordering. The law, it is further claimed, must be open to this, lest the law be reduced to tyranny.

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