The Making of Law: An Ethnography of the Conseil d'Etat
December 2009, Polity
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What makes this study an important contribution to the social studies of law is that, because of an unprecedented access to the collective discussions of judges, Latour has been able to reconstruct in details the weaving of legal reasoning : it is clearly not the social that explains the law, but the legal ties that alter what it is to be associated together. It is thus a major contribution to Latour’s social theory since it is now possible to compare the ways legal ties build up associations with the other types of connections that he has studied in other fields of acticity. His project of an alternative interpretation of the very notion of society has never been made clearer than in this work. To reuse the title of his first book, this book is in effect the Laboratory Life of Law.