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Matthias Baier

Matthias Baier

Senior lecturer

Matthias Baier

Law and participation


  • Matthias Baier


  • Alfons Bora
  • Heiko Hausendorf

Summary, in English

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.


  • Department of Sociology of Law

Publishing year







Democratic Transgressions of Law: Governing Technology through Public Participation

Document type

Book chapter




  • Law and Society




  • ISBN: 978 90 04 18043 7