"Legal Performance and the Imagination of Sovereignty," 3 Performance and the Law, 2006.
Performance and the law is not a small topic. Indeed, it is not a topic within the law at all. Rather, performance is a characterization of the whole of law. There is not more or less of it in certain areas of the law. There is nothing but performance, extending from judges, to parties, to ordinary citizens. Yet, while comprehensive, the idea of legal performance is not so broad as to be analytically unhelpful. It would be if there were only one way to understand the political order. But, in fact, law works on a highly contested symbolic field. The performativity of law is best understood as securing and stabilizing a position on this field.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Kahn, Paul W., "Legal Performance and the Imagination of Sovereignty" (2006). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 321.