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“Dasrecht & Gott sind immer beim=Stärksten, & der – Stärkste hat immer=Recht”: Representations of Law and Justice in the work of Reinhard Jirgl

Horn, J; (2016) “Dasrecht & Gott sind immer beim=Stärksten, & der – Stärkste hat immer=Recht”: Representations of Law and Justice in the work of Reinhard Jirgl. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The dissertation analyses the themes of Law, justice and injustice in the work Reinhard Jirgl. Jirgl, who was born in 1953 in the GDR, has published many works of prose and essays since 1990. With the exception of one novel all novels examined in this thesis are set within the context of events in recent German history. Jirgl’s representations of injustice and violence are thus closely related to or associated with, concrete historical events. The evaluation of the textual material is methodologically grounded in relevant philosophical ideas of justice, some from antiquity and others which originate from more contemporary thinkers, such as Agamben or Derrida. At the height of the Greek civilization, two main traditions of justice develop in parallel: the first, which Alasdair Macintyre calls ‘justice of effectiveness’, is marked by the belief that ‘the strong would do without justice altogether if they could’, whilst the second, which he calls ‘justice of excellence’ values justice as a key virtue which serves the common good of the polis. The two traditions can be traced in theory and praxis up to the present. The textual analysis shows that most of Jirgl’s examples of social practices are adequately described by the philosophical tradition which Macintyre calls ‘justice of effectiveness’. The dissertation considers how far Jirgl’s work presents an understanding of justice based on the inevitability of ‘might is right’ and, consequently, whether social practice is marked by an unbridgeable gap between human aspirations and an unchanging modus operandi. It explores whether Jirgl’s texts offer glimpses of hope that transcend the prevailing cultural and historical pessimism that runs through them.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: “Dasrecht & Gott sind immer beim=Stärksten, & der – Stärkste hat immer=Recht”: Representations of Law and Justice in the work of Reinhard Jirgl
Event: University College London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1534152
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