Sergio Dellavalle’s (University of Turin / MPIL) recent publication Paradigms of Social Order: From Holism to Pluralism and Beyond (Palgrave Macmillan 2021) is the outcome of his many years of research on this topic and provides a systematic outline of the diverse theories on order, from ancient Greece to Hegelian Marxism, as an elementary principle of society. His structuring of these theories into different paradigms enables Dellavalle to illustrate ‘paradigmatic revolutions’ with profound impacts on our thoughts on societal order.
On 14 December 2021, 60 participants from different areas of research met online via Zoom to discuss Sergio Dellavalle’s arguments and his assessment of the strains he deems most promising in confronting modern issues on a global scale.
After a warm welcome and introduction of the event’s panelists by Alexandra Kemmerer (MPIL), Dellavalle presented to the audience the purpose of his research and the principal conclusions of his book.
Following up on the book presentation, distinguished expert panelists Jochen von Bernstorff (University of Tübingen), Matthias Goldmann (Goethe-University Frankfurt / MPIL) and Dana Schmalz (Friedrich Schiller University Jena / MPIL) commented on Dellavalle’s work with a great deal of praise as well as some critical questions and reflections.
Jochen von Bernstorff describes the book as “a groundbreaking achievement” and “highly accessible with numerous new insights into scholarly reflections” on a broad spectrum of legal and societal phenomena over the course of the centuries. Matthias Goldmann sees the primary value of the book in “providing an impressive orientation in a host of theories that can be extremely confusing” by breaking down a complex theoretical landscape into four boxes. Dana Schmalz considers “large theories as this one fantastic, as they enable oneself to situate matters within these paradigms and, thus, help structure conversations”.
In the ensuing Q&A, registered participants had the chance to share their own thoughts on the book and pose questions directly to the author.
All in all, the book launch event was a great opportunity to exchange ideas on Sergio Dellavalle’s book, which, to say it in the words of Matthias Goldmann, “will make an important asset for theorists, students of political theory or international law as well as practitioners”.
Report: Laura Kraft