GUEST EDITORS: Anne Wagner (Centre de Recherche Droits et Perspectives du droit (ULR 4487), équipe René Demogue - Lille University France)  & Sarah Marusek (Department of Political Science University of Hawai’i Hilo, USA)

Our Special Issue delves into the intricate and dynamic nature of legal systems, contrasting concepts of linear progression with those of the perpetual pendulum in law. This exploration integrates the rhizomatic theory of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, proposed in 1987, which suggests a non-linear, network-like framework for understanding legal changes. It challenges conventional views of law as a hierarchy, instead presenting it as a complex web of interconnections where various factors, including political, cultural, economic, and social energies, interact in unpredictable ways. This approach acknowledges the multifaceted nature of legal evolution, encompassing both steady, predictable developments and cyclical, reactionary shifts.

This exploration extends to consider the non-hierarchical, network-like nature of legal evolution. This theory challenges traditional, tree-like conceptions of knowledge and organization by proposing a model where any point can connect to any other, without having a central or primary node. Applying this to legal evolution offers a more complex and interconnected view of how law changes and adapts, recognizing the multiplicity of influences and pathways of development.

Topics for Submission:

  1. Rhizomatic Perspectives in Legal Evolution: Exploration of Deleuze and Guattari’s rhizome theory in the context of legal systems, examining how law evolves in a non-linear, network-like fashion, creating multiple entry and exit points for legal changes and influences.

  2. Law-MakinginaNetworkedSociety:Analyzinghowtheconceptoftherhizome influences the development of law-making tools and their societal impacts, emphasizing the interconnected and often unpredictable nature of legal evolution.

  3. Interplay of Linear and Rhizomatic Legal Interpretations: Investigating the balance between linear progression and rhizomatic complexity in legal interpretation, focusing on how these approaches impact the adaptability and responsiveness of legal systems to societal changes.

  4. Polarization and Connectivity in Legal Concepts: Analyzing the dual nature of law as both polarized (perpetual pendulum) and interconnected (rhizomatic), exploring how these contrasting dynamics influence legal theory and practice.

  5. LegalSystemsAmidstGlobalCrises:Discussingtherhizomaticresponsesoflegal systems to global crises, such as pandemics or climate change, and how these events disrupt linear progressions, necessitating a more networked, adaptable approach to legal reform.

These themes aim to enrich our understanding of legal evolution by highlighting the interplay between linear and cyclical dynamics, and introducing the complexity and interconnectedness of the rhizomatic approach. This perspective acknowledges the multi-dimensional nature of legal change, influenced by a myriad of societal, cultural, and technological factors.

Submission Guidelines:

Contributors are invited to delve into the multifaceted dynamics of legal evolution as framed in “Rhizomatic Law: Understanding the Linearity and Pendulum of Legal Evolution”. Submissions should focus on the intricate interplay of factors influencing the oscillation between linear progression and the cyclical shifts of the perpetual pendulum in legal systems. We welcome theoretical and empirical contributions that shed light on these dynamics. Interdisciplinary approaches, integrating insights from legal studies, philosophy, sociology, and other relevant fields, are especially encouraged. This call for papers aims to create a

comprehensive platform for discussing and understanding the complex, network-like nature of legal change and adaptation, guided by the rhizomatic perspective.

Submission of Abstracts (of 300 words) should be addressed to Anne Wagner ( and Sahra Marusek ( until 30 June 2024. After selection, final papers should be submitted directly to the platform (https://impactum- by 31 January 2025, always indicating the Journal’s volume to which they correspond.

Rules for submission: