Article Title

Freedom and Affordances of the Net

Publication Title

Washington University Jurisprudence Review


This Article is about the relationship between technology and society in fundamental rights theory. So far, the discussion about law and technology has generally been one-directional within the most relevant branches of the social sciences; scholars of the law have been treating technology as a black box when conducting their analyses or developing their theories. In turn, science and technology studies have considered law and regulation as a closed book, which is unsatisfactory as well. Reductionist and compartmentalized theorizing is particularly problematic when it comes to conceiving a fundamental rights theory that is able to cope with challenges of the Internet. Guided by Niklas Luhmann’s autopoietic systems theory, this Article offers novel perspectives that aim at theoretically explaining how affordances can be conceptualized within constitutional rights theory, with the focus on the freedom of the Internet.