This book looks critically at some of the underlying assumptions which shape our current understanding of the role and purpose of law and society. It focuses on adjudication as a social practice and as a set of governmental techniques. From this vantage point, it explores how the relationshipbetween law, government and society has changed in the course of history in significant ways. At the centre of the argument is the elaboration of the notion of `adjudicative government'. From this perspective it is argued that the relationship between law and society must be conceived in a differentway in the era of economics, sociology and statistics. The impact of these disciplines both constitutes `modernity' and unfolds a different role for law. The author argues that the traditional vision of the role of law, rooted in a complex set of hierarchical assumptions, is no longeradequate.