Foundations of Public Law

Paperback | September 28, 2012

byMartin Loughlin

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Foundations of Public Law offers an account of the formation of the discipline of public law with a view to identifying its essential character, explaining its particular modes of operation, and specifying its unique task. Building on the framework first outlined in The Idea of Public Law(OUP, 2003), the book conceives public law broadly as a type of law that comes into existence as a consequence of the secularization, rationalization, and positivization of the medieval idea of fundamental law. Formed as a result of the changes that give birth to the modern state, public lawestablishes the authority and legitimacy of modern governmental ordering.Public law today is a universal phenomenon, but its origins are European. Part I of the book examines the conditions of its formation, showing how much the concept borrowed from the refined debates of medieval jurists. Part II then examines the nature of public law. Drawing on a line of juristicinquiry that developed from the late sixteenth to the early nineteenth centuries - extending from Bodin, Althusius, Lipsius, Grotius, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, and Pufendorf to the later works of Montesquieu, Rousseau, Kant, Fichte, Smith, and Hegel - it presents an account of public law as a specialtype of political reason.The remaining three Parts unpack the core elements of this concept: state, constitution, and government. By taking this broad approach to the subject, Loughlin shows how, rather than being viewed as a limitation on power, law is better conceived as a means by which public power is generated. And byexplaining the way that these core elements of state, constitution, and government were shaped respectively by the technological, bourgeois, and disciplinary revolutions of the sixteenth century through to the nineteenth century, he reveals a concept of public law of considerable ambiguity,complexity, and resilience.

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Foundations of Public Law offers an account of the formation of the discipline of public law with a view to identifying its essential character, explaining its particular modes of operation, and specifying its unique task. Building on the framework first outlined in The Idea of Public Law(OUP, 2003), the book conceives public law broad...

Martin Loughlin is Professor of Public Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His publications include Public Law and Political Theory (OUP, 1992), Legality and Locality: The Role of Law in Central-Local Government Relations (OUP, 1996), Sword and Scales: An Examination of the Relationship between Law and Politic...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:528 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.07 inPublished:September 28, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199669465

ISBN - 13:9780199669462

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Rediscovering Public LawPart I: Origins1. Medieval Origins2. The Birth of Public LawPart II: Formation3. The Architecture of Public Law4. The Science of Political Right: I5. The Science of Political Right: II6. Political JurisprudencePart III: State7. The Concept of the State8. The Constitution of the State9. State FormationPart IV: Constitution10. The Constitutional Contract11. Rechtsstaat, Rule of Law, L'Etat de droit12. Constitutional RightsPart V: Government13. The Prerogatives of Government14. Potentia15. The New Architecture of Public Law

Editorial Reviews

"...a very important and ambitious book...I am of the view that this is a book that can be recommended without reservation, and I think that it rewards intense interrogation and re-consideration. The argument about the function of public law in producing political power is quite outstanding" --Chris Thornhill, Public Law