"Liberty was the most cherished right possessed by English-speaking people in the eighteenth century. It was both an ideal for the guidance of governors and a standard with which to measure the constitutionality of government; both a cause of the American Revolution and a purpose for drafting the United States Constitution; both an inheritance from Great Britain and a reason republican common lawyers continued to study the law of England."
As John Philip Reid goes on to make clear, "liberty" did not mean to the eighteenth-century mind what it means today. In the twentieth century, we take for granted certain rights—such as freedom of speech and freedom of the press—with which the state is forbidden to interfere. To the revolutionary generation, liberty was preserved by curbing its excesses. The concept of liberty taught not what the individual was free to do but what the rule of law permitted. Ultimately, liberty was law—the rule of law and the legalism of custom. The British constitution was the charter of liberty because it provided for the rule of law.
Drawing on an impressive command of the original materials, Reid traces the eighteenth-century notion of liberty to its source in the English common law. He goes on to show how previously problematic arguments involving the related concepts of licentiousness, slavery, arbitrary power, and property can also be fit into the common-law tradition. Throughout, he focuses on what liberty meant to the people who commented on and attempted to influence public affairs on both sides of the Atlantic. He shows the depth of pride in liberty—English liberty—that pervaded the age, and he also shows the extent—unmatched in any other era or among any other people—to which liberty both guided and motivated political and constitutional action.
From the $700 billion bailout of the banking industry to president Barack Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package to the highly controversial passage of federal health-care reform, conservatives and concerned citizens alike have grown increasingly fearful of big government. Enter Nobel Prize–winning economist and political theorist F. A. Hayek, whose passionate warning against empowering states with greater economic control, The Road to Serfdom, became an overnight sensation last summer when it was endorsed by Glenn Beck. The book has since sold over 150,000 copies.
The latest entry in the University of Chicago Press’s series of newly edited editions of Hayek’s works, The Constitution of Liberty is, like Serfdom, just as relevant to our present moment. The book is considered Hayek’s classic statement on the ideals of freedom and liberty, ideals that he believes have guided—and must continue to guide—the growth of Western civilization. Here Hayek defends the principles of a free society, casting a skeptical eye on the growth of the welfare state and examining the challenges to freedom posed by an ever expanding government—as well as its corrosive effect on the creation, preservation, and utilization of knowledge. In opposition to those who call for the state to play a greater role in society, Hayek puts forward a nuanced argument for prudence. Guided by this quality, he elegantly demonstrates that a free market system in a democratic polity—under the rule of law and with strong constitutional protections of individual rights—represents the best chance for the continuing existence of liberty.
Striking a balance between skepticism and hope, Hayek’s profound insights are timelier and more welcome than ever before. This definitive edition of The Constitution of Liberty will give a new generation the opportunity to learn from his enduring wisdom.
Americans are ruled by an unwritten constitution consisting of executive orders, signing statements, and other quasi-laws designed to reform society, Bruce Frohnen and George Carey argue. Consequently, the Constitution no longer means what it says to the people it is supposed to govern and the government no longer acts according to the rule of law.
Belief in the rule of law characterizes our society, our political order, and even our identity as citizens. The Cultural Study of Law is the first full examination of what it means to conduct a modern intellectual inquiry into the culture of law. Paul Kahn outlines the tools necessary for such an inquiry by analyzing the concepts of time, space, citizen, judge, sovereignty, and theory within the culture of law's rule. Charting the way for the development of a new intellectual discipline, Paul Kahn advocates an approach that stands outside law's normative framework and looks at law as a way of life rather than as a set of rules.
"Professor Kahn's perspective is neat and alluring: We need a form of legal scholarship released from the project of reform so that we can better understand who and what we are. The new discipline should study 'not legal rules, but the imagination as it constructs a world of legal meaning.' . . . [C]oncise, good reading, and recommended." —New York Law Journal
The noted legal scholar Richard Epstein advocates a much smaller federal government, arguing that our over-regulated state gives too much discretion to regulators, which results in arbitrary, unfair decisions and other abuses. Epstein bases his classical liberalism on the twin pillars of the rule of law and of private contracts and property rights.
Reports of scandal and corruption have led to the downfall of numerous political leaders in Latin America in recent years. What conditions have developed that allow for the exposure of wrongdoing and the accountability of leaders? Enforcing the Rule of Law examines how elected officials in Latin American democracies have come under scrutiny from new forms of political control, and how these social accountability mechanisms have been successful in counteracting corruption and the limitations of established institutions.
This volume reveals how legal claims, media interventions, civic organizations, citizen committees, electoral observation panels, and other watchdog groups have become effective tools for monitoring political authorities. Their actions have been instrumental in exposing government crime, bringing new issues to the public agenda, and influencing or even reversing policy decisions.
Enforcing the Rule of Law presents compelling accounts of the emergence of civic action movements and their increasing political influence in Latin America, and sheds new light on the state of democracy in the region.
As recent events in Iraq demonstrate, countries that have suffered through civil war or rule by military regime can face a long, difficult transition to peaceful democracy.
Drawing on the experiences of peacekeepers in Bosnia, Haiti, Rwanda, and Afghanistan, From War to Rule of Law demonstrates that newly emerging democracies may need much more than emergency economic support. Restoring the rule of law, Joris Voorhoeve shows, can involve the training of a new police force, for example, or the creation of an international war crimes tribunal. Any disregard for human rights or delay in civilian reconciliation can lead to serious resurgences in violence.
Voorhoeve concludes by offering specific recommendations for members of the United Nations and the European Union, as well as individual donors. Given the nature of today’s armed conflicts, From War to Rule of Law provides new hope for all those concerned about the lasting success of international peacekeeping missions.
Adam Sitze meticulously traces the origins of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission back to two well-established instruments of colonial and imperial governance: the jurisprudence of indemnity and the commission of inquiry. This genealogy provides a fresh, though counterintuitive, understanding of the TRC’s legal, political, and cultural importance. The TRC’s genius, Sitze contends, is not the substitution of “forgiving” restorative justice for “strict” legal justice but rather the innovative adaptation of colonial law, sovereignty, and government. However, this approach also contains a potential liability: if the TRC’s origins are forgotten, the very enterprise intended to overturn the jurisprudence of colonial rule may perpetuate it. In sum, Sitze proposes a provocative new means by which South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission should be understood and evaluated.
Ever-more-frequent calls for the establishment of a rule of law in the developing world have been oddly paralleled by the increasing use of "exceptional" measures to deal with political crises. To untangle this apparent contradiction, The Jurisprudence of Emergency analyzes the historical uses of a range of emergency powers, such as the suspension of habeas corpus and the use of military tribunals. Nasser Hussain focuses on the relationship between "emergency" and the law to develop a subtle new theory of those moments in which the normative rule of law is suspended.
The Jurisprudence of Emergency examines British colonial rule in India from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century in order to trace tensions between the ideology of liberty and government by law, which was used to justify the British presence, and the colonizing power's concurrent insistence on a regime of conquest. Hussain argues that the interaction of these competing ideologies exemplifies a conflict central to all Western legal systems—between the universal, rational operation of law on the one hand and the absolute sovereignty of the state on the other. The author uses an impressive array of historical evidence to demonstrate how questions of law and emergency shaped colonial rule, which in turn affected the development of Western legality.
The pathbreaking insights developed in The Jurisprudence of Emergency reevaluate the place of colonialism in modern law by depicting the colonies as influential agents in the interpretation and delineation of Western ideas and practices. Hussain's interdisciplinary approach and subtly shaded revelations will be of interest to historians as well as scholars of legal and political theory.
This volume represents the first section of F. A. Hayek's comprehensive three-part study of the relations between law and liberty. Rules and Order constructs the framework necessary for a critical analysis of prevailing theories of justice and of the conditions which a constitution securing personal liberty would have to satisfy.
Incisive, straightforward, and eloquent, this third and concluding volume of F. A. Hayek's comprehensive assessment of the basic political principles which order and sustain free societies contains the clearest and most uncompromising exposition of the political philosophy of one of the world's foremost economists.
Richard Posner argues for a conception of the liberal state based on pragmatic theories of government. He views the actions of elected officials as guided by interests rather than by reason and the decisions of judges by discretion rather than by rules. He emphasizes the institutional and material, rather than moral and deliberative, factors in democratic decision making. Posner argues that democracy is best viewed as a competition for power by means of regular elections. Citizens should not be expected to play a significant role in making complex public policy regarding, say, taxes or missile defense.
Adrian Vermeule Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress KF5425.V47 2016 | Dewey Decimal 342.7306
Adrian Vermeule argues that the arc of law has bent steadily toward deference to the administrative state, which has greater democratic legitimacy and technical competence to confront issues such as climate change, terrorism, and biotechnology. The state did not shove lawyers and judges out of the way; they moved freely to the margins of power.
Teemu Ruskola Harvard University Press, 2013 Library of Congress K237.R87 2013 | Dewey Decimal 340.11
After the Cold War, how did China become a global symbol of disregard for human rights, while the U.S positioned itself as the chief exporter of the rule of law? Teemu Ruskola investigates globally circulating narratives about what law is and who has it, and shows how “legal Orientalism” developed into a distinctly American ideology of empire.
Legality and Legitimacy
Carl Schmitt Duke University Press, 2004 Library of Congress KK4713.S3613 2004 | Dewey Decimal 340.11
Carl Schmitt ranks among the most original and controversial political thinkers of the twentieth century. His incisive criticisms of Enlightenment political thought and liberal political practice remain as shocking and significant today as when they first appeared in Weimar Germany. Unavailable in English until now, Legality and Legitimacy was composed in 1932, in the midst of the crisis that would lead to the collapse of the Weimar Republic and only a matter of months before Schmitt’s collaboration with the Nazis. In this important work, Schmitt questions the political viability of liberal constitutionalism, parliamentary government, and the rule of law. Liberal governments, he argues, cannot respond effectively to challenges by radical groups like the Nazis or Communists. Only a presidential regime subject to few, if any, practical limitations can ensure domestic security in a highly pluralistic society.
Legality and Legitimacy is sure to provide a compelling reference point in contemporary debates over the challenges facing constitutional democracies today. In addition to Jeffrey Seitzer’s translation of the 1932 text itself, this volume contains his translation of Schmitt’s 1958 commentary on the work, extensive explanatory notes, and an appendix including selected articles of the Weimar constitution. John P. McCormick’s introduction places Legality and Legitimacy in its historical context, clarifies some of the intricacies of the argument, and ultimately contests Schmitt’s claims regarding the inherent weakness of parliamentarism, constitutionalism, and the rule of law.
From his early years as a small-town lawyer through his rise to the presidency, Abraham Lincoln respected the rule of law. Secession and the Civil War, however, led him to expand presidential power in ways that, over time, transformed American society. In this incisive essay collection, recognized scholars from a variety of academic disciplines—including history, political science, legal studies, and journalism—explore Lincoln’s actions as president and identify within his decision-making process his commitment to law and the principles of the Constitution. In so doing, they demonstrate how wartime pressures and problems required that Lincoln confront the constitutional limitations imposed on the chief executive, and they expose the difficulty and ambiguity associated with the protection of civil rights during the Civil War.
The volume’s contributors not only address specific situations and issues that assisted in Lincoln’s development of a new understanding of law and its application but also show Lincoln’s remarkable presidential leadership. Among the topics covered are civil liberties during wartime; presidential pardons; the law and Lincoln’s decision-making process; Lincoln’s political ideology and its influence on his approach to citizenship; Lincoln’s defense of the Constitution, the Union, and popular government; constitutional restraints on Lincoln as he dealt with slavery and emancipation; the Lieber codes, which set forth how the military should deal with civilians and with prisoners of war; the loyalty (or treason) of government employees, including Lincoln’s domestic staff; and how Lincoln’s image has been used in presidential rhetoric. Although varied in their strategies and methodologies, these essays expand the understanding of Lincoln’s vision for a united nation grounded in the Constitution.
Lincoln, the Law, and Presidential Leadership shows how the sixteenth president’s handling of complicated legal issues during the Civil War, which often put him at odds with the Supreme Court and Congress, brought the nation through the war intact and led to a transformation of the executive branch and American society.
In addition to his groundbreaking contributions to pure economic theory, F. A. Hayek also closely examined the ways in which the knowledge of many individual market participants could culminate in an overall order of economic activity. His attempts to come to terms with the “knowledge problem” thread through his career and comprise the writings collected in the fifteenth volume of the University of Chicago Press’s Collected Works of F. A. Hayek series.
The Market and Other Orders brings together more than twenty works spanning almost forty years that consider this question. Consisting of speeches, essays, and lectures, including Hayek’s 1974 Nobel lecture, “The Pretense of Knowledge,” the works in this volume draw on a broad range of perspectives, including the philosophy of science, the physiology of the brain, legal theory, and political philosophy. Taking readers from Hayek’s early development of the idea of spontaneous order in economics through his integration of this insight into political theory and other disciplines, the book culminates with Hayek’s integration of his work on these topics into an overarching social theory that accounts for spontaneous order in the variety of complex systems that Hayek studied throughout his career.
Edited by renowned Hayek scholar Bruce Caldwell, who also contributes a masterly introduction that provides biographical and historical context, The Market and Other Orders forms the definitive compilation of Hayek’s work on spontaneous order.
Throughout the history of the United States, the acts of a few have proved to be turning points in the way our legal system has treated the least of us. The nine individuals whose deeds are recounted have compelling stories, and though they remain unknown to the general public, their commitment to the rule of law has had a lasting impact on our nation.Noble Purposes brings their stories to life. It describes the contributions of such individuals as James Alexander, the guiding and central force in the colonial-era trial of John Peter Zenger, which sowed the seeds for the American Revolution and the constitutional guarantee of a free press.In the 1870s, Hugh Lennox Bond stared down threats as judge in the trials of the South Carolina Ku Klux Klan, while Clara Shortridge Foltz overcametremendous resistance during her fifty-year law practice, which included advocacy of public defender offices.Early last century, Louis Marshall paved the way for the rights of minorities in America and abroad, while Francis Biddle, FDR’s attorney general, soughtto maintain civil liberties during World War II, arguing against the internment of Japanese Americans and later serving as the American judge in the Nuremberg trials.Edited by legal scholar Norman Gross and written by leading legal historians from around the country, the profiles presented in Noble Purposes tell the stories of these and other individuals who stood firmly in support of the rule of law, often against great odds.
Why do attempts by authoritarian regimes to legalize their political repression differ so dramatically? Why do some dispense with the law altogether, while others scrupulously modify constitutions, pass new laws, and organize political trials? Political (In)Justice answers these questions by comparing the legal aspects of political repression in three recent military regimes: Brazil (1964–1985); Chile (1973–1990); and Argentina (1976–1983). By focusing on political trials as a reflection of each regime’s overall approach to the law, Anthony Pereira argues that the practice of each regime can be explained by examining the long-term relationship between the judiciary and the military. Brazil was marked by a high degree of judicial-military integration and cooperation; Chile’s military essentially usurped judicial authority; and in Argentina, the military negated the judiciary altogether. Pereira extends the judicial-military framework to other authoritarian regimes—Salazar’s Portugal, Hitler’s Germany, and Franco’s Spain—and a democracy (the United States), to illuminate historical and contemporary aspects of state coercion and the rule of law.
The central question of the Arab Spring—what democracies should look like in the deeply religious countries of the Middle East—has developed into a vigorous debate over these nations’ secular identities. But what, exactly, is secularism? What has the West’s long familiarity with it inevitably obscured? In Questioning Secularism, Hussein Ali Agrama tackles these questions. Focusing on the fatwa councils and family law courts of Egypt just prior to the revolution, he delves deeply into the meaning of secularism itself and the ambiguities that lie at its heart.
Drawing on a precedent-setting case arising from the family law courts —the last courts in Egypt to use Shari‘a law—Agrama shows that secularism is a historical phenomenon that works through a series of paradoxes that it creates. Digging beneath the perceived differences between the West and Middle East, he highlights secularism’s dependence on the law and the problems that arise from it: the necessary involvement of state sovereign power in managing the private spiritual lives of citizens and the irreducible set of legal ambiguities such a relationship creates. Navigating a complex landscape between private and public domains, Questioning Secularism lays important groundwork for understanding the real meaning of secularism as it affects the real freedoms of a citizenry, an understanding of the utmost importance for so many countries that are now urgently facing new political possibilities.
In Stages of Capital, Ritu Birla brings research on nonwestern capitalisms into conversation with postcolonial studies to illuminate the historical roots of India’s market society. Between 1870 and 1930, the British regime in India implemented a barrage of commercial and contract laws directed at the “free” circulation of capital, including measures regulating companies, income tax, charitable gifting, and pension funds, and procedures distinguishing gambling from speculation and futures trading. Birla argues that this understudied legal infrastructure institutionalized a new object of sovereign management, the market, and along with it, a colonial concept of the public. In jurisprudence, case law, and statutes, colonial market governance enforced an abstract vision of modern society as a public of exchanging, contracting actors free from the anachronistic constraints of indigenous culture.
Birla reveals how the categories of public and private infiltrated colonial commercial law, establishing distinct worlds for economic and cultural practice. This bifurcation was especially apparent in legal dilemmas concerning indigenous or “vernacular” capitalists, crucial engines of credit and production that operated through networks of extended kinship. Focusing on the story of the Marwaris, a powerful business group renowned as a key sector of India’s capitalist class, Birla demonstrates how colonial law governed vernacular capitalists as rarefied cultural actors, so rendering them illegitimate as economic agents. Birla’s innovative attention to the negotiations between vernacular and colonial systems of valuation illustrates how kinship-based commercial groups asserted their legitimacy by challenging and inhabiting the public/private mapping. Highlighting the cultural politics of market governance, Stages of Capital is an unprecedented history of colonial commercial law, its legal fictions, and the formation of the modern economic subject in India.
Transitions: Legal Change, Legal Meanings illustrates the various intersections, crises, and shifts that continually occur within the law, and how these moments of change interact with and comment on contemporary society.
Together the essays in this volume investigate the transformation of US law during moments of political change and explore what we can learn about law by examining its role and its use in times of transition. Whether by an abrupt shift in regime or an orderly progression from one government to the next, political change often calls into question the stability and versatility of the law, making it appear temporarily absent or in suspension. What challenges to the law arise at these times? To what extent do transitional periods foster ingenuity and resourcefulness, and how might they precipitate crises in legal authority? What do moments of legal change mean for law itself and how legal institutions bring about and respond to times of transition in legal arrangements? Transitions begins the scholarly exploration of these questions that have largely been neglected.
Akhil Reed Amar / William L. Andreen /
Jack M. Beermann / Heather Elliott / Joshua
Alexander Geltzer / David Gray / Paul
Horwitz / Daniel H. Joyner / Nina
Mendelson / Meredith Render / Austin
Sarat / Ruti Teitel / Lindsey Ohlsson Worth
One of the most pressing issues of our time is the possibility of rebuilding the rule of law in former Leninist countries as a part of the transition to a market democracy. Despite formal changes in legislation and an increased attention to law in the rhetoric of policymakers, instituionalization of the rule of law has proven to be an immensely difficult challenge. Leninist regimes destroyed popular faith in law and legal institutions and, like other transitional regimes, contemporary post-communist Russia lacks the necessary institutional infrastructure to facilitate the growth of the rule of law.
Trying to Make Law Matter provides unique insight into the possibility of creating the rule of law. It is based on Kathryn Hendley's pathbreaking field research into the actual practices of Russian trial courts, lawyers, factory managers, and labor unions, contrasting the idealistic legal pronouncements of workers' rights during the Gorbachev era with tawdry reality of inadequate courts and dispirited workers.
Hendley frames her study of Russian law in action with a lively theoretical analysis of the fundamental prerequisites of the rule of law not only as a set of ideals but as a legal system that rests on the participation of rights-bearing citizens. This work will appeal to law, political science, and sociology scholars as well as area specialists and those who study transitions to market democracy.
Kathryn Hendley is Professor, Law and Political Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison.