Feasible Regulation for Democracy and Social Justice

Roger Cotterrell

in Law's Community

Published in print February 1997 | ISBN: 9780198264903
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682858 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Socio-Legal Studies

Feasible Regulation for Democracy and Social Justice

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Law and state regulation — what can be collectively termed, following Karl Llewellyn, law-government — are being expected to do more and more to bring about major social changes and economic restructuring at a time when those who make use of law in this way proclaim its capacity to do less and less. This chapter explains this ambiguity and, in doing so, derives some conclusions about the limits which contemporary legal ideology sets on efforts to rethink the role of law in society. Very extensive positive and directive use of law to recreate a climate of free enterprise appears largely unquestioned as a matter of legal legitimacy, even if it is viewed as highly controversial politically. The ideology of law's incompatibility with substantial egalitarian policies is not based on specific experiences of regulatory failure alone. It is grounded more fundamentally in what may be termed supporting ideologies of property, liberty, the minimal state, and the Rule of Law. Social justice and democracy are not separate ideals but two aspects of the same aspiration.

Keywords: law; regulation; law-government; legal ideology; property; liberty; minimal state; Rule of Law; social justice; democracy

Chapter.  9783 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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