<i>The State and the Law</i>

Neil MacCormick

in Questioning Sovereignty

Published in print October 1999 | ISBN: 9780198268765
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191713118 | DOI:

Series: Law, State, and Practical Reason

The State and the Law

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This chapter explains and vindicates in particular the idea that not every state is a law-state. Essential to the argument is the differentiation between law and politics. Law is institutional normative order, whereas politics is an order of power. The state is primarily a political entity, characterized by territoriality and stability in government. That is, a state has territory, and exercises effective government in that territory over the population, all or most of whom are citizens of the state. Typically, states are, or purport to be, ‘nation-states’, the process of nation-building having been one of seeking to develop among citizens a common consciousness of shared nationality. The term ‘territorial state’ is used in the present chapter. Four possibilities with respect to law and state are discussed: the state as law-dependent, the law as state-dependent, state and law as coexistent, and identity of state and law.

Keywords: state; law; law-state; politics; territorial state; identity; institutional normative order

Chapter.  4911 words. 

Subjects: EU Law

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